The very talented Simon Kent

The very talented Simon Kent

Portsmouth based singer/songwriter, Simon Kent, will be releasing his new album this year.

‘Dreams and Memories’ will be released in April, following the success of his single ‘Everything’s Alright’ which gained airplay on Radio 2.

The talented singer shared his inspiration for the new album, personal details and stories behind his tracks as well as his future plans.

Simon Kent answers our questions

 

Let’s talk about your career - how and when did it begin?

I’ve always been interested in music. Firstly I listened to songs my parents played when I was growing up and kind of fell in love with all that sort of thing. I just always wanted to be a part of that world and at school I learnt piano and taught myself how to play guitar and started to trying write songs and I was in a choir when I was at school as well so I’ve always been involved with music and I formed my first band when I was at school too.

 

Who would you say your musical influences are?

To be honest there are so many because I’m quite a big vinyl collector so I collect records even right back to the 60’s so I listen to stuff as far back as The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, Miles Davis, right through to Pink Floyd, Talk Talk, Coldplay and Radiohead. The kinds of new stuff that I listen to are Empire of the Sun, Friendly Fires and MGMT, things like that really.

 

When and where was your first gig?

My first solo gig was supporting Midge Ure at Ferneham Hall in Fareham in 2008. I performed to a packed crowd, it was nerve racking but really cool!

 

Your new album Dreams and Memories is out on 4th April 2014, what sound can we expect to hear?

I think it’s got a unique sound to it, it’s got some epic moments and it’s got introspective moments. Overall I would call it an ambient pop/rock type album, there’s some big singles on there and some ballad-type, personal stuff on there as well.

 

What was the inspiration for your songs on this album? Do the songs have a story behind them?

Yes, I guess they have all got their own story. The single that is coming out in a few weeks ‘Everything’s Alright’ for example is about me and my best friend at school when we formed our first band and made all of these plans to go on and do music as our career and it’s kind of a nostalgic look back. I heard a song on the radio when I first put the words together and it kind of took me back to being at school and those days and it’s kind of looking back fondly but my old school friend isn’t doing music anymore so it’s just like a check in time about how our lives have gone different ways. The opening track, See You Fly’ is kind of a song to a friend who is deep in trouble with drink and drug problems and looking for a way to help them out but realising it’s their own struggle and there’s only so much you can do. ‘Fire Escape’ it’s a song about temptation I guess in terms of a relationship and wanting someone really badly and being on the verge of going too far and getting caught out of your depth. ‘Over The World’ and that’s sort of about terrorism and is influenced by lots of stories for example 9/11 and imagining being caught up in something like that. ‘Where I Stand’ is about being in a relationship that’s more or less over and being lost and feeling used and not knowing where you stand. ‘You Saved Me’ is about getting into a new relationship with someone who turns your life around and gets you back on track and gets you back on to a joyful path away from trouble. ‘Spaced Out Refugee’ is about a nervous breakdown and anxiety and feeling suffocated by life and again feeling a bit out of depth. ‘Set Alight’ is about the end of a relationship that you know can’t work but it feels too good and you don’t want to let it go. ‘Inside Your Heart’ is just about falling in love, there’s nothing too deep about that one. ‘Are You Receiving Me?’ is about feeling alienated by the world and society and too much information the speed and things we take on in life these days and kind of losing a personal connection with life you know how the way everything is lived on Facebook and Twitter it just sometimes feels less than real I guess. ‘Out of Time’ is kind of similar it is feeling a sense of disconnection from the world again like you’re in a dream and just going through the motions of life. And the closing track ‘Give Me Back That Moment’ has a connection with the opening track, it’s about dreams you had with your best friend at school and how they are sort of on the conveyor belts of life and a look at someone who’s lost all the things they wanted to do and getting the money to pay the bills but not doing what they want to in life.

 

What is your favourite track on the album and why?

I would say the last track is probably my favourite track, it just ties the album together really well and the thoughts behind the whole album. 3 or 4 songs on the album are inspired by those early plans that you make (which is why it is called ‘Dreams and Memories’) and that song is taking a look at where things are now with life between myself and my friend and it fits in really well. ‘Dreams and Memories’ was the first song I wrote when I was at school and it’s got all sorts of different meanings for me.

 

How are you promoting your new album?

We are going on tour between March and May, we are just waiting now for confirmation dates but it looks like we’re going all over the country so I feel quite excited about that.

 

You are on a few social media networks - do you feel it helps to promote artists and bands like yourself?

I think it’s really hard actually because you will know that everyone is doing that now so there’s a great fear that you will get lost I think. There still seems to be a lot of major control over YouTube and Vevo and that type of thing so I’m not sure how much it really helps. I guess on a local level for people who are interested in you, it’s important to go and listen to the music and go and have a look, we do it because it’s a necessity really.

 

What would you say the highlights of your career have been so far and have there been any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Well I guess the biggest challenges have been getting the right people in the band because I’m obviously asking people to come and fall in love with my songs, I’m putting my heart and soul into the project so I have found that the hardest thing and you know people’s lives change and they want to follow a different direction, the bass player has just left (we have got another one) but that sort of thing, that has been the hardest thing. My guitarist and drummer have been with me now for two years and they are absolutely lovely people, I feel that they are just great people to work with but it has been a long journey to find those people. The successes over the last year are getting played on Radio 2 and playing with Echo and the Bunnymen. I mean it’s really hard to get radio play because obviously it’s really competitive so obviously that was a great thing.

 

Aside from your new album being released, have you got any other plans or things in the pipeline for the up-coming months?

I’m waiting on a few television dates, unfortunately I can’t confirm because they’re all maybes but obviously the tour is the main thing that we are the most excited about. We are already recording the next album, I’ve written most of that already as well so that’s pretty cool. The main plans are to release another single in mid-March called Spaced Out Refugee’ with is track 7 on the album, we have done a video for that already where I’m playing the role of an astronaut, it’s quite cool – I’m getting a lot of good feedback on that actually. The tour and the TV shows and a few more interviews would be nice as well, it’s just about getting it all out there in whatever way we can.    

 

‘Dreams and Memories’ will be released on April 4th.

Check out Simon’s music here:

www.facebook.com/SimonKentMusicUK

www.myspace.com/simonkent

www.youtube.com/user/SimonKentMusicUK

 

By Natasha Akpan for www.femalefirst.co.uk

 


tagged in