What is it you love about music? I love that fact that if you find the right song that relates to how you feel at that one moment of your life, it can take that emotion your feeling and deepen it so if you’re sad, you can feel even sadder, or if you feel happy it can make you feel even happier.
Were you a musical child? Yes, as soon as I got my first keyboard at 9 years old I always dreamed of performing on the big stage. I’d play that keyboard for hours until my wrists hurt from all the stretching trying to play the big chords with my little hands.
Does music run in your family? Where do I start! All my siblings are musical; my older brother is a music teacher and a Grade 8 classical guitarist and my younger sister is a singer/songwriter called ‘Sylva Sands’. They both help me out by doing backing vocals with me and my band, my older brother also mixes my recordings and my older sister doesn’t like the stage but, she does sing in the church choir.
Who do you look up to in the industry? In the UK I really admire Plan B, simply because of the way he has completely reinvented himself with every album he’s released and done so well with it. He truly puts the art in performing artist.
Which artists would you like to work with? There are lots of artists I would like to work with but, given the chance right now I’d love to work with Jessie J. She can do so much with her voice and she’s a great songwriter. My first love is song writing and I write songs that I don’t use for myself that I would love for her to get involved in.
What’s your favourite song at the moment? I really like ‘Started From The Bottom’ by Drake at the moment. Having so much going on with my music this year and the release of my EP, I feel like I’m starting a journey and this song is all about that struggle to reach the top. I guess right now I’m going to feel a strong connection to song’s like that.
Which new artists do you like? There’s a London based singer called Shakka who’s just started to break through with his new single ‘Sooner or Later’. His sound is very cool, indie and soulful with a touch of reggae. I really like his unique blend of music and I would like to see him do well.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. After getting my degree in Geography I was determined to get back into playing music. I started playing keys in a house band for Playvybz Radio and got involved in some great events hosting artists like Sherry Davis, Natalie Williams and Shakka. I’ve now taken more time to focus less on session playing and purely on developing my career as a singer/songwriter.
Your sound has been compared to John Legend, what do you think of that? It’s very humbling to be compared to someone who has done so much with their music but, as an artist I always try to make myself unique.
What’s your favourite type of music? I’ve always gone through phases with music. I started performing as a drummer in a metal band when I was 13 and have gone through Punk, Emo, Classical, Pop, R ‘n’ B, Hip Hop and Jazz phases. There’s still space for all these types of music in my life and I honestly couldn’t pick one favourite as there’s always a time and place for each one.
Tell us what your EP ‘Where I’m From’ is about? I believe that who we are and where we’re going to be is determined not just by the place or area you come from but, from the experiences you go through and the people you meet along the way. This EP is also largely dedicated to my late father who played a huge part in my life. My dad always made sure if I took an interest in something positive, mainly music and sport, that I was able to pursue it. The songs ‘Be There’ and ‘Where I’m from’ are both dedicated to my dad and the struggle I had getting back on my feet after his loss. There are some songs that I wrote before I lost my dad and some more uplifting songs which I wrote about fighting your way up the ladder in life that have been my anthems and have helped me get through the tough times.
You worked with rapper English on your EP what was that like? I wasn’t sure how it was going to be because I usually write music by myself and get into my own creative space. When we actually started working on shaping the song we both connected with the theme of the song really well and we ended up with a brilliant piece of work! I believe as long as the song has relevance to the life of all the writers involved you can create a really strong and genuine piece of art that others will appreciate.
What are you up to this year? This year I plan to go to new heights with my music. I’ve been working for the last two years on planning the release of the ‘Where I’m From’ and I have a strong belief in my material and the musicians I perform with. I’m hoping the UK will accept me with open arms and enjoy the stories I have to tell them.
Any other singles/albums we should look out for? Yes, my EP is out on Friday 15th March and I’m holding a launch party at the Jamm in Brixton with lots of talented support acts including 85th Dcibel, Kenza B, Wumni The Artist, Sylva Sands, Marlex Conton and Elliot Canavan Doyle. You can get your tickets online from www.garwe.co.uk. There are also two more singles off the EP coming out soon. There is a song called ‘OK’ which I’m very excited about, it’s very funky and I’ll also be releasing a video for ‘Sing Now’ which is going be one to watch out for this summer. I’m also collaborating with songwriters Sheena Ladwa and Vinny Ladwa who are a very talented brother and sister combination, they make hooks all day!