I remember hearing ‘Lemonade’ and then ‘Bipp’ and being completely baffled.

As a student, teacher and writer of music, it is hard for me not to listen to music taxonomically and usually I can get a rather good sense of what is going on with the production, but with Sophie, I had to admit I was completely mystified by a lot of what was going on.

Whilst her own work is an acquired taste, there is a lot to be admired. Her approach was bold, out there and adventurous. Her music was ever captivating and that’s what an artist is meant to do, explore the edges as that is where things get really interesting.

Her virtuosity, attention to detail and creativity meant that her work is well loved by many and besides her own work, she was building an extensive list of collaborations including Charli XCX and Madonna. I would argue that a lot of the sounds listeners are hearing are a result of her influence (despite her perhaps not being widely known).

Furthermore, Sophie’s debut album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides explored identity, non conformity and transcendence and offered solace for many. I read someone say that Sophie’s artistic influence held them with embracing transition.

Sophie was a linchpin in a scene that has offered some of the most interesting and adventurous contemporary pop music and the fact that she has lost her life in an accident is tragic when undoubtedly she had so much to offer.

Her legacy and work will continue be influential for the future of electronic music.

Binary Noise

Is conversation and political discourse now about which side you are on and whether you are winning? Has it always been this way?

Yesterday, my twitter feed epitomised this. The EU were wrong to threaten to invoke article 16, and Brexit is also having awful consequences for many businesses and people. Both things can be true.

The facts don’t seem to matter anymore, it is more about point scoring. This has come to the point where hypocrisy and double standards are happening all of the time so one’s stance can be propped up whilst another is knocked down. The middle ground has seemingly disappeared whilst feelings lead us to following our leaders like it’s a cult.

Is this really the road we want to continue going down?

I grow ever weary of ignorance being satiated, facts being ignored, truth being bent and the whole notion that you are in the mix to win. This is not a sport, and no one will win in this manner. It only leads to hatred and violence.

There needs to be serious reflection on how we move forward, from the systems we use to connect and consume information to the way in which we behave online and the standards that must be upheld. This is one of the biggest challenges of modern times and needs to be embraced.

Expertise, nuance, attention to the details and analytical and critical thinking all needs to become fashionable again. The notion that many of will be wrong and can change our minds needs to be acceptable again and is a sign of weakness, not strength.

We have so much more in common than we think we do.

Technology and it’s impact

We are still fathoming this.

The internet has been around for three decades and change is happening faster than ever to the point that it is as terrifying as much as it is thrilling.

Phones are more than a daily accessory. There is an extraordinary level of dependency on them for how we operate and behave on a daily basis.

There have been tremendous pitfalls along the way, consequences that could be considered dystopian and that have affected our physical and mental well-being.

As we move into the 3rd decade of the 21st century, there will be further developments and one thing we can do is evaluate what’s important.

For instance, are we using social media as a means to connect, or are we using it for status, are we a product?

How do we spend our time with technology. Are we learning, gathering use information or engaging in politics of hate and doom scrolling?

We must endeavour to have control over use of technology and ensure that it’s not the technology that is controlling us.

New creative paths.

I’ve made 5 studio albums and I’m proud to say that each one of them is unique and different.

There are processes I repeat on a routine basis but there are other things I’ve moved away from, be it because my tastes have changed or what I did before was naive.

I’m working on my 6th album and I’m adopting new things I’ve never done before and it’s exciting. One thing I’m working with a lot more is synthesis and it’s uncomfortable because I’m working in an area where I’m not entirely sure what the creative outcome is. But that is part of the fun.

With each new project is an opportunity to try something different, follow a new path and evolve.

The live experience

Playing live is something I sorely miss.

Getting together with my band the Kinky Wizzards has been tough and the times where easing of lockdown restrictions have been precious.

The moments where we have been in a room together have seen us play with absolute joy and an untempered level of focus and energy.

In absence of something, the heart can grow fonder and there is most definitely a yearning for concerts and live music to happen once again. When it does, there will be an extraordinary level of appreciation and elation. We must not forget that a lot of live music can blossom from underground scenes and grass roots venues in the U.K. should be receiving more support.

In the meantime, we do what we can and are planning a livestream event in the Spring. We also managed to record a live video which you can view below. The track is called ‘Sur La Dordogne’ and was inspired by our annual trips to France and the river that we have a tradition of going on a canoe trip.

Our latest album ‘The Effervescent Travellers’ is available on Bandcamp where you can either buy a digital copy or order a CD.

Sur La Dordogne – Live at Music Box, Cardiff

Judging creative productivity

There are several traps that cause creatives to feel anxiety.

One is writer’s block or more specifically a fear of bad writing. The other is getting the most out of a day and feeling that you have done a substantial amount of work.

There are four stages of creativity:

  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Illumination
  4. Verification

All four of these happen interchangeably and I know that I can spend ages on the fourth one where I am listening back to work I have done and trying to find ways to either develop it or affirm that it is finished. My first solo album took 6 months of post-production before I could say it was ready to release.

I remember hearing acclaimed singer songwriter Diane Warren talk about how she spent an entire day working on a couple of lyric lines because they were important.

That statement itself reveals the importance of revision, rewriting and giving time and effort to a small amount of quality material.

There is also some reassurance in that statement. Especially if you feel you aren’t producing enough. Giving time to intricate details can allow them to blossom with profoundly rewarding results.


I was walking with my friend today and we were discussing the Pandemic. A topic of conversation that is difficult to avoid and one that has dominated so much of our lives for nearly an entire year.

We exchanged thoughts, opinions and ideas and concluded that you could write a book that was well over a 1000 pages that would attempt to examine, anlalyse and synthesise the events that have taken place.

We discussed the situation with asymptomatic cases, holistic approaches that encourages healthier lifestyles, placebos and their role in health and wellbeing and how lockdown has given us an opportunity to reflect on what it is that is important to us.

One rant we shared was on the notion that the media has a lot to answer for. So much of the news consumed is now through social media, headlines or clickbait and the design of it is to excite you as opposed to inform you.

It would be better to have had the mainstream media give much more airtime to the people working tirelessly behind the scenes who are fighting this virus, be it researchers or doctors. Instead what has dominated a lot of the headlines are politicians who are untrustworthy and celebrities who have been humbled by their lack of awareness of what everyone else is going through. The language has been fear driven and uncertain with words like ‘could’ and ‘might’ appearing very often in headlines. It is easy to respond to these with very set assertions that are based on stress and or anxiety.

Yet you have a conversation like the one I had today and you quickly realise how there are so many ways to look at what has unfolded. We do not know everything and through exchanging ideas, is an opportunity to learn a new way of looking at things.

This is why I prefer podcasts as a medium, because it gives a platform to which conversations can happen in so much more depth and you can get deeper into things.

Being informed takes the courage to admit that what you believe right now may be contradictory to other sources but it is worth taking the time to think and listen in further depth before making an assertion as it is then easier to empathise with others and approach the situation we find ourselves in, in a calm manner.

It was a rare snow day in South Wales after many grey days of perpetual rain. Many people were out enjoying the weather (socially distanced of course) and one positive is that this pandemic has perhaps allowed us to re-engage with nature and appreciate it more than we may have done previously. Perhaps as we go forward, this will play a key role in how we ensure that we allow our environment to thrive.

Wishing everyone peace of mind.



It was only inevitable that the pandemic would bring a wave of conspiracy theories.

They’ve come in quick and whilst some have whittled away, some continue to stick and here is why.

Human nature requires explanation for big things that happen because it’s more satisfying to know there’s agency in the way things have panned out. There’s a refusal to accept that things may have or continue to happen at random.

The way a conspiracy works is that it is self-concealed, so picking an argument with a person who believes one is problematic because if something disproves the theory, then the theory changes. Facts are fungible.

Many countries have not helped themselves by adopting a populist approach that weaponises truth. Falsehoods are everywhere and lying is commonplace. Responsibility needs to be taken and accountability needs to be upheld. Too often, people are learning the hard way.

There’s ignorance, but then there’s the illusion that the knowledge we possess is incontrovertibly true.

It’s worth reminding ourselves to thoroughly investigate that which we believe, engage in open discussions that offer alternative views and assume that we may at any point, be wrong.

SRV by Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is one of my favourite guitar players of all time.

I decided to cover ‘SRV’ from his album ‘Venus Isle’.

The track title is the initials of the person it is dedicated to, the legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and it features a guitar solo from his older brother Jimmy.

It is a demanding but beautiful piece of guitar music.

Getting through the slump

I’m a lifelong supporter of Liverpool FC.

The success that the team has enjoyed over the last couple of years has been unprecedented compared to the last thirty and it’s quite simply been a joy to watch a team play so well and so much positivity surround the club.

Although, last night’s game was a frustrating watch against Burnley where we lost 1-0 and saw the end of a four year long run unbeaten at the home ground of Anfield.

The team have not scored a goal in the last 4 games either.

The reaction on social media is as expected. Impatient, angry fans are usually the loudest and insist on money being spent or typing ‘insert name of person they think of responsible out’.

Despite the press talk and media response, knee jerk reactions rarely work.

It’s part of the game for a team to go through a slump, not have that much luck particularly on their side and the mentality and approach not quite clicking.

And part of what makes the sport so interesting is what teams choose to do when things are going against them.

There’s the disappointment, the knock in confidence and the criticism, but beyond that is reflection, introspection, analysis and a evaluative plan to move forward.

Setbacks will happen and it’s the manner in which we respond that counts.