Ep39: Stephen Jones (Babybird) on surviving chart success and finding true connection with music fans

Ep39: Stephen Jones (Babybird) on surviving chart success and finding true connection with music fans

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Welcome to my conversation with Stephen Jones, recorded on 9th April 2021. Stephen’s latest compilation of songs, “An Introduction To Babybird” is available on Bandcamp now, and you can explore his musical world here.

[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • the importance of making music that’s for you first
  • the strange and inappropriate uses of “You’re Gorgeous” in pop culture, from Prince William to Barack Obama
  • how Bandcamp is the best internet version of DIY
  • the awkward glamour and excitement of making a million-dollar music video with Hollywood royalty

Explore Stephen’s work:




About Stephen Jones

Million-selling songwriter and cult hero Stephen Jones has spent the last decade reconnecting with his DIY roots, exploring new styles and approaches with self-recorded and self-released music projects. Independence has allowed him to dig deeper creatively, taking more risks without having to worry about commercial expectations. These projects also breathed new life into Babybird, reborn in 2015 as a completely self-sufficient musical enterprise.

Along with the gold discs, millions of sales, a string of Top 40 hits, two Brit Award nominations, critical acclaim, and a dedicated cult following, Babybird has also survived the curse and repercussions of a smash hit single, cringe-inducing endorsements from members of the royal family, issues with record labels, huge changes in the music industry, and even a heart attack.

Stephen Jones remains dedicated to his cause, and has recently been making some of the best music of his career, over 20 years after his commercial peak. Meanwhile, people are still listening to albums such as “Ugly Beautiful” and the fan favourite “There’s Something Going On” decades later.

Visit Stephen’s Bandcamp page to listen, and follow him on Twitter if you dare!


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep38: David Brewis (Field Music) on leaning into the editing process – inspiration is overrated

Ep38: David Brewis (Field Music) on leaning into the editing process – inspiration is overrated

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Welcome to my conversation with David Brewis, recorded on 11th March 2021. Field Music‘s new album “Flat White Moon” comes out on 23rd April 2021 and is available to pre-order now.

[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • inspiration – it’s nice when it happens, but it’s overrated, and having to work on your idea doesn’t make you a worse artist (plus it’s fun!)
  • the importance of sharing our experiences, to help younger artists have the encouragement we didn’t get ourselves
  • being prepared for the highs and lows of releasing albums – actually planning it in
  • how learning to do everything yourself can be faster than explaining what you want to someone else
  • the futility of playing support slots (even if they’re with your favourite bands)
  • why you don’t go to see Field Music for a good night out

Explore Field Music
Listen on Bandcamp




About Field Music

David and Peter Brewis have been releasing records as Field Music since 2005. The pair record at their own studio in Sunderland and have amassed a large and unwieldy catalogue which includes solo records, collaborations, a score for a silent documentary about the herring industry and a concept album about the aftermath of the First World War, as well as regular studio albums and occasional production work for other artists.

David’s third and most recent solo album as School of Language, 2019’s “45”, imagined the rise of Donald Trump as a funk musical.

Field Music’s new album, “Flat White Moon”, arrives in April 2021.

Visit Field Music’s website to find out more, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep37: Ryan Miller (Guster) on constantly throwing seeds…even if a lot of them will never sprout

Ep37: Ryan Miller (Guster) on constantly throwing seeds…even if a lot of them will never sprout

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Welcome to my conversation with Ryan Miller, recorded on 10th March 2021. Visit Guster’s website to explore their musical world and scroll down for some of their recent videos, including the new “Things Come Around” film shot in 2020.

[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • the life of a multi-hyphenate artist – how giving yourself permission opens up the canvas of possibilities
  • not being scared to try new things, because your fans don’t remember your failures
  • how a lightbulb moment led to Ryan scoring films from Nobody (which he also co-wrote) to Safety Not Guaranteed, The Fundamentals of Caring and Mr Roosevelt
  • the band / fan relationship – how Guster invented street teams in the 90s, and put their fans at the centre of everything they do
  • how overlapping your interests is like putting more colours onto your canvas

Explore Guster
Listen on Bandcamp




About Ryan

Ryan Miller is the lead singer and guitarist of alternative rock band Guster.

Formed in 1991, Guster have released eight studio albums, performed with symphony orchestras and played a LOT of gigs.

Since co-writing and scoring the film “Nobody” with Rob Perez, Ryan has composed music for “Safety Not Guaranteed”, “The Kings Of Summer”, “The Fundamentals Of Caring”, “Mr Roosevelt” and “The Last Summer”.

After moving to Vermont from New York, Ryan began hosting a TV series on Vermont PBS called “Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller”.

Visit Guster’s website to find out more, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep36: Sananda Maitreya on making a masterpiece of your life

Ep36: Sananda Maitreya on making a masterpiece of your life

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Hi there, and welcome to my conversation with Sananda Maitreya (the artist formerly known as Terence Trent D’Arby), recorded on 10th March 2021. Keep scrolling for links to everything we discussed in this episode and remember Sananda’s new album “Pandora’s PlayHouse” is out now.

[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • making a masterpiece of your life, not just your art
  • letting go of an abusive music industry past and learning to fly again
  • Sananda’s relationship with his singing voice
  • the life of an artist – a career or a calling?
  • the value of surrendering to the creative process and allowing it to surprise you
  • making music that babies are conceived to – is there any greater compliment for an artist?

Explore Sananda’s work:




About Sananda Maitreya

Artist, composer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur and Post Millennium Rocker Sananda Maitreya had his light switched on at the age of 2 by the music of the Beatles and has been a fool for music ever since.

His debut solo album, “Introducing the Hardline” was released in July 1987, producing hits including “If You Let Me Stay”, “Sign Your Name”, “Dance Little Sister”, and the number one hit “Wishing Well”, and he’s released 12 wide-ranging albums in the years since.

As the survivor of a trauma that forced his hand into rebuilding his identity, Sananda once let go of a former life in order to dedicate his new personage to the pursuit of his true calling. It meant rejecting what fans and the industry had presumed would be his lifelong endeavour; but realising the dream inside was bigger than what the former life could accommodate, he pulled through the other side and found purpose.

Never taking what he is fortunate to have for granted, new album “Pandora’s PlayHouse” pays homage to Sananda’s inspirations, mentors, and family, all whilst recounting the lessons he has carried through one of the most unique careers in musical history. A once-platinum-certified, multi-million selling artist, Sananda’s career could fill multiple lifetimes – and some would say it has.

Sananda’s new record “Pandora’s PlayHouse” was released on 15th March, 2021. Get it now!

Visit Sananda’s website and follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep35: Danz CM on having fun and being weird

Ep35: Danz CM on having fun and being weird

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen




Welcome to my conversation with Danz CM, recorded on 2nd March 2021.

Keep scrolling down for links to everything we discussed in this episode and remember Danz’s excellent new album “The Absurdity Of Human Existence” is available now.



In this conversation, we discuss:

  • digging deeper to make the most meaningful music you can
  • why your creative ideas have to light you up
  • the whys and wherefores of changing a project name as a solo artist; how reinventing yourself is a way to grow artistically
  • getting on with it – using the internet to learn how to do the things we want to do, then doing them!

Explore Danz’s work:





About Danz CM

Danielle “Danz” Johnson is a song-writer, composer and producer.

Since 2010 she has been making music, formerly under the moniker of Computer Magic and currently under Danz CM.  

She has written and produced songs featured in commercials (Lexus, Aria Casino) and has composed custom pieces for PanasonicBody Mainte for Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and Kewpie in Japan. She has modeled clothes for the skate clothing brand X-Girl, founded by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon; and Sofia Coppola’s clothing line Milkfed.

Her influences include New Wave, Italo Disco, Krautrock, New Order, Giorgio Moroder, Gary Numan, Stereolab, Belle & Sebastian and Radiohead. Her visual aesthetics are influenced by sci-fi films like Barbarella, Logan’s Run and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Danz runs her own label, Channel 9 Records, which releases limited edition vinyls and cassettes.

In 2019 she founded Synth History, a media site featuring musicians who embrace synthesizers. She has interviewed artists like Pete Townshend, Suzanne Ciani, James Murphy, Rick Wakeman, Oneohtrix Point Never, Vince Clarke and more. 

The first Synth History podcast episode on Wendy Carlos – written, recorded, scored and produced by Danz – was released in August of 2020.

Her new record The Absurdity of Human Existence was released on 12th March, 2021 on her label Channel 9 Records. Get it now!

Visit Danz’s website and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Behind The Song: Cancel Your Hopes

Behind The Song: Cancel Your Hopes

Letterbox Podcast Process


Watch the music video and get the song.

This bonus musical mini episode of “Attention Engineer” is also available on your favourite podcast platform.

THANK YOU for visiting my website!

+ Get FREE music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep34: Eliza Shaddad on picking the right size font

Ep34: Eliza Shaddad on picking the right size font

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Hi there, and welcome to my conversation with Eliza Shaddad, recorded on 19th January 2021. Keep scrolling down for links to everything we discussed in this episode, grab Eliza’s back catalogue from Bandcamp and visit her website to sign up to her mailing list.

[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • how the pandemic forced Eliza to deal with her true nature
  • planning the perfect productive day for maximum music making, health and emotional wellbeing
  • the self-imposed pressure of picking the right sized font
  • EPs versus albums as an artistic statement
  • building a sustainable music career while always being willing to get a job
  • plus messy desktops, time block planning and how philosophy feeds into songwriting

Explore Eliza’s work:





About Eliza Shaddad

Equally at home perusing murder ballads and decoding Arabic scales, Eliza’s singular artistry is the product of an incredibly diverse and borderless upbringing. Raised across seven countries, she is the daughter of a Sudanese astrophysicist and a Scottish diplomat. A multi-linguist with a philosophy degree, Eliza studied Jazz at London’s Guildhall before self-producing her first EP, recorded at the studio of Clean Bandit’s Jack Patterson. She then signed to UK label Beatnik Creative and released two critically acclaimed EPs, working with Mercury-nominated long time collaborator Chris Bond. Championed by tastemakers such as Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and supported by the likes of Wonderland, i-D Magazine and FADER, the EPs set the stage for an artist thriving on producing work abundant in raw emotion and expansive instrumentation.

Eliza released her debut album “Future” in 2018, receiving praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, MOJO, Refinery29 and The Sunday Times. Named a Rising Star of 2019 by the BBC, her reputation for powerful live shows has seen her touring extensively, taking in the UK, Europe, and the USA, and playing dates with the likes of Kate Tempest, Oh Wonder, Lucy Rose, James Bay, and Turin Brakes. She has also collaborated with award-winning poet Anthony Anaxagorou and contemporary jazz group Hansu-Tori and is a founding member of female arts collective Girls Girls Girls.

Most recently, Eliza’s excellent cover of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” appears in the totally gripping and mysterious Netflix series “Behind Her Eyes”, bringing her work to a whole new audience. 

Visit Eliza’s website and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Behind The Song: Exotic Monsters

Behind The Song: Exotic Monsters

Letterbox Podcast Process


Watch the pop video and get the song.

This bonus musical mini episode of “Attention Engineer” is also available on your favourite podcast platform.

THANK YOU for visiting my website!

+ Get FREE music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep33: Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) on artistic evolution – dropping the ego and practising for inner peace

Ep33: Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) on artistic evolution – dropping the ego and practising for inner peace

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Greetings, dear listener, and welcome to my conversation with Liela Moss, recorded in February 2021. Keep scrolling down for links to everything we discussed in this episode and go pre-order Liela’s “Who The Power” (Reformed) remix album as soon as you’ve had a listen.

[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • learning to give space to other aspects of life as a touring musician
  • evolving as an artist – letting go of the ego-driven side of being on stage while still being in love with singing and words
  • the life-changing power of meditation – Liela’s experience of silent Vipassana retreats and how to bring the benefits of meditation into everyday life *and* music making
  • releasing an album during COVID-19 – the reasons for going ahead
  • blushing all day long – the day Liela got to sing with Nick Cave

Explore Liela’s work:





About Liela Moss

First known for her work as vocalist with the Duke Spirit, Liela Moss’s solo albums “My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth” (2018) and “Who The Power” (2020), recorded with producer and partner Toby Butler, mark great leaps forward for one of alt-rock’s most magnetic voices.

Over 14 years, Moss’s work with the Duke Spirit (not gone, just on pause) ranged from brawling riff-rock to the more exploratory Sky Is Mine (2017). Other projects have included synth-rock recordings with Butler under the name Roman Remains; elsewhere, Moss has leant her sublime voice to studio and live collaborations with UNKLE, Nick Cave, Giorgio Moroder and Lost Horizons, the project formed by former Dif Juz drummer Richie Thomas and Bella Union’s Simon Raymonde, who produced three Duke Spirit albums.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep32: Mike Batt on 50 years of writing songs, and the need for anti-gravitational brandy sauce

Ep32: Mike Batt on 50 years of writing songs, and the need for anti-gravitational brandy sauce

Podcast
Thanks for visiting!

How to listen

Press play below OR click for links to
listen/subscribe on your preferred platform.

Transcript to follow soon.


Welcome to my conversation with Mike Batt, recorded on 12th February 2021. Visit Mike’s website for his blog, artwork and an exhaustive list of his exciting writing credits.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • how a teenage Cat Stevens inspired a slightly younger teenage Mike Batt to write songs
  • blagging versus reaching – using projects to teach yourself how to do the thing you’ve been hired to do
  • savvy negotiating – how refusing a one-off payment to write for The Wombles while broke led to great things
  • what it feels like to bet hundreds of thousands of pounds on an artist through buying TV advertising
  • writing for other people – how songwriting can be like acting
  • why someone needs to invent anti-gravitational brandy sauce

Explore Mike’s work:





About Mike Batt

Mike Batt is an English singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, record producer, director, conductor and former Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry. Having achieved substantial international success as a solo artist, he is particularly known in the UK for creating The Wombles pop act, writing many hits including the chart-topping “Bright Eyes” and discovering Katie Melua.

The man behind pop hits for Cliff Richard, David Essex and Alvin Stardust, collaborations with XTC, Vanessa Mae and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the conception and co-creation of all-female string quartet Bond, Mike set up his Dramatico record label in 2002. Working with Carla Bruni, Marianne Faithfull, Caro Emerald, Gurrumul, and Sarah Blasko, he released Katie Melua’s first six albums (and wrote / co-wrote / produced the first three).

He has also conducted many of the world’s great orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and Stuttgart Philharmonic in both classical and pop recordings and performances.

Visit Mike’s website for more.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this: