Arthur Walwin is a superb talent who’s hard to pin down, his influences in his music are wide and diverse and as if life wasn’t busy enough already being a musician, he’s a producer too. You may have heard of Arthur through his previous connections with pop-rock bands “Paige” and “Young Classics” so you’ll be aware of his talent, but if you haven’t, check out his debut album, “Sleepless”, it’s a corker.
With “Sleepless”, Arthur is his own man, and he’s obviously revelled somewhat in this freedom. Definite highlights of the album are ‘Seeing Her’, ‘Bad’ and ‘This Feels Like Summer’, the latter which deserves some serious airplay on the likes of Radio 1 I think!
We managed to ask Arthur some questions:
Congratulations on your debut album “Sleepless”! How was that for you working on your first album? When you finished it, how anxious / excited were you leading up to release date?
AW: Thank you! Working on it was great. Anything that’s a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun is right down my alley. I never really get anxious about anything. I’m a real calm guy. It was more just the excitement of knowing everyone finally gets to hear what I’ve been locked away working on.
When it comes to the next album are there any lessons that you’ve learned this time round?
AW: Yes! I got to work with a lot of new people this time around. Writers, producers, DJ’s etc – so I now have a team of people that I trust with my music and that I love working with. In the past it’s been pretty much a one man show, so it was a risk bringing new people in but I’m glad it paid off. If there’s one thing I could take away from the making of Sleepless, it’d be setting aside specific times to record – like I would with a band I was working with. Recording dribs and drabs over two years gets quite tricky when it comes down to mixing and you can’t remember what microphones you’ve used on what.
Which songs are your favourite to perform live?
AW: Right now we’re opening with Seeing Her – so it’s super energetic right from the get go. We had a really cool lighting guy at the show we played in Essex a few weeks back and he was on point with every drop. Made me feel like I was at a Skrillex show, it was awesome!
Your songs are very easy to relate to for people and you’ve put a lot of thought into them. When you look at the music charts there are quite a few songs that just don’t seem to have been much effort put into the lyrics, how do you feel about that, and do you think that the pressures to “sell” impact on that?
AW: The one thing I’ve picked up in the past few years is that music can mean different things to different people. I’m really into EDM right now with little or no lyrics – and on the other end of the scale, I’ve been paying attention to the spoken word scene and amazing artists like Hotel Books. As long as music evokes some sort of emotion, I’m 100% behind it. As for me, I will always write whatever I think the song needs. I can’t ever imagine writing a song and not telling a story with my words.
You perform as a solo artist, and produce too, in doing both does that sort of overview give you an edge in doing either and does the knowledge of one sometimes affect your approach to doing the other?
AW: Yes, 100%. I feel producing gives me a better understanding of how to really break down a song and it makes you think about structures and the psychology behind what makes a song work. It’s important not to get too consumed in that side of things though – as playing songs live is a completely different ball game. That fact I get to do both is a blessing that I try not to take for granted. We live in the age of the internet star, where you don’t necessarily have to play live to be successful. There will always be people that crave seeing artists live though, so it’s important to be great at both.
You’ve got a wide range of musical influences and likes which is reflected in your music. We chatted to Cosmo Jarvis a while back and I remember that he was told that his music was “too varied” and that people “wouldn’t get it”, have you come across similar sentiments and what are your thoughts on that?
AW: Oh man, I love Cosmo. Brilliant artist and a great guy. I get that though, it’s hard to pigeon-hole him and I guess you could say the same for me. Honestly, I’m just super bored of hearing the same song again and again. I feel like so many artists nowadays are writing very similar songs – to the point where I can’t really tell who’s who on the radio. No one in the industry really knows what to do with me right now, and I’m ok with that. I don’t sound like Jason Derulo and I don’t look like 5 Seconds Of Summer, so what do you do with that? I’m not really chasing anything right now though. I’m just interested in releasing original music and getting it seen by as many people as possible who are as bored as I am by this wave of generic music we’re being spoon fed. The awesome thing is, that in 2015 – you don’t need a record label to do that. People can hear my songs on my terms.
You’ve got a terrific set of fans who you regularly chat to on social media, but as your popularity increases, do you think there’s a risk that that situation might become untenable?
AW: Probably. But my main thing right now is living in the moment and appreciating everything whilst it’s there. There are a lot of times I wish I could go back to and appreciate more; but I can’t. So I’m making the most of what I have now. The level of attention I get from fans right now is small enough for me to be able to reply to everyone – so why not do it? It actually annoys me when I see people with similar or fewer followers than I do, but you’ll never see them reply to anyone. It’s just rude. These people love what you do and look up to you. Replying’s not hard and it really doesn’t take long. We’re not writing letters and licking stamps anymore – it’s just a tweet.
What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced so far in your musical career and how did you overcome it?
AW: My biggest challenge is probably figuring out who I wanted to be and how I was going to make that happen. Around the time I wrote This Feels Like Summer, was pretty much the time I decided I didn’t want to be a guy that just wrote sad songs all the time. A lot of my friends tried to get me to sell that song to someone big and maybe more suited to that style – but I wanted it for myself. I missed being on stage with a band and making people dance and lose their s***. Acoustic shows weren’t letting me do that. So I began a long process of releasing songs that were increasingly popper – so I didn’t lose all my fans at once. The end goal was Sleepless, but I knew I couldn’t jump right into that. I feel like I’m there now and I’m totally happy with what I’m making and it’s set me up very nicely for everything I will write in the future.
What’s happening with “Young Classics”?
AW: The short answer is that I left years ago. I’ve touched on it a little bit publicly, but I guess if you’re not subscribed to any of my social media sites, you could easily miss it. We had a great run as Paige and we were making good music as Young Classics, but I just got to the point where I couldn’t sustain both roles. When I was 16 and had all the time in the world, I was in 3 bands. Now, I’m older and can barely find an evening to see my closest friends, so I had to let the band go. There comes a point where you have to make decisions that you may not necessarily want to make – but I was in a position where my career came before everything.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/arthurwalwinmusic
Twitter – https://twitter.com/arthurwalwin
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/arthurwalwin/featured
Website – http://www.arthurwalwin.com/