ARTIST’S NAME: Urchin
SONG TITLE: Something Outta Nothing
ALBUM TITLE: Take Time
RELEASE DATE: 22.02.19
GENRE: Downtempo, Electronic
Tell us your real names, country of birth, and childhood experience.
Leo Appleyard. I was born in Kingston, South West London.
I grew up playing jazz at school aged 13, with some amazing musicians and mentors. It was an inspiring place/time to be playing music. I started on Piano and Guitar. I started gigging with the musicians I met at school around the age of 15. This led to a tour of Ireland at 17 with a 10 piece funk band.
Tell us your academic qualification.
I have studied jazz guitar formally at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham. I have a BMus (Hons) in jazz guitar.
Elaborate on your music career, band name, experience, and skills.
Having mainly played jazz and associated genres for a long time, I became interested in sounds that couldn’t be created by acoustic instruments… i.e. from synths and computers. This led me to create the band ‘Urchin’ in late 2014 – originally a halfway-house between a jazz band and an electronic dance band. It had 8 members and we gigged around London in 2015/16, including a show at the London Jazz Festival.
The band name was a tough one to come up with, lots of arguments…. then we recorded our first EP at Urchin Studios in Hackney… and the name kind of stuck with me.
These days I produce electronic music from my studio in SW London, on an island in the Thames. The Spice Girls recorded their original demos here and I like to think that the spirit of their music influences my writing…… haha maybe not.
Tell us your genre and idea behind your music video or song.
I love UK garage and wanted to write a moody garage-influenced track. “Something Outta Nothing” came from a gospel vocal sample I had on a hard drive.
I like the lyric as it sums up my creative process… I open a blank project and create something out of nothing.
I guess it fits into that downtempo/electronic scene that Bonobo and Maribou State have paved the way for.
Tell us how to run a record label based on your experience as an artist.
I signed my first album which was a jazz album, in 2014 and it was a great experience. F-IRE records were really easy to deal with and helped me out.
To be honest, I don’t know if you need a label now with Spotify for artists and all of those services… I’d certainly be happy to talk with any labels who like my music though.
Ideally, for me, a label would get involved with the music promotion side of it.
Distribution is so easy these days.
Tell us how you are promoting your music.
That is a big topic right now, usually discussed down the pub with other musicians at great length. I have all the usual social media channels on the go, as well as contacting blogs and playlist curators. Lots of emails!
We are launching the EP with a show at the Finsbury on 12th March.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
“If you love Bonobo or Submotion Orchestra, you will want to hear these guys.”
“One of the new crop of jazz musicians, making a mark on the scene…”
– Julian Joseph, BBC Radio 3
Leo Appleyard is a musician and producer from South-West London, releasing music under the name “Urchin”.
Originally an ambitious 8-piece band that performed at the London Jazz Festival and venues around London, Urchin now represents the sonic output forged in a secluded island studio, once home to the ‘spice girls’ in the early 90s.
In 2018, Leo took a break from life as gigging musician and escaped to the progressive music scene of Melbourne, Australia.
Taking in the mix of house, disco, and modern jazz from the northern districts of Fitzroy and Brunswick – ‘Take Time’ EP (release date 1st March 2019) is the reflection of that time spent in a creative zone, in a new scene whilst underpinned by the narrative of UK producers Bonobo, Maribou State, and The Cinematic Orchestra.
Explain the story behind the song.
“Something Outta Nothing” came from my love of garage music but also a desire to create something moody.
I found the vocal sample and it came together over a few days.
State the names of other members of your band, music producer, crew, or music video director.
The band lineup changes from gig to gig but on the EP:
Grace Walker – Vocals
Leo Appleyard – Backing Vocals/Guitars/Programming
Paul Jordanous – Trumpet
Live Show adding:
Chris Nickolls – Drums
Holley Gray – Bass
Tell us how long you have been in the music business, your experience, and your future goal.
I’ve been gigging since I was 15, so 13 years in the business now.
As a freelance guitarist, I have been lucky to play all over the world.
Recently I’ve been concentrating on producing – recently for Cat Delphi – and my own writing.
I want to develop the live show and tour!
Tell us what makes you unique from others.
Coming from such an in-depth jazz background to electronic music adds a different dimension. I like weird chords.
Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.
I have a tendency to over-cook ideas.
I think speed is an advantage when producing.
Strength – I like really strong coffee in the studio, really strong.
List your five favorite songs including the artists.
Bonobo – Break Apart
Flume – Holdin On
The Cinematic Orchestra – All Things To All Men
Beatenberg – Ithica
Christopher Cross – Ride Like the Wind
Tell us your position on “Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
Both have their place. I think doing it yourself means you hold the cards. If you have curated your fan base yourself, no one can take that away.
Tell us other activities you are pursuing apart from music.
Running and drinking beer – in that order.
State the official date of release.
22.02.19 – Something Outta Nothing – Single Release
01.03.19 – Take Time EP full release
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Urchin – don’t step on one!
State the title of the song and the meaning.
“Something Outta Nothing” – I like how so much can be created out of very little.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
“Take Time” – because it’s taken me bloody ages to get this out! I…. Only joking, I’ve explored some different time signatures on this EP and Grace Walker came up with the lyric. It works for me.