Paul Orwell is a London based singer songwriter who released one of Merc's favourite albums of last year "Blowing Your Mind Away" - 14 songs that transported the listener back to the 1960s. Hammond organs, strong choruses, riffs and melodies that received critical acclaim and sold out of all copies on the heavy soul label.
Like a true modernist Paul is pushing things forward with his new release , "Organised Blues" , an instrumental album that is Hammond heavy and in Paul's words is "very fast, very Mod.....an album that kids would take to a party in the 1960s"
Available now for pre order, we caught up with Paul to find out where he hopes this change of direction will take him, and how he stays loyal to his influences by continually looking to change.
Paul with his debut Blowing your mind away.
How's 2016 been for Paul Orwell so far ?
So far so good, been busy working on new material for future projects and ideas. Also been sorting my live show out so i don't get too fat.
You have a new instrumental album scheduled for release called Organised Blues, tell us about that ?
It's an instru'mental' album that features Organs playing a major part throughout. Very mod, very old school! 12 tracks mostly fast upbeat numbers to keep ya dancing.
Paul with "Organised Blues"
What inspired you to go for an instrumental "Hammond Heavy" release after the success you experienced with your debut "Blowing Your Mind Away" where your vocal was a strong element of the albums sound ?
I just really fancied making an album that would of been sought after today if it was made back in the day… if that makes sense.
An album kids would take to a party in the 60's, place it on the Dansette in the corner, take some Purple Hearts, and dance and have fun.
How does your songwriting technique differ when writing songs with no lyrics or chorus ?
I basically write the song/s with lyrics, and then use the organ to play the vocal melody, so not much changes in technique.
It's almost like cover versions of my own songs set to Hammond.
What do you hope people will get from "Organised Blues"
Just a lot of fun, turn it up loud and have a party, turn it down low and have a cultured evening. I think people who understand the genre will dig, if you like Booker, Wynder, Mohawks, Mar-Keys etc.
How have the tracks been received so far ?
I've only released one 45 from the album called "A side: Don't Do As I Do - Just Do As I Say // B side: "Pleasure Pill" Released on Heavy Soul Rec, that sold out quick on pre-order and has gone down very, very well on the mod dance seen especially for DJ sets etc.
The Album itself went live on pre-order a few days ago, 350 heavy black vinyl 50 heavy blue vinyl. The Blue sold out in less than 3 mins, the Black i think only a handful are still available.
Watch "Don't do as I do - just do as I say" here
Where do you feel you are as an artist now following on from last years "Blowing your mind away" ?
I'm in a good place, I'm channeling most of my 60s roots into a new project called The Shoots, nice R&B'eat all in mono. It's fronted by my friend Lord Essien a fantastic soul talent. It's been amazing to write for, I will have an album and some 45's out soon from that.
I'm recording fellow Night Fall's Michael Parrett's debut album… producing & arranging etc, thats a pleasure to do.
For the future "Paul Orwell" releases expect new stuff soon, I don't wanna be a one trick pony, nor do i wanna write another Blowing Your Mind Away!
It's so important for me as a writer, artist, bastard, to keep it fresh otherwise i get bored.. keep the element of surprise going! I think far too many band's do what is safe, don't wanna expand, to me they aint artists. They just think, "Ooooo that sells, lets just keep putting out the same fucking song in a different key". It's the easy way, I've never done things the easy way.
Will you be getting out on the road soon to tour the album ?
Yes, if promoters pay, I'll be at the venue playing my tainted heart out.
As an ever changing and developing forward thinking musician, where do you see your next direction to be taking you?
That's a hard question to answer, in my mind after hearing the new material I think it'll loose the people who don't wanna expand.
The people who are just after the safe option… I could be wrong, only time will tell... the genuine music lovers will get it.
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