A Q&A with Bobby MC

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New swing and jazz artist from Dunboyne, Ireland…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My debut single is called ‘Try a Little Tenderness’. It means a lot to me as it’s my first release and you’ll only ever have one first release. It was also very important to me to get this track right as it was the first time I was stepping out as an artist and introducing Bobby Mc, not just as a performer.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The hardest part was the fact that the creative team were never in the same room and we recorded remotely. We liaised over video call, email and on the phone to create and record the track. My vocals were recorded in my brother’s home studio, the piano parts were recorded by Podge Kilbride in his home studio in Ireland and the text of the track was recorded at The Animal Farm’s studios in London.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
Mat Leppanen produced the track. He’s a co-owner of the independent record label ‘The Animal Farm’. He brought a lot to the track along with my piano player, Podge Kilbride. Mat listened to what I wanted or the ideas I had and then enhanced them and helped to build the track. A clean, clear vocal with a warm backing was our aim and he helped us get there.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I hope they like my vocal tone and the arrangements of the songs that I release. They’re the two things that I believe help me to stand out from the rest and I hope the listeners feel the same when they listen to my music.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Generally, it’s from listening to music non-stop and trying to find melodies that I like. I’m all about the melody. If the melody is right, you can find an arrangement and key to make it work. From there, I’ll start playing songs on the piano to find the basic idea of what I’d like my version to sound like. Then, I develop it in my head before recording a basic vocal recording and sharing it with my co-creators, i.e., producer and musicians.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Jamie Cullum and Gregory Porter would be my two main influences. Gregory for the way he made jazz mainstream, and Jamie Cullum for the way he puts on a show, and also his fantastic clever arrangements.

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What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
I’d love to tour Europe generally. Germany seems to have a really good music scene at the moment so maybe there, but I’d also love to play around the UK also. A dream of mine is to play The Royal Albert Hall in London, and Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden in New York.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
I want to record a proper album that has an order and can be listened to from start to finish. I would also like to gig in different countries all over the world.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
I’m excited for the future and to hear what people think of my first release.

‘Try a Little Tenderness’ from Bobby MC is out now
For more info visit: bobbymcandthedukes.com

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