Off The Back of His Latest Single ‘Say Something’ We Caught Up With Fourth Man To Talk About His Journey Into Music. Now living in Manchester, the multi-instrumentalist combines alt pop with notes of ambient folk; think synths, riffs and vocal layers and you’re most of the way there. Self producing and recording his whole catalogue, he already has a handful of European shows under his belt with air play on BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing Lincs & Amazing Radio amongst others; we caught up with the singer/songwriter as he embarks on a campaign of new songs and shows.
So your new single ‘say something’ is out now, a beautiful track I must say. Could you tell me a little the songs origin or the meaning behind it?
Thanks! Sure, Say Something is half reaction , half conversation. I was feeling an overwhelming sense of disbelief and confusion with the past few months in politics and I honestly couldn’t find anyone with anything to say beyond party lines and threats. All sorts of “new” ideas keep getting banded around but each time they appear to end up as almost the same as whatever they were aiming to improve on. (Some kind of golden animal, nice to look at perhaps, but not a lot of help) That’s the reaction part. The conversation part has to do with feeling as though there MUST be ideas and clear thinking for future life from those of us a few years behind those either in power or trying to be and yet, if it were me, I honestly wouldn’t want to join in with it all as it currently is.
I’d always planned to use the faces of Corbyn, Boris and Trump for my promotion as three divisive figures that whip up strong reactions but I honestly couldn’t have asked for more buffoonery / majestic nonsense from those three in the run-up to Say Something coming out! Cheers! You’ll be relieved to hear I’m not wanting in on the politics game, I’d just love to take all the chances I can to make the best of right here and now and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Hopefully I’ll say a few things of actual value whilst I’m at it! (I’ll let you know how that goes)!
I know a lot of artists don’t like to be compared with others but I hear a bit of Francis And The Lights in this track, do you have any serious influences or do you just keep to your own style?
I Don’t mind at all to be honest, I’ve been into every track I’ve heard from Francis And The Lights, so thanks! It’s impossible not to be influenced for good and bad by everything I’ve ever listened to and I’m sure it’s all back there somewhere coming out in my songs. I’ve done a lot of work for other artists as a producer and musician and so for me, Fourth Man is my time to create without a brief or any pre-conceived plan. It’s been my outlet for the ideas that I don’t need to ok with anyone or fit to a certain genre, the result (I hope) is songs that honestly reflect the best of what I have to offer as an artist. In terms of artists I’m looking up to , there’s loads, but in recent years the stand-outs for me have been Jon Bellion and Kimbra. Both outstanding songwriters, producers and performers, and those two provide endless inspiration to aim at.
I feel there is a very personal connection to the music you make so what made you want to become an artist and transition your emotions into songs?
Honestly, for most of my life I’ve wanted to be an artist, I’ve always loved songs from other artists that come from their real life experiences and even when I can’t relate to specifics, give me all the feels and make me think. For me as an artist, this is what I’m going after. I love how it’s possible to write about seriously deep subjects over something that makes you want to move. It’s giving the audience the option for enjoying it on face value for the groove and the overall sound or for the more curious, a chance to delve into what the artist is really saying. Paul Simon for me, is the master of this and definitely a major inspiration.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve really loved producing records and writing with a handful of other artists but I was waiting for some sort of ‘right time’ to get going. The literal kick in the balls I needed came in 2016 when I found out I had testicular cancer. I spent a good few months in and out of hospital (very grateful to say I’m 100% ok now) and in that time, I became acutely aware that life really is too short and so promised myself that as soon as I could , I would get on with being an artist. Before all that, I’ve always written , as with Say Something, straight out of my feelings, whatever is winding me up or inspiring me at the time. I really want to be super honest with my songs and some of the most extreme highs and lows in my personal life as well as the life lessons this stuff lands at your door are what’s driving these emotions into my songs.
Obviously as it was our track of the week for last week we absolutely loved the single, Is there anything new you’re working on at the moment or any announcements we should look out for?
Thanks for that, really appreciate it. Yes, there’s almost always two or three songs in the process at any one time and so you can expect a new single before the year is out. Sooner than that, I’ll be releasing an old-school karaoke style visual for Say Something in the next couple of weeks, It’s walking that fine line of slapping tragi-comic figures on a serious subject, We’ll see how that goes!