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My love of upbeat soulful dance tracks initially came from Michael Jackson’s album – Off the wall with its uplifting grooves and great vocals and songs like Get On The Floor and Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough… wow!

I loved Smokey Robinson’s many albums like Quiet Storm and other songs like Oh Baby Baby and More Love, these songs and albums really influenced my understanding of melody structure. It’s this style of melodies that naturally come to me when I’m writing, probably because of the amount of time I spent listening to these songs as I was growing up.

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album with songs like Mercy Mercy Me and Inner City Blues. He had such a beautiful turn of phrase and I learnt from him that it’s not just what the lyrics mean, but how the syllables and consonants actually sound when you sing them. Some words just sing easier than others.

Another epic outfit… Small Faces with Ronnie Lane’s songwriting and Steve Marriott’s voice… well, what can I say? songs like All Or Nothing and After Glow combine the richness of soulful vocals with the anarchic edge of classic rock. I’ve always loved these songs.

But one man who really transports me to another world, is David Ruffin, famous as a member of The Temptations. His voice just fascinates me… how it can be gravelly one minute then hitting high pitched notes the next. You can hear this amazing versatility in songs like Walk Away From Love and Statue Of A Fool, also written by Ruffin.



We’d love to know the music that has played a part in your life. Please let us know in the comments, your favourite artists and songs and what they mean to you…



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