Interview With Mark Kingswood
With comparisons to Michael Buble, British singer, songwriter and producer Mark Kingswood appears to be in good company. He has already had success in America and most notably Canada.
His second album Brave Enough
is going to be released on 1 May. A collection of new songs and big band classics the album will be followed by a tour in the autumn that visits Leeds and Warrington. I asked Mark about the album and his plans.
How are you doing with the Coronavirus pandemic, have you been affected?
I don't know of anyone who has been infected yet but we are self isolating, I can work in the studio and we live on a open area of land with no neighbours so in that respect we are very lucky. I try to get a walk in every day, it's a strange time though, I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime - the supermarkets have no milk, bread or chicken.
We have the tour coming up in October so hopefully people will book tickets.
Your album album has cover versions and original songs too, was that a conscious decision?
I was very mindful that we did not want to visit the Great American Songbook so we have done a few covers and the rest is original music which is important to me and to the genre. We do lots of different styles as there were so many inspirations to me when growing up, my parents listened to artists such as Seal, Josh Groban, Michael Bolton and David Foster.
Do you write your own songs?
Most of the original songs on the album are co-writes, I like working with other artists who bring something to the table, Dominic Barlow came in to do the arranging but I produced the whole of this new album myself and did the editing and remixing.
How do you feel about being compared to Michael Buble?
I feel that it is a massive compliment to be compared to him, but I think it is very important to put your own stamp on things, if you listen to the new album you will hear soul music and even a country influence on there too.
I hear Ken Bruce on Radio 2 is a big fan?
Yes, he is, Radio 2 have been very supportive, Ken became involved when he asked me to perform in his Piano Room last year, he has over 3 and a half million listeners, I hope that I can appear on the show again. I have two songs on the new album, Brave Enough
- both sings are different but fit in with what is happening right now.
How did the tour go with Jools Holland?
I supported Jools in Perth, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Buxton last year, it was lots of fun. Jools fits in well with my style of music, the big band sound abs the boogie woogie piano.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Two things - when I went out on stage for the first time to perform the song Strong
, I remember the whole audience singing the song back to me, it felt a wonderful achievement. I had a flashback to when I actually wrote the song sat there in a room.
The second is when I received lots of emails back from the fans saying that the song helped them through hard times such as being dependent on alcohol or times of depression, that was a huge compliment to me.
When you go out on tour how many people are in the band?
At the moment it is a 4 piece as logistically with the type of venues we are playing and the travel it would not be possible to have a bigger band. With modern technology we can do all sorts of tricks though so it sounds just like the record.
The tour comes to Leeds and Warrington, have you ever been to those places before?
I have been to Leeds many times for leisure but not to perform, but never been to Warrington. As I said earlier we did Scarborough on the Jools Holland tour and the reception we had in Yorkshire was great. The first part of the tour visited Birmingham, London and Manchester, my career so far has been in Canada so things are just taking off here.
Whereabouts are you happiest?
Two places - on stage and the second place is in the studio doing the recording process. Writing the songs can at times be tedious but then once the arrangements are done we record with a 40 piece string section. An incredible amount of work goes into it, once that is over I like doing the mixing and trying to get it to sound the best we can.
8th October - Leeds City Varieties
11th October- Warrington Parr Hall