This weeks Shine A Light Sunday see's a new improved format, where as well as introducing you to new artists, we ask them a few questions so we get to know something about them we perhaps already don't know. First up for version 2.0 see's me catching up with Helen Maw, an accomplished musician, from Liverpool who has been writing music since her teens performing all over the UK and Europe.
Helen released her first single ‘Your Little Secret’ in June 2019, receiving radio play on BBC Introducing Merseyside and Mersey Radio. Her latest EP ‘Everything in Between’ was recorded and released during lockdown in April 2020 and was also given radio play by Mersey Radio where she was also named Artist of the Week.
Her management Petty Management reached out to me to see if I wouldn't mind reviewing her latest single 'Playing With Fire’ and having had one listen; I not only said yes to it, the song birthed the idea of me doing something a little more special with this feature.
Dreaminisfree: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn't heard your music before?
Helen Maw: Ooh, that’s a tough question! I feel like my songs and style of singing definitely encompass a variety of genres! But to sum it up, I’d say my music is Classically inspired Pop but with elements of country and soul too!
Your last single, 'Playing With Fire', is a stunning vocal with really openly honest lyrics around having your heart broken - you've really laid your soul bare. Was it cathartic writing and then recording the song?
Thank you! Yes, it definitely was. I really feel like it’s one of the most personal songs I’ve written and it felt good to be able to bring the song to life the way I envisioned it. The recording of it especially was amazing. I did it at Whitewood Studios in Liverpool and it was an amazing experience pulling the song together. It was amazing to really be able to explore the song and the sounds I wanted to create and I’m so happy with the result!
What message would you like people to take from 'Playing with Fire'?
I think with this song, the message behind it is to always know you’re worth and not to let anyone define you, whether that be a partner, friend or even family member. It’s definitely a song about empowerment and pushing yourself to respect who you are and your values. I want people to hear this song and then go away with a different outlook on things.
Some people have been using lockdown to work more on creative projects or learn new skills, whilst some have used it to take time to focus on mindfulness and just taking each day as it comes. How have you found lockdown?
I must admit, I’ve been very up and down during lockdown, especially during the earlier period. It was really hard not seeing family and friends but it was worth it to keep everyone safe. I definitely used lockdown to work on creative projects, having recorded and released my debut EP ‘Everything in Between’ which featured four of my original songs, stripped back! I’ve also taken part in a lot of live streamed gigs over lockdown which was definitely a new experience for me but one I really enjoyed doing!
What's next for Helen Maw? New single, debut album?
Definitely a debut album! I’ve been working on finishing a lot of my songs recently and am now in the process of making demos, to then hopefully go on and record them as a whole. An album is something I’ve always dreamed of making, so I’m looking forward to eventually completing it and being able to share it with people!
Once lockdown is over and we're all back to live music and touring again where are you looking forward to playing the most?
I’ve definitely missed a lot of the smaller venues in Liverpool where I’m from! So I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back to playing in some of the more intimate venues in the city. I’ve really missed both performing and watching live music as it’s such a big part of my life, so I’m counting down the days until I can get back to it!
‘Playing With Fire’ Helens brand new single features three part harmonies and a stunning orchestral arrangement. Fervently delivered vocals with rousing strings and percussion throughout the song lending a deeper meaning to the music. Make no mistake, this isn't just another sentimental ballad from a heart that's been scorned. This is a woman who's hit rock bottom emotionally and is rising as the Phoenix from the ashes, with greater strength and a much greater sense of self.
As a bonus I've included another original song of Helens from her YouTube channel 'How I Feel'.
Helen is working on her debut album which she hopes to complete this year - you can stream 'Playing with Fire' now.
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