#MusicalMemories: Russell Swallow

Russell Swallow has teamed up with Kal Lavelle for the sweeping beauty Chemicals. We were literally knocked off our feet as our breath was taken away when we listened to the monster of a track. We advise you click play and allow Russell to tell you more about who he is and how music shaped him…

What song reminds you most of your childhood?

My Mum is a music lover, she was playing music all the time when I was growing. When I was 5 I would wake up early to play with the record player- to spin vinyl before anybody else woke up – it was my secret time.

I was listening to Nursery Rhymes and my Mum had on songs like Carole King’s – I Hear The Earth Move, and Marti Webb’s Tell Me On A Sunday, The Beatles, Lionel Ritchie, and Whitney Houston were on regular rotation.

I remember planting my head against the black felt of the hi-fi speaker and listening to The Beatles ‘Helter Skelter’ over and over again.

Which song inspired you to become a musician/singer?

I had an acoustic trio when I was a kid – we were obsessed with Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins- I wanted us to be the British R.E.M.

Michael Stipe’s lyrics and singing style was otherworldly, I was captivated by the feeling it gave me. Even when I couldn’t decipher the meaning of the lyrics, the emotional intention was clear, it felt incredibly powerful – he had this magical ability to connect with other people on the other wide of the world through his recordings. I thought that was amazing, like a superhero power.

Which song do you wish you had written?

So many! But today I’ll take The Ronettes’ Be My Baby. The solo drum part in the bridge is epic!

Which artist/band has been the most inspirational to you?

It would have to be a band like Radiohead, I’m constantly impressed by the sonic and conceptual evolution of each of their records. From indie pop, to prog rock, to electronic, to sensual…its a breathtaking catalogue. Check out Creep, then Airbag, then House Of Cards.

Which song/album currently dominates your attention?

I’m currently in a serious relationship with The National’s Sleep Well Beast.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

It would be great to write / sing with Australian Singer songwriter Ry-X.
He has a beautiful vocal range, and a masterly control and efficiency to his songs and sounds, whilst still conveying huge emotion.

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