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Q&A | VerseChorusVerse

VerseChorusVerse talks to TLMT about his forthcoming album What If We Won?

What’s the last song you listened to?

The last song I listened to was I Against I by Massive Attack feat. Mos Def. I was walking to the garage and needed to strut. Its a go-to for all your strutting needs.

What artist or album has gotten you through the pandemic most?

Is it cool to name a few? To begin with it was Phoebe Bridgers 1st album, but when the all consuming sadness and anxiety of the pandemic was too much I dived into the entire back catalogue of A Tribe Called Quest to keep my head above water. Hip Hop is generally my refuge from the naval gazing so much alt/guitar/rock/indie/etc uses as currency, myself included.

I urge anyone to listen to Left my Wallet in El Segundo by Tribe and not feel even a little better about whatever is troubling you. So many great Irish acts like Junk Drawer, New Pagans, Arvo Party, Emma Langford, Problem Patterns, Sister Ghost, Alpha Chrome Yayo, Pillow Queens (to name but a few) released music during the pandemic so we’ve been so lucky in that regard.

What’s influencing your music right now?

Well, a lot of Hip Hop has been needed! ATCQ, Beasties and Public Enemy are always firm favourites but I’ve been immersed in them recently along with a lot of Massive Attack, Portishead, DJ Shadow and Ben Lukas Boysen (who isn’t hip hop). I think the more beat inspired hooks come across on the new record…that primal connection to a solid beat is something that has always fascinated me. And makes me want to shake my tail feather, obvs bbz. I’m very much enjoying the work of the composer Daniel Pemberton too.

Tell us about your single Free To Decree, what has inspired the song?

It was written last year when we were all watching the world turn to shit from the supposed relative safety of our Social Media feeds. I was alone in Glasgow for lockdown (in a display of impeccable timing, I moved there just before lockdown after being on my own in Italian mountains for a few months), and a lot of emotions were swirling round my head as we sat, seemingly powerless, to the Police Brutality, and to the racist, homophobic, sexist liars in the White House and Downing St, and a real need to say something that could hopefully bleed past the echo chambers of Twitter etc. or at the very least sum up how I was feeling, as it seemed to me a lot of people felt the same.

I’m continually fed up with people telling other people who they are, and what they can be and what they can do when its no ones concern but the person in question. I mean, if you’re not hurting anyone, be you! Be Proud! Be as amazing as you are! BECAUSE YOU ARE.

I’ve had some horrendous dealings with bullies, hypocrites and gas-lighters over the years, so this is me, in the most polite way imaginable, gleefully telling them to go fuck themselves.

It’s a pop protest song with a disco beat, sloppy guitars and an industrial metal middle 8. Had to tick a few styles off the ol’ VerseChorusVerse genre bingo card too, y’know?

Your album, what if we won?, what do you hope people take away from listening to the record?

I hope they want listen to it again. I hope they find some empathy on there. I hope they don’t feel as alone, even for just a second. I hope they take strength from knowing that others out there almost certainly feel similar to them. I hope it inspires some one to stand in their power and offer their hand out to someone who may be struggling and could do with help, but is maybe too fragile to currently ask. I hope it starts some positive conversations. More than anything, I hope they come away feeling better than they did before they listened to it. Because life can be incredible. Please, please, please hold onto it. And then listen to my entire back catalog on Spotify in perpetuity so I can afford a new plectrum by the end of the decade. x

What if we won? by VerseChorusVerse is due out on May 21st.

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