Interview: Stealth on songwriting and launching your music career
ICMP vocals graduate and artist Stealth gives us the inside track on his career and where he's headed next...
As songwriters go, few are as soulful or as talented as our vocals alumni Stealth.
Since finishing his studies with us, Stealth has been busy in the studio, working towards a now much anticipated debut album. Taking inspiration from past greats such as Howlin' Wolf and Etta James, he's pointing his music towards the future, picking up plaudits from BBC Introducing for his track ‘Judgement Day’ while his latest, 'How Much Further' currently features on a KIA advert.
With Stealth also one of a number of ICMP affiliated acts longlisted in Unsigned Music Awards 2018, we thought it a good time to catch up with him to find out more about his songwriting, music and where he's headed next...
How did you begin your musical journey? Was there a record or person who first started you out?
When I was four or five I was big into Elvis. Any Elvis song I knew every word to, I would sing along to while running around in my sparkly pyjamas. I was a born performer some might say.
Was there a big break moment for you and your music career?
Probably when my track ‘Judgement Day’ was synced on US TV show ‘Suits’! I’ve also got one of my songs ‘How Much Further’ soundtracking the new Kia Stinger advert as well which I’m hoping will be another little boost.
What are the best ways for new musicians to expand their networks?
The best way for any musician to expand their network is to actually go out in the world and expand their network!”
Go meet people and that doesn’t necessarily mean just musicians. Videographers, photographers, graphic designers. As an independent artist, all these people will come in useful. There’s a great networking night up at Tileyard in King's Cross hosted by Notting Hill Music that would be a good place to start. But after that maybe trying to find a manager and assimilating their contacts into yours.
Could you explain a little about your time at ICMP - when did you study and what? And how did your time here prepare you for the wider music industry?
I did the Higher Diploma in Vocals, I had a blast and met some amazing people. In short it gave me that professional edge meaning when I entered into the industry so I was better prepared.
What current projects are keeping you busy?
So my artist project has pretty much taken over my life at the moment. I’m currently writing my album, but on the side writing for a few other artists.
How do you approach your songwriting? Do you have any 'ways in' to your music?
I tend to have a huge catalogue of little ideas - titles, single lines and odd words I like. Then I take them into a session.
When it actually comes to writing a full song, it kind of starts from anywhere. A conversation, a chord progression, anything. I tend to just turn up and go with the flow.
Have you any advice for aspiring musicians?
Pay attention in your music business module if you’re in college. If not try and learn about the dark side of the business as much as you can. It can really help you make informed decisions and minimise the risk of you being taken advantage of. For some, it can appear to be boring I know but it’s very, very important.
Do you have a favourite independent music venue? And why?
I like the Servants Jazz Quarters in Dalston. I like the sound in there and it’s a really intimate setting.
What's the best tip or piece of wisdom/advice that you've received about the music industry?
No one knows what’s going on. Everyone is guessing. So do what feels right and what makes you happy.
What future projects are you lining up?
At the moment it’s just my album and possibly touring later this year. Watch this space.
Visit his Facebook page to find out more about him and his music.
Watch the KIA advert featuring Stealth's track, 'How Much Further?'.
Study Vocals in London