Recording, engineering and mixing his debut EP at Soup Studio, Philip Murray Warson is a man who's ready to showcase his talent to the world with his first big release.
Out now, the collection manages to capture many different sides of the singer/songwriter, and so we were excited to get the chance to put some questions to the rising star. Find out what he had to say below.
For those new to you and your music, how best would you describe your sound?
I often get categorised as folk, which is probably a good starting point. I like a lot of old blues and country as well as traditional British music, and it all gets mixed up. I don't try and write in a particular style, it's just what comes out.
What should new listeners expect from your debut EP?
There are two of my own songs and one arrangement of a folk standard.
Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind this EP?
I don't have a particular writing process - although I'm not one to sit with an acoustic guitar and try and come up with things. I'm just always jotting things down or playing with musical ideas. This means I often write the words and music separately and they sort-of find their way together.
In terms of recording, I found a great analogue studio in East London, which I really wanted to get the sound I was after. I did my guitar and vocal live to tape, and we tried to make it sound as natural and honest as we could.
I then arranged some extra parts and got a load of friends to come in and play on it. There's accordian, trumpets, cello, bass and drums on it, so it turned into quite a full sound.
How important is it for you to maintain creative control when it comes to your work?
Really important. I think if you're doing your own music you have to be yourself and stand by it - not to the point that you become closed-minded, though.
You've toured with the National Theatre in the past, what was that experience like?
I've been really lucky, I worked on quite a big show that went to Australia, New Zealand and the Far East as well as round the UK, so I have had some great experiences travelling. I was also fronting the live on-stage band every night of the week, to some big houses, which was quite an old-fashioned apprenticeship really. It's made me a much better musician, performer and songwriter I think. I've also worked with, met and hung out with some great people!
What can you tell us about your career in music and your journey to where you are today?
I've always played in bands and written songs. I was in a band when I was at school - we even played at the Reading Festival - which is where I really got the taste for it.
While I was at uni was when I started writing playing solo and when I became interested in the theatre side. I attended the National Youth Theatre, which is how I chanced an audition for the first National Theatre tour I did.
From that I've done a few other things and learned a lot. Then I've just been doing more and more of my own music - I did some small gigs in New York, after a chance meeting while I was working in the West End, which kind of made me get on with it! After that I did some proper recording, and had a couple of festival slots this summer and supported some bands and here we are.
Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career going ahead?
I'd like to do an album at some point, but probably want to sort out some sort of backing, which is always a tough one. I wouldn't say I have anything definite, just to take it as it comes and do the best I can.
Where do you draw influence or inspiration from for your work?
I listen to a lot of Dylan. I love the old Blues masters - like Robert Johnson, Son House and Mississippi John Hurt - and all the early Rockabilly stuff, which all creeps into my playing.
I also like a lot of British traditional songs and the Vaughan Williams/A.L. Lloyd collection is sort of like a staple. I also love old soul recordings - particularly Stax Records - so it's a melting pot really. I think working a lot in the theatre has had an influence as well, though my dancing still needs work!
If you could work with anybody going ahead, who would you choose and why?
Maybe T Bone Burnett? We could do a transatlantic rootsy film score!
What's next for you in the coming weeks and months?
I'm working on a play in London until mid-January, which I'm in rehearsals for at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to get some recording done so I can put some more stuff out in the New Year. After that, we'll see...
Philip's debut EP is available now.