Barry Locke

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned London based singer Barry Locke to find out more…

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am originally from Bangor in Northern Ireland. It's a little harbour town (near Belfast if you need a reference point). As far as I know, I have always been interested in music. I was playing things by ear before I actually had any lessons of any kind and I guess it was an inherent thing as actually, my Mother's side of the family are all exceptionally musical but my whole family are wildly creative people.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I never really know how to answer this question because truthfully, I don't tend to listen to a great deal of music unless I am learning it for a performance or supporting a friend. Growing up I would say it was very much my Mother's eclectic tastes that rubbed off the most. She played (and still does) Abba, Queen, Twisted Sister, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Shania Twain, Melissa Etheridge and ELO. That's just from my Mother. My Brother was a fan of Hard Rock, Metal, Doom metal etc, my twin sister would play EDM, Trance and Happy Hardcore, my little sister would blast 'skater' pop/punk/rock hybrids like Avril Lavigne. I suppose now I am insanely attracted to technical ability when it comes to hearing folk live and my main live experience as a listener has come from bands like Aerosmith and Meat Loaf as I am not particularly fond of concert going. My 'today' influences are somewhat dictated by whatever I happen to be working on. I like a lot of soul music as I do a lot of soul style singing and so I attend a lot of vocal jams where local musicians can jump on the mic and sing. Neo Soul is quite popular at the moment and I do like the style, that vintage tone with modern sensibilities. I guess I have to give you some industry names to chew on to fully answer the question so lets go with Lana Hathaway, Nicole Thalia to name two?

How would you describe your sound?
It's a folk music Hybrid, so I like to call it Alternative Folk, but I think I might be doing folk a disservice with that. Let's call it Alternative Folk/Pop.

What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Well, I actually released a track on September 6th. My latest release is called 'Whole Lotta Mean'. On July 5th I released a track called 'One Will Make The Jump' which is part of a 3 song trilogy but with a whole over arching theme forming the backbone of my 1st and as yet unreleased album. I managed to salvage OWMTJ but I lost about 4 years worth of tracking and they could not be salvaged. I was so distraught, crestfallen, sick, mentally unwell from the force of that particular blow that I decided the only way to get over it was to move on through it by doing something completely different. Whole Lotta Mean is the embodiment of that. It's a song that is saying, no matter what is happening, no matter how bad it is, keep your head up, pull yourself together, add more coal to the fire and DANCE in it you know?

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What’s your local music scene like?
Well I can approach this from two local angles. London is massive and so there is loads of music out there. I am out typically about 3 to 4 times a week attending and/or performing at various nights across the city and so there is certainly plenty to do. Meanwhile, back in Bangor, there really is no shortage of talented people absolutely smashing it on a regular basis but perhaps the scope isn't so big that it isn't quite as possible to make regular money out of it and no matter what spot you occupy, it's usually always someone else's already. Really everywhere is saturated but Ireland trumps London for talent any day of the week. Some of the most talented people I know live in Bangor.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
There are plans in place for sure. Some of which have NDA's in place, some are as yet unconfirmed but I am expecting to be in Africa later in the autumn and then after that, I would like to play a little trip to Ireland and set up some ticketed shows. Then there's a hefty release schedule that is going all the way to January.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I have no one person to speak of as I'd consider a collaboration with literally anyone who wants to do one with me.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Well, the usual stage banter comes out of my accent being a thick squared Northern Irish twang that I may never shake and to be fair I secretly love it but it doesn't half split a room at a show when half the folk there have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. So I guess you could say I've told some of the funniest jokes in the world on stage but not one person has understood. It's more awkward than funny really...

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Well, I'm an absolute riot and I'm told I am rather intimidating in person but if you consider my accent, I'm 6"1 and there's still the faint traces of 16 year old goth me lingering about my personal style I guess makes for quite a cocktail and to make that worse, I'm nervous when I meet people so I'm either stone cold quiet or vapidly intense. Mechanisms for days... I swear, I mean no harm.

You can find out more about Barry Locke via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify or Twitter.