At the beginning of this month Richard Stirton released his brand new EP ‘Naked’. This offering – free from any labels – has taken close to two years of writing and recording, with songs first written back in 2017 and recording starting in June 2018. We caught up with him (not in the buff) to find out more.
Hello again. Can you believe it was over two years ago that we first interviewed you for your debut album ‘Middle Ground’. Time certainly does fly! Tell us what has Richard been up to since then?
Hello! Time does fly! That’s crazy to think that it’s been so long. Richard has been up to a lot (that was me speaking about myself in the third person). I’ve been through a lot in the last three years, being exposed to many parts of the music industry that you basically only become aware of once you actually enter it. I have been doing everything I can to better myself as a musician, songwriter, person and businessman. Constantly trying to better myself.
So, you parted ways with Universal music last year. Can you tell us what has been the most rewarding part of this freedom to steer your own ship?
The most rewarding part has been the idea that I can finally stand behind my music with 100% conviction and say that it is mine. That it is an extension of myself and that if anybody connects with it that they are connecting directly with me. That’s what I want and strive for. That human connection.
That’s what I want and strive for. That human connection
No time is wasted though, there are always lessons to be learned. What valuable knowledge did you gain while being signed to a label?
I got a lot of insight into how the music industry works behind the scenes. The back end of things. More from a business point of view. I also made some friends for life who have helped me and guided me through some new experiences.
We are absolutely loving Naked – almost as much as walking around the house naked.
You worked with Executive Producer Michael Wilson-Trollip on this EP. What was it like working with him?
Thank you so much! I am so glad to hear that. Well maybe try listening while walking around naked! That could be a good combo. Haha.
It was an absolute pleasure. We just want to make music that we absolutely believe in. Again, we both strive for sincerity. Michael allowed me to have absolute control over every single track. Nothing was done without my 100% backing, which is something that I wanted on this new music. He was able to help me channel my vision and embellish the ideas I have. I feel like we have developed a brilliant working relationship and our creative process has become very fluid.
We learn from the valleys in order to climb to higher crests. To rebuild, to grow
We can tell you have experienced spiritual growth, it comes through in this EP (the background to the title, song titles and meanings etc). Was this a gradual process or did you have a specific ‘Aha’ moment that shifted you?
I think personally I had to go through a few experiences that gave me the perspective shift. Often you have to go through dark times followed by introspection in order to grow as a human being. I think that’s what life is about at the end of the day, that undulation around the equilibrium of happiness. We learn from the valleys in order to climb to higher crests. To rebuild, to grow. It applied to my relationships with others, my career, my everyday lifestyle and ultimately what I feel I want to achieve as a human being. I think I found and realised balance.
‘Breathe’ brings to mind the simplest form of meditation…that of focusing on the breath. Do you meditate?
I think meditation comes in many different forms. I do not meditate in the traditional sense but I find meditation through different outlets. I exercise heavily, around five times a week. This allows me to switch off and just be present in what I am doing. I become completely in tune with my body in those moments and I find my mind becomes a lot clearer once I have completed a session. I love being active, pushing my body and being in nature. Those are my forms of meditation that give my mind the cleanse that it needs when things can get overwhelming.
Nice answer! I love using running as a form of meditation too.
We must believe in ourselves and the fact that if we want something badly enough we won’t stop until we achieve it
Ok, so the press shots for this album – hot hot hot! We have to ask though… were you actually nakie? If not, what were you wearing?
I reserve comment.
Tell us a little about your connection and tie in to the runic alphabet.
I have always been drawn to symbolic meaning behind things and I wanted the same to apply to my music brand/logo. I had seen Runic symbols (Symbols used during viking times) and their meanings had always interested me. I researched what the symbols that looked like an R and S and an M stood for (to work as an acronym for Richard Stirton Music but to still have a deeper meaning than that through the use of the symbols). It was quite amazing how they worked out in such a cohesive manner. The ᚱ stands for “Journey”, the ᛇ stands for “Wholeness” and the ᛗ stands for “Self”. This really resonated with me and tied in with my entire ethos of becoming the best version of yourself. Because at the end of the day thats all we’re trying to achieve as human beings. That constant perseverance and striving to be better in every aspect of life. I think the important thing that it also promotes is the idea that life is exactly that, it’s a Journey, and that often we must enjoy the ride. Not to get too overwhelmed or impatient with where we are vs where we want to be or feel we are going. It’s so important that each of us realises that things take time and that we should trust our processes. We must believe in ourselves and the fact that if we want something badly enough we won’t stop until we achieve it.
Last time we saw you live you spoke of your rubbish dance moves (not that that stopped you) Have you improved any / worked on those skills since then?
I commit to them now. If you do anything with conviction people are far more likely to gravitate towards it. This being said, I am by no means doing any choreography, haha.
We really enjoy your live shows, with the added bonus of your clowning around and storytelling. Any gigs planned to promote the EP, so fans can catch you in action?
Thank you so much! Yes, I always enjoy incorporating a healthy amount of banter. We’re in the process of planning some tours. People can visit my website, richardstirton.com to stay up to date with all upcoming shows, news and new music.
Thanks for the chat. We wish you great success with your Naked offering.
Thanks so much for such epic questions. Chat in two years time! Haha