Paul Weston: UK Singer-Songwriter
Paul Weston was signed to Olav Wyper publishing in 1985. Wyper was the man who discovered and launched the careers of artists such as David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Eurythmics, Monsarrett Cabelle amongst many others.
In 2001 Paul wrote both songs for the Music Wales single release “We Are The Future,” working with Al Steele and Louise Ryan (vocal coach and arranger for Charlotte Church). The songs from this CD were performed on BBC, HTV, S4C, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 7. Performances followed at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Swansea Grand Theatre and Porthcawl Theatre. “We Are The Future” has been recorded in five different languages and is included on an African compilation album in the kiSwahili language.
In 2002 Paul’s song “I Look Through The Sky To Heaven” was recorded by USA recording artist Kelly-Lynn and received a national USA network release reaching number 14 on Indie Chart. In 2004 “I Look Through The Sky To Heaven” was featured on the USA compilation album Somebody Brave which also featured two songs from one of Paul’s favourite artists Alex Acuna. In 2005 Paul’s song “Shine” was performed by award winning Welsh soprano Holly Holyoake at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood, USA. Holly won a gold medal and two bonze awards for her performances. In 2006 Holly performed Paul’s song “Shine” on the Aled Jones UK Concert tour.
(Taken from Paul’s MySpace – you can find out more about him over there)
Jessica: Paul, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview for TSM. It’s so great to have you here. 🙂
Paul: Hi Jessica and the TSM Team. I have always enjoyed reading your magazine and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this months edition. In the words of Dorothy Parker “Write what ever you want about me so long as it isn’t true! LOL. (Only joking around as usual!)
Jessica: At what age did you start writing songs and get into music? And what was the first song you ever wrote?
Paul: I had guitar lessons at twelve years old after watching artists such as: David Bowie, Marc Boland (T Rex) and Jimi Hendrix performing on TV. I didn’t actually write my first song until fourteen years old as I was spending too much time miming in front of the mirror, pretending to be a rock star!!! (Still am!!!Smiles). The song was entitled “Marianne,” which was unfortunate, as my girlfriends name was Carol. The chorus started with the words “Marianne cant you see I love you.” which went down badly and I’ve been getting in trouble with girls ever since.
Jessica: What type of musical training have you had?
Paul: I studied music as an O level subject at school, and discovered the wonders of composers such as: Beethoven, Mozart, Rimsky Korsakov, Mahler and many others including modern day composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Cole Porter. I would recommend to everyone who wants to learn and improve their music talents to work with other musicians who are more talented and advanced in their musical ability. This is the best way to progress your musical career.
Jessica: What’s your process for writing lyrics? And where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Paul: I have no real “process” as such, as I am a writer who waits for inspiration. As a Christian, you will always find a lots of imagery in my music and lyrics of love, light, angels, hope and positivity. My songs such as “Shine,” “I look through the sky to Heaven” and “One more last goodbye” are all examples of this style of writing. Walter Savage Landor sums up my musical philosophy perfectly with his quote “Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to heaven.”
Paul: Phewww!! Have we got a few weeks to discuss this one? LOL. Music is the love of my life and my enjoyment of music travels across every music genre. From Motorhead to Mozart! I grew up listening to Blues music such as: Billie Holliday, Johny lee Hooker, Ella Fitzgerald, as well as Judy Garland, Motown greats such as Otis Reading and Stevie Wonder. The Beatles and David Bowie were also influences. In respect to my recent compositions, the music that has influenced and inspired me to write would be Classical cross-over artists such as: Charlotte Church, Sarah Brightman, Amici Forever, Katherine Jenkins to name a few. I was very lucky to work with Louise Ryan (vocal coach and arranger for Charlotte Church) who taught me so much about how to write for the female voice (which Louise would call the female instrument). Also my music arranger and producer, Al Steele (worked with artists such as Peter Karrie, Katherine Jenkins, Elvis Costello, Holly Hollyoake.) is a “genius” which helps a lot!
Jessica: I know that you have a book coming out soon. Tell us about your book and where our readers can purchase it.
Paul: Thanks for giving me the chance to mention my new book, The Incomplete Works by P.A.Weston (my pen name) is a collection of poems on subjects such as: love, life, nature and the spiritual self. Poetry is another passion of my life which bring me great joy and pleasure.
The book is available on Blurb:
The book is also to be published by Amazon’s own publishing house in the USA and Europe and I’ll provide links as soon as they are available. To sum up the book: ”Poetry is COOL and I want to be part of a new generation that regresses back to the wonderful days of expression and feelings, rather than convenience living.” P.A. Weston.
Jessica: You’re also involved with this We Are The Future International Song Project that started in 2001. The original song was written by you after you listened to world issues raised by young people at a community centre. Tell us a little more about this project and how it came to be.
Paul: “The people of the world genuinely want peace. Some day the leaders of the world are going to have to give in and give it to them.” Dwight Eisenhower, U.S. president 1953-1961.I guess this was my starting point. The “We are the future” project is non political and is aimed to include all people from all race,cultures and religions who share the goal of a peaceful world working towards social and economic equality. The premise is for “our children’s children’s children” to make the world a better place, by rejecting violence and war and working together to support and help each other. The simple fact is that if my generation is the “future”…then the world “hasn’t got a future”? The “We are the future” song is being recorded by people all around the world, and my prayers are that more people will back us and record the song as a way of showing their commitment to world peace. And also as a way of saying “we reject “violence and terrorism” from wherever and whoever uses it to further their own objectives. More information is available on the links below:
Jessica: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Paul: I would like the “We are the future project” to become a non profit making organisation and to continue raising money for my favourite charities, Wateraid and UNICEF.
Jessica: What is one of your favourite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Paul: There are so many from my heroes, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.
Quotes that have also inspired me include;
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint…and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh
“As the warm rain of a summers day gently drips upon my lips.This is your kiss.” P.A. Weston.From the poem “Kiss.” (Inspiration is within us all. And another plug for the book! LOL)
“Beautiful is the moment in which we understand that we are no more than an instrument of God; we live only as long as God wants us to live; we can do only as much as God makes us able to; we are only as intelligent as God would have us be.”Archbishop Oscar Romero, from his last homily, March 23,1980.
Jessica: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you and your work?
Paul: I think I have already said more than enough. Please, if anyone would like to hear more of my music see links below.
Jessica: Thanks again for doing this interview for the magazine and wish you the best of luck with everything in the future.
Paul: Jessica,thank you so much for the opportunity to share a little of myself with everyone. Peace love and happiness to all the readers of Talent Spotlight Magazine. Don’t forget to reach for your dreams. “Life’s only disability is to not reach your potential.” (P.A. Weston.)