Lockdown was a great opportunity for people to recognise the importance of nature in our lives. For me, it’s essential, and why I’ve ended up living on a boat for so many years.

The close proximity to nature whilst having access to the city is a good balance for me. That steady connection to the outdoors somehow fuels my creative output, maybe it’s because nature keeps me in-check, or helps me to feel things more directly, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly. All I know is that without connection to nature, I lose connection to myself, and therefore to my creativity - my music.

I’ve lived for long periods out in the countryside but I’m always drawn back to the city, London and my second home, Brighton. I grew up in London and I’m used to the liveliness and variation that cities provide. I wish I could just live out in nature, but perhaps I’m not made that way, not yet.

Saying that, I left the city as soon as I was old enough to. I’d been saving from my Saturday job for years! I wanted to see the world and yes, connect to nature. I ended up in South East Asia and something really clicked for me. It was the opportunity to be outdoors in beautiful places, the slow pace of life, it felt so up-side down to life in the West which on reflection, is what I’d gone in search of.

I felt this deep connection within myself and it was something I hadn’t encountered growing up in London. I played a lot of music then. I’d been songwriting for years, but through the regiment of A-levels and University I’d lost my love for it. It began to creep back in though with the travels and the sunsets, the space and time to reflect. I’m well aware it was a privileged experience; I feel very fortunate to have had it.

'My music really picked up in San Diego'
'My music really picked up in San Diego'

I then spent a year living in San Diego, California, and that prolonged access to the sea, the beautiful mountains, sleeping out in the desert. The climate meant being outdoors all the time and exploring the incredible landscape there. My music really picked up there, and when I eventually returned to the UK I was very clear that I had to take music seriously and find a way to access nature in my homeland, hence ending up on a narrowboat.

These days I look for ways in which to connect to land specific to the UK, like appreciating our beautiful trees (oaks are my favourite). Also attempting to understand the immense knowledge of the land that our ancestors held, Stone Henge as an obvious example. Or simply watching the change of the moon’s cycle. These things help me to connect to nature, to the magic, which then informs my music output.

It’s not that I start singing about the great stones! (that would sound dreadful coming from me) but more that the connection ‘feeds’ me, which then gives me what I need to make a song or feel a particular rhythm that day. I hope that resonates for others too, it’s a lovely thing to share.