2010 sees a highly ambitious and unique move with CHAPMAN releasing three albums simultaneously, which interpret the same 11 songs in three different ways. The Bare Bones of Mr Ballad sees CHAPMAN performing the songs live acoustically in their most embryonic form with no overdubs or studio tricks. The Amplification of Mr Ballad is a much larger and more ambitious production, showcasing his unique vocal, drawing on soul, folk and pop influences using strings and brass to full effect. The third album is dance floor friendly, The Remix of Mr Ballad where the 11 tracks are remixed by his producer alter ego OneFourtyFour. Mr. Ballad is a nickname coined by CHAPMAN’s myspace fans after the release of his first album.
How do you describe your music to people?
My current elevator pitch/one liner is 'Orchestrally Soulful, Digitally Tantric'.
I'm releasing 3 albums simultaneously, each with the same 11 songs but interpreted differently on each album Full band, Acoustically and Remix so that pitch tries to capture it all.
Someone once described me as Crosby,Stills and Nash meets The Rotary Connection - I like that.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
When I was growing up there were guitars and there was always a piano in the house (at one time there were two!). The benefit of being the youngest of six children is that you get exposed to a lot of different styles of music from your older siblings and if they play instruments then you want to do what they do.
From that kind of grounding I think any child would dream of making music for a living or being a rock star. I wrote my first song aged 5 on the inside of a shoebox lid. I have that lid framed on the wall in my studio - everybody has to start somewhere! From there I was in bands that had deals and worked in remixing until I finally realised that I needed to stop collaborating and do everything myself - compromise can kill music.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Honestly - to lie in the sun my daughter on one side my wife on the other listening to the greatest music I can imagine.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
When you're independent and trying to break through (and a control freak!) you end up doing a lot of things yourself; I like to make as many of my interactions with fans personal so I'm not just pressing a button and messages are going out to everyone on Facebook or having someone else do my Tweets for me.
When you have a two year old daughter as well the biggest challenge is managing my TIME!
At the moment I have two fantastic PR companies in my corner that is making my life a lot easier Boo Media in the UK and Ariel Publicity in the US
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I really did dream of being a rock star. I also wanted to be a politician but once I got involved in student politics I saw that greed and hypocrisy are much stronger than someone's ideals.
However much one individual in the political arena may believe they want to bring about change there are 100s working against him for the status quo either that or they end up being corrupted themselves.
So that left Rock Star.....
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Growing up I lived in a rural village surrounded by fields, our nearest neighbour was a mile away. I spent a lot of time in the woods and fields and I think that pastoral influence is always with me. When I moved to the city I followed a path through DJing and remixing that gave me Funk, Soul, House and Disco. Three years ago I moved to a house by the sea so I expect I'll start singing sea shanties!
What other artists out there do you love?
People always joke with me that most of the artists I like are dead or reclusive...and they are right to an extent! So when you say 'out there' I imagine the whole universe!
Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, David Ackles and Scott Walker (dead and reclusive) are always constants for me. Currently, I love the latest Midlake, Wild Beasts, Gil Scott Heron and Richard Hawley albums and the last Bill Callahan album was incredible. I've also been listening to Hacienda Acid House Classics and John Fahey 'The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death' recently.
What does your future hold?
I want to continue to make music
I want my music to be enjoyed and loved and mean something to people
I believe I create my own reality so the future is in my hands....