Interview with Jack Walton

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Jack grew up in a UK Northern mining town, to a ‘modern’ mining family. With access to his Dad's record collection: Zeppelin, Hendrix and Prince he began his passion for music and the guitar. 

He began gigging at the age of 11 and it soon became clear that he had a natural talent for holding an audience and telling an emotive story within a three minute pop song.  

Jack has been a record labels favourite, but he decided that he would prefer and is more suited to an independent label where he would maintain creative control, working alongside his label and signed with The  House Of Nanchang. 

Walton has been beavering away behind the scenes to build a portfolio of hit material and has created a sound all of his own.  

His impeccable and compelling vocal delivery and guitar skills will take any listener, with a love of well crafted, heartfelt tunes, to a happy place. 

We caught up with Jack ahead of his live performance at Sessions 58, Monday 23rd July. 

Looking Glass:  You grew up in a big and an unconventional family: old school father, a gay mother and her partner and 1 sister and 6 step brothers. How would you say that influenced your musical expression?

Jack Walton: Well, I think I learned a few life lessons at a young age, I found I had a lot to express which isn’t a bad thing for a budding singer/songwriter. Living with my mum, her partner and her 5 kids and my sister not to mention having the girlfriends and boyfriends over. Yes, it was madness, there was always something occurring in that house and i had to learn how to survive very quickly being one of the youngest in the house.

I did had some really fun times and the house really got a bit of a name for its self in our area. If i ever needed a break, which i often did, I’d just turn on my P.A system which was constantly set up in my bedroom and play myself into a different realm. 

LG: Zeppelin, Hendrix and Prince were your musical influences from early on. What would you say inspires you when it comes to each of these acts? 

JW: When I first heard Led zeppelin, they blew my mind. I had never heard a band that played together so well and were as individually as talented as each other. The sheer passion in Robert Plant’s vocals really gave off this epic energy he could sing about anything and make it sound cool. Obviously their worldwide success is greatly admired by myself also. 

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Hendrix stood out pretty much anywhere, however he stood out to me personally because his music really changed the way i thought about playing guitar. His music is so out of this world but works magically and i find that really inspiring, he made me pick up my first electric guitar with a lot less stress about hitting all the right notes to sound good. Also, I feel like I get a glimpse into the way he sees the world whilst listening and its kinda trippy and i like that. 

I was quite late to Prince really, I’d heard thename everywhere and some really bad karaoke versions of Purple Rain put me off delving in to his stuff, however it then became pretty clear that prince is unavoidable to notice when it comes to music. There is something so captivating about him from the way he plays to the way he speaks. A true artist in every sense of the word. I don’t really have idols but he’d be the closest to being one of mine. 

LG: What are you currently working on?

JW: Im currently working on the second album now even though the first isn’t out just yet. I think timing is important when releasing music and I must say it’s a nice feeling to have a full album ready to go. The first single “Amazing Grace” was released about a month ago so we’re still working on promo for that right now as well. 

LG: Where do you hope to see your music career in the next five years? 

JW: In the next five years I’d hope to see my music recognised and enjoyed by every single person on the planet, that would be great however being more realistic, I’d like to see my music career at a point where I can say “I did it” and my music is reaching people and being enjoyed. Finally, I’d like to see that my music has benefitted people/the world in some way. 

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LG: What is the difference in working with major labels vs independent labels? 

JW: I think the main difference for me is that independent labels have a much less cut throat, corporate approach. Deciding what and when to release with a major can be very back and forth and in some cases never happen as theres so many people involved. To be honest, unless you can get a great deal, i think majors can be more about the money than the music. Where as with an indie label, I find it, feels a lot less stressful as there’s usually a lot less people involved, you are part of a real team during the creative process. With my label (The House of Nanchang) I feel free to express my feelings both as an artist and an individual. Ultimately, i think that’s when you get the best results. 

LG: If your sound was a flavour, what would it be? 

JW: Salted caramel or maybe chilli chocolate.