FYIG Chats With Singer/Songwriter/Composer Caspian Lennox

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! Well, I grew up in South London and London’s still very much my home city but I’ve moved around a bit in the last few years.. some time in the US, Brazil, Mexico, France, Spain, and for the last 6 months I’ve been living in Cornwall – right on the south-west coast of the UK. It’s been great and I’ve been really lucky with all of that.

I write my own music and lyrics, sing, and play a number of instruments – piano, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar are my primary ones, but I also play bass guitar and the cajón. I started playing the piano when I was about 6 or 7 for about 4 years but got bored and had a long break, before picking it up again about 15 years later…

I started on the guitar a bit later – got a cheap acoustic guitar for my 21st birthday and took to it really quickly… I liked the sound of the strings – had no idea what I was doing but I couldn’t put it down. It was on a random night out a couple of years later that got me playing it though. I was in a bar and a girl came up to me and said you know you kind of look like Jeff Buckley – I had no idea who he was so I said, ‘oh ok, cool, thanks, what’s your name? haha…’ Then about a week later someone else said the same thing and I thought ‘who is this guy?’ – so I checked him out, he blew my mind and the rest is history…

How would you describe your musical style?

Hmm, well if I think of all the stuff that I love and which has, therefore, had an influence on me, it’s so broad – I mean you’ve got Blues, Soul, Alt Rock, Shoegaze, Grunge, Folk, Caribbean Carnival, and general Latin Rhythms, French 60s and 70s popular music…. fused with Classical and Romantic era European music, cinematic scores… I mean how do you describe all that? I suppose my style is what you get when you shake it all up. Some have said: New Wave Alt Rock, Melancholic romanticism with a cinematic rock soundscape, with hints of Dire Straits, The Waterboys, Peter Green, Tom Petty, and Nick Cave. I’m just going to keep telling stories and at the moment, I’m going to go with ‘New Wave Soulful Rock Fusion’.

From an early age, you were exposed to the folk tales, stories and carnival rhythms of Trinidad & Tobago as well as Classical & Romantic era European music. How has that inspired your music?

In many ways. My dad was born in Trinidad, but he was also part South American Indian. I remember he and his sister to used to tell the most amazing stories about this other world that I knew nothing about. It totally captured my imagination, so I guess I was exposed to and excited by the power of storytelling and that sparked my imagination pretty early on. They used to play loads of carnival street dancing music and I challenge anyone not to want to move to that! I remember if there was music playing that had any kind of groove, he be tapping his foot or his hands and I’d try and copy – you know, just to try figure out what he was doing and hear what he was hearing. So, rhythm and groove from that side I suppose.

Then on the other side, my introduction to soaring melody and harmony definitely comes from old European stuff from a time when there were no drums as we have today, and whatever percussion they had was used to punctuate very specific places. These contrasting styles were always playing in the house so I suppose I just absorbed all of it.

You have a new single out called “The Brightest Star”. Tell us a little bit about that song.

Sure. Short version – It’s a happy-sad-painful love song. Longer version: it’s about being open to what life throws your way, about timing, about the people that come into our lives at particular points and the impact that they can have. We meet a lot of people – I read somewhere that if we meet 3 people a day and do that every day, in an average lifetime that’s 80,000 people, and that doesn’t include the ones you see but don’t meet! From that number, a few are going to be very special. Most importantly though, there are many distractions in the world and The Brightest Star is about being present in the moment so that you can enjoy the moment because all moments pass and then they are memories, and if you weren’t fully present then you miss out completely. Things can trigger those memories but we can’t go back, we’ve got to keep moving forward. Sometimes things work in your favour, other times they don’t, and sometimes things are out of your control, but as long as you make the most of the moments you have and are the best that you can be – because that all you can be – that’s all you can do and after that, as The Beatles said, you’ve just got to ‘Let it Be’ and let the chips fall where they may.

Can audiences expect an EP or full-length album on the way sometime next year?

There will be new music for sure but I’m not really going for the ‘Album’ thing at the moment. Right now, there are 2 pieces going in to be mixed and mastered and one called ‘Such a Beautiful Time of Year’ which will be released on 8th Feb 2019 on Presana. I’m excited about it so we’ll see where it leads….

In addition to creating your own songs, you’re also a classical composer. How did you get into creating piano and string compositions?

For me, there’s something about instrumental music that has this huge power of communication, way beyond anything else. It’s all about feeling and sometimes a lyric can get in the way – I like the idea of people listening and putting their own story to the feeling that the music evokes. I suppose I think of it as a painting – it can give off a feeling, but everyone will add their own specificity to it. I love the beautiful open landscape sound of these instruments and if I think about cinematic scores – the great ones support the story without taking over. You can place yourself right in the world of the sounds – it’s a form of escapism to another world and it’s one that I really I like.

What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?

Creating something should be fun. Try and hold on to the fun!
I’m very much a work in progress myself but I think you’ve got to know ‘why’ you want to do it? and also, what would be ‘success’ for you? Along with, what sort of style or styles of music do you love? Who are your favourite Artists? Why? What is it about your favourite songs the you love? Are there similarities between them? Then you’ve got to find your ‘Voice’ – what do you want to say and what it is that makes you different to everyone else. Are you a Songwriter or a Performer or both?

I’d say listen to a wide range of music… go to gigs…absorb it all. You’ll need to put in the hours in order to practice your instrument or instruments and as a songwriter, to learn the craft. Play as much as you can with as many different people as you can. If you play guitar, then find someone who plays something else and just jam with them. Again, have fun with it. It will probably sound horrible to start with and that’s totally fine – if fact it’s good, and then it will get better and better, and you’ll hear the difference and it will be a great feeling, and your confidence will grow. You’ve got to really want to do it because there are many sacrifices to make along the way, but if you are really passionate about it and you’ve got friends around you who you can trust to tell you truth along the way, then go for it and it can be an amazing rollercoaster. If you want to go for it, I wish you ‘success’ in whatever way you define it. At the end of the day, keeping the fun in it is really important because then you’ll keep playing or writing, and the more you do, the better you’ll get. Good luck with it and enjoy the journey.

What’s your life like outside of music?

Well, music takes up most of it. But I like to keep in shape and I always make time every day to take care of that – it helps clear my head too. I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors. I read a lot, cook, travel, I’m a massive fan of Netflix. Got some good friends that I hang with. That sort of thing…

You’ve studied acting at The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art. Might an acting career be in the works?

Haha! Well, that was a while ago. Never say never but I’d say at this stage, it’s unlikely. Feel free to pass my name around to any Casting Agents though. I do have an idea for a story which I’m sketching out at the moment – not sure if it’s going to be a Play or a Film at this stage. It’s early days and I’m never written anything like that before, so it’s exciting and we’ll see where it goes. And you never know I may take a role in it…

Let the readers know where to find you online.

I’m not big on social media at the moment – it’s an area of development for me, but I have an Instagram and Twitter account – I use Instagram more. Both of them are @caspianlennox Then, of course, you’ve got Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, Bandcamp. The music is released through Presana Music so you can check that out too www.presanamusic.com