" I do miss being in a group at times however having the freedom to make my own decisions and have the final say on my music is a great feeling" - In Conversation with Howard Kaye
It may be wet, grey and miserable outside of your door but put a set of headphones and music can transport you to faraway lands and feelings that fire up the iciest of hearts. In our continuing series of 'In Conversation with' we had the opportunity to sit down with solo artist Howard Kaye, formerly of Croox and now digging his own path as a solo artist we discuss everything from solo vs group dynamics, collaborations and when exactly he will be headlining Wembley, this year or next...
A nice easy on to start off with, introduce yourself to the readers of Music @ The Digital Fix.
Hello readers of Music @ The Digital Fix! I’m Howard, I’m a singer from Brighton and I enjoy eating chicken wings and playing Mario Kart.
Who are you inspired by, musical or otherwise, to produce the music you release.
I am actually also a DJ and because of this, I have to stay on top of new music from all genres. This has been my main source of inspiration. I wouldn’t say I am inspired by specific artists, producers or genres. If I hear a song that resonates with me, that’s what will push me to get into the studio and write.
You used to be in Croox, how does being an independent artist compare to being in a group?
It’s been a very different experience becoming a solo artist. Obviously, with a band you have a group of people you can bounce ideas off, write with and develop the project with. I do miss this at times however having the freedom to make my own decisions and have the final say on my music is a great feeling.
Your recent track ‘Too Young’ had Sam Carter from Architects on it. I saw them in January at the Cardiff Motorpoint, would you like to take your solo material into the enormo-domes of the UK and further?
I would absolutely love to be in a position to be playing the huge venue that artists like Architects are playing at the moment. It is definitely a big focus point for me, building up my live show and creating something that people walk away from wanting more of! Maybe I’ll just book Wembley next year and see what happens?
How did that collaboration come together with Sam?
Sam is one of my best mates. He has always been incredibly supportive of my music and so it was actually a very natural collaboration for us. It was an absolute pleasure getting into the studio with him and watching him work and having Sam come out as a guest vocal at the shows he comes to is an honour. I feel very lucky. He’s also a very handsome mother fucker!
How do you feel about social media as an artist?
I mean, it’s so important, especially when it comes to interacting with your fans! I absolutely hate Twitter and despise using it, but I guess it’s part of the game. I do feel like platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are not as integral as they used to be, especially to the younger generation. Whereas platforms like Instagram are now so ingrained in our day-to-day lives. I just wish you could still get the same reach without having to pile money into these huge corporations, especially as an independent artist.
What question do you wish journalists would ask you but never do? And answer it please…
Draw your spirit animal?
We have been asking artists we interview what the best part of their 2019 was, how was your 2019?
This is TOUGH! I only launched in March 2019 with absolutely no expectations as to where my music would go, and I feel incredibly blessed and proud that things are moving so quickly. Getting the UK tour with Deaf Havana was a huge moment for me and really helped me reach a new audience quickly. It also helped that they are absolute legends!
What was the best piece of advice someone gave you and also the worst?
The best advice I ever received was actually from Sam Carter. Sam has been there through some of my absolute lowest moments and he has always said. ‘Embrace every single low point, every time you feel frustrated, get knocked back and feel the stress and the pain as an artist it means it’ll mean so much more when you get there. If everything came easy, it wouldn’t mean as much!’’
The worst advice I’ve ever had was actually in a music class in school. They dedicated an entire lesson about how you should never write a song about the weather! Try telling Crowded House that!
What are your plans for 2020 any breaking news we can let our readers know about?
2020 for me is all about playing a shit load of shows and releasing a shit load of music! Breaking news is that I am EXTREMELY excited that I have just been taken on by an incredible live agent and all-round badass Beckie Sugden at X-Ray Touring. She has the likes of Anderson Paak (who I love), Noname, NxWorries and even the legends Deaf Havana! We have a lot in the pipeline for 2020! Can’t wait!