How did you get your initial start in music?
My father was in the music business and many other family members so I knew early on what I wanted to do with my life. I used to get up and sing at my Dad’s gigs when I was 12 and then I started singing in the senior big band at school with a 20 piece brass section. At 14 I was the lead singer we toured the US and Australia plus we spent every weekend playing for the Sydney Kings Basketball team. Those games were televised on Saturday nights. I then jumped on a plane to London at 19 and signed my first record deal with Concept/Universal records.
What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
I think to be successful at writing songs, whether it’s for another artist or myself. There is nothing more satisfying than coming home with a track you have written and recorded that day. I love doing really fantastic gigs as well. One of my favourite nights was performing on the helipad – 77 stories high – on the rooftop of the Swiss Hotel in Singapore. There were 600 people up there. It was truly a breath-taking night!
How long have you been writing your own music?
I wrote my first song at 4 years old called ‘Twinkle In Your Eye’. I still remember it! But I got really serious about song-writing when I was 14. I would start with the lyrics then build the song around that. Since then I have written hundreds of songs and so many of them I have been lucky enough to record.
Who are your top three influences and why?
That really is tough one to answer as there are so many people I love. And I go through phases of listening to different artists. I was lucky enough to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas this year and she was just incredible. I loved her when I was growing up and after seeing her show I went back through all her old songs. Her voice really is emotional and not many singers have that power and raw passion anymore. I think that is why Adele is so great. She has that emotion an her voice that people love. Prince would be up there and was such a blow to the industry to lose him this year. So many of the songs he wrote…I will listen to them for the rest of my life! I have been a fan of Bonnie Raitt since I was kid. I never get sick of her voice. It’s just so pure the way she sings, no messing around with the note – just clean beautiful tone and her guitar playing is incredible.
Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
I love Christmas so much! I normally start playing Christmas songs in October…. Of course Christmas is an emotional time as well. Last year late one winters night I sat at the piano with a glass of red wine and wrote ‘ Christmas Without You’. It’s really about people you have loved and lost and you would love to see again. I will be donating 10% of digital sales this year of ‘Christmas Without You; to The BBC’s Children In Need Charity.
Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
I’m based in Kent so it is easy to get to London for a night or down to Brighton to see a gig. We also have some good places close by, The Trinity Arts Centre and The Grey Lady have music on every other night. I really do prefer smaller more intimate venues. It’s so much more intense.
Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
Stacey Kent is lovely jazz singer who is often playing round here. We saw her perform at The Trinity Arts Centre earlier this year. I love her last album ‘The Changing Lights’ which was recorded in the same studio (Berry House Studio – Curtis Schwartz) where I recorded ‘Christmas Without You’ and my upcoming album. My Dad used to record there, so it was quite an experience for me.
Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.