Category Archives: singer-songwriter

Get to know: Les Kirsh

Les Kirsh has been writing catchy soul-influenced tunes since the 60s/70s, but has suffered more than his fair share of set backs. Now he’s back with a few remastered and mixed versions of old songs, reworked for a modern audience. Know Me Better managed to get 5 minutes with the talented songwriter:

 

How did you get your initial start in music?

After being in quite a few bands since school, I answered an advert in the Melody Maker and met with George Young and Harry Vanda (of The Easybeats) which which led to my first record deal with Phillips.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To have my songs covered by other artists and to be known as much as a writer as I am a singer.

How long have you been writing your own music?

On and off since the 60s

Who are your top three influences and why?

My ultimate influence is Otis Redding, later followed by Rod Stewart and Lionel Richie. These are artists I feel put a lot of soul and feeling into their music and lyrics.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

They are three completely different songs – two of which I feel tell a story and one is a fun, party song with a Four Tops Reggae feel. I enjoy writing all styles of music. 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

Im currently living In Essex – I don’t really have a favourite – each venue always has its own special feel.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music

There is plenty more to come and some already out there. Feel free to check youtube where you will find some other of my songs including the original ‘Tell Me To My Face’. My newest tracks are on sound cloud too.

https://soundcloud.com/leskirsh

https://www.facebook.com/LesKirshMusic/

https://twitter.com/LesKirshMusic

 

Listen to ‘Tell Me To My Face’ here:

GET TO KNOW: Jake Aldridge

How did you get your initial start in music?

I started out when I was 17. My Father passed away when I was 11 and from that point on, I was always searching for a way to express myself and my emotions. Music became like my own therapy and I enjoyed the feeling of being creative. The positive reactions from people who heard my music spurred me on and keeps me going to this day, some 12 years later.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My ultimate aim? That’s a good one, It’s never been about money for me but I guess my ultimate aim would be to make a living out of my music, even if it was just a small one. This way I could put all of my energy into it. It’s not easy to write and promote new music around a full time job, but i certainly do my best.

How long have you been writing your own music?

I’ve been writing my own music for 12 years. It’s gone quickly too. I’ve always written my own stuff and have never really considered covering other people’s. I enjoy the writing process too much.

Who are your top three influences and why?

My top 3 influences would be 1. Tupac Shakur. His work ethic inspired me and his authenticity did too. He was very much a lyricist and I loved that as well. Number 2 would be probably be Nelly. I love that he can seamlessly combine R&B & Hip-Hop, it’s something i try to do in my music as well. I love that he’s not afraid to sing on his tracks either. Number 3 would probably be Nas. I love how he’s never really steered away from the music and sound that he’s always been known for. He never sold out. His music is real and I admire that so much.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Definitely, my new single is titled ‘Fireman’ and I honestly feel like it’s my best one yet ! It features Lisa Ambrose, who is a singer i’ve always loved and i feel truly honoured to be able to work alongside. The track also features production by Ninety II. He’s a producer from Bristol and he and I have been working together for some time now. We’re like Batman & Robin !! The track is set for release via ITunes, Spotify & Google Play etc on the 7th of April.

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’m based in Suffolk and to be honest the local scene isn’t really geared up for my kind of my music but i try to get it around as much as i can. i’ve received great support from local people as well as the press here too.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Definitely Lisa Abrose, Steve Moyse, Haleana,  Kelly Jenns and Kelly Brooks. I’ve worked with them all and they are incredible at what they do.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

The best place to listen to my music is my website – www.jakealdridge.com you can also sign up for my mailing list and receive some free tracks as well !!

GET TO KNOW: Adam Lanceley

How did you get your initial start in music?

Well, after a near fatal car crash which left me unable to walk for a long time & needing something to fill the void left by my inability to play competitive sport, my interests turned more towards the arts. That’s the start of what got me into the creative side of things, but I suppose it was a gradual process of circumstances that came together over quite a long time, like a friend from college being a sound engineer or a colleague at a job – who was already teaching me the guitar – encouraging me to start writing my ideas down & trying to put them in a song. Basically though, just plugging away & I’ve been lucky to meet the right people at the right time – hope it continues!

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Good question. I suppose for me, the ultimate goal is to leave my mark on on music. To leave a footprint on life that’s revisited whenever people hear my music & bring back the vibe they had when they first heard it.

How long have you been writing your own music?

Probably about 15 years. I’ve always had a lot of ideas in me that at first I was unable to express. At first I tried to do it through acting, but it didn’t really work for me trying to be someone else when I had so many issues of my own that I wanted to communicate with the world. It was after I left East 15 Acting School – 1 of the Centres of Excellence for Drama – that I realised I was more suited to saying what I had to say through music.

Who are your top 3 influences & why?

First & foremost, The Beatles. They were the group that really made me fall in love with music. When I first heard them, it was quite a difficult time in my life & I found strength in their unique sunshine sound. They have influenced my writing & production techniques a lot.

I think some of REM’s stuff is great! I love Michael Stipe’s use of metaphors & trying to figure out what some of his words actually mean. This has influenced my writing too.

Roy Orbison is another big influence on my music. I love his approach – where not being trained in music I think it gave him the licence to use unorthodox structures & writing techniques. This gave me the confidence to write by the principle: if it sounds good, do it!

Is there anything you’d like people to know about your current release?

I think that the less you tell people about what your songs are about the better! It’s good to let the listener interpret your lyrics & music in the way they want, in my opinion. 1 thing I do want people to know though is the single & the EP it’s off – ‘Back To The Sunshine’ – is a charity release with all net proceeds going to The Brain & Spine Foundation. They are at the forefront of research into the treatment of brain injury & after my own personal experiences of how traumatic the recovery can be, I think they are a charity well worth supporting.

Where are you based & what’s your local music scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’m from south west London & there’s quite a big music heritage here! The Olympic Studios were near where I’m from, where everyone who’s anyone used to record way back when… from The Rolling Stones to The Beach Boys & The Eagles – they all recorded in Barnes! There’s always something going on music wise in London. My favourite venue to play is ‘The Fighting Cocks’ in Kingston. This might have something to do with it being a venue Jimi Hendrix used to play when he was based in Kingston!

Who else can you recommend from your local music scene for people to have a listen to?

There’s always a wide variety of music in London. Whatever your taste your bound to find something that suits! 1 group worth checking out are ‘The Groove Monkeys’.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online & hear more of your music.

I have 5 studio albums that preceded this release. You can find them on most free stream or download stores if you just enter Adam Lanceley. Enjoy!

GET TO KNOW: Beldon Haigh

How did you get your initial start in music?

I’m not sure what the initial start really is. In music as in life we have lots of starts. They are all like relationships. Some are exciting adrenaline fuelled and filled with dreams they go off like a rocket at the start, sometimes stay like that, sometimes go nowhere. Other beginnings are less dynamic, more stop start, more idiosyncratic they lead somewhere gratifying/fulfilling at the time but lack ultimate direction. That is a good way to look at the music business – hard to find the start point, and only after reflection can you see the roads that ultimately led anywhere.  That’s why it’s always a good idea to value the actual journey – love the journey as much as the final destination.

And personally I think that the start in music always comes from yourself.

Every musician needs to value their effort, I’ve worked with many musicians and its easy for people to forget to value themselves, their own direction, their own talent enough. Not valuing yourself can be a one way ticket to drug addiction or alcoholism or worse. So musically speaking, I was the one who made the decision to practice and apply myself and I took responsibility for my music, my writing and my life and  I am pretty happy with what I have done with all of that.

That said I hugely appreciate all the people who have helped me along the way. My folks bought me a guitar and got me lessons when I was 10. We didn’t have a lot of money and in a way I’m glad we didn’t, I bought my first electric guitar out of proceeds from paper round/milk round and working in Asda when I was 14 – it was a Yamaha Pacifica – still a great guitar. I loved that guitar.

My music teacher Jock Archibald had a huge influence on me and really helped me develop classical guitar technique, my high school headmaster Hugh Lynch let the band I was in rehearse in the school at weekends so long as we’d play charity concerts in return – which we did. That gave us the opportunity to practice in a big hall with awesome acoustics.

After that I many people helped me from guys who owned studios and record company people who helped me along the way. Just a few people include Jon Turner (studio owner) Chris Harley ) producer) Brian Guthrie (from the Cartell in Scotland who we released our first record through) promoter and label owner)  Mark Mackie (promoter) John Kennedy (lawyer) David White (lawyer and Simple Minds Management team who also advised us for a while) and  Malcolm Buckland  (A&R ) and Dominic Walker who looked after me at BMG and is the current head of music at the BBC he’s been great in his support and encouragement me even to this day. Also, Justin Skelton my Manager and my friend.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I don’t have an ultimate aim. I want to be happy every day. I live my life with good intentions and I aim to make a positive and constructive impact in whatever I do.

I would like to inspire others to write about real things and produce songs that move people.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

Since I was 10 years old, I’ve written and recorded hundreds of songs. That’s the great thing about having had a studio for as long as I can remember. Everything is recorded – some good, bad, indifferent, but all recorded.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

I love so many really current acts. I listen a lot to Jungle and Elbow, Arcade Fire… there’s a huge  list.

And yet when really pushed on three influences I would go with:

David Bowie – magical voice, timeless prophetic lyrics and very classy music – just everything. Life on Mars is one of my favourite songs of all time.

John Lennon – Genius song writer with a spellbinding voice and mega attitude – Imagine has to be the perfect song.

Jimmy Hendrix – excellent songwriter, genius with a guitar and production that was truly decades ahead of its time – there are so many Hendrix songs still used today in TV commercials because they are timeless and packed with atmosphere and symbolism.

And I’d still need to sneak in a mention for Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan – two of the finest songwriters that will ever live.

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Freedom came to me in a dream, I woke up and wrote it all down. I got 90 percent done in 20 minutes but the final 10 percent took a lot longer. But it is a song that seemed to be gifted to me, I never decided to sit down and write an anti Trump song – but and what he stands for and what he was doing was clearly concerning me greatly and he that hasn’t changed.  If anything I get more concerned with every tweet he spits out and every executive order he signs.

I think that we all need to stand up and do our bit to prevent this alt right cancer from taking hold. We cannot afford to be complacent. We can’t leave it to other people. If we value freedom we need to fight for it, or it will be taken from us. It is already happening.  Everyone can do something. Talk on social media, protest, sing songs, give money. We must never let this alt right behaviour and authoritarian, nationalistic, fascist/ racist ideology be normalised.

 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I live in Falkirk in Scotland, there is a very good local music scene here particularly in Glasgow and Edinburgh which are both very close.

My favourite venue has always been is Glasgow Barrowlands the vibe, the acoustics and even the size of the place are all just perfect – not too big , not too small.

 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Favourite Scottish band of the moment is Glasvegas and the small venue I like the most is the Mash House in Edinburgh – because it is where (IMHO) all the best good Scottish indy bands play. There is always some good talent on display there.

 

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

https://twitter.com/beldonhaigh

https://www.facebook.com/Beldon-Haigh-Freedom-An-Anti-Trump-Protest-Song-1270990246327550/?fref=ts

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/freedom/id1195525999?i=1195526008

GET TO KNOW: Glenn Harrold

How did you get your initial start in music?

I played the bass in a band called The Vagrants who morphed into the Sugar Ray Five. In 1983 we won £10,000 in the BBC1 National Battle of the Bands competition. We were then signed to a major label, released a couple of singles and appeared on various TV shows.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To write a song that become a worldwide classic hit and was covered many times by other artists. My hypnosis and meditation Apps and MP3s have sold over 7 million copies worldwide and I am now hoping to emulate those sales in the music world!

How long have you been writing your own music?

On and off for about 25 years, but recently I got the bug again big time and decided to release a few of my new songs.

Who are your top three influences and why?

The Beatles for their amazing song-writing ability and also because their later songs had such depth and resonance. The band James as they are still writing great songs after a long career.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

My first new release is a song called The Wayfarer, featuring Dean Rhymes on lead vocals. This song tells the story of an inspirational lady called Peace Pilgrim who walked across America many times in the name of Peace. You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AChkWW6jPlY

Following that in the Spring of 2017 I am releasing a ballad called Fading Photograph. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AaPZIGpA0

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I moved the Fuengirola in Spain 18 months ago and I love it here. It’s interesting that whenever I get out to watch a band they nearly always play British songs. A few weeks ago I was walking through Marbella old Town and came across a band playing early Jam, Buzzcocks and Clash songs! They we’re great!

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Not sure as it’s a new area to me.

Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

You can hear all my music on my main website below and join me on all social media networks.

Website: http://www.glennharrold.com/music.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/glennharrold.fanpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlennHarrold

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/glennharrold

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/doctorofthemind

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glenn_harrold

GET TO KNOW: Alonestar

How did you get your initial start in music

My initial start in music was  was in Newcastle for  the Sugar magazine Tour, i went on tour with them. Simon Webbe from the band “BLUE”  was managing me and he booked me on the tour, sugar mag was a teenage magazine that did a roadshow tour every year and I was modelling at the time with my very close friend and room mate Dan Corsi who was with models one and I was with Storm models.

It was overwhelming as I was performing alongside Busted and Blazing squad and the crowds were massive! We filled out whole shopping centres all over the country and Ireland! Was a very good way to learn and get comfortable performing on stage!

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I would  like to build my label “Eternal life” and production company “Urban Angel”  to  release independently with backing from  a major label and work out a partnership deal for myself as the first artist and then we can sign other acts we feel are right for the label. I have a really amazing team around me of producers, engineers, singers, rappers, managers, entertainment lawyers and I’m in close contact with artists from all over the world.

I feel record companies know what they are looking for because they have focused grouped it and they have demo graphed it, it’s been taking out of the hands of the artists and they are looking for something  to fit pre determined slots. I don’t want this,  I want my label to be about the artist, the music, music is about the spirit and I want my own and my artists music to live on forever hence the name of my record label.

How long have you been writing your own music?

I’ve been mumbling my own music since i was a baby, my first word was “Birdy” and my mum said I kept saying it singing a melody with the word.

Professionally I’ve made music since 2004. that’s when my first EP “Clipped wings” was written and released.

Who are your top three influences and why?

2pac Tupac shakur  – he taught me a lot through his music about raw human needs, expressions, art, and that you could be a tough young male and still write a song about your mother and how much you love and appreciate her. He made it gangster to love your mum, your family and be real and express how you feel in a climate that frowned  about that and saw it as weak. He had so much heart and talent even though he was a troubled haunted artist. His writing and the way he delivered his lyrics was like a preacher, the words just poured out of him and when you listened to his lyrics and his music it was / is so potent. he was a true artist! Rest in peace 2PAC.

Bob Marley is one of my favourite artists!  his music is so awesome and powerful! guiltiness is one of my favourite songs! He was a great revolutionist !

Bob Marley  said –   “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”

If you’re white and you’re wrong, then you’re wrong; if you’re black and you’re wrong, you’re wrong. People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about colour; only society make rules where my people suffer, and that why we must have redemption and redemption now.

– the greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires, but in hos integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”

Do i need to say anymore?????!!!!!!

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

My current release ‘Lovelorn’ I believe is my best work to date and I feel every human being can relate once they listen embrace the lyrics and hear what its about… the pain of love. Love is the most powerful feeling one can feel good or bad in my opinion.

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’m back in my hometown of Bristol now, home to massive attack, Portishead, Tricky, Roni Size, Kosheen,  Laid Blak (shout out Joe Peng and dj Bunjy! 2 of the best in the game! a massive influence to me!)  Banksy DJ Derek (R.I.P) and myself.

We like it bass heavy in Bristol! A melting pot of sounds and fusions of all types of music.  I love my home town!  B-town is the best for arts, culture, music and expression for many reasons. my favourite venue is THE “ATTIC BAR” my friend vic runs it and always puts on amazing nights with amazing homegrown music and artist!

 Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

I’ve mentioned quite a few above but i love my ex label mates and good friends  “LAID BLAK”  such talented artist and musicians! DJ bunjy gave my cousin ED sheeran his first gig at the croft bar, stokes croft, Bristol.. Ed smashed it, and I went on after and performed my early work.. shout out OG DJ Bunjy and Joe peng! Bristol legends! I’m also working with massive attacks guitarist Angelo Bruschini an amazing guy and very talented musician / artist! we have some great music to release in 2017!

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

Firstly thanks all  for reading, please check me out on itunes ,  you can listen & preview my music before purchasing.

Please come and say hi to me on social media… i love to hear from new listeners, followers and new friends!

soundclound.com/alonestar

twitter.com/alonestar1

instagram.com/alonestarphoto

facebook.com/alonestar

Live Hard, love strong!!!!!

AlonestarLOVE X

GET TO KNOW: Corinna Jane

How did you get your initial start in music?

I would definitely thank my dad for this who imposed MTV on me at weekends whilst spinning me around in the living room. We also used to have cosy little sing-songs around the piano when I was little, which meant that I started to mess around at the piano and pick things by ear when I was a toddler – so when I got to five, my mother decided it was time for some piano lessons. I remember watching Sheryl Crow “All I Wanna Do” on the music channels when I was very small and asking for her album, I was already thinking how cool it would be to be able to sing your own songs to the world!

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I am already grateful for those who have supported me with my music so far and I would just want that to continue growing so that I am able to have a music career that is able to span for many decades and allow me to travel around the world and play to people who want to hear what they do, because it would mean a lot to me if people are able to take the music that I play to their hearts and give meaning to their own lives.

How long have you been writing your own music?

I’ve always tinkered away with my own melodies when I was a child, but I really started to write proper songs with music and lyrics when I was 12. Whilst obviously I can hear that I have come on since then, I can definitely hear the beginnings of my sound even in the earlier compositions, probably just the way I play the piano perhaps.

Who are your top three influences and why?

This is such a difficult question, as I listen to a lot of different pop and rock bands that have influenced me in some way, but aren’t necessarily reflective of my own sound.

  1. Sheryl Crow – she’s just such a versatile, timeless writer with a great sassy performance style and isn’t trying to conform to any particular sound.
  2. The Killers – such a clever band with their own unique sound that isn’t very replicable. Not only are they melodic, but they have these mind boggling poetic lyrics that sometimes don’t make sense initially, but get you thinking.
  1. Avril Lavigne – I loved her when I was growing up, she was living the dream that I wanted and inspired my imagination as a young teenager. For many years I got told I look like her, so I feel some kind of affinity to her. Musically, I think I have grown differently though.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

I am really proud of my EP “Hard In Love” – Both “Floodlights” and “Three Faces Of You” have had play across BBC Introducing nationally and also BBC Radio 6. It’s also a 4 track sampler of the 10 track album that I will be releasing very soon! The EP and the album is a quirky kind of pop-rock with a good dose of theatrics and also an element of folk.

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I am based in Northamptonshire. It’s rich in very talented singer songwriters and bands, but sadly so many of our treasured venues have closed down in our town, which is sadly the case for so many British towns nowadays, However, people still love going to watch live music and there is still a vibrant scene with our yearly Northampton Music Festival, iconic venue The Roadmender and music nights in local pubs and bars.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

I would definitely recommend listening to singer songwriters Will Rogers and Hannah Faulkner. Will is a fantastic melodically uplifting songwriter with very well crafted clever lyrics, perfect for a singalong! Hannah has a phenomenal soulful voice and also featured as a vocalist on some big tracks in the Happy Hardcore scene.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

The best places to find out more about me and my music would be www.corinnajane.com, facebook.com/corinnajane and you can catch my music videos and live performances at youtube.com/corinnajane