Music (of all genres) has unsurprisingly been a huge part of my life. I was born in a very musical family, where I discovered the magic that musicians create. Playing and singing from birth, I always knew that music was my life road map. One of the most attractive aspects of music, to me, was the joy it could bring to people and how that joy was always expressed in dance… I wanted to be a part of it and wanted to contribute.
My gift of rhythm was expressed on the kitchen table, on tin cans and especially in the back of the car drumming on the drivers head rest. Though our circumstances did not allow for instruments and lessons, I just kept on banging away! Growing up I loved Bobby Darrin, Cliff Richard, Pat Boon and later (of course) Creedence Clearwater Revival. I was fortunate to sing in the same key as Cliff, I loved his voice and remember singing his early songs as a kid. Let me state categorically, I am not anywhere near the same league as Cliff… but I have a lot of fun singing those songs, to this day.
I played guitar for the first time at the age of nine, thanks to my neighbour, a 10 year old Michel Rose (who went on to play for Slim Dusty and is now a sought after slide guitarist). I played a few chords most my life, not knowing exactly the reasoning behind those shapes (chords). I played by shapes up until the age of 40, when I met a great man, who became my teacher and good friend, Bill Todorovich. Bill taught me the theory behind and what constitutes a chord. It was then, that I started experimenting with chords and song writing.
I wrote my first song “Happy little Immigrant” at 32. I kind of surprised myself! I managed to create a melodic tune, with lyrics that occasionally rhymed… I received encouraging feedback, which inspired me to keep writing. My songs cannot be categorised into a genre. They are unintentionally diverse, as are the subjects for the songs, but I do steer towards real life experiences and issues concerning us all. I am finally accepting my limitations as a singer. With time I have learnt that your natural voice and key, without discomfort or emulating, is your best chance of a genuine delivery.
Patrick Carre (Director of Artisan Music) is my nephew and has always been there for the production and recording of any idea I have wanted to develop. Artisan Music recording studio is very well appointed, with all aspects of recording and production covered, from idea, all the way through to publication. I look forward to working on my next album with Patrick and Simon at Artisan. Over the last couple of months, we have been working on my debut album ‘Casting Shadows’. Had this album not been of such high production quality, It would not have received the overwhelming response I have received since its release. The warm reception is also attributed to the talented musicians who contributed, those being my brothers, John and Armand, Gerard Maunick, my son Jacob de Gaye, Zen Fusion, Frankie J Cia, Gary Taylor, Graeme Bell, as well as, Artisan’s own Patrick Carre (keys) & Simon Groves (trumpet).
The recent pandemic has no doubt given writers time and topics for lyrics and I am no exception. We are all concerned more than ever, and have unavoidably revisited the older world issues. As a result, I think we will be hearing a lot more folky ballads. Definitely from me anyway…
I look forward to hopefully sharing more songs with the world soon and hope everyone enjoys them! Thank you Artisan Music for this opportunity.
“I started in the electrical industry at 15. I dreamed and dreamed of being a musician/recording artist/singer one day… See what can happen when you dream and dream! Look at me now… I’m still an Electrician (not that there’s anything wrong with my profession) & an artist! All I’m saying is… Dream and dream… But also get some music lessons.”Jean-Paul de Gaye
Casting Shadows is out NOW!
Click HERE to listen…