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article imageInterview with up-and-coming soul singer Harris Adams Special

By Adrian Peel     Mar 24, 2015 in Music
The London-based vocalist striving to bring some of that classic '60s soul sound (but with a modern, melodic rock edge) back into the mainstream talks to Digital Journal about how he's getting on. Turns out he's getting on rather well...
Harris Adams moved to London from his hometown of Shireoaks in Yorkshire 18 months ago and has been working hard to make his dreams come true. In between performing and recording, this star-in-the-making, extremely grateful to be earning a living as a full-time musician, has also been given the seal of approval from some very big names.
"We've got the single coming out, 'Ring Ring,' in late April, so we've been focusing on promoting that," says Harris of his fantastic, self-penned debut that can already be heard online. "They'll be another single following that in the summer, so we've been shooting video for that...
"We've started to plan the next studio session to get a few more songs recorded and I'm always writing and trying to discover music, so it's a very busy time, but an exciting time as well."
One listen to "Ring Ring" and you'll be hooked on Harris's stunning vocal delivery that sounds dynamic, soulful, fresh and like nothing else around at the moment. I asked him how he came to settle on music as a career.
"I had a largely non-musical upbringing really, so the music I discovered, I discovered myself," he explains. "It took me a while to develop and decide that music was something that I wanted to commit to and make a career from.
"I started playing guitar first at the age of 12 and grew up learning some britpop stuff: Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene... But then when I started to play the piano, my teacher introduced me to the music of Ray Charles and it sort of snowballed from there.
"I didn't start singing seriously until my early 20s. I had a few lessons, learning how to protect and control my voice and then went from there, really. I guess my style came from attempting to copy people like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, that kind of thing."
On the subject of the new single, the singer, who has recently cut a sparsely-arranged version of the Sam Cooke classic "Bring It on Home to Me," commented, "'Ring Ring' I wrote it back at the start of 2014. I was listening to a lot of Ray Charles at the time and I think subconsciously that's probably where the kind of call and response-style chorus came from...
I tried to focus on keeping it quite simple with that one. A lot of the best songs - and my favourite songs - are relatively simple in structure and where they go, so I focused on keeping the vibe fairly stripped.
"It was recorded early November last year at Air Studios in north London and then parts of it at Smokehouse Studios as well - and the vocals were at Strongroom Studios in Shoreditch. We were lucky to have some of the best studios in London."
It wasn't only the best studios that were at the artist's disposal. Some of the best producers, musicians and engineers also lent a hand. Grammy Award-winning producer Steve Sidwell worked on the track, as did renowned recording engineer Haydn Bendall, guitarist Adam Goldsmith and pianist Pete Murray.
"That's right... We had Steve Sidwell who had some great contacts. He put my demos in front of the right people and everyone was really supportive. We couldn't have asked for more with their input, and they all loved the music as well. Their strapline was: 'It's proper music for a change,' which was great to hear."
Will "Ring Ring" be on an album at some point?
"The plan is to record another three or four songs over the next couple of months and then we're gonna put an EP out towards the back end of this year.
"There's an album written and ready to go, but we're just trying to gage the response and also make sure it's a slow rise to where we want to be, rather than rushing out with things. So probably an album, I would say, about the middle of next year."
Harris Adams
Harris Adams
Natasha Bennett
As mentioned at the start, Harris has received acclaim from some very well-known stars, Rod Stewart and Johnny Depp among them.
"Yeah, when I first moved to London, to survive I did some intimate, hotel kind of gigs," he recalls. "I met quite a few people and ended up singing with Rod Stewart actually, for a short time. He joined me to sing a Sam Cooke number, so that was very surreal!
"I had a quick chat with Johnny Depp and he was very complimentary. He gave me a nice tip and said I was very talented... Rod Stewart started to sing with me and then got taken away by his people, but I'm lucky to have met those guys."
Our interview concluded with Harris revealing some of his main ambitions for the future: "I'd like to have a long career in music. I've a huge amount of respect for the artists that have managed to have careers spanning decades - people like Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder...
"Those kind of guys are still selling out tours and making great music, so if I could get anywhere near that, that would be definitely something that I'd want to do.
"I think probably my main ambition would be to write a song that is remembered - one that will be around when I'm not. Hopefully I'll get lucky one day and write that song."
Listen to "Ring Ring" here.
The song will officially be released on April 28th.
For more information on Harris Adams, visit his official website.
More about harris adams, sam cooke, Soul Music, Ray charles, Rod stewart
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