What prompted you to get into music?

Edith Bowman

Edith Bowman

I grew up with music always being around me. My parents collected records so there was always music playing at home and hosted dinner dances and Jazz band afternoon teas with local bands at our family hotel, so I always loved listening in on these. There has always been a gravitational pull for me with music so it seemed natural to go into the industry as it is what I am passionate about. Above anything else, it has always had a strong influence on me in so many different ways. Having music around you is like having a constant companion wherever you go!

If we dug into your music collection what would we find?

All sorts! Some of my favourite albums, like Some Cities by Doves or The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake, would probably stand out. Then you might come across some Oasis, Hans Zimmer and Richard Hawley. I also love an Up Yer Ronson compilation and one of my all-time favourite songs is Thriller by Michael Jackson.

Why did you get involved with the Hotel Indigo Sounds of the Neighbourhood campaign?

I find the dynamic between music and its local area interesting. I think music can have a powerful influence on a neighbourhood but equally be influenced by it. Whether it's a new track from an emerging artist or an iconic song from decades earlier, music will always generate a special energy and tell a unique story about an area.

I like how each Hotel Indigo property is influenced by its local neighbourhood and the idea of celebrating the music from each neighbourhood felt like a wonderful opportunity to bring people together. Creating the playlists not only allowed me to enthuse about the bands and artists I already know about in each city, but also let me delve into the diverse range of sounds produced by the artists from a fresh perspective. As a country, we are very lucky to have such a rich tapestry of home-grown music available to us that is loved all over the world. Hotel Indigo aims to celebrate this through the Sounds of the Neighbourhood campaign so I'm delighted to be helping them.

Which tracks did you choose for your Sounds of the Neighbourhood playlist and why?

It's been a really interesting and fun process curating them but I also quite difficult - choosing just 20 tracks for each is near impossible! For each the nine Hotel Indigo neighbourhoods, ranging from Birmingham to York and London, there are very obvious artists and songs that should be included however, I didn't just want to focus on artists from each area but also factor in musicians and bands that I have watched perform live at venues in each neighbourhood. For example, I watched Coldplay play at Earl's Court Stadium for the first time and my husband's band, Editors, played at Luminaire on Kilburn High Road and the NEC in Birmingham just a few years apart, so I had to include them! I thought Liverpool would be the hardest but Glasgow, which I have to say I'm incredibly proud of, has had the most wonderful wealth of music over the years which made narrowing down the list hard. I tried hard to make the playlist as eclectic as possible and cover a range of eras, which explains why you'll find John Barry alongside Kasabian and The La's.

What sounds inspire you from your local neighbourhood?

There was, and still is, a very successful music scene in my local neighbourhood back in Scotland. Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote is from the area and set up Fence Records and The Homegame festival so I'm proud about this! In London I'm a stone's throw from Camden which has played host to such a huge part of the British Music scene's history. Within 15 minutes I can walk to The Roundhouse, Camden Barfly, The Forum, The Dome in Tufnell Park, Electric Ballroom and KoKo. These venues have all been so important to me in terms of being lucky enough to watch and discover so much wonderful musical talent over the years.

It's amazing to have so much inspiration on my doorstep and I love the fact that I can watch artists perform live on stage without even having to get the tube. People should definitely take the opportunity to support local music landmarks and enjoy the sounds produced and played in their neighbourhood.

What can we expect from the Hotel Indigo Sunday Socials you are hosting in London, Liverpool and Glasgow?

You can expect them to be a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to performing alongside Dave McCabe, Jazzie B and Mylo. Above all, they'll be a chance to get together with friends and kick-back on a Sunday with the help of a delicious roast dinner and live music. There is something quite magical about Sunday afternoons; the pressure is off for one more day and, for me, it's about investing in you time and spending quality time with friends whilst doing something you all enjoy. The idea of having nice food, great music and catching up with people sounds perfect to me! I hope I'm going to make a lot of new friends at each one.

So, how can people get involved?

Come down and join in with one of the Hotel Indigo Sunday Social events taking place between now and the end of November in in London, Liverpool and Glasgow. You can also listen to our neighbourhood-inspired playlists which we have curated and find out more about the Sounds of the Neighbourhood campaign by visiting www.hotelindigo.com/music.

How do you keep track of artists and new talent in your neighbourhood?

I find the best and most enjoyable way is to go to gigs in your local area, from pubs to larger venues and one-off special events. Make sure you arrive early to check out the support acts too as they are normally the more local names who are emerging and, you never know, could one day be on the charts. Following a local listings magazine or music blog is also a good idea too. I'm always online and follow lots of people on Twitter to make sure I hear about things as early as possible.

I'm also lucky to have a great circle of trusted friends who keep me up to speed on things and send me suggestions of music-related things to check out. People take for granted just how much goes on in their local neighbourhood. It's always the same, the closer you are to things the more you do so. Take a step back and have a dig around closer to home, you'll likely be surprised by what your local venue has got lined-up.

What have been your music highlights this year and what are you looking forward to in 2016?

Well I started a new radio show for BBC Scotland called The Quay Sessions and we record it every Wednesday on our special stage overlooking the River Clyde. It includes 2 hours of live music and it goes out on the radio on a Thursday night and it's also filmed. We have had so many fantastic bands and artists on so far this year, many local names like Rachel Sermani, Siobhan Wilson, Broken Records, Adam Holmes, Linden and C Duncan. We've also had others on the show, including PSB, Jack Savoretti, Texas and Will Young to name a few. I love it!

In 2016 I really want to cover more festivals as I think they are such a great way to see a lot of musicians play live - they are my second home. I'm also keen to go on tour with my husband for a bit with his band Editors. They are going to be touring the States next year and I'm desperate to visit Nashville so I'm going to try to tag along.

What does 'neighbourhood' mean to you?

Local, something that means something to you, that you have a connection with, whether through music, food or people.

What are your impressions of our Hotel Indigo hotels?

I think they are wonderful. Great staff, relaxed atmosphere and stylish surroundings. I love how the design of each property is inspired by the local neighbourhood, from the artistic murals to the locally-sourced food in the restaurants. If I had a really rich friend who had the dream enormous house, it would reflect a Hotel Indigo property.

Edith Bowman is launching Sounds of the Neighbourhood with Hotel Indigo. Experience the live DJ sets from Edith, Dave McCabe (formerly Zutons), Mylo (DJ / Producer) and Soul II Soul legend, Jazzie B at the free Hotel Indigo Sunday Socials in Liverpool, Glasgow and London Kensington throughout November. Visit www.hotelindigo.com/music for more info.

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