The silhouette has faded,
There’s nothing to see.
The boats have gone, abated, there’s nothing
to see but fear and coast.
The shore’s only filled with lonely ghosts.
written by The Great Gongleshanks:-)
Hello and welcome to the new series of Hidden Gems. The first ‘Gem’ in this series is a singer/songwriter from East London by the name of Art Block. At least that’s the name he performs under but I know his real name because I’m so good at extracting information from people – and I didn’t even have to get the thumb screws out:-)
I suggested that he had a very strange name and asked if his real name was Arthur and he came straight back at me with:-
‘Yes, my name is Arthur Daley’
Now, I bet you Art Block fans didn’t know that for a start! Looks like investigative journalism is my forte:-)
I LIKE Arthur! He can sing, play piano and guitar, writes lovely melodic songs AND ……. most importantly he told me that he thinks I’m the best Megastar imp in the universe:-) That’ll do for me Arthur!
I knew he’d be nervous being interviewed by a massive Megastar like me so to settle him I told him to relax because it could have been worse, he could have been interviewed by that slimy clam, Morton Balthus! After that he was quite calm:-) It looks like calming people down is also my forte:-)
The first song I ever heard by Mr Daley was Borderline. It’s a beautiful song inspired by migrants trying to flee into Europe. The song was produced by BBC award winning musician Ben Walker of Roughtrade records. Have a listen – get the tissues ready!
Art has a very beautiful girl doing backing vocals on his Borderline EP and she has a lovely voice too – which is always a bonus! The backing singer is Chelsea Turnbull. I asked him if he asked her to sing with him because he fancied her but he evaded that question replying:
‘Actually I had never met her before. She was recommended to me by Tim Whale of Emerging Indie music blog! She did great on the Borderline-ep.’
I noticed that he had written on his facebook page that he attended school in Timbuktu so I asked him about his time there. He laughed and said it was a joke:
‘I was born and bred in London’
Ahem, I do the jokes around here Mr Smart Block! ……OK?
I let that one go though because as Art said:
‘I’ve never been interviewed before by a Megastar imp from another planet but, hey there’s a first time for everything.’
He tells me that if he hadn’t been a musician he may have been a journalist which is strange because if I hadn’t been a journalist I would probably have been a musician:-)
Asked who his musical influences are he replied:
‘Some people say my latest songs have a hint of Neil Young in them. I hold him in very high regard but Thom Yorke for me is the ultimate genius. Also love Keaton Henson and Bear’s Den.’
Art’s debut EP Los Feliz features Ed Seed of La Roux on bass and drums. Here is the title track:
Art has just informed me that Ed Seed played at Glastonbury this year with Dua Lipa. Let’s hope we see Art himself at the next festival – just so I can leap around and shout ‘I discovered him’:-)
There have been many excellent reviews about Art’s songs and he has thousands of followers on his various social media sites but one reviewer decribed his voice as floating between Lou Reed, David Byrne and Jagger! Music reviewers eh? What do they know about music, TCH!
Personally – and I’m not a music reviewer but I’m sure I could be if I wanted to:-) – I don’t understand why you humans have to compare musicians to other musicians, they must sit neatly into a slot somehow. I think Art Block’s voice is pretty unique. On the day I discovered Borderline I was listening to various tracks people had sent me and his track jumped out at me. (It scared me to death!) Sorry I admit that was a pretty pathetic joke.
He doesn’t come from a musical family and surprisingly, only started writing songs around three years ago. At the time he was suffering from corneal ulcers from over wearing of contact lenses. The condition nearly caused him to go blind and he is extremely thankful to the staff at Moorfields eye hospital for saving his sight.
His EP’s comprise of some ‘produced’ songs and some accoustic. I asked him if he aims to get all his songs produced and he says yes at some point but it is expensive and time consuming.
Any record producers out there reading this? I’d grab this boy while you have the chance if I were you:-)
Art’s latest EP is called Warzone and our friend Steve Luff played the following track on his radio show recently:
The violinist on The Warzone EP is Maria Kroon. I notice Arthur Daley likes to surround himself by beautiful ladies! – a man after my own heart:-) I wonder if he’ll teach me to play guitar………
In his spare time Art Block likes reading fiction and travelling, he likes to see all the beautiful places on this planet. I agree with him, your planet is beautiful. You wouldn’t like my planet, Grimney with all the humid air and strange creatures roaming around attacking one another …….. come to think of it, it’s not that different to earth:-)
Art Block can be found on many social network sites. Here are a few of them: