Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Spirit Like You" Colloboration with BeatM4n - Release date TBA

Soooo... Beatm4n and I have finished our song "Spirit Like You" and I'm currently uploading it to CD Baby - which is a website that helps you distribute your music via iTunes, Amazon, and many other websites... And I'm registering with the PRS at the moment (a copywrite collection society for the UK).  This is all new to me as it's my first ever official release so it's all very exciting!

I was planning to release my debut solo single "Today Is All" in June, but I still have to finalise the remix b-sides yet, and we're totally ready to go ahead with this.  The remix that Stefano (BeatM4n) has done of this song is just like a proper stomping summer anthem.   When I listen to it, it makes me want to be on a beach in the sun with an ice cold pint! lol

It feels perfect posting this today as it must be the nicest day of the year so far in London! Having said that, there are a number of clouds looming in the distance!! (>.<)  That must to do with PRS registration lol

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Famous Blue Raincoat (Manchester, April 2012)

Ok I'm borrowing the term 'Throwback Thursday' for this post...

A special time for me was the Summer of 2012.

Leading up to that period, I'd made a couple of bad decisions in terms of career direction and had also got myself into quite a destructive long term relationship.  The change started when I'd got a new job and I'd moved to Manchester into this studio apartment bang in the city centre (near Piccadilly station if you know it).

I hadn't even realised at the time how much of a dark place I had gotten myself into until things started to change.  I hadn't been trying to 'clear any clouds', because I didn't know there were any clouds to clear.  But naturally, things suddenly started to change; I became healthier, more confident, my creativity was soaring.  I found the courage to end the destructive relationship I was in and my life changed massively from that point.

Whilst all this was happening, I remember sitting down one night and just feeling a huge sense of relief because for first time in 18 months, things just 'felt right'; I didn't have to fight, or rush or worry - I felt like I was responsible for my own destiny again and I had control back over my life.

I set up my mic and recorded a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Famous Blue Raincoat' and I love to watch the video because it takes me back to all the feelings I was having back then.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's Next for Web Sheldon?

I mentioned in my last post that I'm spending a week in Cornwall at the moment.  It's in a place just 1 mile from Land's End called Sennen - one of my favourite places in the world!  But what's next when I return to London?

A whole of things, and in no particular order...

My first solo single 'Today Is All' which means getting a couple of remixes together, deciding on a 'b-side' song and making a music video.

A collaboration single between me and BeatM4n 'Spirit Like You' which is going to be a STOMPING summer anthem if there ever was one!  Release date coming soon!

Purple Steeple Remix EP which I'm compiling remixes for right now.  I have a ZIP file if there's any producer's reading this that are itching to make a remix for me ;-)

And later in the year; a collection of songs whether it be an EP or an album.  There's enough material for an album now though :)

Once I have some release dates scheduled, I will start gigging in London again too!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Cornish Clarity @ Trevedra Farm

I'm lucky in that I've never really felt like I get writer's block; if I'm not feeling a melody, I'll write a rhythm, or I'll have a jam on guitar, or switch to piano or I'll write there's always a spark somewhere to get started and inspire a creative flow...

There's one place where I come to though and it feels like I'm hyper sensitive to both music and words.  When I come to Sennen (Cornwall) it's like there's an abundance of ideas just flying around my head waiting to be plucked from the air.

I was here last year cycling along the cliffs near Land's End and I got an idea to remix one of the Bilamie songs (Nu Slave Crew) - which is the version we have on the album now.  There was another Deeper Interaction remix too - but I'll probably write that as a Web Sheldon song at some point and build on the original 2007 version I wrote.  I came here in 1999 to work and I wrote a gazillion songs on guitar that year.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't bring a guitar this year.  Although I'm regretting that now - there's nothing like sitting on the cliff top overlooking the blue ocean and singing my heart away...or heading down to the beach, on a level with the sea.  I love it that my old guitars have Cornish sand in them!  I have my laptop though, so if there's any quiet moments, I'm turning to the collection of songs I'm putting together at the moment to continue writing and mixing for those.

Cornwall is such an inspiring place.  Tori's always been full of good ideas! Maybe it's because there's less people here, there's so much space!  It feels like the air is clear; if we could imagine invisible clouds of noise, thoughts and clutter in a city - here it's like all that is taken away and it leaves just yourself and your own thoughts... Or maybe it's all a state of mind and I just feel extra comfortable.

I've been coming here since I was a child though and we always stay at Trevedra Farm - which is a campsite in Sennen with a footpath leading down to the beach (very handy! lol)  We arrived on Thursday night and even the smell of the grass and the air was mesmerising!

Sennen, Cornwall

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why I Love Yoko

Back in 2007, I heard some music for the first time, by an artist I knew very little about.

From that moment onwards, I was hooked on a lady called Yoko Ono.  First, I bought the 2007 remix album and was introduced to many songs from throughout her career, but they had been re-interpreted and remixed by other artists such as Cat Power, Peaches, Le Tigre and Porcupine Tree.
After this I bought my favourite Yoko album, 'Rising' and I'm slowly working my way through them now - and trying to do that as slowly as possible to make the experience last longer.

Share The Love

Whenever I learn about a 'new' artist though, I find it impossible not to shout about them to my friends, work colleagues, social media etc - I guess this is natural for most music lovers.  However, I've never been met with so much hate, bitterness and narrow-mindedness as I have when I try to talk about my appreciation of Yoko Ono.

On one side, I don't mind; I am used to rooting for the underdog, and I admit there's something strangely satisfying about enjoying something that is either ignored or rejected by others - with the accompanying thought of 'it's their loss'.  But that kind of defeatist attitude doesn't work for me.

I *want* people to like Yoko, I *want* people to understand the depth of her lyrics and I *want* people to appreciate that *sometimes* she does crazy songs that are challenging to listen to, but for ART'S SAKE, it's OK!

If Tori, Joni and Björk can make excessively long, challenging (and yes, also brilliant) songs, why can't Yoko not be allowed the same freedom without being ridiculed?

  • Because she's not the best singer? Well, if that's a pre-requisite, then yes, maybe it's better not to listen to her. But you should also drop Dylan from your playlists as well.
  • Because her songs are just screaming? Click 'play' on my playlist above.

So, Why Do I Love Yoko?

1. Her lyrics blow me away.
For a woman who has received hate on a MASS level for decades, she still sings about love, sensitivity, peace and self belief. Here's 3 examples...

'Listen to your heart,
Respect your intuition
Make your manifestation
There's no limitation
Have courage, have rage
We're all together'
(from 'Rising') - see the playlist

'Don't ever give up on life
Life can be so beautiful
Especially after you've spent a lot of years with it
Because then life becomes like a lover
You have been close to
You know him so well
Yet every day he gives you a surprise
When you say I love you
Remember you're not just saying it to the one you love
You're saying it to yourself
The planet and the universe'
(From 'Unon. To') - listen to this in the playlist above

'Bless you for your anger
It's a sign of rising energy
Transform the energy to versatility
And it will bring you prosperity'
Btw if I never get around to making a will, THIS is the song I want playing on that fateful day.. hahaha I think the lyrics throughout the entire song are beautiful and so inspiring.

2. She is the dark abyss vs. the shining light.
Both her music and her lyrics incorporate everything from the darkest expressions of pain and anger right through to bliss, love and peace.  That mixture of the 'dark and light' is something that I think we all identify with on many levels.  We like to watch movies with the 'goodies and the baddies', we like to involve ourselves in religions with Gods and Demons.  And how amazing is it to watch the sunrise after hours of darkness?  Her music incorporates these extremities in many ways.  It's how she expresses and interprets her emotions through the song that have a big influence on me.

3. She is a woman of immense strength.
I cannot imagine how I would cope if I had been in her position for the last 40 years.  Being one of the most hated women in popular culture.  How do you overcome something like that? How do you continue to make art in the face of this constant and passionate aggression? If her lyrics are anything to go by; she takes this energy and she transforms into something else and uses it to her advantage.

4. Her creativity and innovation.
I have spoken about her music already and I do not pretend to be a big fan of visual art.  But some of her pieces that I have seen online I find intriguing.

For one piece, you climb a ladder, you get to the top, take a magnifying glass and look at the word 'yes' written on the ceiling. I love the concept of this and how it can be interpreted differently for each person.

And that is something she encourages with her art; the person who views it or interacts with it can continue the piece themselves and they can make their own conclusion.  I don't feel I can talk about her visual art in a way that is deserving of the magnitude of it's innovation, but this is a good article if you want to read more:


One of my favourite tracks by Yoko is the last song on the playlist above.  It is *not* a song that I particularly enjoyed to begin with.  I liked the beginning parts because of her lyrics and her chanting, the guitar, and the bass, but at 15 minutes long it was just not accessible for me on a first listen - and for the most part, she was making these pained and tortured noises with her voice.  This was only the second album I bought by Yoko, so I was an early fan at this point.

But then, somehow, at some point, this song just 'clicked' with me and it became more than a song, more than I had ever experienced with a song before.

Those screams at first were an endurance that I would listen to because I liked the lyrics, I liked the quirkiness and backing music. Then the 'screams' became more like pain rising out of your body so that you could release it, almost like a birth of something new.  Finally, they became like a meditation - the constant rhythm of the bass in the background and the amazing journey that Yoko takes you on, with the emotions of her voice.  They're not screams or noises anymore, they are a roller-coaster of beautiful and raw human emotion.

And what else do we want from our art than to be taken to another place?  To experience something outside of ourselves?  To become immersed in someone else's emotions and feel that deep connection between the artist and ourself?

A New Era For Yoko

The reason I'm even writing this today is because I read this article posted from Yoko's Facebook page earlier today: It's a piece taken from New York Magazine.

"Here [2014 Grammy's], at last, she seemed liberated from the hate and punch lines that had plagued her entire public life."

I've noticed a shift in the last few years; people actually seem to be appreciating her now.  Not to mention the rave reviews from Pitchfork, Q Magazine, Mojo, Uncut and Rolling Stone on her most recent albums.  I haven't even talked about her success as a dance artist, mentioned in this article for her 6 number one consecutive singles in 2013:

Maybe she doesn't need this new surge of appreciation or attention.  But more than anything, I am content in knowing that she is beginning to be truly respected as an artist, once again, after all these years and within her lifetime.  Too many artists do not receive this admiration until it is too late.

We are humans.  Sadly, hating is instinctively human.  It's easy.  It's like sometimes we just want an excuse to hate, and Yoko Ono seems like an easy target.

What takes strength though is to challenge what everyone else is telling you and to make up your own mind.

So, did you listen to my Yoko playlist?

What did you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recording 'Purple Steeple' Video

My mate Priveyt is moving to Ibiza for the Summer this week but we just managed to squeeze a few hours together last night to film some scenes for my song 'Purple Steeple'.  It's going to be featured on the album and also on a remix EP!

Here's a picture I took of Priveyt whilst he was setting up the camera last night...

In the background, you can see the ExCel Centre on the left and everything else behind is looking out further to the East of London, towards Woolwich.

Priveyt on top of the footbridge, Royal Victoria Docks (11th May 2015)

Remix 'Purple Steeple' with a chance to be featured on the remix EP!

In case you didn't know already... ;-)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

New Music: Kentish Fire - In Our Band (Web Sheldon Remix)

A couple of weeks ago I made a remix for London Indie/Dance band Kentish Fire of their awesome song "In Our Band".

The remix is now online read for all listening pleasures...

To hear the original version, watch the video and read the lyrics, see my previous blog post below:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MC Brinquedo - Roça Roça (Ruxell & Marginal Men Remix) - Free Download

I found this track the other morning and I checked today and it's still on free download so I'm posting it up here...

Loving the mixture of rhythms, the guitar and vocal samples... I think it all comes together very nicely... It's sounds so modern with the electronic elements they've used but also has a world vibe to it.