GET TO KNOW: Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla

1- When did you first get into music? What or who inspired you?
My uncle Patrick from Birmingham used to visit us in Limerick, and he played the fiddle. He was the first person I heard playing an instrument, and he bought me my first violin.
When I started my classical studies at 12 I listened to composers like Rameau and Lilly, and the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
When I was about 17 and playing guitar my mate Cha Haran, the singer with Grannie’s Intentions, told me that The Animals had reformed (without Eric Burdon and Chas Chandler) and they had an electric violin player called Willie Weider, also their bassist. That was it – I could immediately see that I could do far more with violin than with guitar.
 
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I listened to a lot of American music – jazz players like Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Nat ‘King’ Cole with Stuff Smith on violin; also blues players like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Lou Rawls the great soul singer. I liked British bands like the Stones, the Animals, the Hollies too.
On the traditional side I was playing for Irish Dancing schools, traditional tunes out of collections. There were lots of good fiddle players around County Clare and also County Donegal. Traditional music was generally frowned on then – it was seen as too old fashioned – so there wasn’t a lot of it happening on the scene.
Yes, I’ve ‘kept the faith’ all right, but also I have added many influences over the years. The whole thing with Indian music, for example, and also jazz-rock and progressive music are very important to me now. Any music that features improvisation is potentially interesting to me.
I’ve also played a lot of Scottish and Breton music through touring in those places and working with their musicians. That’s given me a much better understanding of Celtic music as a whole.
 
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
Too long – and not long enough! I really started performing in my teens, so over 50 years ago. I started writing at about 17, but not that often until my 20’s. Gaodhal’s Vision was my first really substantial writing effort – it encompasses rock, Celtic, classical and fusion jazz and I wrote all of it including the orchestral parts.
 
4 – How often do you play live?
It varies. At the moment there seem to be more theatre gigs, but we also play festivals and music clubs.
29th October 2016  ‘Fire & Light’. The Albany Theatre, Coventry
http://albanytheatre.co.uk/fire-and-light
14th December 2016. Leam Jazz. http://www.leam-jazz.com
March 31st / April 1st 2017. ‘Egypt to Eire’.  Belgrade Theatre Coventry. http://www.belgrade.co.uk
 
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
I’ve had a few! I was touring the Vision Band supporting Rory Gallagher in the late 1970s and we got an encore – which was unheard of for a support band at the time. I think it was in Ipswich.
When I joined East of Eden I had just a month to learn the whole set! I was taking over from Dave Arbus, one of the founder members. I made sure I didn’t make one mistake! Everyone was really pleased, including me.
More recently – I think it was 2011 – Shkayla played the Great British Folk Festival at Skegness. We were second on the bill, and we tore it down! Got an encore there too!
 
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
http://joeodonnellsshkayla.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHfqphCzdhiwEgpykm1SQyg
https://soundcloud.com/shkayla

Get to know Corinna Jane

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I can definitely attribute my love of music to my father! First of all for introducing me to MTV and dancing me around the room on Saturday mornings and secondly for the sing-songs we had around the piano as a family, as a child. However, before this all starts to sound like the Von Trapp family, I was also bought Sheryl Crow’s iconic album “Tuesday Night Music Club” when I was three years old after I requested it, because I was obsessed with her track “All I Wanna Do”. 

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

 I’ve always been a lover of pop and rock of all eras! Like I said in the previous question Sheryl Crow was a big influence right from the start as she introduced me to the idea that you could write you own songs and perform them too – that you could create something that has an impact on people’s lives in unique ways. I did have my guilty pleasures too, such as Spice of Girls and Ace Of Base as a child, but during my teens I got into bands like Green Day and The Killers. I would say that I ultimately have an eclectic taste in music, but for me what is most important is that their is a melody laden with hooks, lyrics that have a reliability factor or a quality that is utterly unique. It saddens me how a lot of music nowadays is production driven rather than melody focused, so I often look to the past for inspiration from 80s pop through to 60s bands like The Kinks, as well as The Beatles of course (I mean that’s just a must right?) 

How long have you been playing/writing?

I started messing around on the piano and picking melodies by ear when I was a toddler, but got taken to my first piano lesson at the age of five and went on to compose my own little melancholy piano piece called “Rainy Afternoon” when I was 6. I always sang and performed, but I started to really write songs with lyrics when I was 12 and haven’t really stopped. It’s hard to really define when I started playing or writing, because I’ve always been doing it on some level. 

How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

I love playing live, there is nothing more life affirming than playing to an appreciative audience and getting caught up in the fantasy of the performance on stage. My guitarist and I would play everywhere and we racked up about 150 gigs in 18 months – perhaps not quite the Ed Sheeran 360 or so, but still a dedicated figure. However, nothing beats playing with the band and so the focus has been to play gigs with the band and we are booking dates for the coming months. 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

There are so many little moments  that have been special to me, but I think the first time I played with my current band was amazing. We played The Water Rats in London and the place was packed. The atmosphere was full of excitement and it was incredible to hear all those songs I had in my head as band songs finally come to life. However, one of the key moments so far is having Tom Robinson play my song on his show on BBC Radio 6 and knowing that the song that I had been slaving over in the studio was finally being broadcast on a nationwide radio station!

Where is the best place to find you online?

The best place to find me online is either via my website www.corinnajane.com or follow me on facebook.com/corinnajanemusic  F0r a bit more randomness, follow me on instagram.com/corinnajane

Introducing Junkerry…


When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I studied piano as a child but the rigidity of the classics was never for me. Then I picked up an electric guitar as a teenager at a friends house and it was love!  I quickly started playing in bands, learning the rock and pop repertoire and started writing my own material
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I listened to a huge large range of music growing up in Paris – from Kate Bush to Fela Kuti to John Cage, Miles Davis to Bjork! The biggest impact and influence has come from my studies of Indian Classical Music and woking with contemporary software like Max msp.
I avoid colours or gimmicks that assign my music to a specific style. Its more interesting to keep exploring and to blur the lines between genres.
How long have you been playing/writing?
From the beginning I’ve allowed myself to be a creator. but it takes time to work on your craft and polish your writing skills.
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I performed weekly for 4 years while living in Goa. Since returning to Europe – last year I was in “artist in residence” and over the past 8 months in the studio recording and producing. So Live has taken a back seat and I miss it! I am playing selected cities next year and doing a few private live online concerts (www.junkerry.com)
What has been your favourite moment in music?
I’ve played many big stages as a backing musician with some great artists – but for me its jamming and sharing with friends in the early years, when everything was unknown and you played without limitation – so much magic happens, when it’s all only about making music and nothing else.
Where is the best place to find you online?
My website: I put projects and experimental stuff on there, its a lot more personal then my other platforms
 
 

GET TO KNOW: LEAT HABER

 leat-patiphone-2
 
Check out the video here and then get to know the lovely Leat:
 

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
.       I was always around music. At home, when I was growing up there was always music playing in the background and we always used to sit and listen to music in our free time. I finally decided to be a professional singer at the age of 18, but until then you could always find me singing. When I was young I listened to what was played around the house: The Temptations, Jackson 5, Elvis and Cat Stevens. I’m also influenced by Dolly Parton, Jersey Boys, Johnny Cash, Tracy Chapman, Craig David and Amy Winehouse
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
There was a lot of music from the 50’s and 60’s played in our home, but I can truly say that I was infatuated with this kind of music. Perhaps it was the lovely melodies or the naïve and truth in the sound, I don’t actually know. I can just say that my original music is definitely influenced by it.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I’ve been singing from the age of 8 and playing the guitar from the age of 15. The writing and composing started flowing in my veins at the age of 20.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I had a vintage stores tour (playing in different vintage stores across Israel) which ended 2 months ago. Now I perform on Facebook live once a week. You can catch me live at  www.facebook.com/leathabermusic/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
.       My favorite moment in music was when my EP Flying On A Kite was ready.
If you want to listen to my original music you can visit me at my Bandcamp account: https://leathaber1.bandcamp.com/album/flying-on-a-kite
 

Get To Know Jazz Mino…

hurt
 
We had the chance to interview the lovely Jazz Mino to get to know her better, find out more about her below, but first check out her brand new video ‘Hurt’:
 

 
1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you? 
 
I first got into music when I was 12 years old. I saw my friend singing one of her own songs and thought “that’s awesome, I wanna do that” … So that’s what I did!
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now? 
I grew up listening to a lot of the ‘big’ singers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Whitney Houston. I also loved all the big pop stars like Kylie, Britney etc. They really inspired my voice and made me realise how much I wanted to sing and perform. I’ve experimented with writing and singing in lots of different styles. More recently I’ve been really inspired by Sia, Jess Glynne and Clean Bandit and they’ve influenced the production and writing style within my newer releases like “Hurt”.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I’ve been writing and performing for about 10 years now… Seems to have flown by!
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I tend to perform a big London show around once a month and then quite a lot more as I start to play festivals in the summertime. Other than that, I love busking around London and get out as much as I can! If I’m not writing or in the studio, you can normally find me busking on the Southbank or the London Underground.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
Ooh that’s a really tough one! A highlight for me was supporting and meeting Lianne La Havas as she’s one of my favourite artists; to know that she loved listening to me really made my year and built my confidence as an artist.  I did a live session on BBC Bristol earlier this year, and last weekend my new single, “Hurt” got played on BBC Introducing London which was pretty exciting too.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online? 
 
Probably my website as it has all my links, or Spotify as you can find all my releases on there and see how my music has sort of developed over the years.
 
Website: http://www.jazzmino.com/
 
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2uiFUbeyr7hVJrlnjolYct
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JazzMinoUK/
 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jazz__Mino
 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jazz_mino_uk/
 
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/JazzMinoUK
 
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hurt-single/id1145518089
 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_srch_drd_B00QMDMMBE?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Jazz%20Mino&index=digital-music&search-type=ss
 
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/Jazz_Mino?id=Acxx4gg4wfutsztpmvxn3jc3zey
 
Apple Music: https://itun.es/gb/jGZreb?i=1145518187

Get to know Jamie Porter

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you? 
My parents were always musical, they would sing around the piano in the evenings when I was very young.  My uncle was a big Johnny Cash fan, and whenever we went round he would always have Johnny Cash on the record player.  I was introduced to various bands through friends…it was actually a TV advert for band I saw on TV…can’t remember who exactly…loved the guitars, the vocal harmonies and the energy and for me at the time I had never seen or heard anything like that – and thought I want to be able to do that!
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I grew up listening to lots of Classic Rock bands and guitarists – there are so many too list but I guess you could say some like Gary Moore for his Rock/Blues technique, Dan Baird, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen song writing, Kee Marcello for some amazing melodic solos work, Beach Boys for vocal harmonies…AC/DC and the Stones, Aerosmith, Bryan Adams for energy and great song writing..there are so many more, Hendrix, Dylan, Clapton, Queen, Free, Aerosmith, Van Halen,…I would then go back and research who influenced them and discover The Everlys and Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters and…which was cool…I listened to a lot of guitarists and took away lots of ideas and kept working….. 🙂
When I write I can hear bits that remind me of certain things I’ve heard, but essentially I’ve soaked it all it and just write what comes out..I do tend to try to keep it simple…play for the song.
How long have you been playing/writing?
I have been playing guitar for over 30 years and have been writing really for the past 10….
How often do you play live?
Not as often as I would like to at the moment.  I am currently having to restructure the live band, and plan to be out gigging regularly in 2017.
What has been your favourite moment in music?  
There’s been a few great gigs, and some really bad surreal moments where you think is this really happening, but you can laugh about it later and write a song about it. There are so many aspects…music keeps me sane, and I love it! Finishing the latest songs in the studio was a great buzz…having taken in the tracks I had recorded at home and the ideas and then editing mixing them into the final version.  I often refer to it as a musical painting…or adding the ingredients – like cooking….so I’m told…
Where is the best place to find you online?
www.jamieportermusic.com and there are lots of social media links there….I try to keep up with it!
Check me out on Instagram – jamieportermusic/ Twitter – @jamieporterband/ Facebook – jamieportermusic

Shaun Kelly and the Returned Gifts

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
At a very young age, probably about three years old. We used to have all the Disney records in our house. Even then I could tell that the tunes on the Jungle book album blew the other stuff away, you must have a sense for these things.
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Well the next memory is standing outside my elder bro’s bedrooms (out of bounds to me) but I was able to soak up all the punk music that was blaring out of them. I really loved that and I was heavily influenced. Especially the more melodic bands like the stranglers, Ramones and the Buzzcocks. Those records taught me how to harmonize.
How long have you been playing/writing?
About 30 years, Jesus!!!
How often do you play live?
Actually I have only done one gig with the returned gifts. I didn’t even have a band when I got asked so it was a bit like a Brummie version of the blues brothers ; chasing round town recruiting musicians as fast as I could! Next one is quite soon at a great London venue
What has been your favourite moment in music?
Tough question, I have been lucky enough to see most of my musical heroes live at some point…..
I think I will say the end of the middle eight in up the junction by Squeeze were the minor chord moves back into the major. Always gets me that does!
Where is the best place to find you online?
To hear me
To speak to me
To tweet me