Focus: Phil Muriel | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Phil Muriel. I was born in Paris but I have lived all of my adult life in the UK.

What is it you do?
I am a singer, songwriter and musician. I play guitar, drums and harmonica. I love recording myself and playing all the instruments.

How long have you been doing it?
I have played music all my life. My Mam didn’t play an instrument but she was a fine singer and taught me how to sing harmony. I am completely self-taught: I can’t read music but I have worked out how to play instruments by trial and error (in pre- YouTube days!). I have played in many different bands in France and the UK and I continue to do so. I have also played solo gigs in venues big and small (the Riverside festival in Stockton, Georgian Theatre, Rafferty’s Bar and many more).

What inspires you?
I also work as an interpreter, helping traumatised individuals access mental health services, so, nowadays, music for me is a form of therapy, helping me regulate my own mental health. I take inspiration from some of the people I meet in my work or I write songs that deal with situations I have encountered. Musically, my influences are far ranging and include all styles of music: classical, jazz, blues, soul, reggae etc. Lyrically, Bob Dylan is a massive influence and inspiration as is Paul Simon and, more recently, Foy Vance.

Tell us about your music.
My songs are in different styles rather than only one, so you probably can hear some of the musical influences I just mentioned. There’s definitely some blues in there and probably some Motown, but, recently, a fellow musician told me that one of my songs sounded ‘punkish’.

What have you got coming up in the future?
I am just about to release my first album (having recorded a few EPs previously). It’s a mix of original songs and covers by some of my favourite songwriters (Dylan and Foy Vance are in there, as well as Marvin Gaye and others). Having written songs on quite serious themes in the past, I am pleased to feature my first love song, a laid-back ballad with a 60’s Motown feel entitled, To Love and Be Loved.

Where can people find out more about you?
You can find me on Facebook, (, Bandcamp ( and Instagram (


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