Hailing from the UK, CHAPMAN is a singer, songwriter, and producer who has been around the block a few times.
In July 2010, CHAPMAN began his weekly live acoustic YouTube show, The Bare Bones Sessions. Two years later, having gone monthly, CHAPMAN has been using each session to showcase a new song, written that month, and then records a full studio version of the track available for download after the show.
I usually say that most of the people that influence my music are either dead or reclusive! Jim Croce, David Ackles, Harry Nilsson, Nick Drake and Scott Walker are either dead or reclusive! I also have the word ‘FUNK' tattooed on my right arm and ‘SOUL’ on my left arm so that gives you another clue to where my other influences come from.
What are the Bare Bones Sessions and how did they come about?
The Bare Bones Sessions are me getting up in front of the cameras and performing my latest song live and acoustically in a ‘Bare Bones’ style and putting it up on my Bare Bones Sessions YouTube channel. At the time of writing, August 3rd will see Bare Bones Session #70.
I started the sessions because as well as being a singer/songwriter, I’m also a proud Dad. My daughter was born in 2007, and I didn’t want to miss a second of her growing up – so instead of touring, I started the sessions to showcase my work live to a global audience. She starts school in September so things may change for me.
How difficult was it to write one song per week?
It’s a bit like going to the gym! Songwriting is like a muscle; the more you do it the easier it gets. It was a great discipline for me because you have a deadline and you have to write and be able to play the song in a week. I got a lot of great ideas from the Songwriting Shortcuts books by Robin Frederick.
What song has received the biggest reception?
I wrote a song called "Butterfly" about my sister-in-law who was critically ill at the time. She died a few days after I performed the song on the session and people really connected with it. Since the sessions have gone monthly I’ve had two new songs "Human Sea" and "Yes I Do" that have racked up a lot of views and iTunes sales! I’m hoping that August’s track "Over My Head" will get a good reception.
Do you ever work with a full band?
I had a record deal with my band MacArthur a few years back. We were signed to a label owned by Dave Stewart from Eurythmics. He was a creative guy and it was nice to have a lot of money spent on photos, recording an album and making a video but ultimately the financial backing melted away and the label collapsed. We had a great album, but we didn’t own it and it took 3 years of legal battles to get the rights back but by the time that happened the moment had passed for us. That’s what caused me to go solo and start my own label and publishing company, Prosperous Hooks.
I can produce a full band sound in my studio, which is all I need at the moment…plus no waiting around for people to turn up for rehearsal and no musical differences!
What’s next musically?
I’m honest about the fact that my main aim is to write songs that can be licensed for TV and Film. In the changing musical world we need to make a living from everywhere we can. So I’m always working towards my next song, hoping people connect with it and trying to get it sync’d for the screen.
The great thing is that I never know what’s coming next, releasing a single every month keeps me pretty busy. That’s how most people buy their music now, track by track; I don’t feel under pressure to make a traditional album even though I’m producing enough tracks for one, after all in 2010 I released three albums in one day! But that’s for another question…