Introducing the London-born singer-songwriter giving us a dose of soulful hope.

London-based singer-songwriter Guy Ivory
London-based singer-songwriter Guy Ivory

In these times of uncertainty, when most of us might be found fluctuating wildly from bursts of cooped-up energy, to bouts of existential dread, there is one artist keeping it positive: London-born singer-songwriter Guy Ivory.

Blues and psychedelic-hued soul intertwine, with gospel elements soaring like a leap of the heart – bolstered by his raw and husky vocal prowess.

And his latest track “I’ll Be Okay” is no exception – an empowering and self-assured ode to lifting yourself out of troubles and finding inner-peace at times of strife. AKA exactly what we need right now.

Influenced by the seismic likes of Aretha Franklin and Shuggie Otis, later this year, the artist will be dropping his debut EP which is an intimate portrait of longing, love and ambition – all wound together with cinematic intention.

We caught up with Guy Ivory on early inspirations and his biggest pinch-me moment so far…

Who were your inspirations and who did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to blues and soul from the 1940s – 1970s. I tend to get fixated on musical decades, listening to them almost in their entirety before moving on to the next one. My biggest inspiration would be Aretha Franklin who helped me hone my writing, vocal phrasing and dynamics. I also love 2000s R&B grooves.

Your first single “I’ll Be Okay” looks at finding inner peace at times of turmoil – was it sparked by anything in particular?
Composing this song helped me connect with myself and find some comfort during a time when I had to make difficult decisions. The process of finding inner resourcefulness and reassurance is particularly relevant at this moment in time.

The song is empowering and lifting – why was the gospel aspect so important to you?
It is a powerful form of music that holds so much intensity and depth of expression. I love artists from The Caravans to Smokie Norful – their virtuosity and use of harmony is on another level and continually inspire me.

London-based singer-songwriter Guy Ivory close-up
London-based singer-songwriter Guy Ivory close-up

How does it feel putting out music so lyrically vulnerable to you?
Although it can be challenging and exposing, I can only create something that is personal, authentic and expresses how I really feel.

You’ve got your debut EP coming out too – what is is inspired by and what were the biggest challenges in putting it together?
The EP is written about my experiences at particular moments in time. Sometimes a song can be written in an hour and other times it will take over a year for the ideas to brew. Navigating the sound of the EP is a constant balance of adding and subtracting elements, I always like to see how little I can get away with for maximum effect. Minimalism is key for me.

What’s been your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
It would have to be opening for the iconic Debbie Harry (Blondie) at an exclusive concert in Paris. Another memorable moment was performing in Trafalgar Square during the London Olympics.

Why is it important for musicians to adapt in this time of uncertainty – and how have you been doing this?
At this time, the creative industries have become very important to people and music has a strong role to play in contributing to wellbeing. The lack of physical contact means I am now collaborating more over the internet. Fortunately, in the last 20 years, the music industry has made a huge online shift, including music production. So, in certain areas the industry is not affected in these times of uncertainty.

Nadia Correia
Art director
Sophia Katyea
Tilly Jones
Photography assistant
Dea Urovi

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