SIX OF THE BEST: Corey Bowen | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Middlesbrough songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Corey Bowen is poised to release his new EP, Dying Laughing. Having enjoyed success on the live stage and receiving airplay from the likes of Annie Mac and Huw Stephens, along with ghostwriting for other artists and producing music for TV, the artist is now focusing on his own material. Here, he talks about the broad spectrum of film, art and music that have influenced his work…

I’m the type of person that can’t switch off from stuff so, if it’s there to be had,  I can really take influence from everything I do. Nothing influences me more than every day life; relationships, happiness, sadness. It sounds like a really crap answer but it’s true. I find that I can’t really create influence or inspiration too much so, really, I have no choice but to take it from things that are actually happening.

Film: First Days of Spring

An old mate of mine showed me this film when I was a teenager and the soundtrack is so moving, it’s unbelievable. The film itself and the soundtrack was made by Noah & The Whale, a band whose music I never really cared for if I’m being honest. Then after seeing the film it made me look at them in a completely different light and really appreciate how talented they are. The story of the film and the music is perfectly entwined and I probably owe a lot of my love for orchestral music to it.

Art: Eden Calgie (@pho.cal)

I’ve known Eden since we were kids, we’ve played in bands and toured together in the past. He is one of my closest friends and the most creative and unique person I know. He is such a talented photographer and I am such a fan of his work, which feels a bit weird because I know him so well personally. He has this really cool knack for capturing complete candour in perfect moments and is really passionate about what he does. He is obsessed with finding niche cameras in the strangest little shops and markets and that really shows in his photos; no two have the same feel and I love that about it. Even though Eden takes photographs and I make music he has been a massive influence on me; through showing that doing things your own way often makes for the best art.

Album: Tapestry by Carole King

I don’t know where to start with Tapestry; it’s got absolutely everything. Everything I like about music appears in this album. It’s got a real warmth in the production, it’s soulful, her voice is incredible and the songwriting is on another level. The arrangements are unbelievable too; it’s one of many albums that makes me want to just write good songs.

Podcast: Take Your Shoes Off with Rick Glassman

Bit of a strange influence for a musician but there is some reason to it; I get bogged down a lot of the time in being profound and really saying something in my lyrics and when I’m in that frame of mind I never come out with anything good. Rick’s podcast reminds me that sometimes it’s OK to just be a silly goose and to not take stuff to seriously or literally. The production of the podcast is amazing too, and unlike any other podcast. Rick colours his conversations with animation and sound effects that bring life and humour to what are often quite dark subjects. I try to translate that in my production work, with bells and whistles here and there that help the music deviate from something mundane or monotonous.

Magazine: Thrasher

I think the attitude that exists within skateboarding generally is something I take a lot of influence from; I constantly have video parts playing on the TV whilst I’m recording or mixing too. I love the togetherness in skateboarding and that DIY element. Skateboarders can create a spot out of nothing and are always on the lookout for a rail or stair set and never switch off. I think the same about making music; there isn’t five minutes that goes by where I’m not thinking about something in a mix or arrangement and I’m constantly listening for melodies or tones, in a similar way to how skaters are constantly looking for a new spot. I suppose I chose Thrasher because it’s been so important in presenting what skaters and teams are doing since skateboarding became widely recognised.

Musicianship: Charlie Glazebrook

Charlie, again, is one my closest friends. We sometimes write songs together under the name Modern Rodeo too. Charlie is the most naturally talented musician I have ever laid eyes and ears on. We like a lot of the same music but I think we hear different stuff within that music. As a guitar player he completely has his own sound and can produce melodies on a guitar that you couldn’t even imagine, let alone play. In the past I’ve wrote some really crap songs that have been made great purely by Charlie playing on them and that, for me, is the sign of a proper musician. I think, in terms of music, nobody has influenced the way I write and make music more than Charlie; I properly wish that I could play guitar like he can.

 

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