Waiting for Smith
1) Tell us something about yourself that your fans may not know.
A: I’m really good at the diabolo - this juggling circus prop. When I was a kid I seriously considered joining the circus. The sense of adventure, community, being on the road and performing really appealed to me….pretty much like being a touring musician but without the elephants.
2) How did a ski accident make you want to focus on music?
A: I used to be a ski instructor in the French Alps, working for a French ski school called ESF. I really loved living in the mountains, the fresh air, late nights, early mornings and mix of languages, but I was still searching for something else. One early morning I was finishing off my mountain safety exams to further my ski qualifications - when I suddenly hit a mogul, front flipped and landed on my neck breaking my back. My first thought was “f*ck i’ve broken my back” my second thought was “maybe I can do music”.
3) What made you want to name yourself Waiting For Smith?
A: Smith was my first drummer who never turned up.
4) What was the inspiration behind your single Skylight Dawn?
A: It was written and demoed in an afternoon with a guy I’d never met before called Dane Etteridge - who’s now a real soul brother.
All I knew, is he had written & worked with a few names like Lewis Capaldi…
I walked into his studio with this melody and line that went like “something I now notice , Something I now Notice…you’re saving me”
He asked me “ Who’s saving you, from what?” We talked and talked - instantly connected, and I explained to him that It was this epiphany I’d had. How in relationships when you feel challenged, it doesn’t always means it’s not right! It can also mean you’re growing together. That was the feelin’ I wanted to convey.
When you realise you’re healing together - you see the beauty in the struggle. It’s almost like a joyous desperation, like tears of pain, joy & relief all at the same time.
The song just started to appear in front of us like it was there waiting to be found amongst the emotion…
“In a skylight dawn when the moons so silent. We’re better together…”
“…In a skylight dawn when the moons so silent I couldn’t love you more
5) How has being from London had an impact on your music style, if at all?
A: Well, I was born into a big variety of musical cultures…70s music from my parents, dancehall & reggae from the area and everything musically was happening in London. I found a lot of my rhythms there, my soul and curiosity for styles. Then when I was about 8/9 we moved to South Oxfordshire where there was a lot more folk, Indie, and new wave bands coming up.
I saw bands like Bombay Bicycle club, The Foals & Glass animals make it. So I think there was a sense of possibility & expression in Oxfordshire …this freedom which I resonated with and where I really began gigging & playing…then there was this unstoppable drive and curiosity for culture from London.
6) Who are some artists who inspire you, if any?
A: Ahh so many!
Here’s a list and then I’ll explain a few…
Nick Mulvey, Sam Fender, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Flyte, Wrabel, Xavier Rudd, Gizmo Varillas, Hollow Coves, Caamp, PaulWetz, Lola Marsh, Emily Roberts, Tom Misch, Will Joseph Cook and Post Malone.
The Kinks, Talking Heads, Lenard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Jose Gonsalez, Jack Johnson,JJ Cale, The National, Gerry Rafferty, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, John Mayer, Dire Straits,Elton John, Beirut, James Blake, The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Beck and Gotye.
Nick Mulvey is a massive influence on my latest acoustic sound - particularly the freedom in his records, the nylon guitar and spiritual feeling he conveys through his music.
Sam Fender, very recently actually...a good friend of mine was his live photographer for many of his tours - so I delved into his catalogue after watching his Glastonbury performance. I love the drive to his records; his grit and the amount of raw emotion he sings with…you know he loves what he makes.
Paul Wetz is a great friend, and I recently supported him in Hamburg. The amount of energy he gives live is next level! I love his passion, signature synth he uses, ideas, humour and how he has created this larger than life character.
Harry Styles – the new album is so brilliant! The range of ideas, sounds and genres in there is inspiring. He’s just also a really great man I believe…conscious and trying to spread some light.
Emily Roberts. Also a friend we met at an ADE writers camp. She exudes this positivity & honesty that’s infectious. She’s a great writer, singer & collaborator. Check out her song with Janee Bye Bye & 21 Pilots.
I find the way he transcend genres fascinating.
The minute I found Caamp, I felt at home. I would love to be in their band. Such a great vibe.
Wrabel – His production is so intimate but and the same time massive! I love that. Like he just starts next to you alone on the piano and then a whole orchestra rocks up. Would love to collaborate with him.
Xavier Rudd – His music feels like freedom to me, getting away from the city and letting go of all your worries. You return home.
Follow Waiting for Smith: