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Interview with STARR WITNESS
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
From as early as I can remember, at around 5 years of age, Mum & Dad had the radio on - in the house and in the car. The "Top 40" songs were on constant rotation. The Beatles captivated my ears and I've been in love with their music and pop music ever since.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like photography and I like meeting people. I love other people's art - clay, painting, sculpture, jewelry etc. I also like TV and movies and of course, other people's music. All these things inspire me.
How long have you been making music?
I have been singing since I was about 6. Along with my my Mum's records and the radio. I received a guitar at 11 and have been playing ever since - so...around 50 years !!!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I'm based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney,(lucky me !) but have a deep connection with London. I grew up in Sydney and it's sights, sounds and artists all have affected my being. The USA's and UK's pop scene, culture and history are major components in my love of music - both from a listening point of view and writing.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
My duo partner and I played the songs of The Beatles at a residency at the Kirribilli Hotel on Sydney Harbour in the late 90's. Huge crowds of Beatles' lovers used to swarm in there. Likewise at The Sydney Casino. Also, being the support act for ARIA Hall of Fame recipient Brian Cadd at the famous "Lizotte's Theatre Restaurant" in Dee Why in Sydney was a huge highlight. We got to play a Starr Witness originals' set to his packed audience..
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Ooo yes The Barbican, The Roundhouse here in London would be a dream; likewise the Royal Albert Hall (ha ha !) I must admit, I do love playing at the various venues in Camden Town, Chalk Farm etc; they are terrific. Favourite...probably The Basement in Sydney - world-renowned with a great history of local and international artists.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Would Sting have me? (Laughs !) That would be amazing. Sir Paul, Sir Ringo, Sir Elton, Sir Rod, Sir Mick - all my heroes. I do love Ed Sheeran and also Dua Lipa, Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, Alicia Keys - that's a mighty start!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I do like meeting young artists and have done so a lot whilst being over here on tour. I encourage them to be themselves and believe in themselves. To keep trying, keep learning from those around them and to "never, ever give up !" As for my younger self, to have believed in myself from a much younger age would be my best advice.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Right now - "Diana". I started writing the song within hours of hearing the most earth-shattering news. I could not stop until it was finished. I wanted to express my feelings, which I believed were the world's feelings at the time in this song. Completing it before Diana's funeral was a cathartic experience. It means as much to me today as it did 25 years ago - full of love & emotion.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
"Heart Of Gold" by Neil Young is a popular one. "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd is also a favourite. "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, "Nowhere Man" by The Beatles, "Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House - the list goes on...
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My main one is sitting down in front of the TV and just start noodling away on a few chords. Sometimes a person or experience is in mind and that'll be the catalyst. People and places are my main inspirers, but sometimes there's a "line" I've thought of and that too can be the start point. It is usually music first, then a few sounds/melody come in and then they turn into lyrics.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I mostly try and write a little story. For example, I wrote a song about Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks - how they got together, got a call from Mick Fleetwood, joined Fleetwood Mac, went into the studio, recorded "Rumours", band fell apart, got back together - all of this in a "3 minute pop song" called "The Ride Of Our Lives". I have a few tunes like that. My underlying theme though is "love". I'm always challenging myself to right the best possible ballad, or love song - then everyone gets their own take on what the lyrics "mean".
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I do have a follow-up release to follow "Diana" - a little cover version (the only one I've ever done. It's called, wait for it... "Hey Jude". No really; I was playing around with a rhythm track on an original song and I muted the vocal and just played the track. I started singing this calypso-y style Hey Jude vocal and...I liked it ! Went back to it a few weeks later and added a few instrumental and harmony parts. I then realised that... I had to finish it ! I tested out the end product on a variety of friends and others and every one loved it, even boogied along with the bongos, kettle drums, trumpets etc as it's got a kinda cool dance feel.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Thank you for asking - yes, The obligatory; instagram.com/starrwitness facebook.com/starrwitness, TikTok.com/starrwitness, youtube.com/starrwitnesshq and some great exclusives on starrwitness.com - also Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play etc
Thanks for having me.