Emerging

Keepers of the Garden

Sounds likeThe Black Keys, Hanni El Khatib, Incubus, The White Stripes, Kasabian
LocationBristol

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* Tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in a smallish town called Swindon, in a fairly musical family. My dad was in a band playing bass guitar and my auntie was also into singing and recording keyboard music. I also grew up with two older sisters who were always listening to an eclectic selection of artists. Music was always playing in our house, whether it was my dad on the guitar, or playing music on his sound system so loud that it drove my mum crazy, or my sisters blasting out music in the bedrooms next to mine. Our house was always littered with guitars and keyboards lying around too, so really there was no escaping it. Music was always there... and usually very loud! The first artists that really inspired me to start writing when I was in my early teens was mostly electronic. I was big into The Prodigy, The Shamen, The Chemical Brothers and also some of the old school rave my sister used to listen to. It was these artist which started me writing and I remember sampling Cyprus Hill tracks and trying to turn them into dance music. The computers and music software back then were really basic and so it forced you to be very creative with how you used them. Looking back I think this was actually a good thing and has probably helped me along the way. In my twenties I started getting more into bands and instruments. Bands like Gomez, Jack Johnson, Incubus, Chili Peppers and Kasabian really pushed me into wanting to learn the guitar. I borrowed an acoustic off my dad and used to play it everywhere. Even took it to work in my car and used to find a quite part of the car park, sit in the back seat and practice during my lunch breaks; it was all I wanted to do. That got me into learning to sing. I couldn't, but kept practicing and got a few lessons and slowly things started to click. I was never really one for learning other peoples songs, I just used to want to write my own. Twelve years on and still can't play many songs, although recently I've really got into learning covers on my ukulele. My big influences now are bands like The Black Keys, Hanni El Khatib, Incubus and Zero 7. I know I need to listen to more bands but I haven't got tired of listening to faves yet.

* There are a lot of emerging artists in the UK right now. What sets you apart from the rest?
I guess every artist has there own unique style or sound, even when they're trying to sound like everyone else. Even I try to sound like my favorite artists but then it ends up sounding nothing like them. It's annoying at first but then you realise that is your sound. I don't have any particular gimmick that sets me apart, it's just the way I sound and if people like that then cool and hopefully they will want to hear more.

* What’s your back-story?
My music (as with most musicians I would guess) is inspired by the ups and downs of life, how they make you feel and how you come out the other end stronger and with new perspectives. That and the annoyance against the corrupt systems in which we are governed. I'm feeling more chilled these days, so hoping to release a few more feel good tracks... but we'll see

* What are you working on at the moment?
My music project "Keepers of the Garden" is brand new. I've worked on other projects and with other bands over the years, while trying to find my style and sound. Trying to write music that I am passionate enough about to keep writing and this project is that. I'm really liking my sound now and feel that the creative process flows more easily. I am not planning to release an EP or album but rather to release my music as singles. I feel this will just help to keep things flowing. My debut single "Call My Name" is due for release in July/August time. It's an upbeat rock track that sounds kind of raw. Some of my other singles have a more polished studio sound to them but I am toying with moving into the more raw sound in future releases. Watch this space!

* What's the first song you remember hearing?
"Green Door" by Shakin Stevens. I'm not kidding! I remember when I was three dancing around the house when this would come on. My parents even made me mime singing and dancing to it at a family wedding. They had even made me a mock mic and stand. I really hope the evidence of that has somehow disappeared. How long do VHS tapes last anyhow?

* You're in a Karaoke Bar - What's your go to song?
I love belting out "Otherside" by the Chili's. It just feels really good!

* What was the first gig you went to?
The first proper gig I went to was to watch The Prodigy play in Cardiff in 1998. As a bonus the Foo Fighters were the support act... what a bargain!

* Which song do you wish you'd written?
"Drive" by Incubus. I'm sure they stole if from my future self.

* Which song changed your life?
It was actually a song that I wrote. It was a funky electronic big-beat track called "Fortune Teller". Up until that point I thought all my music was rubbish. I even thought that was rubbish but everyone just seemed to absolutely love it and I think that gave me the incentive to push on.

* Which song would you like played at your funeral?
"The Journey" by Fatboy Slim and people had better be at least tapping along to it... I will be watching

* What song is stuck in your head right now?
"Little Black Submarines" by The Black Keys. I don't know why, it just popped in there

* What was the first Album you bought?
The first album I bought was "Boss Drum" by The Shamen, followed by "Experience" by The Prodigy

* Which song made you want to play music?
This is a real tough one. I can't think of it, so will just go back to "Green Door" by Shakin Stevens

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