Award-winning independent singer/songwriter John Galea has been making waves in the music industry, working with top producers such as Darkchild (FYI, the man behind many of Destiny’s Child’s hits), also winning the UK National Songwriting Contest with his moving and unforgettable track “I Am Not An Angel”. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Originally from Great Yarmouth, the singer has been supporting the likes of McFly and playing main stages at London and Birmingham Pride over the past 3 years. Now he is claiming 2020 with his new cross-over single, “Hero Within You”, featuring Guildhall Opera singer sensation Hannah Long. Think silky smooth vocals gliding over a piano-led track.
We caught up with the future star talking inspirations, goals and what else he has in store for 2020…
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
My dad brought home an electric organ one day at the age of 12 – that’s when my musical training really took off. I watched Mariah Carey singing growing up which was a huge influence on me. She blew me away! But when I had the organ to play on, that’s when I wanted to music full time. I started to teach myself the piano and then started lessons and passed all the classical grades. From there I wanted to know how to write a great pop song you would hear on the radio so started to study the great writers too.
Who did you listen to growing up?
My mum had a vast knowledge of music. From country singers such as Jonny Cash and Dolly Parton to Dire Straits and Abba. So I grew up on the greats, but my first CD was Mariah Carey’s Daydream album and I listened to that non-stop.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Most of my songs are based on my relationships and life. If I’m writing for other artists that’s when I try to delve into their life and correlate my experiences with theirs to get inspiration. Titles, riffs, and ideas come from everywhere though. My track “I am A Survivor” for example is based on when I beat cancer, whilst “Frontline” by Thea Garrett was based on overcoming a bad relationship.
How would you describe your genre?
It’s forever evolving but everything is based around pianos and songwriting. My very first EP “The Scrapbook” in 2012 was very dance-pop but now I think about it, everything I produce for myself as an artist has more of soul side. So would say it’s a mix of piano, pop and soul.
What is “Hero Within You” about?
“Hero Within You” is about finding that inner strength inside yourself when you feel all hope is gone. It’s quite topical even now with the coronavirus problem we are having to go through. I knew I wanted to write something that was uplifting that gave people hope and that would also work in commercial pop and in a classical music setting.
What’s the best feedback you’ve ever had on your music?
I’ve had some amazing feedback, from reviews with bloggers to features. But the best feedback for me is when I’ve performed on stage and the audience is singing back your words to you. On tour with McFly, the audience were singing back the track “Trendsetter” word for word to me – it was a moment I won’t forget. I felt very blessed people can connect with something that I put my heart in soul into.
What’s your 5-year goal?
The goal is to be still doing what I’m doing now but to release a debut album for myself and write for even more artists if I can. After five independent EPs for myself – it would be great to release a full album on a big budget if possible. Music will always be in my life till my last breath, so playing major arenas, busking or writing for others I’m happy! One way or another I will be making music.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I’m really open-minded to future collabs, there are some amazing artists and producers out there like Lil Nas X, Troye Sivan, etc who I would love to work with. I’ve been very lucky so far to work with a range of artists and producers, from opera singer Hannah Long, grime rapper Scorcher, producer The Monarch ( Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora) and Darkchild (Brandy, Destiny’s Child) – so feel very lucky so far. I can’t wait to see who it’ll be next!
What’s next for you and what are you excited about?
I’ve been in the studio for the last 6 months working on brand new material which is exciting and hopefully, there will be a release maybe later in the year with a new video. So watch this space!