Q: You mentioned that this song is an amalgamation of experiences that blends together to create this sweet song. Are there any specific moments that contributed?
AARON: It wasn’t obvious at the time of writing to pinpoint exact experiences that have contributed to writing “Incredible.” I could see where I may have taken inspiration from in retrospect when the song lyrics were finished. Initially, the song started by being about escapism, wanting to get away and I guess it still is to a certain extent. However, as I was writing, it became about an imaginary long-distance romance. The lyrics “I’m gonna board that virgin train, I’ll pack a suitcase full of love” was inspired by waiting around Carlisle train station. It’s on the Virgin main line straight down to London Euston. There is something quite cinematic about getting off a train to be embraced by someone. Being the observer that I am, these are the things you pick up on waiting around for trains. One of the main themes of the song is feeling inferior to someone. “Dress with elegance” vs. “If I could only articulate the words I would like to say” / “I’m a little bit drunk, I shouldn’t be calling.” Being a working-class northern lad, I have certain behaviours and a drinking culture. Where I’m from, there’s a big drinking and gambling culture. The contrast can become quite stark when you meet someone from a different social class. You start to police every word that leaves your own mouth, and you feel as though your accent makes you sound less intelligent. I experienced this one night with a girl I met “recall the night we met, we compared heroes and sparks flew.” Despite being from different social classes, we clicked and shared similar views on pretty much everything we spoke about. It’s quite rare being captivated by a conversation and by the way someone thinks. How could someone working class express how they feel to someone who is upper-class and eloquent? Get so drunk you stop caring and call them up in the early hours of the morning.
Q: This song is a product of believing there has to be more to life. How has creating the story of “Incredible” helped you through a pandemic where escapism is all most of us have?
AARON: “Incredible” was written 7 years ago, a very long time before I started playing and releasing music publicly. It’s been interesting revisiting the song and being asked questions about the lyrics because usually when I finish a song, that’s the point I draw a line under it and move on. Song writing has been very cathartic for me during the pandemic. Usually, my inspiration comes from nights out in pubs, revolves around drinking and life’s general misadventures. All of this stopped due to the pandemic, as a result I had to look inwards for inspiration. It was a time where I reflected on my childhood, past trauma, who I was then and the person I have become as an adult. As a result of it all, I have learned more about who I am and how I can help others. I’m excited to share these new songs. They are raw and honest, think they will resonate a lot with people.
Q: Which came first in creating this song, the lyrics or the melody?
AARON: The lyrics always seem to come first for me. Melody is something I’m less in tune with. I think with all my songs, it’s about the story more than anything. I’m constantly trying to create something interesting yet coherent for the listener. Probably why vocal delivery is conversational. Naturally sometimes the melody comes. As a rule: interesting story and a catchy chorus.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a solo career in music?
AARON: I tried to start a band on a couple of occasions, but they didn’t really get going. I found it difficult finding people who shared the same vision. I didn’t even want to be a singer at this point, just wanted to play guitar and write songs in a band. I decided to start going to open mics playing and singing the songs I’ve written; they went down really well. I posted some videos online and they were well received. Since then, it lit a fire inside me and I decided that band or not there would be no excuse for not being where I want to be. I started gigging acoustically and when it was time to record my debut single ‘Sticky Dancefloor’ I knew I wanted it to be full band. The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys are two big influences for me, I just wanted to sound like them to be honest. During the time of playing open mics and gigging acoustically I met musicians who formed my band, we went to the studio, and it’s grown from there. I feel like it was meant to happen this way all along.
Q: This song is different from the music you’ve created in the past, what prompted this shift? How was the experience of creating a sound that deviated from previous work?
AARON: I’ve got my band and the producer to thank for this. We went into the studio with the roughest demo you’ll ever hear. It’s nothing like the final track. The recording process always starts with drums. It was clear to all of us that “Incredible” had a much more romantic feel to the song compared to my previous releases. My drummer had this “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King sort of idea for the drums. He brought a bag of percussion and just went with what felt right. I never envisaged having bongos on one of my tunes but it really works and it was meticulously put together with layers of percussive instruments.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most about performing live in the upcoming months?
AARON: Seeing the songs take on a life of their own live. I’ve experienced it on a small scale where an audience are singing my songs back. As the popularity grows and my music reaches more people that will only get stronger and the gigs will get bigger. I want a festival crowd singing the words back! Already “Incredible” has taken on a life of its own with how well the song has been doing online, it was a breakthrough I wasn’t expecting.
Interviewed by Kat Rendon