One of the things I was able to do recently (the 18th February to be exact) was to attend an intimate gig at the Surya club in Kings Cross, London, and watch several fabulous up and coming, and some-already-there artists strut their stuff in front of an audience. I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with them all before the show started and we had a frank and casual interview session where I learned a bit about each of them. I dragged my husband Gary along (no hardship really, he loves live music) and a night out in the city.
The artists were David Mark Bulley as the main attraction with supporting acts Henry Fricker Music, Angel Gold, Alex James Ellison Music , actor Rob West and a secret unexpected guest, details of whom I can’t disclose.
Angel’s very supportive boyfriend Daniel James was there too and joined in the conversation from the perspective of a man looking in from outside, which was interesting.
I have to thank Black Rainbow PR, Helen and Kat Rees, who invited me to the gig and played gracious hosts at the event.
And can I say, it was an awesome evening and I enjoyed every minute of it. The artists are incredibly talented and professional and enchanted the crowd as they delivered their own brand of music and creativity.
All of them write their own music as well as performing and singing, so they are multi taskers of note. They write about their personal experiences, hoping to make people connect through sharing them and realising emotions are universal. They put so much of themselves into their creations and appreciate every time someone tells them they say something of themselves in the music.
Let’s talk a bit about each one of them, starting with David. I interviewed David not too long ago and it’s not the first time we featured this uber talented young Welsh man. You can read this interview to find out a bit more about the man behind the sound.
David was relaxed and ready for his show, albeit having a few problems (those on Twitter will have seen this) with a stalker. At the time this article is published, we’re fervently hoping he and Helen have managed to bring an end to this. David, however, was upbeat and told me about his current Confessions tour taking place, and how much he loved all the fans at the venues for coming to listen and see him. He’s loving doing the UK based shows. His tours abroad have been amazing but there’s nothing like coming home. We can still expect a Vevo documentary in May 2018, and a new album coming out in June, which is very much more ‘in the studio’ work. We can’t wait to hear it.
He tweeted – ‘Finally I can tell you that my new album ‘JOUR UN’ will be released this Summer. On June 8th you’ll hear my most truthful and honest music yet. I’ve spent so long working on what I wanted this album to be and to be able to finally share it with you is a dream come true. #JourUn’
‘London, England! Join me on June 8th for the first concert of #JOURUN and… I’ll be playing with a full band! Tickets go on sale March 9th via my website http://davidmarkbulley.com. I hope to see you. ’
David has a voice that makes your heart sing and his mellow, upbeat tones, and rocky rhythm had us dancing on the dance floor without even realising it. He has charisma on stage and draws the crowd in effortlessly, while looking relaxed and casual. He’s a true professional. You can check out his You Tube channel to see more of him.
One of the questions I asked David and all the artists was who they’d collaborate with if they got the chance and his answer was very quickly ‘Demi Lovato’. He was going to see her live soon and was over the moon.
Angel is a singer in her own right, as well as being an Ariana Grande tribute act, and boy, can this young lady pull it off. She’s amazing and call pull off those notes without even trying. She’s also a Demi Lovato fan, and chose this artist as the person she’d like to collaborate with too. `
Her petite looks hide a powerful voice and at only seventeen years old, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with.
She’s been singing since she was 12, professionally for around three years and been with David as a support act for the past two. Angel says she takes after her mum, who’s also a singer. Angel takes on gigs in her Ariana persona as well as accompanying artists like David as they tour the country. Angel also tours at holiday parks, lending her ethereal appearance to an appreciative audience. Her YouTube channel is a great place to see her work.
Henry, 21 years old, has a different voice to anyone I’ve heard before, in a good way, He’s got a husky toned style in his performance of soul/pop numbers, can reach a high note and is a consummate charmer on stage. His inspiration is Stevie Wonder, and it shows when he sits at his favourite instrument, the piano. He says he’s an old soul at hear, loving the music of Stevie, and Prince, not to mention being a fan of Adele and Bruno Mars.
He creates his music sitting at his piano and going where his music muse takes him. It may only take one chord but then the creative juices start flowing and he’s on a roll.
Henry was crowned as Best Newcomer at the GSMC Awards in 2017 (Graham Steel Music company for unsigned artists). He loves the song writing bit of the creative process and is preparing himself to release an EP. He has a yearning to learn saxophone too, so time will tell if we get to hear him play this instrument 😊 Check him out here on YouTube
Alex is a cheeky, amusing young man who can hold an audience’s attention with his personality and constant funny ad libs. Even when he forgets his words, he’s entertaining 😊 He also plays a mean guitar. He started out busking in Brighton when he was a teenager, did a stint at drama school (it shows) and went on tour with Samantha Barks. Check out Alex’s YouTube channel for the tour footage.
In 2016 he won at Prides Got Talent, something he’s justifiably proud of. Alex also travels around to schools, telling young people about the perils of alcohol and drugs.
Alex does something with a loop pedal which is simply jaw dropping (I haven’t seen this being done before so it was quite the experience!). He also has a very funny debut single out called Chocolate Bar. I found it extremely clever and entertaining, and I’m sure you will too.
He’ll be performing at the Beverley Folk Festival in June this year, as part of the youth Area 2 Sessions, so make sure to check him out
Rob West is a well-known actor and performer. This is taken from his Twitter bio.
Actor/Singer/Musician – Currently ‘JFK’ in the UK Premier of Hot Lips and Cold War in London – Proud to see the world with @BarricadeBoys.
He’s also one of the performers in the male vocal group, @hercountrysmen.
He wrote a song called Sunlight which David and he performed at the gig. They’ve been friends for many years. You can hopefully listen to some of the rough sounds here (I only had a camera phone, so the quality isn’t great.) It’s a beautifully sung piece and the pair of them sound incredible together. The collaboration between them resulted in a beautifully evocative and inspirational piece that was featured on Polish singers Sylvia xxx album, after she heard them sing it together at the Young Stars Festival in Poland.
Rob plays piano and supported David when he first went on tour. He loves acting but enjoys (and misses) the music aspect of his creativity. He’s happy to collaborate on music projects and get his fix that way, as well as produce music videos like the one he did for David’s song ‘Where do we go from Here’. They filmed this in freezing conditions in Poland, over a few months, and with hardy volunteers who were willing to give up their time to be in it and in David’s own words, were devoted and willing beyond expectations.
How tough is it being in the public eye all the time?
They all agreed that one of the challenges was that passion is wonderful when it comes to wanting to sing and create music. However, you need to be able put in a lot of work to keep up the impetus and none of them could have done it without having a great team behind them. The song writers, the backing musicians, the publicists, the family support, the financial people. All of them contribute to the success of an artist. It’s living out of suitcases, long hours and dedication and not all glamour and parties, and fan adulation. It’s perseverance, grit and sheer chutzpah.
And what about social media and its part in their past and continued success?
Each one was quick to say that while it was an important way to reach fans and people all over the world, it is a medium that needs to be respected and managed properly as one wrong comment taken out of context, or one hissy fit outburst from a diva, goes a long way to soiling that relationship that has been built up. Respect for the medium was high on their priorities.
One of the statements to come out of the session was this.
‘Artists are humans too. No matter what happens publicly, remember this. Everyone has bad days and lashes out, does something that might seem stupid to someone watching’.
I was truly humbled at being to speak to so many talented and wonderful people in one room and can’t express my appreciation to Helen, Kat and David for putting this together. It was an eye opening and rewarding experience and I want to personally thank each one of them.
Finally, a huge shout out to Simba, the amazing technician and recording specialist at Surya who kept the wheels of the bus turning. He’s fabulous. Loved the dreadlocks.
PS I still hold the recording of this wonderful conversation where they all bare their souls. But I can’t be bribed to release it. Not even with green M and M’s, Henry 😊