Following the recent review of his impending single release All So Innocent, we managed to catch hold of Irish Pop/Soul singer-songwriter Miles Graham for a small interview and a glimpse into his musical ambitions.
PopBucket: Hello Miles, we really enjoyed listening to your single All So Innocent; do have an album in the works as well?
Miles Graham: Thanks Charlie, The Album is expected to be out Early 2014. I believe we’ve recorded something really special here with Richard (Producer – Richard Causon). We were on the same page from the start. We wanted to capture a performance rather than create one via editing etc. for example four of the songs we recorded used the first live vocal takes, including All So Innocent, so it was very organic from the start. It’s something that we are all really excited about and we have a great team building around it too.
PB: When did you start your musical career and what inspired you to write your own music?
MG: Well, song-writing has been my thing for a great number of years now, but only in the last four years I’ve focused on having a professional career in music. I think I just matured as an artist and an alarm clock went off somewhere ringing ‘I’m ready now..’ and I’ve got a lot to say and write about.
PB: Are you currently working with a record label or are your releases independently manufactured?
MG: An Independent release was the only way to go for this. We did have some offers for publishing and I’ve showcased for some majors, but I think for the type of organic record this is, it’s best served as an Indie release, even though we have great reaction from A&R and we’re in discussions with a number of labels presently for new works down the road.
PB: We’ve noticed that you’ve played a few dates around your native Ireland recently, are there any plans for a tour this summer? Will there be any UK dates?
MG: I’m set to do some live web TV sessions on some of the usual UK channels and there will be a couple of dates in London closer to the end of this summer.
PB: What’s your ultimate goal as an artist?
MG: The creative side is my buzz, and when I can achieve writing a great song there’s nothing like performing it live to a listening audience. The bigger the audience, the bigger the buzz! To create something timeless would be a nice bonus.
PB: Do you find it a struggle making a living as a musician? Is the struggle worth it?
MG: That’s all about your attitude. I don’t have truckloads of money or even a pocket full, but I’m happy creating music, that’s what makes me happy. Money is no object but not because I have lots but because I don’t value it as much as family and music.
PB: What’s the music scene like in County Sligo, Ireland? Is there a great deal of
MG: There really is something special about Sligo and Yeats county. When I moved here first I was overwhelmed with the talent and artistry here. So many creative minds! I spend a lot of time at The Model Arts Centre. They have lots of creative spaces, a recording studio and even a nice grand piano they let me play sometimes. If you were to go out any week night here you would not go far for good quality music, and plenty of different genres too, from bluegrass, Country to disco, funk, soul, rock, Jazz and classical. That’s before you even get to the amazing traditional bands like the internationally successful band, Dervish.
PB: Do you have any advice for other musicians starting up?
MG: Be as true as you can be with your music and don’t try to imitate. Some people get hung up on accents, find your own voice and don’t be afraid of it. I always wanted to sing like Paul Weller or Otis Reading but when I had some singing lessons a number of years back, I found my own voice was lighter than Otis. I didn’t like it at first, but then I started to get better response from my gigs and critics and I realised it was the real me. Oh yea, and don’t think you have to sing in your own speaking accent whether it be Cockney, Welsh or Irish. There is a neutral singing accent which all the great singers like Adele, Amy Winehouse and even Sir Tom Jones sing. The world is such a small place now with influence coming from every corner with such easy access. My influences came from mainly US Labels like Motown and Atlantic Records because I had access to thousands of great records every day of my life. The geography doesn’t matter too much when it comes to the universal language of music.
PB: Where can potential fans access your music? Your Facebook page mentions a website in the works?
MG: www.milesgraham.com This will be up by the time of first single release.
PB: We’ve also read that you have recently welcomed two new additions to your family, congratulations! The life of a musician is arguably much more difficult than a standard 9-5 job. Do you find it difficult juggling family life and writing music?
MG: Thank you. You’ll have to come back to me on this one in a few weeks but thankfully all going great so far…. My family love music and it’s a big part of our lives. Coming back to your question earlier about struggling musicians, it’s all about your attitude and if it is a positive one, and you’re united as a family, it’s all good. My family are on this journey with me and I have amazing support.
PB: You’re a singer-songwriter who collaborates with musicians, what is the dynamic like working in a group with material you’ve composed yourself? Do you give other musicians free rein or mostly your own direction?
MG: I collaborate with songwriters and producers and I’m very fortunate to have the quality musicians that can create the style I write in. One of the things I agreed with Richard on the recording was no click tracks, as did Mark Ronson for Amy Winehouse and others- just a great band in a room and great songs. It’s all about people, when you have great people, you make great things!
PB: Miles, Thank you very much for your time, we look forward to hearing more from you in the coming days and months and wish you well for the future.
MG: Thanks Charlie, it was a pleasure!