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When I was 20 I released my first album then dropped off the face of the planet for years. I couldn’t stop writing but I went mute...

I grew up playing music around Liverpool when I was 14 in old grotty pubs where dad ran open mics. Life was about late school nights and a community that felt like family. At 16 I was a pop-punk Paramore wannabe and by 17 I was back to the country bops and making weird videos like the one for "Chemistry".

At 18 I moved to London as an apprentice designer. I dragged my heels but mum said I should get out, see the world and get off her sofa. I was a fish out of water, desperate to escape the 9 to 5 so by 19 I was hanging about label row in South Kensington and some jarg “mentor” had me sending dozens of songs at a time - for what reason, I don't know. I pretended it didn’t cut me up when he stuffed his phat face with pizza and butchered me with “well, you’ve got the looks but you don’t have the songs”. I put out the album anyway, everyone was on board, it got its award, but I lost steam and couldn’t keep up with where it was going. I was just in a job I hated and thought I was crap.

Truth is my journey has never been smooth and I’ve had the wind taken out my sails in many spheres of life. All I ever wanted to do was share the songs that got me through, and it’s felt like I’ve been trying to catch up since 2015 (when I was 20).

I don’t do anything in half measures cause I never know how long I’ll get a good run for. Whether I spend 2+ years on a business plan with an ex-partner I move cities for, all for it to fall through and land back on my arse in my childhood bedroom... or go record and self-fund an album in Nashville, in a desperate attempt to catch up with myself, and it never releases... or I develop a stutter, lose my job, have a cancer scare, fail miserably in love, and then when I finally set some sad music free and my mum passes away just before I do it. That's probably why I’m as mad as I seem.

I’m just trying to give back my younger self all the things she wanted when life had other plans. I’ve gotten so used to creating and keeping it all to myself that this thing I’ve been working at for years is now terrifying me - it’s all peeping around the corner, ready to jump out. So, in any case, friends - watch this space. I’ve been bursting at the seams here so expect some kind of… explosion. ok? 🫣🌈

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This video makes me feel so much more than my usual releases. Maybe because it doesn’t involve just myself, but instead incredible people who share stories that overlap in some way.

It feels a fateful pairing of forms that were created separately, yet work better together as a whole. “Old Me” is a recording of the person I wrote my song “The Poet” about, performed live in 2019 before she lost her voice and mind at the mercy of a broken healthcare system.

If you’ve been following my last year of music, you may know of “The Poet” already. A song I dedicated to my mum after we lost her in January 2023. Though my friend had suffered greatly and was left unable to share poetry any longer, every lyric seemed to align with the fate my mother also suffered in the end. I felt both of these rare and beautiful souls weren’t treated as people, but more like numbers or beds to spare. Both powerful with their poetry and painting, it was there I thought maybe it’s our world that’s most unwell? Lacking in the very essence and compassion both of these women possessed.

When placing "Old Me" by Rebecca Riley (The Poet) over the instrumental track it felt powerful. Not to mention the pairing of Arianna Sansone dancing to “The Poet”, captured by Ed Hall in one take as she danced to a song she’d never heard before. It  feels important to mention that she’s never heard this poem, yet her performance weaves perfectly with Becky's words.

It all feels bound together by a force none of us can consciously control. Simply being conduits of a shared universal message of human suffering and finding salvation, peace and beauty within.

Finally I wanted to add that while finalising the video this week, Becky reached out to tell me she’s been writing poetry - she’s found her voice again. She hadn’t known I was getting ready to share this video yet. And as ever, I’m in awe with life’s mysteries and also - Becky’s new poems.

Enjoy and please share, for anyone suffering with depression, anxiety or addiction. I believe Becky’s words may have the power to help in some way.

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Hello there!

I’ve been quiet (well, quieter than my usual tirade of posts and creative frenzy).

How’s everyone doing out there?

I wanted to update those who may at all be interested… 2024 is looking to be the year that I share and do more than I ever have. I’ve been chasing my own tail for years, in an effort to catch up with all I repressed and never put out, musically.

I have this image in my mind that I’m entering a phase where I don’t want to blink and miss it all. Where the bud is finally blooming and we’re past the thorny stretch.

It’s probably going to look like all I share this year has just fallen out of the sky, but truthfully I’ve been silently chipping away at it all for years in the dark. And in that place, often I couldn’t even see if it’d ever reach the light of day.

So, I think I can see it will now. I’m so excited. I’m just giving you a heads up - it’ll be a lot of music, madness, and most of all - fun. It’s all right around the corner. Jump in, join me!


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