ARTIST ON THE WATCH: J P WORSFOLD

This is J P Worsfold.

Jordan, tell us more about how you first got into music?

I always remember music being played in our house, neither of my parents are musicians but music was always something that we fed off as a family.


Some of the first records I remember hearing floating through our house were The Sweet and Cat Stevens.

My Dad had a huge Hi-Fi, or at least it seemed huge to my young eyes and I can recall really clearly stepping into what felt like another world, working my way though a wall of CD's, tapes and vinyl.


I was maybe eight years old I think, listening to The Stranglers, The Stooges, Frankie Valley and Fatboy Slim.


A kid with some diverse tastes!

It was a little later on when I was 13 that something really clicked.


My Dad bought me Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited and Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left.


Something in those albums really resonated with me; in the directness of the acoustic guitar and the beautiful images in the lyrics that to me were pure poetry.


I picked up a guitar at the age of 14 when I was living in rural Spain.


In that part of Spain you were either destined to be a goat herder or...well..a goat herder.

I was bored, frustrated at my situation and the guitar came like a beacon of hope.


I found it abandoned and unloved in the corner of a derelict house in the hills.


Suffering from a debilitating stutter (stammer to you folks in America) since the age of four had led me to be a quiet and reflective youth.


Guitar gave me a voice that I'd never had before and quickly became by best friend.

That guitar is now in my Dad's attic in my hometown of Lincoln.


I live in a shepherd's hut so space is a scarce commodity but there has always been a guitar in my life ever since.


No matter what my situation, I can pick away at those six familiar strings I've known half my life and forget the world.

What is the most difficult aspect about launching a career in music?

Wow, I feel like there's so may ways I could answer this question.

I think some people would argue that it's never been so easy with all the self promotion we're able to do online as artists now.

But for me therein lies the issue, music has never been so accessible, which on one hand is great but on the other it makes it a lot harder for an artist to gain a following.


The market is saturated with new artists to discover and content to watch.


You need to really market yourself to stand out without looking like a gimmick.

The modern day singer-songwriter has to wear a lot of hats, whist simultaneously spinning a lot of plates.


You are your own booking agent, your own PR, your own marketing agent, your own publisher, your own merch distributor....oh and then you're responsible for the creative side of things too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm quite an organized person so I enjoy that, but I do feel it detracts from the creative outpouring.


I try to set a day aside for the online stuff and the rest of the time I'm ready for the muse to show up.


I put together my debut album The Boy and the Mountain completely on my own back.

I did so by pooling together a beautiful group of local artists to build the songs for the record and create the artwork that makes it look like a book you could find on a child's bookshelf.


I learned a lot of lessons along that road and I'll be employing them all in my creation of my second album.

There is one podcast in particular that has really helped me with the day to day management of being a songwriter and that is The Working Songwriter with Joe Pug, I've mined some real nuggets of gold out of those features.

What would you say separates your sound/style from other artists?

That is a really interesting one.


I'm sure people that listen to my music would give you a different answer on that one but I feel I can only speak from myself as a person.

I feel the life that I've created to support my music separates me.

When I'm not writing and performing, I'm a ranger in the mountains, building and repairing footpaths high up in the clouds and crags with the ravens.


Being at the mercy of mother nature all day is a truly reflective experience and definitely carries into my songs.


I'd like to think you can see the mountains that I call home when you listen to my music.

On the subject of home, I live in a simple shepherd's hut by the river, growing my own food with Trigg the Border Collie at my side.

I write outside whenever possible.


A lot of my recent songs have been written among the vegetable garden beneath a favorite cherry tree of mine.


The vast majority of The Boy and the Mountain was written by the river and the lake that it flows to.


The sounds of those places filter into the music.


The guitar riff in the title track The Boy and the Mountain was the sound of little waves on the shore and the guitar in At the Turning of the Day was the rain falling on the leaves of a sycamore I was sheltering beneath.


I'd like to think this life I have created separates me from other artists but have a listen and decide for yourself.

Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?

I'll be completely honest, there are no grand plans on the horizon.

I truly believe in putting the same amount of energy into the promotion of this album as I put into it's creation before I bring something new into the world.

I'm writing for the next album with a title in mind.

I feel that I really started to find a true sound towards the end of The Boy and the Mountain and I have followed that trail of sound into these new songs.

I'll be releasing a live album with some of these in late September when I perform with some of the original musicians from The Boy and the Mountain.


I can't tell you how excited I am about live music again!

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