Radar Meets: Harry Livingstone

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I'll start with something simple what are 3 albums that changed your life and why?

  • Donovan, Fairytale and Colours - it has certain style of music that appealed to me I really loved the stories and fairytales behind it.
  • Neil Young, Harvest - introduced different styles of music to me, I also think the arrangements are beautiful and overall it's just a beautiful album.
  • Bob Dylan, Freewheeling - This one has a lot more to do with back story, his first album wasn't very good and then his second album was more diverse and had more depth to it and you can hear that within the tracks.

So, when and why did you start playing and creating music?

It started when I was little. My mum actually bought mum guitar hero 3 and that's how I first got into music and then in primary 7 we started doing drum lessons which helped me improve my rhythm and within that a pupil from the secondary school I was going to asked if anyone was interested in guitar lessons so I put my hand up but when I started in first year I completely forgot about the lessons until my music teacher mentioned it and I just continued with it until I left school.

With that in mind, do you have a favourite memory of music?

Well when I was fifteen, I had my first gig at Wellington Hotel on Valentine's day and I was still just starting out so I didn't know much about musical keys on the harmonica and things like that but it was somebody's birthday so I sang happy birthday to them and they gave me a £10 tip and I also got a £5 tip and a free meal so it was pretty good.

How many instruments can you play then?

I play the guitar, harmonica, drums, bass and voice but I'm also starting to teach myself piano and banjo which is quite different to the guitar.

Do you feel as though your music style is the same as those who inspire you and if not how would you describe it?

It’s kind of the same in a way, at first when you start songwriting you don't really know what your doing so you try to write like the songs that inspired you in the first place but the more you write and the more time you spend on it the more it opens up your style of writing so you draw inspiration from other things.

How do you write your own songs then? Do you start with the lyrics or the chords?

That's a tricky one it depends but when I was in P6 we started doing poetry and I didn't know what I was supposed to do but I find that quite often the poems I write turns into songs but sometimes you start something and you don't go back to it until a year has passed and you look at it from a different prospective and it's sort of like a cut and paste process you find bits that fit into other things and then you have a great song at the end.

I know you've written quite a lot of original songs which one is your favourite?

My favourite is baby blue because it’s the first song I wrote, it was another one of those songs that came to me on the spot. I was actually in Caffé Nero and I just started playing some chords and then I wrote the song, I played it for my uncle and he loved it.

If you could collaborate with any other artist big or small who would it be?

That's another tricky one but I think it would be Ry Cooder. I first came across him after watching a movie my brother showed me called Crossroads and it basically features the music of the blues singer Ry Cooder and it made me want to play guitar and learn the songs from the movie.  

What are you going to name your first album and why?

I've actually thought about this a lot and I've had a few ideas but I think it'll just be a self-titled album because I've gotten to a point with music where I do get recognise from gigs, and if it's self-titled I'm not promising anything other than me it's the idea of this is me and this is my music I hope you enjoy it. 

Harry said that he has no upcoming gigs at the moment but if he does they will be posted to his Facebook page Harry Livingstone Music 

 

 

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