I Did It All (ft. Scott Colcombe and Heidi North)
I Did It All is available via:
6th April, 2018
I am taking a different approach...
to this review and offering a lot of positive suggestions. Usually, I am all-positive but, when it comes to one or two subjects, I am going to take another angle into them. I will talk about the music of Joseph Watt but, before I do, I will look at the social media spread and getting things bulked. The man has a good face and look and, with many artists, the need to see more of it is always there. I have been chided before – when suggesting artists do a bit more to get photos up – and realise there are budget constraints and restrictions that have to be obeyed. I have been looking at Watt’s online presence and it is impressive at the moment. The photos he has right now, as you can see, are high-quality and he has a great eye for the visual. He is a man who wants to make a striking impression and get under the skin. That desire for a subcutaneous impact means we have some stirring images and some good information. As we move into the spring; I would urge the young songwriter to expand his pics and, maybe, have another cool shoot alongside what is out there. His latest track is his second single, so there is a lot of chance to do more, but there is potential and huge scope in terms of Watt’s music. I know he will flesh out his photos in time but there is something unique about his imagery and the way he projects himself. The same can be said of his social media updates. He is pretty new to Twitter – one rather cool tweet – and I know he will update his fans along the way. What I would like Watt to do is think about moving more into YouTube and other platforms. I am not sure whether a video for I Did It All is coming but I see ammunition in his heart and a lot of grit.
All of my points relate to those first steps and how an artist grows between singles. So far, the man has accrued fans and is making strides in the industry. He has a fantastic sound and his story is one that will inspire many other artists. Watt already, on his latest single, is collaborating (as he did on the debut) so has bonded with other artists pretty quickly. All of this makes me excited for his future and what he can achieve. I am not sure what his plans are regarding new material – that was going to be the next point I was going to make. I have looked at both of his tracks and, between releases, I can see that boldness and bravery build. He is taking in new elements and subjects and starting to craft a strong sound. I wonder whether there is an E.P. coming and what sort of songs we can see to accompany those already out. I am a big fan of his work and, in a competitive industry; Watt is already taking big steps. I love how some lesser blogs - in terms of their views and qualities - have sent out less-than-empathic reviews on SubmitHub and Watt, in good humour, has promoted them! Not only are those websites wrong, but they have missed the point - his song is not too commercial and is standout; it is not too slow and not too radio-friendly - it is friendly to the stations that value deep and oriignal sounds. What interests me about his sound is there’s a melting between something harder and tougher – combined with a more detailed and colourful brew. I will move on to look at song subjects; moving from being a producer to a songwriter; how young artists can succeed in a fast-paced industry; future plans and how an artist like Joseph Watt can get a leg up and step further than his peers. It is interesting looking what is already on his online pages and the music he has produced. There is a lot of determination and innovation and, as he brings out new material; Watt is venturing into new territory and pushing what he does. To reflect this; one might want to see a few more snaps and one or two more Twitter bits. There are going to be radio stations calling and coming his way – they will want to keep informed and see what the young man is up to.
I am seeing a lot of new artists progressing from behind the microphone to stepping out on their own. I wonder, in this day, whether people are being encouraged to produce. I am not sure how one would get into that side of the business but I know the role of the producer is under-valued and misunderstood. Some assume it is little more than rocking up to the studio, pressing a few buttons; twiddling some knobs and making sure all the faders are set right – watching the artist play and making sure it is all recorded. Some songs bring that cliché to mind – not a lot of effort put into it – but being a producer is much more complicated and technical than all that. The producer is charged with making decisions and, often, debating with an artist in order to improve their sound. I am annoyed many do not value the producer that much and feel they are an insignificant cog in the machine. What I know is the producer is a lot more valuable and meaningful than people assume. So many great albums and songs sound that good because of the producer adding their mark. In new music; many artists are producing themselves and learning all the skills they need along the way. There is, mind, a marked difference between D.I.Y. recording/producing and producing in a studio. Joseph Watt has spent time in the studio and helped bring other artists’ sounds to life. I would love to get into producing but fear I have left things a little too long. It can be risky making a big call and affecting the sound of a record. Of course, if you get it right; that sort of decision can elevate a record to rare heights. Watt has spent time around acts like Sasha; he has co-produced and got that valuable experience.
It is not only producing that has increased the skillset and desire of Watt. He has already hooked up with other artists and gained a lot of traction mixing it up in different genres. I can understand that need to get out from behind the curtain and show the world what you are about. In terms of Watt’s own music; he has gathered a lot of important knowledge watching other artists and taking that into his own sounds. Joseph Watt’s latest single is a leap from his debut and, as he goes along, Watt is adding to that magic and acquiring new skills. I can see how much of his own self goes into the music (even if other artists take on vocal duties). I guess a lot of that talent and ability has come from transitioning from behind the microphone and working alongside other musicians. It is impressive that Watt decided to go it alone and take that risk. It could have backfired: I have seen many producers and cohorts do their own thing and lose a lot of momentum. In terms of Joseph Watt; he has sprinkled in his musical tastes and past work and produced something stunning and full-bodied. It would be good to see Watt continuing collaboration and getting in a bit more production experience. If he can work in the studio with other artists, that means he will build his C.V. and bring that to his music. Integrating new shades and ideas can only help strengthen his work. I am not sure how far ahead he is looking but, judging his latest work; I can hear that fire and passion coming through. Watt is riding high right now and setting his sights on future glory. Look at where he has come and what he has already achieved: look ahead and see where his music can fit in and how far he can go. Joseph Watt has a tough challenge ahead of him – standing out in a busy market.
I am going to get to his single soon but, before then; I want to look at ways artists can succeed and how he can get ahead of his peers. Right now; we are seeing too many artists produce the same kind of sounds and progress in the music industry based on aspects other than talent and originality. There is still a bit of a bland mass that produce something unspectacular and boring. Many are motivated by commercial gain and there are others who do not really put a huge effort into things. Too many radio stations and sites are focusing on artists who do not offer much to music and are really not doing anything spectacular. I am concerned we are in a position when the biggest and best artists around have to struggle too hard to get attention. That might be hard to sort out right now but, in the short-term; there is an opportunity awaiting those who want to succeed. The dissatisfaction and anger many are feeling, concerning that surfeit of quality, is leading to many scanning around and looking out for someone who can offer something new. Joseph Watt is one of those artists motivated by the personal and unique. He takes from the heart and puts that onto the page. I am stunned by his work ethic and the emotions one gets from hearing his music. I am looking around myself and championing artists who depart from the beige and go a lot further. Many music fans like me are tired of the same thing coming into our ears and not really being surprised by music. It is hard, I know, to get out there and separate yourself from the pack. There are so many different options – it can be hard getting a handle on things and finding out what is genuinely great. Joseph Watt is one of those artists who has something fresh and exciting at his disposal.
IN THIS PHOTO: Heidi North and Joseph Watt/PHOTO CREDIT: George Walker
I am interested looking at his 2018 and what is coming next. I believe there might be a couple more songs arriving and, whether that forms an E.P. or not, it will be good to see what tone they take and the sort of sounds included. Music is such a tough industry to crack nowadays. I have mentioned this a lot and wonder whether too much pressure is being put onto artists’ shoulders. One of the reasons there might be too many same-sounding acts is the fact it is risky stepping out of a comfort zone and taking that risk. Whether that risk is putting yourself out there or concocting sounds that do not usually hang together – few are willing to sacrifice that much. Joseph Watt could have gone down an ordinary path and have an open route to festivals. That might have been tempting and easy enough for him. I am glad the young man has taken his own course and not compromised too much. I was talking about that ‘chance’ available for artists and what is available out there. By that; there is a gap right now that needs filling. The new vogue is artists who are emotional and reveal themselves on the page. That does not mean being too open and revealing: it is more about showing sensitivity and stepping away from subjects of love and the pointless blame we cast out. Many of us want to find a sound that is rich and mixes something raw and tough with a more soulful and passionate edge. That might sound like a very particular and niche concoction but, if you think about what is already out in the industry – do we hear enough music like that? Joseph Watt has built his career on that kind of blend. I am excited to see what he comes up with next because I think, what he is offering, is just what the industry requires right now.
Before I come look at the song itself, I wanted to investigate its inspiration. There are not that many songs out there that tackle domestic drama and the role of a child in a failing relationship. A lot of songs deal with love and broken relationships; there are not that many that look at the perspective of a child and go deeper into a family whose core is starting to come away. There is a lot of blame going through the track and there are different perspectives. One hears about the breakdown and why the relationship has gone sour. Rather than have the writer talking about their experience and cast blame; there are those separate viewpoints and so many ideas working away. The song’s title, and the idea of giving it all, is investigated throughout. Each parent claims they have given it all and done everything right. The child comes into the fray and has done everything they can. You can never blame a child for a marriage split – it is interesting to see the way the song unfolds and the different views. Most love songs and those that deal with disintegration look at the one person and them casting blame. I have not heard of a song that deals with several parties and their views. It is a fascinating mix of emotions and voices working away through the track. I will look at the track itself but, before then; I wanted to think and wonder whether anyone else is doing that right now. I mooted the sort of sound we wanted to discover in the industry. We still see too many love songs coming out and the same kind of messages being projected. What we do not see are artists tackling relations and breakups in a new and unexpected way. It can be hard – especially if you do not have that experience – and most of us write about what we know. More often or not; that involves a relationship ending and blame being provided to the other party.
Joseph Watt, in I Did It All, shows a maturity I was not expecting. The latest track from him sees the child confess they have given everything and done all they could. The catastrophic and immense ending of that relationship has sent shocks through the house and left its marks. I know Watt’s upcoming music will be lighter and look at other things. The fact he is already writing about stuff like this makes me hopeful we will see something spectacular from Watt. He is a man with a different perspective on life. He wants to go deeper and do things differently from his rivals. I know there are those out there who do similar things to Joseph Watt. I have speculated what musicians need to do to stand out and what the industry desires right now. More than anything; the latest slice from Joseph Watt shows he is here for the long-term and never willing to squander his voice for something easy. As I step my way through 2018; I am trying to bond with music that stays in the mind and makes me think harder about my own life. Joseph Watt is an artist who writes from his own experiences but has an ability to craft tales and skew the facts. He mixes wonderful sounds and he wants the listener to dive into the music and take something away from it. I listen to I Did It All and learn more about myself and discover something I was not expecting. I have hinted at his maturity and, at twenty-two, he is one of those new artists who exceeds expectations and shows he is hard to predict. Looking ahead at where he can go; I predict there will be several albums and more songs that look at the complexities of fallen relationships. It is stunning seeing where Watt can go and what his next song will entail.
His current single has been gathering some heat and praise already. One hears, wonderfully, little elements of James Blake and Frank Ocean in the opening bars. Joseph Watt handles the production and writing but, when it comes to the vocals; it is his collaborators that take on the duties. Scott Colcombe is a white British artist but one hears sounds of black artists from the U.S. Ocean is the relevant example – mixed with a bit of British magic from James Blake. The introduction sees far-off vocal chorus and contributes to that sense of tingle and passion. The electronics and beats conspire and rise and there is a great choral effect that runs through the opening moments. You assume, because North and Colcombe are taking on the voices, they represent the parents in the piece. North voiced Watt’s previous song, Five AM, and adds a lot to his current track. Colcombe showcases his soulful croon and leads the track. He investigates being blamed and taking everything. There are accusations flying around and it seems he, as the dad one assumes, is taking a lot of the brunt. It is hard to ignore the way Watt’s production and musical tastes drive the song forward. I have talked about the way he writes songs and how he adds something different to the pot. He is never fully in the background and is always pushing the song on and adding his talent in. Colcombe starts things off and sets the scene. The woman wasn’t there for him and he is sorrowful in a sense of defeat. There is a sense of defeat and, as we get backing vocals and a building soundscape; the song takes on more weight and hits hard. Heidi North comes in and plays the role of the mother. She has the same mind and, knowing the man is going to say he is not at fault - she has taken the same aspect and is confessing to the effort she put in.
Watt’s aspects – maybe a tinge of a vocal and production spark; the instrumentation and inspiration – is the soul of the song and fuses the beating heart. Colcombe and North are great partners and add their own tones to the song. They are very different voices but both have an immense degree of soul in their vocals. It is hard to say who was truly to blame, and what went wrong, but you cannot overlook the role of the child and how they are affected. That, in a way, is what Watt represents. His vocal presence is minimal in that sense: his sounds and production are the third voice and overlooked victim. Watt wrote and produced the song and could have taken a large role in the foreground. He is transitioning from the realm of producer to writing his own stuff. One wonders, on future cuts, we will hear more of Watt’s voice come into the foreground and mix it with his collaborators. What is interesting about Watt is the way he can write a song and make it his own whilst giving the vocal chores to other people. North and Colcombe are natural talents who understanding everything Watt wants to project and are right behind him. Both of the leads cast blame and they find it hard to blame themselves. Maybe it was a case of the relationship running its course and neither being truly committed. At every stage; one wonders whether the child is being considered and how they play in the breakup.
The real potency comes from the way the vocals fuse with the composition. The song continues to build and mutate as the words come out. There is Gospel grace and clicking beats; piano notes that have Pop edges. I have labelled this song as ‘Pop’ but, if anything, there is so much going on throughout. It is tricky getting a handle on everything the first time you listen through. I have heard the song a few times and amazed by the intensity and beauty of the song. Watt’s production and guidance makes it a big and dramatic song – without it being too polished and impure. The unity of Colcombe and North, when they blend vocals, gives the biggest chills. They unite wonderfully and add something sumptuous into the pack. I Did It All could be seen as confessional – owning up to what went wrong – or the opposite – they gave everything and could not be seen as culpable. Five AM featured North alone and is a different beast to Joseph Watt’s new single. Now, on his latest cut; Watt has stepped up with something more emphatic and luscious. North owned the debut but, with Colcombe on the new song; that partnership adds something extra. I wonder whether future material from Joseph Watt will feature these two artists – or the man takes on lead vocals and goes in another direction. In any case; I Did It All is another fantastic song from an artist who is exploring new ground and writing music like nobody else out there. The industry needs someone as individual and strong as him right now. I predict the young master will go a long way and succeed. He has a great ear for choruses and melody; his production skills are ace and, with every move, he is gaining new skills and expanding his horizons. Lord only knows how far he can go and what he can achieve before the end of the year. His faithful collaborators have elevated I Did It All to heavens and make it a song you will not forget in a hurry!
Whether you put Joseph Watt’s songs in upper-case or not – I prefer the latter – you cannot deny he is a bold and impressive act. Five AM, his previous song, was one that struck the mind and one that I covered. There is a lot to recommend about Watt and what he is doing at the moment. I know there will be more dates coming but one of the best things that strike my mind is his bond with artists like Heidi North. He spars well with every artist he comes across: his connection with North is special and it might be interesting were they to work with her down the tracks. The production eye and that ease of conspiring means we get full and assured songs from an artist just starting out. I am compelled by his songs and how much he has already accomplished. There is this illusory perception that the mainstream and Pop artists are ruling and essential. That music might be what gets the Spotify streams and buzzes on the biggest radio stations. I am not sure why people value popularity and commercialism over authenticity and something more emotive. In any case; Joseph Watt is an artist who has a long future ahead of him and doing something not many others are. If you have not discovered his music then make sure you get behind it and involve yourself. I have mentioned the need for a few more snaps and information. There is curiosity out there so, to get into the minds of stations and festivals; having a new shoot or some more tweets out there would add to that authority. I have loved listening to Joseph Watt’s new songs and loo with interest at where he can go from here. Let us end things there and congratulate Watt on a great song and strong offering. I Did It All shows he has the determination and talent to go all the way in the music industry. The parties in his current song confess to giving their all and not taking anything for granted. That is a sentiment you can apply to…
JOSEPH Watt himself.
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