EDWARD SANSOM, lifeguard, musician and one of the rising talents of Brighton’s music scene. He defines his sound as the sweet spot of melancholic sadness coupled with a euphoric feeling, bringing light to Dark Melodic Pop.His latest single “Hotel” landed at number 1 on the Indie TOP 39.
“As I continue to write more, I find that my themes of the songs are quite dark, but I want to marry that darkness with an upbeat, memorable chorus. I’m all about the chorus.”
In the last 12 months, you released a 4 part video series telling a continuous story of a character within modern society. Can we break it down what each video represents?
It begins with “Sweet FA” where I wanted the character to be escaping from an unknown someone so goes into a laundrette and steals the suit. In the song the lyrics “they’re dressed to kill, you better run and hide” was a hint that he was running from the suits, so to blend in, he becomes one.
The next video “Livin’ it Up” is an abuse of power and recklessness on the town. Now that he has become a suit he drinks red wine and lives in the fast lane gambling in the palace pier. I was inspired by a model that I met who was living in his overdraft but blowing all his cash.
The third video “Fake” pans up to find the character in the bath suited and booted. After a long night out partying on his own, he has ended up in a house party fully clothed in the bath. This video is the beginning of a realisation that the world he is living in is fake. It’s a frustrating video of defeat.
“Hotel” is the final video of the series and is a complete realisation that this world he has been playing in isn’t for him. He wonders around the alleyways, finding himself back where he started in the video. I guess I found myself tired of the facade we live in through Instagram and how everyone else’s lives look glittery and lovely. Obviously, I don’t expect people to show pictures of them putting the rubbish out, but some things just aren’t real on social media.
I wanted to create a concept that would engage a modern audience.
What is your greatest achievement to this date?
Performing twice on the official lineup of Glastonbury 2017. I did two solo shows on the Crossiant Neuf stage in the healing fields and made some great friends. It was a bit dreamy especially as I bumped into Thom Yorke floating around the fields.
When did you realise that music is what you want to do?
Very early on I reckon. Dancing to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson when I was 8 years old! I loved how the beat made me feel, and I knew I wanted people to sing my songs.
Music for me is like learning to breathe underwater. I’m never gonna be satisfied with what I write, but I love being in the water.
How would you define success in the music business?
Fast cars, drugs, TVs, windows, girls, boys. I dunno, as long as I can make a living from it and I can reach my ever-changing dreams I want to make the best music I can so I know that will make me feel successful if I achieve that.
Do you have a song that when you hear it, you’re like, damn I wish I’d written that?
Off the top of my head – I love the drop in Elbow’s “Grounds for Divorce” and the melody which is so sweet.
What are your biggest influences in music?
Number 1 is David Bowie – the chameleon of pop. I love that man. If I had a chance I’d just have a chat with him about the meaning of life. I would say Prince would be at the table too. And currently, I love Gaz Coombes melodies.
Tomorrow 4 big record labels approach you. How would you choose the one? Or would you see yourself working independently?
That’s an amazing thought – I would want to work with a team that understands my future vision the best and allows my creativity to be true and undisturbed. I love working indie, but it gets to the point where money becomes a hindrance.
The best music album is…
Always a difficult question. It’s like deciding what you want your last dinner to be…. How do you know how you will feel about that last dinner. I’ll say, David Bowie “Hunky Dory”. Proper Pop.
How do you know the song is finished?
I don’t think a songwriter will ever feel like a song is done.
You just decide that you can’t put any more colour on it before you start to ruin it. I guess that’s when it’s done. Finishing songs is the biggest challenge.
What is your opinion about streaming services like Spotify?
It’s getting there… it’s gonna take time. They need to be fair to their artists. It’s silly how little artists get at this stage, and I hope more support for unsigned artists building fanbases improves.
Streaming is the way through so it can only get better, right?
I don’t have an opinion on TV Talent shows. It isn’t music. It’s not real, and I avoid them like the black plague.
What would be your advice for those who want to create music but feel stuck?
Go for a run. Don’t force it. Then allow it to come out naturally with a guitar or piano.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
I am currently in the process of recording my next record. I aim to release it this summer and then in the autumn go on a mini southern UK tour.
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Photos © MJB Photography » Max Rose-Fyne » Edward Sansom