Dogstar Rose – a lesson in astronomy, lorry driving and getting into the cupboard!

1Get ready for understatement of the year folks, if not understatement of the decade…..

Ready….?

Here it is then:  Dogstar Rose is quite a character!

Alicia “Dogstar” Rose is one of those people not content to just live life, she takes life by the scruff of the neck, she has it large and loud, she embraces new experiences, loves learning new things, seems up for almost any challenge, and she seems never to sit still or take a back seat.  Her persona is almost larger than life – and no, she’s not just acting up because she wants to seem like an interesting musician in this interview – in no time at all you realise that this is the real Alicia talking!

And you can’t help but be carried along by her gusto for life and boundless sense of fun.  And she makes good sense about quite a lot of things too.

So, first the basics, where does the handle Dogstar Rose come from?  Dogstar seems, after all, a peculiar kind of moniker.  “Well,” she explains, “the star, Sirius in the constellation Canis Major is the brightest star in the night sky, and its nickname is the ‘dog star’.  A good friend said to me a few years ago that I was such a bright and wonderful thing in his life,” she laughs uproariously at the suggestion, “that I should call myself the Dogstar too.  And it kind of stuck.  I keep my surname Rose as that softens the stage name a bit.”  There is also the association with the Dogstar music venue in Brixton, South London, and she quite likes the connection with her London roots.

Dogstar speaks with a broad London accent, having grown up in North London.  “My first job was as a waitress for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club,” she smiles, “It was a great job for a young girl, I met lots of celebrities and got to travel around quite a lot too.  That was back when Alan Sugar was chairman at Spurs, and contrary to what some people say about him, he’s actually a very nice bloke.”

Dogstar’s twenties were spent doing various jobs, though she became skilled as a photographer, and spent many a photo shoot rubbing shoulders with celebrities from the worlds of sport, music, television and cinema.

In her early 30s Dogstar came to Liverpool to, in her words, “Start a new life”.  When I ask why, she counters with, “Well why not?!  I just fancied a change and Liverpool seemed like a great place to come and start again!”  Since coming to Liverpool Dogstar has firmly rooted herself into the music and media scene of the city, you see her name turning up in all kinds of places in all kinds of roles.

“I’ve always enjoyed singing,” she says, “I think my earliest memory of singing in public was when I was about 14 in the Hop Poles pub in Enfield.”  She smiles at the memory.  “I only took up guitar about 7 years ago though.  When I was first in Liverpool a friend took me to the Jacaranda pub in Slater Street, and we went downstairs and there was all this live acoustic music going on there, and the whole vibe was just wonderful.  I swore to myself at that moment that I would be playing at the Jacaranda myself within a year – and I was!”  And, as the saying goes, she has never looked back since.

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What else is there to know about Dogstar Rose – read on….!

Q. What have you done today?

A. Today I’ve walked my dogs and have spent some time organising my event at Stanley park tomorrow, it’s part of the Liverpool International Music Festival, I’m running an event at the Stanley Park bandstand under the umbrella of the Futurejack Academy of Music Enterprise (F.A.M.E).

Q. Tell us something random about yourself….

A. I’m a qualified lorry driver – I’ve got an HGV licence.  Also I take videos of people in the cupboard in “Winifred Kitchen” and put them up on YouTube!  I’m sure we could get you in the cupboard you know…..

Q. What do you think about Liverpool?  Do you like the city?

A. I love the place, and I feel blessed that I found it.  I sometimes despair of the ignorance of some people who’ve never been here and trot out the same old stereotypical rubbish about the city. It’s a fantastic city with its own unmistakeable identity, and it has real heart and soul.

Q. What do you think about Liverpool’s music scene?

Musically I think you have to acknowledge that Liverpool really is the birthplace of popular music, but I feel there is so much talent in and around the city that it’s become saturated, which is unfortunate in some ways.  There are so many wonderful performers playing in Liverpool and they can’t shine through because there is just too much good stuff.  I think sometimes you need to take your music out of the city to see if it works somewhere else.  You need something really different to stand out.

Q. Tell us about your song, “Strange Enough” which features on the album, what’s it about?  Where did the inspiration come from?

A. It was 6.00 am and I was sitting on my sofa at home, just after the ending of a relationship the night before.  The song just all came out at once, it was all there almost on the first play through.  It was an odd experience; I actually felt it coming into my right frontal lobe!

Q. Do your songs always come that quickly or do you normally follow some other writing process?

A. Some of them take a while, but quite often they just “happen” really quickly.  I think it’s because I didn’t start writing songs until I was in my 30s, and there seem to be loads of them inside me that have been there for years trying to get out!

Q. Do you ever work with other musicians when recording or performing?  Are there any musicians you’d like to work with?

A. I play regularly in the band Futurejack of course, but the answer to this is that I am active musically every single day with all kinds of people.  I’m part of a circle of musician friends and we all collaborate on different projects from time to time, people come and go, it’s all a bit fluid really.  There is nobody I would ever say that I won’t work with – the only proviso is that massive egos absolutely don’t fit.

Q. What are your music influences?

A. My musical tastes span decades and are so varied – as a girl I used to like Barbra Streisand and Randy Crawford, who are both amazing artists.  Later I got into P J Harvey, Bjork, and I love Sonja Kristina from the band Curved Air, also Jefferson Airplane, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker.  It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but I’m a real Sonja Kristina fan.

Q. How do you feel about performing or releasing a song?  Do you ever feel shy about revealing yourself to the world?

A. No, I don’t worry at all, that’s what song-writing is all about.  The soul of art only exists if it is out there for others to experience.

Q. Are there any songs that make you emotional?  Laugh or cry?

A. I already mentioned Curved Air didn’t I? “It Happened Today” and “Easy” by Curved Air do it for me every time.

Q. What is your proudest moment ever?

A. I don’t do pride!  I’ll tell you about an exciting experience though.  I was involved in a photo shoot for “Party in the Park” for the Prince’s trust in 2001 and got to photograph and meet all kinds of famous people and celebrities, and I threw a pair of knickers at Tom Jones.  When he was performing I’d found a little pair of knickers with a label on them that said “throw me” so that’s exactly what I did.  I got in trouble with the security people for that, they wanted to chuck me out!

Q. Would you like to be signed and compromise your musical principles a bit, or would you rather be an untainted amateur?

A. Simple answer – I’d like to be signed and keep my principles.  It is possible!  If you know your mind and understand your art you can stay true to yourself and make a living from it.

Dogstar Rose’s haunting ballad “Strange Enough” features as track 7 on disc 1 on the K’s Choice City of Music 2013 compilation album https://soundcloud.com/iamdogstar/strange-enough

To learn more about Dogstar Rose and find links to her other work please click here https://www.facebook.com/DogstarRoseMusic

Get hold of a copy of the album here https://kschoiceacoustic.wordpress.com/the-city-of-music-2013-compilation-album/

A conversation with the mild mannered and unassuming Gary Gardner

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Gary Gardner is such a nice guy – he is instantly friendly and personable, and there is just a hint of a quite endearing shyness about him.  He had a lot to tell me, he is a really interesting man, all his stories delivered diffidently and with the most self-effacing and unassuming of smiles.

Gary is a native of Liverpool and spent his younger adult years living around the Lark Lane, Picton and Kensington areas, though these days he is Lancashire based, just a short drive from the 2008 Capital of Culture.  We caught Gary after a busy day’s work – he is an IT consultant in his day job – but we were more interested in the roots of his music.

Coming from a musical family, Gary started to learn classical piano at the age of 8, “but once I turned 18 I switched to guitar,” he tells us, “I started playing at the Everyman youth theatre and loved it, and I ended up working there, helping out with the music in shows and that sort of thing.  There was a group of us and we used to go abroad to Germany and Spain and other places with shows.”  He clearly remembers this as a golden chapter in his life.

Then everything changed when he met the girl who is now his wife.  “I stopped playing for a long long while, my focus and priorities changed I suppose.”  He clearly doesn’t regret anything; setting up home and raising children changes most people’s focus and Gary is no exception.  “When we started seeing each other things moved very quickly, within a year we’d moved out to Burscough together.  We’ve lived there happily ever since.”

1So what else did Gary have to tell us?  Read on to find out….

Q.   Tell us something unusual about yourself….

A.   Well, I’ve been playing as a musician for well over 20 years but would you believe I’d never played a live solo gig until I did K’s Choice in April this year.  It’s all totally new to me, I didn’t think I’d ever do it actually to be honest, but I’m glad I did!  What motivated me was that at my 40th birthday last year Henry Priestman from the Christians came to my house and did a show.  I played some of his songs with him and he played some of mine, and it spurred me on to work harder at my music.

Q.   So how come he played at your birthday party?  Did someone organise it as a surprise or something?

No, I organised it myself.  I got in contact with him and asked him if he fancied playing at my birthday party, and he said yeah, he’d love to.  We’ve been in touch ever since, I’ve played again with him and with Pete Riley.  At the Liverpool Museum Pete was doing a talk on the history of music through the 70s and he asked me to get up and play a song with him. It was nice, that! (a master of understatement is Gary!)

Q.   What other Liverpool venues have you played?

A.   I played at Resurrection Festival along with Shannen Bamford, and at the Wirral Festival and Leyland Festival.  I’m playing at Oxjam later this year.  At the Leyland festival there was a couple sitting in front of me while I was performing and they joined in with one of my songs.  They’d obviously listened online, and learned the words.  That was nice and gave me loads of confidence.

Q.   As someone living just outside Liverpool, what do you think of the city?

A.   You can see how special the place is, it really shows.  The capital of culture bid was a real big turning point I think, and the city has gone from strength to strength ever since.  There is so much good music coming from the city, and it shows no sign of slowing.

Q.   What’s the inspiration behind your song on the compilation album?

A.   The short answer to that is there wasn’t any inspiration – which is rare for me!  I wrote it back while I was working at the Everyman Theatre.  One day I’d been given tasks on what I should write about, drug use, homelessness and stuff, and on that particular day I couldn’t think of anything, so I just started to write any words that came into my head.  The next day I did the same and eventually the song “Someone’s Looking Over Me” grew from it.

Q.   How do you write songs?  What process do you follow?

Normally I start and finish them very quickly, I’m quite disciplined like that.  If they take too long I tend to scrap the idea and move onto something else.  I’ve got folders at home full of stuff that I haven’t used.  Sometimes I go back and pick bits out and fit them in somewhere else, so nothing gets wasted really.  One of my songs “Humankind” is full of bits and pieces that didn’t fit into other songs.

Q.   Are there any musicians you’d like to work with?

There are loads!  There are lots of local people I’d love to collaborate with, who are working at a level higher than me at the moment (there is that self-deprecating persona again!), but now I’m up performing and gaining confidence, I’ll probably approach people soon to ask about collaborating.  Henry Priestman is releasing a new album next year and there’s a possibility of me doing some support slots for him when he plays locally, which is pretty exciting.

Q.   What are your musical influences?

A.   Many and varied!  In the late 70s I was into Genesis and then Peter Gabriel.  I loved the way those guys experimented with sound. Later on I got into Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush.  In the late 80s I became a bit more selective, got into local bands, because I could go out and see them, the Christians, the La’s, Shed 7 were some of my favourites.  I love the Stereophics, I’ve seen them about 30 times now – perhaps that’s where the slightly morose feel in my songs comes from!

Q.   Do you ever get shy or nervous about performing your own songs?

A.   I do, yes.  I’m not very good with people saying negative things; I know it happens but I’d rather not hear it, see it or read it.  Up to now I’ve not heard a negative, but I’m sure there must be people out there thinking, ooh that’s not very good.  You can’t please everyone I know, but I do worry what people think.

Q.   What’s more important to you, lyrics or melody?

A.   Lyrics draw me in more than anything else.  The melody can pull you in if its a catchy tune I suppose, but I like slower kinds of music with well crafted lyrics that tell a story, and have some meaning.

Q.   Is there a song that makes you cry?

A.   There is one song, but I’m not sure if I should go on record with it!  No, I’ll keep quiet on this one.  But what stirs emotion in me is usually the context of the song and the story that it tells.

Q.   What is the proudest moment of your life?

A.   My wedding day, nothing can top that, we had such a brilliant day, just laughed all day.  It’s ten years ago this Thursday.

My proudest moment as a musician was when I played in Germany back in 1992 with the group from the Everyman theatre and we had a great time.  We played in this university, someone must have told people that we were famous or something, because we got filmed and interviewed and people queued for autographs.  It was magical!  We played 6 songs which I don’t think were very good actually, but people loved us!

Q.   What do you think of self published music?

A.   It’s a good thing in my opinion.  If not for the web and self publishing I’d never have got out there playing.  You’d have never heard of me and asked me to play K’s Choice would you?  People in all kinds of places, even overseas have heard my music through Soundcloud and it’s a great thing.

I was in a music shop in Hereford once looking at ukuleles and I heard some music playing and thought, hang on I recognise that – then I realised it was my song “Humankind”!  I asked the guy in the shop how come he was playing my song, and he told me it was an internet folk radio station.  It was a strange and surreal moment that wouldn’t have happened without self published music.

Gary Gardner’s acoustic modern folk song “Someone’s Watching Over Me” features as track 6 disc 2 on the K’s Choice City of Music 2013 compilation. https://soundcloud.com/gary-gardner-2/someones-watching-over-me

To find out more about Gary and links to his other work click https://www.facebook.com/garygardner33

To buy a copy of the album please click https://kschoiceacoustic.wordpress.com/the-city-of-music-2013-compilation-album/

K’s Choice review, 7th August 2013

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Sterling performances all round on 7th August at K’s Choice and a decent sized audience too (lovely to see Hannah Kewn, Thom Morecroft and Stuart Todd in the audience supporting other musicians).

First up Barry Lawton, Crewe’s own crooner (sorry for the alliteration, I couldn’t resist) wowed us with a set of his self-penned tunes, many of which might be described as “ballads with attitude”, including “Grow Together”, which features on the K’s Choice City of Music compilation album. His finale was “Margaret Hilda Thatcher, I hope you rot in hell” which seemed to go down very well with the K’s Choice faithful!

Changing style and pace somewhat, was the vivacious, sparkling and very entertaining SheBeat, wearing her hat and a pair of very high shoes. Her songs have a lightness of touch to them, almost an element of frivolity sometimes, but her lyrics tell personal and heartfelt tales. It’s a lovely combination that draws you in. In amongst her set was her contribution to the K’s Choice compilation album “Supermoon Lover” and the wonderfully quirky “Freaky Crazy”.

SheBeat

SheBeat

A complete change of style now as Rae Clark took centre stage. Rae’s guitar technique is inventive and intricate, and his songs are gentle and lyrical, soaking slowly into your soul and making you wish you could lie back in a sun kissed garden (you get the picture) and listen all day long, and on into the warmth of a perfect summer evening…. Nice!

Rae Clark

Rae Clark

After Rae, our special guest was the very young and talented singer-songwriter Freya Wright. Freya told me she was nervous, although she had no need to be as she’d brought a lovely appreciative crowd with her, and she was after all among friends. It is magical to see and hear someone exude such effortless talent, yet at the same time to be so self-effacing – a genuinely nice person. Watch out for this young lady!

Freya Wright

Freya Wright

Where could we go from here? Well, we had arranged Irish band “Cobblestone” as the night’s finale, though three of the four had had to go back to Ireland for a few days. We weren’t short-changed though – K’s Choice was treated to one quarter of Cobblestone in the shape of David Keenan. David produced a wonderful performance for us all, his guitar work is inventive without being over-complicated and his voice just soars.

So, yet another belter at K’s Choice – how do we keep on doing it I hear you ask….. Chocolate, that’s how!

See you next week peeps xx

Musician Thom Morecroft enjoys the show

Musician Thom Morecroft enjoys the show

My experience with the human whirlwind – a little chat with SheBeat!

Chatting with SheBeat is kind of like walking through a whirlwind – in the nicest possible way of course!  She has so much to tell you, so many snippets of wisdom and insights to share, and like a whirlwind she throws them all at you at once!  You try to focus in on something interesting she’s just said, to ask a follow up question maybe, but by the time you’ve formulated a sentence, she’s moved on and thrown something else even more attention grabbing at you.  She’s everything a musician should be – feisty, fun, creative, full of ideas, and best of all, she doesn’t take herself too seriously.

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We talked for a while about her background and the roots of her music.  SheBeat was born and brought up in Liverpool, “I’m a proper Liver bird!” she enthuses, “but I reckon I must have been conceived in London, ‘cos I love London too.  Perhaps I’m a cockney Liver-bird…”  She left Liverpool as a young adult during the city’s wilderness years in the mid 90’s to experience life in various places around the UK, and circumstance brought her back just two years ago.  “I f***ing love it here now!” she exclaims, “I never, ever want to leave again, I feel so of this city.  The heartbeat of the city is within me, it’s so special! If I hadn’t left for so long I don’t think I would appreciate it quite as much as I do now.”  It’s certainly easy to be swept along by her contagious enthusiasm.

SheBeat has enjoyed music and singing all her life.  “I’ve always been a proper karaoke queen,” she laughs, but she only took up the guitar a couple of years ago, and only started performing as SheBeat a year ago.  “I was playing at the Best of Monday Club at the Cavern a few weeks ago,” she says, “and I realised that it was my first anniversary of performing live.”

It’s difficult to believe that she has come such a long way in such a short time; she’s not just “involved” in the Liverpool acoustic music scene, she’s a central character in it.  In just a year SheBeat has performed at an impressive range of Liverpool venues, including Heebie Jeebies, Camp & Furnace, the Cavern and of course K’s Choice.  “I’m always looking for new venues, new experiences, new challenges!  I don’t have a favourite venue, but my most exciting gig recently was at Sefton Park bandstand at the Liverpool International Music Festival, that was a great day.  I want some Wirral gigs now – look out Wirral, SheBeat’s coming for ya!”

What else would we like to know about SheBeat?  Well, I asked her a few questions, and true to style she gave many more answers than there were questions, with a fair amount of laughter into the bargain.

Q. What have you been doing today?

A. Normally, on a weekday I would be at work writing radio commercials, that’s my day job (that’s why you’re getting so many great little soundbites from me, it’s my job to write them) but I’ve had a day off today.  I’ve been researching for “Beerdfest” (she spells the word out) it’s a beard and moustache competition in Liverpool that I’m running.  There’s beer involved too, that’s why Beerdfest is spelled the way it is.  I love doing daft, random stuff like that.

Q. Tell us something random about yourself….

A. I run a beard blog!  Check out tashwags.blogspot.com and you’ll find pictures of some wonderful facial artistry.

Q. Tell us about “Supermoon Lover”, your song on the album, what’s it about?  Where did the inspiration come from?

A. It’s about an ex, a relationship that didn’t work out.  I cried when I wrote it and at first it upset me to even play it so I didn’t perform it for a long while.  I actually wrote it sitting in my car in the car park at Pleasureland in Southport, which struck me as a very strange place to be crying!  I find I can enjoy performing it now though – a lot of people like it, I think it has heart and speaks to them, it’s a simple little story really, and people can relate to it.

Q. How does your song writing process normally work? Typically how long does it take you to write a song?

Some of them are instant, they come together in a day.  Others are two thirds there pretty quickly but then need a couple of months to simmer before I come back to them and finish them.  Most of my songs are short and quite simple, 2 to 3 minute songs are my favourite, they don’t need to be elaborate and clever, they just need to tell a story people can relate to.  I’m a bit of a busker really, my performances are getting better as I gain confidence in what I’m doing.  The important thing is just to enjoy it, I just jam it and the songs usually come together eventually.  I do quite a lot of driving for work and the creative part of my brain comes up with things while I’m driving, I record ideas on my iPhone as I think of them. (Presumably she stops the car before using the phone!)

SheBeat shows us the four stage of how she writes a song....!

SheBeat explains the stages of songwriting….!

Q. Do you ever work with other musicians when recording or performing?  Are there any musicians you’d like to work with?

A. I do some backing vocals for friends, I’ve been working with The Science of the Lamps and Joe Kelly recently.  I love collaborating with others.  I’ve got a good friend helping me with my stuff at the moment, he’s putting some backing tracks down and helping me mix them in, so stay tuned!  A lot of my music has a 60s vibe, which I love and so does he, so we work well together.

Q. What are your music influences?  Do you have a favourite decade? Or genre? Do you have a role model?

A. As I say, I’m a 60s kind of girl.  I don’t care if anyone thinks this is corny, but I just love the Beatles – they’re my fave ever band!  For years I was a closet Beatles fan, because coming from Liverpool it seemed to be a bit of a cliché.  But I came out of the closet recently and now I’m a militant Beatles fan!  I say to people, “If you don’t like the Beatles and can’t appreciate what they did for music you are no friend of mine!”  But I like all sorts of other music too, I’m also a fan of 90s grunge.

Q. How do you feel about performing or releasing your own songs?  Do you ever feel shy about revealing yourself to the world?

A. It can be difficult, I get self conscious because a lot of my songs are about past relationships and are pretty personal.  I don’t want people calling me Liverpool’s Taylor Swift, always singing songs about boys!  But I find that for any song, after the first few plays, it’s out there as a piece of art, and people can interpret it as they want to.  It can be quite liberating to be able to get personal stuff off your chest actually.

Q. What makes you listen to a song? Lyrics or melody?

A. Music is an emotive thing and your response to it can change after a lot of listens.  Sometimes a song hits you with one emotion when you first hear it, but you relate to it differently after 20 or so listens.  For me, the melody, mood and lyrics must all combine to tune into the way you feel at that moment and that’s what hits the spot.

Q. Are there any songs that make you emotional?  Laugh or cry?

A. My own song “Supermoon Lover” used to make me cry all the time!  Plenty of songs make me laugh and cry because I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, but “Since I’ve Been Loving You” by Led Zeppelin always makes me stop and go “Wow!”

Q. What is your proudest moment ever?

A. In May I played at the Cavern club wine cellar stage with the Cave Dwellers.  The place was packed out with tourists and visitors to the city and I played my own song “Freaky Crazy”.  As a Beatles fan playing a song I’d written myself in the Cavern made me unbelievably proud – good luck topping that, the rest of my life!

Q. What do you think about self published music?  Is it likely to be the future?

A. As a newbie to world of music recording I’m figuring it out as I go along.  The growth of home digital recording has made it much easier than it used to be, and I’m hoping to self publish a CD of my own this year. Trouble is, I’m just a part-time enthusiastic amateur, I have a day job (which I love of course!) but I’d love to live my life as SheBeat full-time.  That’s not happening at the moment though.  I need investment – can I have a benevolent millionaire please?  I have faith in my product and I know I can sell it.

Q. Would you like to be signed and compromise your musical principles a bit, or would you rather be an untainted amateur?

A. It would be difficult to turn down any deal, but I like to think that I’d stick to my principles and carry on writing and playing the music that I love.  Until that benevolent millionaire comes along I don’t know!

SheBeat’s song “Supermoon Lover” is track 12 on CD2 on the K’s Choice City of Music 2013 compilation album. https://soundcloud.com/shebeat/supermoon-lover

To find out more about SheBeat and links to her other work, click https://www.facebook.com/shebeatmusic

Find out more about the K’s Choice compilation album and purchase a copy here https://kschoiceacoustic.wordpress.com/the-city-of-music-2013-compilation-album/

An interview with Kate Hazeldine

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We caught Kate in holiday shopping mood!

We were lucky enough to catch Kate in holiday mood for our interview and photo shoot – she’d just been shopping in Liverpool for a few bits and pieces for her Spanish holiday next week, the lucky thing!  Unfortunately she will be away for the K’s Choice album launch party on 21st though, which is a shame.

Originally from the Northwich area, Kate has only been in Liverpool for a year or so.  She has just completed the first year of a degree programme at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, patron of which is Beatles legend Paul McCartney.  “I haven’t met Paul yet,” says Kate, “but apparently he comes along on graduation day, so I hope to shake his hand in a couple of years time!”

Kate’s year in Liverpool has been a busy one, both in her day job as a student and in the evenings as a performer.  She has played solo sets in a number of well known Liverpool venues, including Camp & Furnace, Elevator, Mello Mello, Parr Street Studio 2, and of course K’s Choice!  Kate insists that she has no favourite venue, “They all have their own special vibe”, she enthuses, “though it was really something extra special to make it as a finalist earlier this year in ‘Out on Stage’, a competition for unsigned musicians at Camp & Furnace.”  That was Kate’s proudest moment so far as a musician, though there will undoubtedly be other proud moments for this very talented young lady.

So what else should we know about Kate?

Q.   Tell us something random about yourself….

A.    I’m one quarter Italian, but I don’t speak the lingo!

Q.    What age did you start playing and singing? When did you start performing as a singer-songwriter?

A.    I’ve played piano since I was about 6 and I’ve always enjoyed singing.  I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember.  I just started performing seriously about 2 years ago now.

Q.   What do you think about Liverpool?  Do you like the city?

A.    I absolutely love it!  There are so many opportunities for musicians, I feel Liverpool is really coming into its own these days.

Q.   Tell us about your song on the K’s Choice album, what’s it about? Where did the inspiration come from?

A.    The song, “Lifeline” is very personal to me; it’s based on experiences with my family, and it’s a very important song to me.  The lyrics came to me first, then I started to fit them with a piano riff.  It stayed unfinished for quite a few months, then when I returned to the song it all came together.

Q.   How does your song writing process normally work? Typically how long does it take you to write a song?

A.    Usually when I’m in an inspirational mood, I can finish a song in a day or two, but sometimes it can take months.  It feels like I have writers’ block sometimes, so when that happens I just have to put the song aside and forget about it for a while until inspiration returns.

Q.    Do you ever work with other musicians when recording or performing?

A.    I’ve just recently got together with a 4 piece band, who are providing me with a back line.  I’m going to carry on working as a solo artist and will continue to write and play my own music, so I’m really lucky to have a group of talented guys to back me.

Q.    What are your music influences?  Do you have a favourite musical era? Do you have a role model?

A.    I have varied tastes spanning decades, so no favourite era really.  I’m a big fan of Florence & the Machines and Kate Bush though and I think they both influence my music.  If I have a role model it would be Kate Bush – she’s so unique and creative.

Q.    What makes you listen to a song? Lyrics or melody?

A.    I listen a lot to lyrics, it’s my favourite bit of song-writing so I like to see how other people do it and the techniques they use.

Q.    How do you feel about performing or releasing your own songs?  Do you ever feel shy or uneasy about revealing yourself to the world?

A.    At first I used to be scared about revealing some very personal things about myself.  But the more I perform my songs, the more I realise that people don’t always home in on what the artist is saying about themselves; if people like your music they usually hear what they want to hear and take their own meaning.  Although my songs will always be very personal to me, I’m happy for people to enjoy them however they want to.

Q.    What do you think about self published music?  Is it likely to be the future?

A.    I’d say so – without self publishing I probably wouldn’t have been able to get my message out to so many people.

Q.    Would you like to be a signed musician and perhaps compromise your musical principles a little, or would you rather stay an untainted amateur?

A.    That’s a tough one! I want to remain free and play music that I like, but it would be difficult to turn down a deal.  Until I’m in that situation I don’t know really.  Ask me again when I’m signed!

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Kate Hazeldine’s haunting piano ballad “Lifeline” features as track 3 on CD 2 in the City of Music 2013 compilation.  https://soundcloud.com/katehazeldine/lifeline

Find out more about Kate and links to her other work at https://www.facebook.com/KateHazeldineMusic

Find out more about the album and purchase a copy here https://kschoiceacoustic.wordpress.com/the-city-of-music-2013-compilation-album/

K’s Choice “The City of Music” compilation album – the Launch Party

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Hosted as usual by Derek King, this week’s K’s Choice is a real special one. Tonight will be the official launch party for the K’s Choice “City of Music 2013” compilation double album

We are excited and proud to present:
Gary Gardner
Chris Callander
Shannen Bamford
Robert Vincent

Tickets only £3 in advance £4 on door, includes first drink.
Album only £4 by pre-order, £5 on general sale.
To pre-order tickets or album please go to www.facebook.com/kschoicecofm and inbox us.

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