Hopsin - “Picasso”
Hopsin's ability to switch flows seamlessly and with purpose is a constant inspiration to me. Picasso showcases both his writing and delivery to maximum effect.
Joyner Lucas feat. Logic - “ISIS”
As an all round song, this is the type of outcome I strive for, great delivery, flow, instrumental and lyrics. Logic represents someone to me who is willing to experiment, step out of his comfort area, so I always enjoy listening to any project he is involved in.
Kojey Radical - “Can’t Go Back”
I only recently discovered Kojey Radical, but I love what he does, especially the video versions of his songs, where he uses more than the song to express himself and the songs message. Check out the ong water too and tell me this guy doesn’t ooze talent, which always inspires me.
The Bad Shepherds - “Model”
I went to see these guys live quite a few years back now, but the gig still sticks with me, especially Troy Donockley on the Uilleann Pipes. I remember it felt like the room was holding onto every note. I definitely called back to this song when making the instrumental for a track on the new EP.
The Pogues - “Sally MacLennane”
For one thing, this song is a bloody masterpiece, and that should be enough of an explanation. Aside from that, the feeling I get from this song, of a big band, playing to evoke a feeling, get you up, was a feeling I tried to emulate on my tracks. One particularly calls back to my Irish roots.
R Kelly - “If I Could Turn…”
Yeah, contentious guy at the moment and shouldnt be an inspiration for anyone. He does however manage to evoke a reaction with his music and my go too example of a great bridge is always this song. It certainly influenced me for writing the bridge on the crescendo song of the EP.
Yelawolf - “Til It’s Gone”
Couple of things that inspire me about this song. One is that Yelawolf took the freedom that creating albums in a more “acceptable” style of hip hop gave him, and created an album hugely influenced by his ALabama roots. That got me thinking about my own music more and trying to draw on a more eclectic palate when assembling this ep. Yelawolf’s delivery on this track also always sticks with me.
Papoose - “Underrated”
When sitting down to work on this EP, I took a lot of time to work on my own flow and delivery, whilst trying to maintain the quality of lyricism I hoped I achieved with Shadow of Fire. This took me back to Papoose, who has a microphone presence and delivery which I still rate up there with the best.
LUMP - “May I Be the Light”
Laura Marling is someone I’ve always loved both as a singer-songwriter and creator as a whole. Her album back catalogue is a fantastic example of watching an artist grow from project to project, experimenting with sound, collaborating further to continue being unique whilst true to her original essence. This project I feel was a bit overlooked, but I find it incredibly inspirational as it made me consider throwing the rulebook out and just messing around with sound.
Critical Role - “Your Turn To Roll”
I’m a bit of a geek and I love Critical Role (I’m not going to explain, just look it up). When I heard this track they had created, I loved it. It immediately took me back to 90s cartoon themes and how much I loved them (X-Men, Transformers, TMNT…) This track made me not only rediscover them, but also understand further why they were so timeless, outside of nostalgia. It actually influenced a lot of tracks on the new EP from a thematic point of view.
Riskee & The Ridicule - “In The Dark We Dwell”
Another example of a band who continues to grow with every record. Riskee’s story-telling and how the band creates music that perfectly evokes both the situation and place around it is just great to listen to. This song especially stuck with me, I like the darkness of the themes, love the vocal delivery of the chorus and importantly don’t get bored of this. The only way to enjoy this more is to watch it delivered live, which I’ve been lucky enough to do!