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Q & A with Nick Edwards, talking 'bout new single - Perfect Hand, BGT and all things County Music

So after we reviewed Nick Edwards last single, "Perfect Hand" a few weeks ago, we got to thinking and realised we had a few questions that we wanted to ask him. So we thought, hey why not ask him, so we did and he didn't mind at all. Phew!, so here they are.

Rick Paris: Hi Nick, After reading your Press release for Perfect Hand, I never realised that you had a big break with Britain's Got Talent. I must confess that I am not a big BGT watcher these days. I watched the first few series and over the last few years, I seem to have less time and I only dip in and out, so I missed your big break last year. Can you tell us what that was like?

Nick Edwards: When looking back on the whole experience, it's extraordinary how it all aligned into place. I had my first child 'Jack' at the age of 27, and although I gave it everything I had trying to make it as a singer/songwriter, it just didnt happen for me. So, I decided to turn my focus to being a dad with a conventional career, and for certainly the first ten years of my son's life, I rarely picked up the guitar and rarely wrote any songs. It wasn't until 2021 when my sister-in-law bought us a karaoke machine, that I started to enjoy singing again, and it brought a lot back for me. I guess it kinda went from there. It got to Christmas 2021, and I remember mentioning to my wife that I wanted to start singing again and maybe start doing the pub scene, which I never thought about before. Little did I know that my wife had already been contacted by the show behind the scenes, having seen a video of me singing on social media, and the 'setup' was already in planning for my surprise in January 2022. I'd rarely watched the show myself for years, but obviously, it holds a special place for me now, as it helped me to find my heart and soul again.

RP: Now "Perfect Hands", What was the inspiration behind the song? and where was it produced?

NE: I wrote 'Perfect Hand' in August 2022, and sat on it for a while. I was listening to a lot of Luke Combs at the time, so there is definitely some 'Luke' in there on this one, although I really wanted the fiddle to have that 'bluegrass' vibe to it. It wasnt until April 2023, that we started putting it together in the studio. We recorded most of the parts in our home studio's as most of my band have that luxury, but we tracked the fiddle and vocals in Nashville in July 2023. This song was produced by Dan James Short, who produces most of my stuff, although we were also lucky to have worked with Diana Walsh, who is based in Nashville and has recorded acts such as Colin Nash, Caitlin Smith & Amanda Shires. Diana actually recorded and mixed my single ' Daddy's Little Girls'. Its crazy to think the process of writing to recording can be so long, but seeing it coming together is definitely fulfilling. 'Perfect Hand' is about all things good. Being dealt that 'Perfect Hand'. Lifes a gamble sometimes, but I feel very lucky to have the life I have with my wife and kids. It is just about that really, and it's a subject I generally find easy to write.

R.P: Can you tell us who arranged the song and who decided to track the fiddle in the USA for example?

N.E: I write and arrange all of my songs, including the lyrics, but my band and the other creative people I work with throughout the process definitely play a lucrative role in the final product you hear. In fact, I'm definitely the least talented person in my band, made good only by the talented musicians who play with me, and that's the honest truth. The fiddle was a lucrative part of the sound I wanted, and it made absolute sense to do that in the heart of Music City. Diana Walsh, put me in contact with someone she knew on the circuit, called Amelia Cransom, and not only is she a total las, but she absolutely killed it. It was a really great experience, hearing it come together.

R.P: Most people imagine that after a big show and exposure like BGT, that there are managers/producers asking for meetings and your phone blowing up!, Is that just in the movies or is there a degree of that in reality?

N.E: I think for some, that might be true, but these success stories are in fact, far and few between. If you look back over the show's history, only a very small number have gone onto big things, and I'm definitely in the 'having to earn my stipes' club. I wont say its not given me a leg up, or given me a platform. I'm really greatful to the show, but I'm definitely having to earn my place now. One of the biggest stumbling blocks I had coming off the back of the show, was that I hadnt written music for such a long time. I didnt have anything ready to go, I wasnt a touring act, or a polished performer, as I left that at the door many years before when I had my first child. So, I've needed to work with what I had and spend the last year or two putting together my discography. Its coming together now, so I am in a much better place.

R.P: You sound very accomplished on the new record, how much singing have you done before the BGT break? Have you been in a band?

N.E: Starting at the age of six, I came from the church choir through amateur theatre and found my way into many bands throughout my teenage years. Eventually I landed with a small group of people writing and recording acoustic-based songs. I worked with another lad in my hometown and had a violinist and trumpet player. Those were the years I really developed my songwriting skills, but I was always a performer. I guess if you consider that my singing and songwriting career spans over 30 years to date, I guess that experience is invaluable now.

R.P: What lead you to find your way to the UK Country scene

N.E: I feel like music has led me through many different versions of myself over the years. I imagine my story is very similar to the rest. Country music isn't an institutional sound for us over here in the UK, so I've needed to both 'search' for it and/or 'stumble' on it, if you know what I mean. In the early 2000's, it was all about pop-punk, new metal and this will certainly account for much of my teenage years, but I always listened to a broad range of music. I always loved acoustic based music, and loved the likes of Frank Turner, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, and these were my sounds. My mum listened to Motown music, My dad loved the theatre and the 'Rat' Pack sounds, I loved it all. I was always a Cash or dolly fan, and would occasionally put on the 'Dixie Chicks', but my mate Dan really got me searching 'Country' far and wide when he introduced me to Johnny Cash's 'Out amongst the Stars' record. A collection of tracks that his son, John Carter Cash found and re-recorded. I just loved it. I then got absolutely obsessed with 'Country' music and it all went from there. I guess you could say that I'm 'New' Country. Whats an even cooler story, is that I recently went over to John Carter Cash's house and spent some time in Johnny's purpose built studio in Nashville. This is where Johnny recorded quite a lot of his later material, including other artists such as Loretta Lynn. Given how profound an effect this record had on me, its really unreal when things can go full circle like that.

R.P: You mentioned a possible Christmas bonus track? Tell us more,

N.E: I can confirm that we now have a few, finished and mastered, unreleased songs and so, I promise regular releases going into the new year, starting with another single just before christmas. Its a track I worked on with a producer called, Josh Rumble. Josh has worked with artists such as Jack Penate, Bastille, Tom Walker and many others. We are both excited for you all to hear it. I cant give much else away at the moment, but its a song and subject I feel really passionate about, and the song has a 'new' vibe to the others I have released. If I can tell you anything, I can tell you its country and its honest. All the things that I love about this music.

R.P: Any plans to play live as we run up to Christmas so that folks can meet you?

Q8. Yes. Me and my live band are good to go, and we are looking at booking shows as we speak. I should have something to announce before too long, so keep a close eye on my socials and my official website, for more information.

R.P: And lastly Plans for 2024, anything in the pipeline that you can tell us about,

N.E: Genuinely I'm taking this day by day. I am regularly writing and recording and I would say, I have many unrecorded tracks that I'm waiting to lay down. Above all, i'm enjoying the road, and the journey. In so far as concrete plans, I hope 2024 will involve new music, and plenty of it, and lots of live shows. I feel that whilst its been a journey to get here, I'm ready to fully immerse myself in the Country/Folk/Americana scene and I can't wait to see where the next door leads.

Thank you for taking the time and all the best for the future

Rick Paris

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