By Marty Mulrooney
Ally Jowett is a UK-based musician, songwriter and producer. He has worked as a freelance songwriter, performer, engineer and producer for many artists and bands including Vaughan King, Bad For Lazarus (formerly of Nine Inch Nails, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Unkle), The Decors, David Lawrie, Explosives For Her Majesty, Yearbook and Universal Publishing UK. Ally recently contacted Alternative Magazine Online to share his beautiful debut single ‘All Your Pieces’, from his forthcoming debut EP ‘Wired The Wrong Way Round’. AMO is therefore proud to present an exclusive online interview with brand new recording artist and performer, Ally Jowett!
Hi Ally, thank you for your time and welcome to AMO!
Hi, it’s a pleasure to talk to you.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself please?
I am a musician and producer currently living in Leeds. I’ve been working with various different artists in various guises in the past 5 years and now I’m concentrating on recording and performing my own music, a combination of classic song writing and modern production techniques.
You grew up in Hong Kong – how old were you when you moved to the UK?
I lived in Hong Kong from the age of 4 until I was 8. I first went to school there, my little sister was born there and I’ve been back many times over the years. It will always remain a special place for me and was an amazing city to experience as a child.
When did you first realise that you wanted to become a musician?
I don’t really remember a time not wanting to do music. My older brother used to dabble with the piano and guitar and used to be a sound technician so that influenced me quite a lot. My mum has got an incredible collection of vintage vinyl’s that were constantly on in our house, everything from John Lennon to Crosby, Stills and Nash. I started to learn the guitar aged 8 and haven’t put it down since.
You studied at Leeds College of Music, achieving degrees in Music Production and Composition. What skills did you acquire during this time of higher education?
It taught me about the whole process of creating and releasing music, everything from songwriting and recording, through to performing and promotion. It really appealed to me to spend a few years surrounded by like-minded musicians. It taught me about the realities and practicalities of the industry and just how many talented people there are out there trying to pursue the same career as me.
You’ve worked as a freelance songwriter, performer, engineer and producer. Would you describe yourself as a Jack of all trades when it comes to music?
Not necessarily. During the last fifteen years or so, these different roles in the production of music have amalgamated to the point where now the average musician needs to be aware and skilled in all aspects of music production to survive. I really enjoy being able to contribute as much creative and technical input as I possibly can. I don’t try and spread myself too thin and I’m not a control freak, but I think it’s really important to be involved in all aspects of your craft.
You are now hoping to launch yourself as a recording artist and performer. What makes now the perfect time to bite the bullet?
The music industry is now at the point where you can achieve an enormous amount as an independent musician. The focus of power has shifted from the older established channels to a place where artists can directly reach their own audiences in a more personal and individual manner. It wasn’t until I had worked with lots of other artists that I began to have a much stronger sense of confidence in my own music.
You will be releasing your EP in March 2013 – how many tracks will it feature and how long has it taken to put together?
The EP will have 4 tracks on it. It’s taken me the best part of a year to write and produce to the standard I am happy with. I’ve been juggling my own music alongside some other projects. I love working with other people as I find it helps stimulate my own creative process.
Have you written/composed all of the songs yourself?
Yes, I have, on all other projects except my own I work with other songwriters, musicians and engineers but when it comes to my own music I have a very small group of revolving musicians that I work with.
Who are your influences?
Musically I’d say Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Elliot Smith and Nirvana. The people who have most influenced my approach to production are Rick Ruben, Bon Iver and Goyte.
Will a full album follow the EP? What’s next for you Ally?
I intend to release a second E.P before my first full-length album. I still completely believe in the album as a format and can’t wait to set about planning my own, but when it comes to introducing a new artist in the current musical climate, the EP seems a much more approachable format.
Thank you for your time! All Your Pieces is a wonderful lead single and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the EP.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.