A Q&A with SJ Denney
Organic indie folk from Benfleet, Essex – here’s SJ Denney…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My latest single is called ‘The Sticking Point’. It’s extremely personal. I had a difficult childhood and an event last year brought that back into the spotlight. As always, my weapon to deal with that was to write music.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Emotionally, it was writing lyrics about things I’d always tried to conceal. Production wise, it was the fact that COVID-19 meant I had to record it all at home.
What do you enjoy most about producing your own material?
I self-produced the release. I hadn’t done that for a number of years, so it was interesting to see what I’d learnt. The process was quite scary as so many big decisions were on me! I made sure The Animal Farm mixed the release though, as they’ve been such a big part of my sound.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I just want my audience to feel something. The music needs to communicate and resonate with them. Otherwise, what’s the point?
How does a track normally come together?
Can you tell us something about the process? I’m writing in lots of different ways. This one was written by me singing in the shower. I then wrote the drumbeat and worked out the chords. I’m lucky in that I can usually hear the whole arrangement early on, so I knew I wanted to introduce some Indian instruments.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
The Beatles (as always), Kula Shaker and Beth Orton. The Liverpool legends influence pretty much everything I do. They really had it going on! Kula Shaker from a Raga Rock perspective. And some of Beth Orton’s early material influenced my bassline.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
I’d like to tour Germany and America. My dream venue would be Shepherd’s Bush Empire. To me, that venue is the perfect size and the sound is awesome.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I’d pick a track called ‘The Unknown Hero’. I think it’s one of my best songs and I love the arrangement. I also got to play the clarinet on it.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
Just to keep writing better songs and making great records, ensuring my music gets into as many homes as possible. Also lots and lots of gigs!
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Thank you and goodnight. It’s been emotional!
For more info visit: sjsongs.co.uk