Hailing from the sleepy north Bedfordshire village of Harrold, music has been a big part of Simon William’s life for a decade now.
As well as singing (and working at the local Co-Op), Simon has also skitted between drums, piano and guitar too. He’s been honing his craft at Esquires open mic night, amongst other local venues and now has some original compositions under his belt and is ready for the next step of his journey.
Ahead of his ticket-only, socially distanced gig at The Bell in Odell on Saturday, Lloyd Lugsden got to speak to Simon recently about his plans…
When did you start playing music?
“I’ve been playing music for well over 10 years. I played drums for a short while when I was younger, although I didn’t stick it out for long.
“I taught myself to play guitar, piano and produced electronic music over the years but I found my real passion when I started to sing and write my own songs about a year ago.”
Last gig before lockdown?
“The last gig I played before lockdown was a charity concert in aid of the mental health charity Mind called ‘Never Mind The Music’ at Bedford Esquires.
“I do miss gigging, can’t wait to get back to it and hopefully this time do a lot more.”
What have been up to during lockdown?
“I’ve been very busy over the past few months, having just released my debut singles along with an EP. It’s been an incredible experience recording songs, shooting videos and engaging with the audience.
“The music scene seems to have taken the online community by storm and I’ve done a few live streams along with that.
“There’s definitely more to come and I am so excited to share that with the world too.”
“I’ve had so many influences throughout my life. Jamie Cullum is a big one for me. I always connect with his songs and the way he writes.
“Other artists such as Jack Garratt, Lewis Capaldi, The Kooks, Tom Misch, and one of our local heroes Tom Grennan. The list could go on…”
You’ve started writing your own songs, how’s that going?
“So yeah! I’ve been writing a catalogue of music that I intend to record, I’ve just wrapped up the first of these with my debut EP called ‘Just So You Know’ and I released that on the 10 July along with the singles ‘Happy‘ and ‘With Me‘ that I released as part of the campaign.
“The EP is an emotional journey and I urge you to go and listen to it if you haven’t already. I think you will really enjoy it.”
Favourite venue you’ve played?
“My favourite venue has always been Bedford Esquires. It’s the first place I ever performed in front of an audience and I am very thankful they offer a platform where artists such as myself can do that with confidence.
“Outside of Bedford town centre though, I really enjoyed playing at a beer festival at The Bell in Odell. There’s something about playing outside in the sun that just hits the spot in its own way.”
What are your future musical plans?
“More songs, more videos and more shows! I’ve had so much fun going through this process and I only intend to take it much further.
“I’ve already started work on a second EP and inevitably all of this will eventually be the lead up to an album.
‘I can’t wait to create more and connect more with the audience it brings.”
Where would you love to play?
“I love to play anywhere, but it would be awesome to play a main stage slot at a major festival, or in a venue as prestigious as the O2 Brixton Academy.
“I’m certainly not stopping now so we’ll see where the future leads, but for the time being I’m happy and lucky to be able to do what I love, and I’m grateful to have people who believe in me helping to lift me up.”
Simon returns to the Bell in Odell on Saturday 15 August for a socially distanced set in the pub’s beer garden. The acoustic gig is ticket only and you can buy tickets and find out more information by calling The Bell on 01234 910850 or check their Facebook page.