Expires 5th April
SINGER | SONGWRITER
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Founder, UKG/ UKGospel.com group of sites.
I really didn't want my picture here, but I'm bowing to pressure.
Freelance journalist, all-round nice guy.
Has a weird obsession with international gospel music.
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TEAM PODCAST 8
'...There was a lot of energy and life - but it seems to have gone quiet now..'
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Guvna B and I recorded this in 2008. We recorded it -just vocals and just one mic between us - in his student room in Hertfordshire...
I'd always been a Guvna B fan. It was his breakout single 'Looking Out The Window', produced by Victizzle, that really grabbed my attention.
Next step was to sort out an audio interview. At the time I'd just come up with the concept of running radio shows on UKGShop.com to showcase some of the excellent music in the store. That's why all the show effects you'll hear in this podcast are for UKGShop.com, and not UKGospel.com...
The CEO Radio Show
One of the audio strands on UKG Shop Radio was something I'd called the 'CEO Radio Show', essentially a guest-presented vehicle for UK artists to talk about their favourite tracks from the shop. More on this in a bit.
Meantime, back to the story: Guvna and I agreed a date, and I drove out to meet him.
The Hook Up - and Only One Question...
By the time we met for the recording, Guvna and I had known each
other for while, so it was easy enough for him to pick up on what I
was trying to achieve with the 'Behind The Beat' shows (the original
working title for this track-by-track podcast series).
At the same time, I also explained the 'CEO Radio Show' concept to
him. You'll hear him talk about how long the store had been running
within the first 40 seconds or so of the show. It was the only question he'd asked about the entire concept. He'd immediately locked on to the idea, and I didn't have to explain any further.
Both recordings came together with virtually no effort whatsoever. I look back now and scarcely believe we did both shows with barely 10 minutes worth of prep...
The rest of what you hear, both in the podcast below and in the first (and so far, only) UKGShop.com CEO Radio Show was done in virtually one take. Guvna and I instinctively knew what it is we wanted and totally vibed off each other, in itself an incredible feat as this was the first time we'd worked together.
The best example of that takes place in the 'Ghana phone home' sequence in the CEO Show: we only had one mic between us, and even though you hear a conversation in the sequence, I recorded my bit first, and Guvna had to improvise around my recording afterwards - you probably don't need me to tell you his improvisational skills are excellent!
The Narrow Road
Anyway, having said all that, this piece is all about 'The
Narrow Road' album. :-)
Turns out my instinct about recording this was a good one.
Guvna went on to become one of the scene's leading lights,
and 'The Narrow Road' itself has spawned huge favourites
both in the UK and abroad, from the big single 'Kingdom
Skank', through to 'Modern Midian', 'In The Rain', 'Put It
Down' and more.
It was fascinating to watch Guvna at work. His audio set up (we used his kit), was minimal but effective - he'd invested in decent equipment.
I was also surprised at how well he knew his way around the recording software he used (it was one of the well-known ones - Reason or Logic or something like that - I forget exactly which one now), a fact that became quite apparent when he needed to tweak things as we recorded...
Different tracks, different reasons...
I've since found out that different people are partial to different tracks on 'The Narrow Road', and for different reasons: the response to 'I Need You' at Guvna, Victizzle and Faith Child's 'T3M' event in the Indig02 two months ago proves that - even two years after it's release - the album still resonates with a lot of people.
Despite the length of time since its release, 'The Narrow Road' is still a strong album, and like all strong albums, it has a great story behind it.
When we were recording this way back in 2008, two guys just messing about in a student room in a small town just outside London, I only had a vague idea of the significance of the moment.
But as I mixed the vocals, added effects and created the two shows on my laptop in the following months it slowly dawned on me that we had created something special...
The more I see of what Guvna B and many others like him are trying to do in taking the gospel out of the insular confines of the church circuit to the mainstream, the happier I am that I managed to capture a little slice of UK gospel history, pretty much at the outset.
As a chronicler it doesn't really get much better than this for me: an artist telling his own story, in detail, in his own words. Yes, indeed...
And finally - passion
A lot of people tell me they admire what I do.
When you listen to Guvna B talking about the story
behind his life, music and this album, hopefully you'll
have an even better idea about why I'm still so
passionate about the UK gospel scene...
Ultimately, I like to think of myself as I mirror: I simply
reflect what's going on around me. It's the people
around me that make this scene what it is.
It’s kind of like those black and white movies of old: the characters that really drive the story forward are the mad scientists that dream the impossible dream, reaching for the seemingly unreachable, typically to the disdain of their contemporaries.
And then there's Igor (he's usually called something like that), the trusted underling, happy to do the grunt work...
Download podcast: click the down arrow on the player
Buy 'The Narrow Road'
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Artist / Project / Year
Guvna B / The Narrow Road / 2008
Guvna B links
About 2 years in the making (mainly because I just never got round to finishing it off), this is the full story behind Guvna B's debut album - as told by the man himself...
Published 6th October 2010
and the UKG Group of sites.
That's really all I have to say...
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