Cape Town based musician, Richard Stirton burst onto the South African music scene after winning season 1 of The Voice South Africa at the age of 22. He signed a lucrative recording contract with Universal Music and released his debut single, “What Tears Me The Most” and album, “Middle Ground”, which both shot to number 1 on the South African iTunes Charts. He was subsequently nominated for a SAMA in 2017, for best Rock Album.
A few years later and he is back with an independently produced EP, entitled “Naked”, which according to Stirton epitomises his ethos; One of honesty. One of truth. A reminder to everyone that they are not alone in their journey through life into becoming the best version of themselves
You’ve grown, you’ve had different experiences – tell me how you have changed as a musician?
“With my debut album I had very little say with regards to the song writing and production, as after a TV show you have three weeks to record and release an album. I had never written many songs from a ‘radio friendly’ point of view. Prior to The Voice I had just written as an outlet. Now I think I have refined my song writing skills. I’ve listened to a lot of other great songwriters. I honestly feel like this is my first real introduction to my audience, and to the people who listen to my music. It feels like I am just starting now, which is weird because it has been two years since the debut album. It is very exciting to be putting out stuff that is entirely me. With the last album, 6 out of the 8 songs were covers. With this EP I have written everything, which is great. Now I can relate to the music personally. It’s liberating to be putting this out there.”
Is this where the name NAKED comes from – you are exposing yourself, putting yourself out there?
“Yes, it’s kind of like ‘this is me’; every decision made has all gone through me. I feel exposed but I know that this is entirely something I am behind.”
Who is Richard then?
“I am just an honest, every day dude, singing about things that everyone is going through on a day to day basis. I want to write things that are relevant. There is a lot of narrative about relationships in this EP – it is quite personal.
The follow up EP is a general theme of things in life; like life decisions – asking yourself what it is that you really want to do with your life.
Sometimes you have just got to take the jump and build the parachute while you are falling. This is kind of the theme for the new songs I am working on.”
You have chosen DEFEATED as your first single – why?
“I think it was the most likely to get radio play, it is the most pop sensible track. It is a feel good track. A lot of the songs on the EP are quite serious. The lyrics are very personal to me. I just wanted people to be uplifted from this song. There is so much doom and gloom every day so I just wanted to make people feel good.”
Which song of yours best defines you at the moment?
“It is probably a mix of all four songs. They are all the four pillars of who I am. The one track is just piano and vocals and is a stripped raw vocal song. The other one is quite a massive production; a more primal sound. There is a swing/romantic track. I am a mix of all of them. The EP as a whole is who I am.”
If you were trapped on a desert island and could only take one album with you, which would it be and why?
“Bon Iver, but I don’t know which one. I love all his albums. There is his song called ‘000000 Million’ – it is so beautiful. If I had to become starved and dehydrated, I would rather listen to that.”
Buy the Naked EP now: