Richard Stirton releases his brand new EP ‘Naked’ which is available across all digital platforms from today, March 1st.
First single ‘Defeated’ has already been embraced by fans and loved by radio across SA. Stirton dropped the audio for ‘Breathe’, another track from the ‘Naked’ EP, across his social pages ahead of the release to give fans another taste of what to expect from his EP.
Listen to ‘Breathe’ here!
Stirton has been waiting anxiously for the release of ‘Naked’. It’s been almost 2 years of writing and recording, with songs first written back in 2017 and recording starting in June 2018. For Stirton the process was very organic and spaced out, allowing him to really process what he was doing and reflect on each decision. The executive producer of the EP, Michael Wilson-Trollip, is an incredibly talented 18-year-old protege from Bishops Diocesan College. Working alongside Stirton, the two of the them spent countless hours together fine tuning each of the 4 tracks they selected for the EP.
“’Naked’ feels like my first real introduction to my fans as to who I am as an artist. It is the first body of work that I am putting out that is entirely me. As a kid growing up I was pretty shy and insecure and as I got older, I realised that my insecurities stemmed from my desire to be accepted. I would change who I was in order to be the person who I thought others wanted me to be, and this change in myself is what made me uncomfortable. I decided that I would no longer change who I was to suit other people and that I would rather stay true to myself in every facet of my life. And the same holds true for my music.”
He looks back at being signed to a label and continues, saying “During the making of my first album, ‘Middle Ground’, I did not have a hell of a lot of input as we only had 3 weeks to produce the entire album. Majority of the songs on the album were not written by me, they were demos sent in by other writers. This made it difficult for me to stand behind the album with conviction. I felt like I was lying to my listeners, claiming songs to be mine that I hadn’t written. I also wasn’t entirely sure who I wanted to be as an artist. What my’ ‘sound’ was and what production style I wanted to take. Since the first album, I have spent a lot of time working at my song-writing and my understanding of music. I want to create music that is honest and true to who I am and thus connect genuinely with the people who listen to and enjoy my music.”
Naked has given that voice to Stirton. “Every lyric of every track comes from me and is drawn from personal experience. Every production decision was overseen by me. I feel like I am showing where I am as a musician and a human being. I want to build a relationship with my listeners. I want them to feel the authenticity of the songs and embark on a journey with me. I want them to grow with me. I want to be a part of their lives through my music. I want the songs to remind them that whatever it is that they are going through, they are not alone. I want the fact that I am baring my soul and putting myself out there, make everyone realise that they can just as easily do the same in whatever it is that they want to do with their lives. Life is way better ‘Naked’ anyway.”
During the making of the EP, Richard Stirton and executive producer, Michael Wilson-Trollip, were creative with the tracking of certain elements, such as finding abandoned houses to get the right drum and piano sound. Listen out for the drums on ‘Breathe’, those were tracked in an empty house with a high ceiling, raised wooden floors and beautiful acoustics. Keep an ear out for the piano in ‘Whiskey Glass’ too. That was also tracked in the same room with about 10 microphones around a beautiful baby grand.
Stirton loved the recording process! “It was a very refreshing process because of the lack of pressure. We had no real deadlines as a result of my independence and we just wanted to create a body of work that was true to who I am as an artist and that we believe in and love. I think that we achieved that.”
With finding his sound, came finding himself. ᚱᛇᛞ is also the new logo and driving force for Stirton.
The symbols are from the Runic Alphabet (used during Viking Times) and tie in directly with Stirton’s ethos and the way he aims to live his life. Each symbol or “letter” has its own meaning.
ᚱ – Journey
ᛇ – Wholeness
ᛞ – Self
Holistically it would therefore stand for ‘Journey to Wholeness of the Self’.
Stirton explains further, saying “I feel this is very relevant to all human beings. We’re all on the path to finding the best version of ourselves and are constantly learning and evolving as human beings. Music reminds you that you’re not alone and that’s what I want to create in the ᚱᛇᛞ community. I want people to see that they are not alone on this journey through life, no matter what phase of life they are going through. No matter what their days look like, there are people out there who can relate. People who are also finding out who they are on the path to self-discovery. This search for completion. The mission for ownership of the self. I want to be real in a world that seems to have lost touch with what really matters; The person to your left and the person to your right. We are all striving to become the best versions of ourselves and I want to create a community of like minded people all striving to be better. Better human beings. Together. For ourselves and ultimately for each other. Do all things with love. Journey, Wholeness, Self. ᚱᛇᛞ”
NAKED EP Track listing and single overview
Track #1: Breathe
- A song for everyone. A reminder that when life gets too much or you’re feeling overwhelmed, to take it back to the simplest thing any of us as human beings can do and that is to breathe. To slow down, stop what we’re doing, take a breath, reflect and then to keep moving forward.
Track #2: Defeated
- A song about a relationship that is no longer symbiotic. Where you’re putting everything you have into the relationship and they are no longer interested in you. The production is uplifting and feel good. It serves to remind the listener that although things can get tough, you can always surround yourself with people who care about you, that make you feel good. In that way you can deal with the adversity positively, rather than to stewing in the negativity. Dance in the rain, rather than cry in the corner.
Track #3: Whiskey Glass
- A song about realisation and clarity.
Track #4: Everything
- A song about loving someone for everything that they are.
Richard Stirton’s brand new EP ‘Naked’ is available across all digital platforms – http://smarturl.it/RichardStirtonNaked