“Heart and Soul” EP – an interview with singer-songwriter Elson

“Heart and Soul” EP – an interview with singer-songwriter Elson

Available on iTunes

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Elson has just released his new EP on iTunes – called “Heart and Soul” produced by Nick Sagar –House and here he shares his inspiration behind the tracks and what his future plans for music are.

What inspired you to write this EP? 

What inspired me musically was the R&B and soul sounds of the 70’s through to the 90’s. Artists such as Luther Vandross, Jon B and Boyz to Men really influenced this EP. In terms of storytelling and lyrics, I was inspired by the situation in the dating game, or boy meets girl world – where you’re in the in-between and helpless.

So it’s all about love?

As always! You don’t know if that person you’re falling for will accept you, and you’re in that difficult place where you don’t know where the relationship will go – whether you’ll be with that person, or whether they won’t accept you. You’re helpless and in that ‘in-between’ – this kind of experience is what inspired tracks 1-3 ”Never is enough”, ”One you call” and ”Could you be my baby”

I think it has all been heard before in a love song – ”I’m happy that I’m in love with the woman/man of my dreams” but to talk about the dance between two people and not knowing where that can quite go is much more interesting in terms of a song and songwriting.

Why did you call it “Heart and Soul”?

Heart and soul is what I really put into these songs – from writing, to singing, to playing them and recording them in the studio. “Could you be my Baby” was easily the longest track to put together – taking up three whole days! These songs I hope are quite soulful. It’s not quite the pop, or rock that I usually stick to – but it’s soulful – as I was in a soulful mood when writing the tracks.

What’s your favourite track on the EP?

My favourite song is easily ”Never is enough” – the opening track. Why? Because this one was a real spiritual experience for me. It was the first time I wrote without a piano or keyboard and the first time I wrote when I was journeying somewhere. At the time of writing it in April 2015, I was on holiday in Istanbul, travelling to the north of Turkey – to Girusen, and the journey just inspired me. Out of nowhere the melody to the chorus came to me and I remember writing the lyrics to the chorus and melody of the chorus in an airport in the north of Turkey. The verses then came and then the pre-choruses started to form.

I recorded all this on an iphone initially! God knows what the passengers waiting for the flight thought when they heard me singing into an iphone! :) Ha ha

What are your future plans?

My future plans are just to keep writing, performing and recording as much as I can – all the things that a musician does when awake! I want to delve more into upbeat, dance pop to get people moving more! So watch this space! :) I’ll also be doing more acoustic video covers…and hope to put some more videos out by early 2016.

Buy the “Heart and Soul” EP now:

Available on iTunes

 

Artist Influences

It’s funny because a record producer once told me that usually musicians try to perform, look and even sing like their influences – but by doing so, taking this route, they actually create, in some cases, a new style of playing music.. For example one of Elton John’s major influences was a musician named ”Leonard Russell” who he tried to almost mimick in performance terms on live nights. However, Elton John’s voice was too smooth instead of rough like Leonard’s and thus, thereafter this is how ”style” set by an artist is born and how Elton got his own style in his own right!

I have been warned, however, by friends and crowds from my live performance nights, that although my interest in songs spans many different genres of music, I must stick strictly to my core music genres (perhaps soul, soul and Pop, light rock) and remain focused. I think there have been notable occasions in the past where established musicians have sang and performed either cover songs or originals (in a style of music outside of their expertise if you like), which has not really worked. Thus, it is important for artists to know their strengths musically as well as their weaknesses or limitations.

Songwriting

Songwriting is one of, if not, the most important, part of being a well-crafted musician. As a kid, growing up around much older siblings (of 10+ years) and my parents, I was exposed to all sorts of music; Gospel, Soul, Pop, Rock, Reggae, R&B even Heavy Metal. Delving into such diverse genres of music inspired me to really determine and understand what features make up these different types of genres of music? Gospel has such power in its backing singers, while Rock has the twang of crashing guitars, and RNB has that sexy, sultry groove in its bass lines, for example.

Listening to such different styles of music is something I do almost on a daily basis. Although I love to sing, to play piano and perform live – the most important aspect of being a musician, in my opinion, is to be able to write. I have not verified this particular viewpoint i am about to say with other songwriters that I have become acquainted with over the years. However, my suspicions, I’m certain, are correct in highlighting that it is a common fear of songwriters to be pigeon holed by the public or an audience into writing (very limited) to one style/genre of music.

Another aspect to draw light on within songwriting is that for a few years, I have found myself, at certain periods, into say a genre of music such as Rock. In this context and case, the time i spend listening to American Rock Bands such as Daughtry, Lifehouse, Switchfoot and Counting Crows, puts me in the mood to write rock songs unsurprisingly. Once that happens i usually form a melody in my head, play it on keyboard and then mentally try to map how each instrument in the song should sound and play. Just as the saying goes ‘’You are what you eat’’ I like to draw parallels with the music world and state that ‘’a songwriter is only as good as the music he/she listened to’’.

Release of Hollywood Moviestar commercial video – July 27, 2014

So guys – we’re excited about releasing the NEXT #commercial #music video of ours of a country pop song called ”#Hollywood Moviestar” due for release on Sunday 27 July.

Check out a couple of the photos on set that we took! it was an exhausting day filming, but we’re sure you’ll like the results….

Please do share, repost and/or #retweet the video when you get a moment! – We heavily appreciate your help, support and for listening to our songs….

Til the next time take care of yourselves and each other! 

#gig #band #soul #pop #rock #ballad #story #storytelling #marlynmonroe#singing #theatre

The Hollywood Moviestar herself!

 

 

Release of Superstition & Ghostbusers – June 9, 2014

Just a quick note to tell y’all that today we’ve released our mash up of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition‘ and the theme song to a classic film of 1984 that you should all know!

We had great fun ‘busting’ this out on one of our live nights and we hope you enjoy it!

Please give it up for singer-songwriter and guitarist, James Calmus,on lead vocal, Aneil Fatania on seriously vibing electric guitar, Will Lopez on funked up bass, Kieran Gohel keeping the rhythm and coolness on drums, and Ashley Kampta on sweet sounding electric keys!!….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpLHq3Re4gU&list=UUxJ6L-kLu4YszpnogfsEYow

Release of Next new live video – ‘Make it through’ – 1 June 2014

So we are excited guys to release our live video performance of one of our favourite original songs to play – ‘Make it through’.

Originally written as a slow but punchy hard rock song, numerous practises of the song, by the band and I, led us to a more rocky rhythmic aggressive version of the song.

Check it out here below….Hope you guys enjoy it :)….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0Ymkynl_QQ

May 2014 – release of Reggae Jealous Guy video

So we’re excited about releasing an upbeat, rhythmic, reggae version of our debut single ”Jealous Guy” on Sunday 18 May 2014…Originally written as a soft pop ballad, numerous practises of the song lead talented singer-songwriter and band member, James Calmus, to suggest ramping up the rhythm, the bass and putting generally more attitude in – in a good way!

As musicians, songwriters and performers testing songs to crowds is all part of the process. Thankfully this version connects well with crowds and we hope you enjoy it!

You can see the full live energetic video here below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WJw7NgmPI0

Updates (Jan,Feb and March 2014)

January 2014

January saw band member, James Calmus, and myself visit Groningen, Netherlands to attend the Eurosonic festival. We also performed a duo acoustic set to a wonderful crowd. Do check out a couple of the pics below :). Eurosonic was an amazing experience thanks to the innovative, articulate and very talented musicians and bands that James and I both enjoyed seeing.

February 2014

February saw the band and I headline yet again at the Troubadour in Earls court on Feb 20, 2014. Please check the www.facebook.com/elsonofficial photos to see some pics of the night taken! Stay tuned for Youtube videos of the night to come on through by April 2014. This was easily one of the best nights the band and I have performed in and we loved every moment of it. Thanks to all those who came out to see us!

March 2014

March saw myself play an acoustic Piano set at Middlesex University on February 27th and on March 10 at Bar Solo in Camden, on Inverness street, London.

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COMMENTARY ON THE TRACKS OF THE DEBUT CD (OCT 2013):

Elson’s commentaries, track by track,  as given below, give insight and explanations into his experiences, and sources of inspirations, for writing the debut CD:

1) Your Jealous Guy

”Jealous Guy was written about the insecurities one can feel in a relationship. We see it quite often, or at least I have in my circle of friends” comments Elson (while laughing). Musically the song was strongly influenced by the powerful, raw and emotional singing style of the legendary Otis Redding and the piano driven songs of Elton John. ‘ We decided to go with this one as the first single as it’s catchy and memorable!’

2) The One You Call

‘Growing up as a kid in the 1990’s I loved listening to all the soul and R’N’B artists such as Jon B, Babyface and Boyz to Men. Sometimes I am in that musical zone of R’N’B, and one day I found myself in that zone while  jamming with a very talented guitarist friend of mine, Aneil Fatania. He came up with these chords on acoustic guitar and i just hummed the melody, and very shortly, thereafter, ‘The one you call’ was born. I love the fact that its simple, but effective in terms of musical structure – and for this reason it works!’

3) You Saved Me

‘You Saved Me is about overcoming those darkest times in your life through someone or something  spiritually. At the time of writing the song I was heavily into Chris Daughtry’s Crawling Back To You record – hence the rockiness and edginess in the twang of the electric guitar. On live nights, the band and I have a completely different take on this song and the tempo at which it is played at – doing things this way, live, makes the song so interesting and edgy! Maybe one day we’ll do a stripped down acoustic version of  You saved me to keep it fresh!’

4) Head Up High

‘Head Up High was written about the negative atmosphere caused by the economic recession in Europe from 2008 onwards. News feeds were talking about rising unemployment in Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, and it was evident at the time that strong feelings of despair and sadness were felt by people or communities around the world. I wanted to write something uplifting through Head up High, and, in effect, play the role of a close friend to those in despair. I think people need good friends who can cheer them up and be there to say ‘hey, it’s  going to be OK and don’t be so down’.

5) Make It Through

”Make It Through’ came from watching a news documentary about the sufferings experienced by women and men in extremely abusive relationships or marriages. The song, in Summary, is about that moment when someone in this type of relationship says ‘enough is enough!’, finds the courage to act, leave it all behind, find and live out that better life”.