We introduced different times British, Oxford-based singer-songwriter and musician Richard Walters. According to his bio, As a solo artist he has released five critically acclaimed albums and four EP’s since 2007. His music has featured on a number of US TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Tin Star and CSI: Miami.
As a songwriter and collaborator Richard has worked with Grammy winner Joe Henry, British icon Alison Moyet, current UK poet laureate Simon Armitage (as part of the band LYR) and even Oscar nominated actress and singer Florence Pugh.
He has announced the release of a new EP which will be out on January 7th, 2022. Today we have the pleasure to introduce the new track “The Man I Loved“. It was Recorded live to tape at the legendary Middle Farm Studios by south-coast sonic pioneer Patrick J.Pearson. Listen below and check our chat with the artist.
Let’s start from the current situation.How are you living these strange times and what are the main concerns as an artist?
I’m still trying to get over how quickly this situation has become ‘normal’. I think I am much more aware of what is important in my life and what I should focus on now. As an artist, for every challenge Covid has put in front of me, it’s been matched by a new opportunity – I missed playing live, being with collaborators and friends in the room, but I loved working remotely with people and the new relationships that allowed me to build.
“The Man I Loved” is your new track. What are the first vivid memories of this song. Tell us more about it.
At the end of 2019 I lost a friend to suicide, someone I would say was a huge part of my personal history, my foundations. It shook me to the core, and I think during lockdown I went through every single emotion in regard to his passing; anger, guilt, grief, joy and celebration when remembering him. This song is my little note for him and our gang, saying something that I – for one reason or another – found it hard to articulate when he was here.
Considering the theme of the track, Writing and composing music can be considered the most helpful, healing break to reawaken the senses? How much painful or liberating (or both) is the creative process in these cases?
Personally, I find writing like this and going a bit deeper is incredibly cathartic, and gives huge insight into my own feelings…I think when you sing, especially freely and without inhibitions, you unearth some pretty well hidden thoughts and emotions. It’s like emotional excavation.
The track is part of the upcoming EP which will be out in 2022. What was the main focus when you started to think to it?
For a long time I’d been working in a more electronic setting for solo work, both in terms of the production and the writing process. Recently, I’ve had the urge to strip everything back and find the barest form of the song, and then capture it like that. I suppose it’s all about not wanting to hide behind anything, just letting the bones poke through a little. This EP, and my last one, are about framing the songs without too much gilding, I want to bottle the moment.
You are from United Kingdom, right?. I’m very interested to the connection between the places we live over the years, our roots and the art. How do you feel these theme connected to your music, your way to think music? What are your favorite places which inspired the most?
I grew up in Oxford, which is a ridiculously musical city. I wonder if I’d grown up somewhere else if I’d have passed by music, found another love…it was just a way of socialising as much as it was of sharing. I feel very lucky to have been part of that environment at a vital point in my life – it’s a community and support network I still feel tied to now, even after many years of being away from Oxford. Nature is important to me now, being able to get out of my own headspace and have some height…a good hill makes writing much easier.
During and after the lockdown time, Bandcamp was the only online platform which tried to help musicians, waiving their fees on the site on the very first Friday of the month. What do you think of this kind of initiative and how what is your idea about the rights of artist connected to streaming platforms?
It was a wonderful thing for Bandcamp to do, I think it made a lot of artists feel supported at a time when there wasn’t much to cling onto. I think streaming is the answer in many ways, especially for independent artists, but the balance is totally skewed right now. Artists, creators should be the biggest winners in all forms of arts based business. The industry was built on very unstable, very exploitative foundations and things need to be restructured. Why should an artist make 20% when the label makes 80%? It’s such bullshit.
Ritual question. Have you seen or heard anything good recently?
Beautiful records currently on heavy rotation: Bess Atwell’s new album and the new album ‘Collage’ by Petr Aleksander. Gorgeous, autumn music.