Meet UK Songwriter GM Music

You can never have too much, in the way of knowledge, when it comes to perfecting your craft, and songwriter, GM Music truly embodies that concept. After beginning with the piano in primary school, he then went on to study contemporary classical music at Dartington College of Excellence and pop music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

©2017 JustinHarrisPhotography.co.uk

GM spent most of his 20s in the EDM and dance music scene, until a stint as a music journalist brought him back to the creative side of things. Intrigued by the caliber of music he’s written we asked GM Music to tell us a little more about himself.

What motivated you to pursue a career in music?

Music was always my first love from way back. It’s always had an important role in my life and after spending much of the past year writing or occasionally co-producing, I felt it was time to start sending my songs out into the world.

You began playing the piano in primary school, what drew you to take up that particular instrument?

I love the sound of the piano. After the human voice, it’s almost a universal instrument because it’s so readily available at so many venues and places where people gather. I started playing by ear initially, so the next step was to start learning in a more ‘conventional’ sense.

Throughout your journey, you’ve studied both pop and classical music, how do you feel your education in these contrasting genres lend to the work you do now?

That’s a really good question. The two approaches have certain things in common but are also very different. Both are an important part of my story, and a knowledge of classical theory and different ways of working can be very useful when writing and arranging, but I feel that the pop and dance stuff better reflects my personality and where I’m at right now.

There are ways to combine the two – I sometimes draw on the cinematic elements of classical music when making atmospheric pop, plus I worked with a classical singer called Cat Chapman who provided vocals for a dance tune that we did.

©2017 JustinHarrisPhotography.co.uk

Who are your biggest musical influences? What is it about these artists that inspire you?

I’m definitely a fan of MNEK; I totally respect the way he takes retro elements but fuses them in a modern way. Growing up, I loved iconic 1980’s pop stars like MJ, so I see a lot of what he did in people like The Weeknd and Daft Punk who are killing it right now. I’m also attracted to the fearless experimentation of acts like Bjork and Sky Ferreira, and there’s always a place for big pop shows and the wistful escapism of Kylie and Robyn.

Where do you draw the influence for the songs you write?

Ideas can come from all over the place. It could be an improvised groove that starts the process, or something related to current affairs or a line from a book or film. I always have a notebook with me and am forever recording ideas in a hurry.

As a songwriter, do you have a particular genre you favour when writing music? If so, why that particular genre?

I have a big love for dance music, always have. But there’s also something very potent about the carefree abandon of pop. My music tends to have a foot in both camps, but I’m open to working in any genre because I like to keep an open mind and it’s good to get outside your comfort zone.

As someone who clearly has a vast knowledge of the artform, what advice would you give to beginners?

One of the best pieces of advice anyone ever gave me was: ‘You do you.’ Over time, you find your musical identity by being true to yourself. It’s also important that you do your research, work hard and friend up – but maybe that goes without saying!

Is there something in this industry that you inspire to try but haven’t gotten the chance to just yet?

There are so many – where to start?! I’d love to place a song on a movie soundtrack one day. I’ve also been working alongside a brilliant American producer called Denizen, so I’d like to see if we can push our sound further and to new heights.

©2017 JustinHarrisPhotography.co.uk

If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?

It’s been a long and winding road to this point, but I’ve learned so much along the way and every day I’m still learning new things. The internet is a huge resource which wasn’t as ubiquitous when I was younger as it is now. It can be a very useful tool for networking and collaborating, so I regret not being able to utilize that to the same extent in the past.

The internet has been useful for finding collaborators and I’ve been lucky to work with some fiercely individual singers, including Bobbie-Jo who’s from Cardiff, and Indi Kaur and Calte Jones who are both based in London.

Tell us about the song you’ve written that is your absolute favourite. Why do you love it as much as you do?

One of my songs called The Feeling is my current favourite. It has a melancholy euphoria that’s quite intoxicating and people seem to react whenever I play it for them – always a good sign.

What’s next for your career?

I’ve been working alongside a talent scout for the major labels, so the goal is to keep writing and get my songs place with exciting artists. Watch this space.

Connect with GM Music

twitter.com/mcginleygary

instagram.com/garymcginley

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