30 seconds with… Jon Covell

Jon Covell, aka Premise Beach, is a Cheshire based singer-songwriter. Premise Beach’s first release from Pure Casual, a new independent North East record label, comes in the form of Mikolah. The debut single from Covell is the first of a four part Welcome to…Premise Beach series which will see a two-track single released every two months from February onwards. If Mikolah and its partner Step Inside are a taste of what’s to come, then Premise Beach is a very exciting prospect indeed.

How long have you been making music?
For a long time, when I think about it! I picked up my dad’s old acoustic guitar when I was about 15, and I started making things up pretty quickly. I got a 4-track when I was at college and that’s when I actually started writing and making music. I’ve left it and came back to it a few times since then, but I guess in the last couple of years I’ve been trying to develop ideas and see them through. I’m the master of putting things off, but I’m working on that.

What inspired your latest single/EP/album?
Mikolah, that came about when I started experimenting with different guitar tunings. I found a set of chords that seemed to follow a nice pattern, and that became the song. Lyrically, it’s kind of based on a real experience. That thing when you hope a certain person will notice you, but it never seems to happen. It’s one of those ‘Things I Couldn’t Say So I Wrote A Song’ songs, I guess.

Step Inside, is a kind of lullaby, really. I wanted to do a sparse little song, something delicate.

What process do you go through to create your music?
I just pick up a guitar or sit at a keyboard and play around, really. I feel around for hook or a pattern that sounds interesting, and work from there. Vocal patterns then come in, then words, then it all develops from there, hopefully. Sometimes it happens quickly and flows naturally, other times it’s like a puzzle. I’ll then record the main tune and build around it. Sometimes it works out, other times it just doesn’t happen.

How would you describe your sound?
I’m not that sure… it’s generally guitar based, often acoustic, usually quite poppy. But I’ve also got a future release lined up which is pretty much a rock track, and then I hope to get a couple of synth-based electronic tracks out too – if Jonny will let me! Whatever I write or record, I just try to get a hook or a change of chord or pattern that sounds nice to my ear.

What would your dream collaboration be?
There are so many, although in reality I’m quite scared of the idea of collaborating. I’d love to work with a great vocalist, though. I’ve been listening to a lot of Chaka Khan recently, and It would be an absolute dream to have a voice like that to collaborate with.

Where can we catch you performing next?
I’m not much of a performer, actually. I’ve always loved the process of making music – writing, developing, recording – but for various reasons I’ve never felt that inclined to perform it. I don’t know how I would perform a lot my stuff – it’s mainly been just me with a bunch of instruments and a multi-track. But that might change in the future.



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