Humans of Hitchin... Edition 4: SK

My name’s SK, originally from Luton but I’ve been in and out of Hitchin for the last 16 years, so I’d like to think of myself as a local! I’m a singer-songwriter and now part-time Treat Yo’ Self model – JOKE! I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, although I only started playing music publicly after moving to Hitchin.
The first gig I ever did was at Groundworks coffee shop to open their ‘Groundworks Lates’ events. Coincidentally, I shared a video from it this week on my socials - it’s been exactly 7 years since that gig. Before that, I sang backing vocals or duetted with other local musicians but that was my first proper gig playing with my band.
Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE to sing – anywhere and everywhere. I have loved the process of writing since I was little, be that songs or poetry; the act of expressing your feelings in a more beautiful way than you experience them. I’m a very emotional person too, much like many creatives, so I always felt like I had a lot to draw from. The thing that I find hard with this industry now is that you must be good at everything else too; you can’t just sing, write, and perform, you also need to be videographer and social media pro as well as doing your own marketing and promotion. As an artist, perhaps naively, I never thought I would need those skills under my belt, so it’s been a learning curve – new artists now are probably more equipped for it, but Instagram and TikTok just weren’t a thing when I first started!

I’m about to release the first track from my debut EP, called ‘Adored’, coming out on Valentine's Day!
I have two more singles to follow and then I will drop the full EP this Summer – so it’s going to be a busy one. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while now, alongside fellow ‘Hitchin-er’, Andy Theakstone. We have written together for the last 10 years but this new project is the music I’m most excited about, because I feel like it’s the best representation of where I’m at now and what I’ve learnt since I first started releasing music in 2019. There’s so much exciting stuff in the pipeline that I really feel like I’m at a turning point in my career, I feel as though it’s all about to change - hopefully in a positive way!
When I was little, my Dad used to own a Mexican restaurant in Luton and we would go out every Tuesday for a family meal – it became tradition that afterwards we would come home and Dad would get out his vinyl’s; we’d sit round the table and he began schooling me on artists like Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone as well as Donny Hathaway, The Isley Brothers and George Benson; he’d also throw in some Rat Pack, Brazilian jazz and country music too (being Irish, this is a necessity) – it was all so varied. I think listening to those different artists and styles growing up has heavily influenced me and the music I make now.

I remember getting a phone call one evening in February from a musician friend and he asked, ‘What are you doing tomorrow night - I might have a cool opportunity for you’. He booked me for the gig but still couldn't tell me what it was for. So, it was only when I turned up the next day at the venue, I realised it was performing at the Brit Awards, as part of the London Community Gospel Choir, supporting Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton open the show. That was an AMAZING night!
Another memorable gig would have to be when I played at the Hotel Café in L.A. – playing at such an iconic venue where so many unbelievable artists have played on the same stage. It was my first international gig, so I wasn’t really sure how people would receive my music or how the audience would be, but I had such a positive reaction. To be honest, I’m loving every gig where I get to sing my own songs to a crowd that really wants to listen. When you start out there is so much self-doubt, so when you get those moments of enjoying playing your own music with an amazing band, amongst a line-up of great bands to an audience of people who are enjoying it and in it with you – it’s the best!
Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I would love to win all the awards… a Brit, a Grammy – yes please.
However, I really want to just keep doing what I’m doing! Surrounding myself with creative people and bettering myself by learning from every experience and seeing where that takes me.  My musical inspirations are far and wide - I love Tame Impala, Erykah Badu, Jazmine Sullivan, J Cole, Sade. I’ve only recently discovered Pale Jay and Thee Sacred Souls and I’m in love! Such a throwback sound that I’m very into now. I’m also really loving UK artists; Lucy Rose, ENNY, Sophie Faith, Little Simz and Shae Universe. Plus let me shout out two of my favourite, local indie artists - Althea Grace & Nell King!

Hitchin small business shout out: Neighbourhood Bakes – I literally can’t walk into that shop and not walk out with about 12 cakes. It’s impossible! The marmite and cheese rolls are banging. Also, Sarah Gazard at Colour Club - love her, she’s the absolute best at what she does. Emily Holloway who has taken all my new photos is amazing too!


SK's new single ''Adored'' is out on Valentines Day! 

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