Rowan Alistair is one of those artists you fall in love with after the first play. His sound is soulful and engaging; his lyrics are moving and intense, making his songs go straight to the heart of the listeners. Captivating and engaging, his official debut single, “Connor’s Welcome,” is a powerful track dedicated to his grandson Connor. Today, at Planet Singer, we have the great pleasure of discovering more about this talented artist with an exclusive interview!
Hi Rowan, it is such a pleasure having you with us today at Planet Singer. Let’s start from the beginning; how did you discover your love for music?
Hi, Thanks very much for having me here today at Planet Singer; I really appreciate it. That’s a very good question for the start of an interview. Obviously, with my West Indien background, my parents both originated from the wonderful island of Jamaica. It would have been impossible not to have an interest in music.
As a child, I went to church two or three times on a Sunday. Morning service, Sundayschool&eveningsong. I joined the church & school choirs at the age of eight.
Also, within the family at home, there was ALWAYS music somewhere in the background. Unlike in Germany, where I live, children are always included in the many parties the community hosted. There was always a special room for the children for when they were tired. They would just sleep anywhere, even on the floor.
What are your main influences?
To be honest, the West Indian community where I used to live in Chapeltown, Leeds – England. It was such a fantastic time, even though the area was taught to be a bit of a ghetto. The blues party’s playing all those fantastic reggae songs. Clubs like the Geatity (not sure if I have spelled it correctly after all these years) and the Warehouse in town where I discovered Jazz Funk, Soul & R&B.
Your recent single “Connor’s Welcome” is more than a song. Can you tell us more about it?
Yes, it’s an open apology to my son Justin. For the first eight to nine years of Justin’s life, I was away working on construction sites, normally in the south of Germany, and only returning home at the weekends.
This obviously meant that I missed a lot of important things from Justin. His first goal for his football team, parents – teacher’s meetings in the school, etc.
Now I will be able to spend more time with my grandson Connor, and I hope Justin will understand what I had to do at the time to make things meet for the family (Papa’s always on the grind).
What do you think about the music industry’s contemporary twists, the playlist jungle, the digital algorithm? Do you think it helps artists, or it makes music every day a little bit more sterile?
Well, as a newcomer, it’s very, very difficult to answer this question correctly. But I do find that the tools out there are intended to help the artist, which in turn means you spend about 70% of your time promoting your music and yourself as an artist. Basically, it leads to less time for creativity. Saying this, I’m in the comfortable situation of having two family members who help me immensely.
Let’s face it; we’re all independent artists, so we have the freedom to do or not do what we please. I don’t believe the music will become sterile by the promotion possibilities available.
Your songwriting style is unique! Can you reveal your artistic process when it comes to creating your music?
It’s all very unspectacular. I always have my smartphone with me, and when I have a new idea for a text or melody, I just save it to my phone. Then, when I have the time, I just develop the song. It could take anything from minutes up to months.
What inspires you?
Among the song of your discography, is there a special one?
Yes, “Connor’s Welcome” because it’s my first and only song at the moment and also a very personal song.
If you could collaborate with one or more of your idols, who would you like to share the stage with?
That’s easy – Alexander O’Neil!
What are your plans for the future?
Releasing a lot more songs, developing my keyboard playing, and of course, spending a lot of time with Connor.
Rowan, it was such a pleasure chatting with you and having the chance to discover more about your music. Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Yes, thank you all for your support. It’s not easy for a new artist to find fans with so much music out there, and I really appreciate it. My new release was planned for March/April, but because of Corona, it will be delayed until at least the summer.
Please subscribe to my newsletter at www.rowanalistair1.de.
It was a pleasure talking to you guys at Planet Singer, and thanks very much for having me.
Check the links below, discover more about Rowan Alistair and his music, and don’t forget to add his tracks to your favorite playlists!
I was born and raised in Leeds, England; my parents where both from Jamaica, so music was always present in our house when I was growing up. I remember that I was overly fond of music and enjoyed singing a lot. Probably one of the main reasons why I joined the church and school choirs at the age of eight.
In 1990 my only child Justin was born; it was a fantastic moment for me. Regrettably, due to my job, I was only home at the weekends and could not indulge in a father’s day-to-day adventures with his son. (hence my first single – the song “Connor’s Welcome”)
My biggest moment up to date was while I was participating with my choir “SingOut” in the World Choir Games in South Africa in 2018. We did a concert in a Church in Soweto, Johannesburg. It was indeed one of the most emotional moments of my life.
I still sing in this choir when the time allows. Have worked on various musical productions, including “The Martin Luther King Story”, “The Life Of Nelson Mandela” etc. (as a Tenor in different choirs).
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