FEATURE: Rojor – My Inspiration | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside singer songwriter Rojor talks us through the inspiration on new single Something Missing, which is out now and is part of EP If Luv Could Cure, which is out on Friday 8th March.

I didn’t set out to write a radio track, I never do, but sometimes one just appears. I’ve always been interested in where songs come from – do we write them? Or do they just appear in the ether and as songwriters we tap into some sort of universal force and the music is communicated through us? Who knows? But anyone who’s ever been caught in that fire knows that moment when everything aligns, and the song just flows out.

In this digital age I still write at the piano or with an acoustic guitar – I still scribble lyrics in notebooks and on scraps of paper. Something Missing was written on piano around 3 chords – the words just fell out as I sat there with a strong coffee and a hangover. Essentially, it’s a love song but it’s not addressing the boring concept ‘I love you and you love me’. What I find more interesting is the dynamic created by the theme ‘I love you and you love someone else’ – once you add that extra dimension suddenly there’s a whole new world of human interaction to explore. It introduces the element of ‘intrigue’, hurt’ and ‘betrayal’, which are essential components of any interesting tale and indeed the human condition.

So, what inspires me to write songs? Who are my heroes and idols? I’ve always loved cool pop songs and the notion that it can be credible as an art form.  From my youth listening to Bowie, Bolan, Roxy Music and 3-minute punk classics, to my Dad’s Beatles records and later discoveries such as The Doors and The Velvet Underground pop songwriting has been an intriguing possibility. Springsteen’s Hungry Heart, Because the Night and Dancing in the Dark expressed heartfelt honesty and proved love songs can carry a message and a story along with musical weight and integrity. A serious songwriter can write pop.

Pop can be cool!! It can be intelligent, it can have a real voice and not one designed to manipulate. But cool pop still has at its heart a great sugar rush, radio friendly tune/hook/song. I’m talking about the melodic, shimmering guitars of The Smiths’ pop sophistication or a Human League love action, electronic hip cool. It is possible to be creative and not generic. It is ok to be ‘original’ and to have your own sound and voice. In fact, it is crucial. Bands like The Teardrop Explodes were a cool pop outfit experimenting and pushing the envelope back in the day with hits like Reward and Treason. The Associates, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Police, The Vapors, Prince – I could call out a hundred. Wave after wave of fresh genres from punk, new wave, new romantics, brit pop – they all had great pop songs at the core – The Buzzcocks Ever Fallen in Love, The Jam Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, Joy Division Love Will Tear Us Apart, Duran Duran Planet Earth, Nirvana Come As You Are– the list goes on.

Sure, I want to create albums with deeper cuts, but I also want every album to carry a radio friendly pop record. In the last few years my singles Everytime I See Her, Only Luv Can Hurt and Disconnected even spilled onto national radio with BBC RADIO 2, RTE Radio 1 and BBC Scotland all giving airtime to my songs – wow!! See it can be done!! I guess these little victories go some way to show that recording and writing on a small budget in a cold Northern post-industrial town can momentarily get you the attention of the ‘king makers’ and even if my approach hasn’t led to a full-scale storming of the bastille I did at least manage to send out my songs across the Universe on the radio frequencies of the our big hitting stations.

So, my pop offering at the beginning of 2019 is Something Missing – an electronic radio pulse with crashing guitars, a killer chorus keyboard hook and my trademark melancholic vocal delivery.

Give it a listen on SPOTIFY and if you get a spare minute check out my official website here.

Hope to see you on the road sometime.

Love Rojor x

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