Q.1. Where did you get inspiration to write your own lyrics?
I think it came from going through some personal battles and getting to a point where I felt totally sapped of energy and life and really felt I needed a miracle to lift me and ‘bring me back to life’. I’m sure many people out there have been in similar situations where you know that you need something beyond yourself to transform you from a dry, desert like situation to a place where you feel refreshed, re-energised with a new zest for life.
Q.2. How do you see your career now comparative to 2012 when you released your first single ‘Need a little love’?
I think the key thing has been growth in my songwriting and performance abilities. I’ve been writing songs since I was twelve, thirteen years old as an outlet for the typical teenage angst and frustrations we all go through. The songs weren’t that great at first but gradually they started to get more structured and melodic. That said it took me a while to figure out if and how to get my music out there as I was totally oblivious of how the music business worked seeing I didn’t have any family or close friends in the music industry to advise me. So you can say I kind of learned the ropes as I went along.
The key thing is I definitely have clearer vision of what kind of music I want to be doing and what the ultimate end goal is.
Q.3. How did you react to the good reviews about your new single ‘Come Alive’?
Grateful I think is the key word. People have loved both the song and the music video which is fantastic ‘cos in many ways you’re pouring your heart and soul into the every song and project you do so if it isn’t well received, it can be tough but at the same time you have to appreciate that timing and many other factors - which may be sometimes out of your control can also have an impact on how things pan out so when you do experience any success even if it’s small you should never take it for granted.
Q.4. You spoke about challenges that you have been through your life in your new single; Can we have a hint of what it is about?
I don’t talk about it much, but I struggled with depression years back and it can be a really dark place where you feel no one can reach you. Trying to explain it to people is tough as well ‘cos they don’t really get it so you just keep it to yourself and pray somehow you get through. Thankfully that’s all behind me now but once in a while I do go through little patches where I feel a little down and out and I think I was in one of those moments when the idea for the song came. Thank God for my music and songwriting as it has over the years helped with articulating and dealing with tough emotions. I recall the image that came to mind when I was writing the song was the story I read about a pool (this was thousands of years ago), where an angel would come and water in the pool and anyone who jumped into the pool first when the angel stirred it would get healed or made better of anything that they were struggling with. I guess I was imagining in my mind that I was that person jumping into this pool and being made whole – you know, coming back to life hence the song title ‘Come Alive’
Q.5. How was the process of song-writing and recording this single which somehow means a lot to you? Were you afraid of the general feedback?
It’s funny I tend to write songs and then I sit on them for a while or I plan on releasing them some point in the future but I got a sense of urgency with this one. It felt like a song I had to get out straight away, partly I guess ‘cos it was such an uptempo summery track that if I didn’t get moving with getting it produced asap, it would be next year summer at least before it would see the light of day.
The song had such a nice groove to it when I played it acoustically on the guitar and by some good fortune, I came across a great music producer ‘Jeriah Nadesan’ who I found on Instagram. I liked the sound of the stuff he was doing and I sent him a rough demo of the track to see what he thought. He was enthusiastic and had some great ideas – plus he worked fast so everything just moved quickly. In hindsight, I guess there wasn’t time to worry about what people would think. I think as you write more and more songs you begin to get a sense of what works which helps. That said the production and getting it out there so people can access the music is also a big part of the process.
Q.6. How was the experience in getting into the final/semi-final of Thame Town Music Festival Songwriting and the UK Songwriting Competition?
I was really grateful for both opportunities and in the case of the Thame Town Music Festival, it was a little unexpected actually. I was researching festivals taking place over the summer and happened to notice that Thame Town was holding their first ever songwriting competition as an add-on to their main music festival. I sent in one of my songs ‘Be Yourself’ for the competition and didn’t think anything would come of it but then out of the blue they got in touch and said they loved the song so much that I’d made the final shortlist and was invited to come and perform it live the day at an event taking place the day before the music festival.
Q.6.1. What did you take with you to follow in your professional life from the competition?
I think it validated the need to keep writing and releasing good music ‘cos you never know which song will connect with people. Also, keep putting yourself out there and giving yourself the opportunities to be discovered. It’s not easy – and I’m speaking from personal experience, but if I hadn’t applied for either of those competitions then I would never be able to say I had the experience so it’s definitely encouraged me to keep pressing forward.
Q.7. Do you have any more upcoming singles/album soon?
I’ve got a number of songs written and it’s now just finding the right producer and coming up with the right approach to get them out there e.g. whether I release more singles or do an album. I think at a bare minimum I’d like to get another single out early next year as a precursor to a full album. Fingers crossed!Q.7.1. Are they following the same inspirational outline that you have been defined?
I think writing music that inspires and moves people in a positive way is my raison d'être. I remember just before I released my first single ‘Need a little love’, I had been pulling my hair out trying to understand the point for writing and singing as it just didn’t seem enough that I should be doing it because I could hold a tune or because someone thought I could write a catchy hook. I knew deep inside there had to be a deeper more meaningful reason and if I didn’t have that answer then it would just be a tick in the box exercise that would bring no true sense of satisfaction to me personally.
In the end, the answer hit me and it was that all the songs I was writing and singing weren’t for me. They were for others out there, they were to help people, encourage them, lift them up and let them know they weren’t alone. There are so many artists doing such a great job singing and writing about love, money whatever, it made no sense for me to replicate that. I believe we need more music talking about real stuff people go through in life which sometimes they may find difficult to articulate or don’t think anyone wants to hear about. While there’s room for the happy, clappy stuff which I do like to write as well, a lot of my songs tend to have more depth and a key message behind them which hopefully makes you think, inspires you to do better and be better and ultimately connects with you in a meaningful way.
Q.8. What do you have prepared for your fans soon?
More good music and more gigs! I’ve got some gigs lined up over the autumn season and hopefully I’ll be adding more dates in the coming weeks so watch this space!