Lucky Singh is a British guitarist and muti-instrumentalist, he collaborated with artists such as Kev Bayliss (on ‘The Project’) and some others. As a solo artist, he created 3 albums in 2009 and is preparing a new one for this year. He re-arranged a cover of Yolandah Adams’s ‘I Believe’ for a charity called ‘Me and Dee’ with singers from ‘The Voice’ TV show, which was released on 4th June. Lucky is talented, knows what he wants and… is really funny! A very interesting discovery!
First of all, could you please make a short introduction to yourself?
Well how do I start [laugh]. I am a composer from the UK, Guitar would be my main instrument but I compose and perform many other instruments and sing too. Most importantly.. I’m happy to be here all though the thought of being interviewed seems a little surreal for me! [laugh].
What is your musical background?
Anything and everything to do with guitars, my initial inspiration came from watching the Expo 92 Seville concert on TV (I’m starting to show my age now [laugh]) It had many of my favourite guitar players on one stage. Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Brian May, Nuno Bettencourt to name a few… So my background in music was predominantly instrumental guitar back then. Now I like many bands/artists, over the years I’ve built up a music library that spans every genre of every culture from anywhere in the world.
Do you have family members that play music?
Yes I do, my older brother is an amazing musician and his love for guitar was probably the biggest influence on me. He’s also an amazing singer, bassist, drummer… you name it he can do it.
Which instrument did you learn first?
I messed about with the guitar when I was very young, just holding it and pretending to play but not applying any skill. I began playing the Trombone in the school orchestra when I was 12, soon after that (maybe a few months later) I took the guitar more seriously.
Do you have idols in music? Who are they?
Jeeez that’s a big question [laugh]… My initial idols where the guitar players of the mid to late 80’s, especially those I mentioned earlier. Right now I have hundreds I look up to as musicians/artists. If I had to name a few I would start with Shawn Lane, simply because he had a wonderful ear for music. His musicianship and compositional skills are something that sounded very natural to me, all though he was an accomplished pianists and guitarist… His skill, speed, technique were merely there if he needed them and didn’t distract from the personal statement within his music.
Secondly I would have to say Joe Satriani, as a guitarist and composer he pioneered the genre that inspired me and many others. I think people have their own opinions on music i.e. what song is saying to them (even more so when there is no lyrical content) but with Joe Satriani’s music it’s different. It seems very apparent to everyone what it is he’s saying within his songs, everybody seems to feel the same way about his musical statement which makes it very universal I guess.
Thirdly I would have to say Frank Zappa, simply because his statements were made in the most hilarious ways but said something serious. Like he was joking with you but actually laughing at you [laugh], especially when you hear the amazing musicianship. He would have world class musicians begging to work with him, many music fans didn’t take Frank seriously but it says a lot when some of the biggest names in the industry wanted to work with him.
When did you start to play music as a professional?
Well I really wouldn’t know how to define Professional [thinks for a while and laughs]. I guess I’m still finding my way like many musicians, even the ones that actually make a living from it. Like many things… playing an instrument is never ending, nothing is ever accomplished fully. I think I would class being a professional as getting up when your alarm goes off, not being lazy and turning up on time when asked to be somewhere. If that’s the case then I’ve always been professional [laugh]!
Who did you work with?
I’ve worked with many people, many rock covers bands and many original outfits. When I compose music I work alone, I write and record my demos alone and then often I will ask close musical friends to come in and record certain instruments for the final album. I guess it can be an awkward situation sometimes composing music with other musicians, when two or more people are trying to make a personal statement in a song it becomes pretty messy. I have worked with singers and that’s great because I am still making a personal statement musically and they do lyrically, I think it’s a very special thing to find a musician/musicians that you click with and can co-write without any conflicts. Maybe someday I will have that bond with someone, in the meantime it’s just me I’m afraid [smiles]!
On which albums?
I have 3 solo albums available from my website www.LuckySinghOnline.com My album ‘7’ features Kev Bartlett on Drums, Ben Bosco on Bass Guitar/Mandolin and a close friend of mine Damien on dual guitar for the song ‘Delta Jam’ My Tokyo Rules Album Features Kevin Bartlett on Drums and Ben Bosco on Bass Guitar. My ‘Project 8105’ album features many musicians (including my brother on bass guitar for certain songs) it’s a concept album that’s been likened to war of the worlds and features narration and soundscape effects etc.. The story and concept was something I co-wrote with Kevin Bartlett. Go check them out peeps!!
What are your hobbies aside from music?
I love watching movies, Reading, playing badminton but most importantly spending time with my Family and Friends. Pretty boring without music [smiles]!
Who are your idols apart from your musical ones?
Gosh [thinking]….. I would have to say Kayan Novak, I think he’s single handedly made comedy fresh, new and hilariously silly [laugh]. I suppose it would have to be all the people in the world that have life harder than many of us do, I know it might be cliche to say but it’s true.
Are you interested in any persuing anything other than music? Directing your own musical videos, producing musicians, etc…
Well… I have actually done a little directing (only a short film for a horror competition) I would love to get into acting. I was always a big fan of Amateur Dramatics at school and was very good at it, I guess I would love to act one day. I have produced musicians before so I can cross that off the list, I would like to be doing more of that though.
You said you would one day produce an instrumental guitar album, that’s done now. What is your next dream?
To produce another one!! No really.. I’m working on a follow up to my ‘7’ album and it’s being written right now, I have a very close friend who is helping me get the album out. Tony Knight has been a very close friend for over 5/6 years now, he spotted me playing guitar in a music store and wanted to know more about me and my music. He shares the same love for music and guitars, he is going to look over the demos with me and pick the best of the best songs for the record. He’s also going to help with pointers on what he does and doesn’t think works, I’ve always been open to people’s opinions and have learnt alot since my previous releases became available.
As a multi instrumentalist, do you plan to release an album only created by yourself?
I think the next album will only feature myself, purely because I have the facilities to do that now and it’s alot faster. It all depends on the availability of musicians, but also if it’s within budget and most importantly will it make a difference to the music.
Do you write your music and lyrics alone?
Yep I do everything, I’ve recently been working with singers though. So I will send them music over and then they will write their own lyrics, but all music and lyrics on my albums are written by me (with the exception of ‘Oh Father’ which is by Maddonna).
You play instrumental music, why not create a movie soundtrack? (I still have ‘Danny’ in my mind and it really sounds like a movie soundtrack)
Yes it is very soundtrack, it actually has lyrics written by a friend of mine Rob Clutton, myself, Kevin Bartlett and Rob have an album due to be released this year entitled ‘Raven Falls’. ‘Danny’ was to feature on there but it was dropped at the last minute, this album has been on the works for over 10 years now. Mainly due to mixing issues, the music was actually recorded 7/8 years ago. I have worked on soundtracks for people before, mainly university students that require music for their projects.
When are you going to release your next album?
I’m hoping to have it complete and available by September, you can never tell how soon it will be so we will have to wait and see. Sign up to my mailing list at www.LuckySinghOnline.com and you will be first to know about anything and everything.
What kind of album is it?
As I said earlier, it will be a follow up to my album ‘7’. So it will be Instrumental guitar but with a big difference, I think the ‘7’ album for me was just a taster of things to come. Not even I know what I’m capable of writing yet so this will be another test, with Tony’s help I think it will take the music elsewhere and it will be for the better I think.
Could you please tell me more about this charity song you recorded?
Of course, well… Wow, this was an amazing experience for me. My brother entered in to a TV talent show called ‘The Voice’. he didn’t make it passed the first auditions (I was shocked because I’ve watched the programme and my brother is better than most I’ve seen so far) A guy called Paul Davies approached my brother and asked if he would get involved with a charity single, it had 40+ singers involved that didn’t make it passed the first auditions either. They were doing a cover version of a song called ‘I Believe’ by a woman called Yolanda Adams (it’s from the film ‘Honey’, I had never heard of it [laugh]).
My brother asked if I would re-arrange the original version and record all of the music for it. I happily said yes and began re-arranging the music with a copy of Paul’s piano and vocal guide. I sent my idea back to them and they all loved it, they booked 3 days in the studio (unfortunately only 21 of the singers could make it) We head into Blue Print Studios in Manchester England (they have recorded the likes of, Lady Gaga, Jessie Jay, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and many more). I was there for the first day and met some nice people and heard some amazing vocalists’ record. I went back on the 3rd day to hear the mixing process and check if everything was ok with the mix. Fred Kind is the producer we worked with, a very talented guy that was very easy going and great to work with. Visit www.fullcircleofficial.co.uk for more info.
Why did you choose to make an instrumental version of Madonna’s ‘Oh Father’?
It’s a song I’ve always liked and I guess recording it was personal thing, I wanted to make an instrumental version of a vocal track for the ‘7’ album. ‘Oh Father’ came on the radio when I was driving once and it reminded me of how great the song is, so I decided that it would be my instrumental cover version for the album.
Why this song, which is quite old and not so well known?
I’m not too interested in the pop culture of today, there is some good work but nothing that would work for an instrumental guitar piece. I’ve had great feedback on you tube about my version of Oh Father, if my version has brought more attention to the original song then that’s great.
In order to know you better, I would like you to answer the Proust Questionnaire. It’s a questionnaire that was traditionally proposed by Bernard Pivot, who hosted a very well known TV show here in France called « Apostrophe », and then James Lipton, in his TV show « Inside the Actor’s Studio ». It was a tradition for them to ask these questions to their guests at the very end of their shows.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
A French Accent or any foreign accent (on a women of course [laugh])
What turns you off?
Women that smoke or swear
What sound or noise do you love?
The G# on the B String of my white Ibanez GAX Guitar, it has lovely Harmonic overtones that you cannot hear on other guitars (gosh I’m a geek, yikes!! [laugh])
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favorites curse word?
I don’t have a favorite, I don’t swear really [laugh]!
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Being a studio engineer.
What profession would you not like to do?
Public Toilet Cleaner [laugh]!
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I would like him to say ‘Son, I’m going to tell you the answers to every doubt you ever had in your mind. You will finally know the truth about everything’