Paul Lynch: Searching for the Answer EP
We sit down with Indie Folk artist Paul Lynch on the eve of his debut to talk about what being a young musician is like in London today, his influences and, of course, his debut EP: Searching for the Answer.
We give it ★★★★ by the way, let us know what you think.
So, this is your first ever EP which is exciting. When did the penny drop and you realise that you wanted to do this professionally?
Well, I began my instruments pretty late at the age of 17, and I never meant it as a something I would ever take up professionally when I started. I started picking up everything very fast due to my piano playing days when I was young. In my first band I thought: “Yeah this band is definitely going to make it.” – classic, but I learnt a lot and now I am going to do all I can to make a success out of my music.
Around the age of 20, I started to up my singing game and begin to think that realistically I could probably start doing something with this. I'm a bit more of a realist than I was at the beginning, but genuinely think that if I find the right people I could have a good crack at something great.
My dream is never to become massive and famous, but to be part of a self-sustaining band that allows me to make the music I love and live my life through it – it’s definitely not going to be easy, but it’s not impossible.
How are you finding these bandmates?
Well for the EP launch I had a six-piece band which was amazing – it is a one-off band that I put together with my musician friends who I have met at various points in my life (including my super talented sister!), and the show was amazing and attended by approximately 100 people for my own headline show!
What’s it like starting a solo music career in London today?
It’s really difficult, and there’s a massive learning curve. However, the more that I have put myself out there, the more people are interested in helping me and listening to my music. You have to make everything happen yourself because no-one who doesn’t know you will help you out. That’s why it’s important to have people who are keen to help and support you in what you're doing, and I have a great support team!
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR EP. How long did Searching for the answer take TO CREATE?
I started around last January and it was mixed and mastered by the end of March which was a good turnaround considering the bass and the beatbox were recorded in this time by my talented musician friends as well! I was lucky enough to play at Eden Festival in Scotland and I also released my first official music video as well as my first single last year so it all built up nicely. 2017 was great in that respect and I’m both really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this next release.
THE TRACKS ON THE EP JUMP THROUGH GENRES AND TEMPO – HOW DID you select theM?
That’s quite an interesting one question. I spend quite a while writing the lyrics to the tracks and as time goes on whittle them down, swap them around and sometimes merge them entirely, so by the end I chose the songs that had gone down best when I played them live. Also, I made demos of approximately seven of my songs and chose which ones sounded best to go into the studio with.
FOR EXAmPLE VinCENTE di CamAra is completely different to Loch Lomund, how did they end up being on the same album?
Well, Loch Lomond is a cover of a traditional Scottish song, and the other is based on this kid Vincente Di Camara who I was at primary school with. I wrote the song all the way back when I was 10 years old.
We made up the song, assumed he loved it, but it turned out he didn’t. Eventually, for the sake of Vincente di Camara we stopped singing the Vincente di Camara Song. Then, in the 2nd year of university, I remembered some of the lyrics to this catchy tune and added a few chords and music to it and it was all go (Vincente go).
Where is Vincente di Camara now?
I have no idea, I’ve tried to find him on Facebook but I can’t seem to find him – it really sucks, would love to know what he's up too and show him the songs – I bet he would love it now.
Well, maybe he’ll come across it.
Searching for the Answer – WHAT GENRE WOULD YOU describe IT AS?
It's got a bit more acoustic/reggae to it but I describe my music as Indie-Folk and I find it encompasses all the genres that I use quite well. It's also almost talky/singing in the verses and then very melodic in the chorus, showing both the indie and folk within me. The Undercover Hippy is somebody who is love and inspired me to write a song like this!
Is there a link between love is the answer and searching for the answer? the two songs that bracket the EP?
Yes this of course was intentional of course and we all know that Love is the Answer. But, listening to the EP from start to finish you will see that there are many more messages to that and it gives a good insight into my mind and what direction and path that it is taking!
The final song shows I’ve realised the answer but haven’t actually put into practice that answer!
Who’s behind the artwork?
That was Gareth Williams – the albums turned out really great and his art is fabulous. I really wanted it to be something you could hang on your wall and I think he’s hit the nail on the head.
So why Folk? you aren’t from a particularly folk centric background, how did you find your way into this genre?
I guess that comes from the Liam (Worldwide Welshman and Beyond) influence (I played with him for about 4 years) and he is very much a folkie! As well as the wide range of music I listen to. I have a really – well everyone says this – but I really do have a genuinely eclectic taste in music. Folk, in all its varieties, compliments this well and is a great source of inspiration for music taken from all over the world. I think this reflects as well in my sets, each song is totally different to the last.
Who are your other musical influences?
A lot of the classics like The Smiths, but more recent acts such as Amadou & Mariam from Mali – Damon Albarn does a lot with them – Gogol Bordello, Elbow, Frankie Valli and Scroobius Pip are a small selection.
So how are you getting it out there?
The usual channels of course Spotify, Itunes etc, but I’m also pushing everyone to take a look at some remixes the collective called Darkest Before Dawn (DBD) made of Vincente di Camara. A fun and unexpected turn.
How did that happen?
I bumped into the organiser of DBD one night last year and we ended up discussing the song over a drink (he had heard it at one of my gigs that he was DJ at). He mentioned that his collective would like to remix it and I got in touch about three months ago and the result was 4 DJs made remixes/used samples of Vincente di Camara. It was a truly humbling experience to have 4 high quality DJs working with my track!
It opens up my music to different genres – because of course my music will not be to everyone’s taste – but if you attack it from a different angle and create something quite different it means you can branch out to an even wider audience.
thanks for chatting paul, Cheers!
Paul Lynch's debut EP Searching for the Answer is out now. Get on it.