Robb Murphy 'Pale White'


Robb Murphy:
I am a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. When I was growing up I remember my parents listening to a lot of music and helping my mom select a record for the day. I then got a keyboard for Christmas and later started playing brass instruments at school. I transitioned on to the electric guitar and began to write really bad songs. So music has been something with me all my life.

Who would you consider your biggest Musical Influence?

I have many and chop and change at times depending on mood. When I started songwriting I was listening to people like Sting, Del Amitri, Radiohead. Then when I started listening to David Gray I really got into lyrics more which I hadn't thought of much before. As my songs genre and instrumentation can be quite different I usually draw influence from whoever I happen to be listening to at the time. Now for example I have been listening to The War On Drugs, Death Cab for Cutie and Keaton Henson.

You have several songs up for streaming, do you have a favorite, or one that really means a lot to you?

The song ‘Never Letting You Go’ was one of the first songs I ever wrote, back when I was living in Edinburgh. I didn't actually record it until after releasing my first album, and the process now looking back seems fast.

Are you currently working on any new music?

Yes I have a handful of songs I am working on and aiming towards a new album. I try to write as much as I can so I am usually in the middle of trying to finish a few songs. I am currently finishing a mix of a new song called ‘Choose Your World’, a song about taking control of your inner dialog and directing your life.

Do you have anything special in the works for Christmas 2020?

Yes I plan to release another Christmas song, not quite sure what yet but I want to go outside my usual genre and write something pretty whacky like a lot of older Christmas songs used to be like. It could be horribly bad, or horribly good lol

In terms of Musical taste, what songs or type of holiday songs do you find yourself listening to the most during the season?

I also DJ so I play a lot of the classics and this year I hosted a Christmas gig in Belfast. I played a lot of tunes including some of my favs, Driving home for Christmas, Fairy Tale of New York and Silent night. I mostly like subtle Christmas songs when listening on my own, again more about the warmth and vibe of it, how it gives a good feeling and conveys a message of togetherness. Mumford and Sons - Winter Winds for example.

Do you have any fun holiday memories or stories to share?

I remember as a child always being very excited for Christmas time and being eager to go open presents and start the day. I had one older sister and brother and we all didn’t sleep much the night before and woke up early. We had a plan each year to wake up our parents by taking turns to go to the bathroom and make loud noises to try and wake them up! What is Christmas to you? What makes the holiday special? I was born on Christmas eve night so to me Christmas is a pretty big milestone. What makes it is having memories of family, my mum who is no longer with us, and also making new memories with friends and family. I like how people take time to stop and make an effort to meet up with each other.

On the topic of Christmas I'd like to talk about your new original song, “Pale White”

Does this song have a story behind it that you used as an influence?

The song is a mixture of memories from when I was a kid, how the weather is usually bad at Christmas time and this can bring us closer as we support each other. In comparison to this I was also thinking that this is the time of year that people are reminded of loved ones no longer with us, to be grateful of the memories and to know they are watching over you. It was also about how when we are at a low time of our lives we think its the worst, nothing can get better, but in time we realize that this was a phase of life, and ‘in the cracks we find we can go some more’

Where you pulling from the influence of any artists or songs when writing this song?

When I was first writing the song I started by using the keyboard sound that Shakin’ Stevens used on ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’. I wanted an upbeat type of song as my previous song had been more acoustic. From then it progressed to piano and when I took it to my band it transformed again and really got uplifting in the bridge.

What made you decide to create the song?

As I am constantly writing I wrote part of this song back in Sept 19 and thought it sounded Christmas themed. I think it's a really good way for independent artists to showcase songs and everyone at Christmas likes to hear a fresh new take on the Christmas song. It also gives me an excuse to create a cool music video and have a Christmas party with my friends !

Did you find anything about the process of creating an original Christmas song surprising? As in besides it being seasonal themed, was anything different?

So far my Christmas songs haven't been overly Christmassy in lyrics, just a few mentions of snow etc. For me the arrangement makes the song a Christmas song, the ‘twinkly’ sounds, bells and overall warmth of the track matters a lot. It’s actually good as writer to have some limitations or an idea of how the song should sound, as the singer songwriter genre is so vast, so I tend to enjoy it and the process goes quite fast

What did you enjoy most about the process?

After the song was written and recorded the fun really started with making a music video and playing a Christmas gig. I shot the video with David McGarvey from Firefly Films, we shot a load of scenes and the main party scene was fun. We played the track at double speed, lasting only 1min 40 seconds, David shot at slow speed while I tried to sing the song double speed to camera while a bunch of friends danced around me recreating an office party vibe. The live gig was also great fun, we played some classic Christmas songs and even got people involved with playing kazoo with our rendition of ‘Stop the Cavalry’ ! Where can people find your work?

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