When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?
I was in a band as a teenager – we were called Caddis Flae, and I also attempted to write some musicals around that time (one was about the fall of Troy!). But I really started concentrating on writing my solo material in my final year of university. I did think about other careers – archaeologist or film maker are the ones that spring to mind. In fact, I DO have another career! But music is pretty much all that really sticks for me.
How would you describe your music?
Pop music run through with folk & classical influences, as well as my passion for history, myth and literature. It’s a bit cerebral and, I hope, poetic.
What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?
Well, I am going to promote this album, Tempest, the best I can – there should be a video out soon for the song Midnight Garden and hopefully an EP of remixes of my song Distance in the spring. The things is, however, I have spent absolutely YEARS writing, recording then putting together this album! It’s been a real labour of love, but I am very much ready to get down to the next project. I have the themes and germs of songs for a couple of EPs which I hope to bring out in 2013.
If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?
Ooh, I think it would have to be a threeway – a soulful ballad about gardening with Kate Bush, produced by Jon Hopkins. Or I would duet with Mos Def and he would be singing with me – not just rapping. Ah, sweet dreams. It’s hard to say why other than to simply say that all of these artists have had a great effect upon me.
What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?
Probably Ella Fitzgerald singing the Duke Ellington Songbook with him and his band, which I’ve loved consistently for many years. Her singing is sublime and listening to her is an education. Then there’s Duke Ellington’s and Billy Strayhorn’s songwriting, which would help me feel at home in my imagination, at least. There’s so much to learn on every level from that album; it’s a bit of a musical bible for me, I think.