An Interview with Aaron King

Describe your music in three words.
I’d say ‘chill, honest, real.’

Who’s in the band, and what do you each play?
I am the only member of this project and I sing and play guitar, although Calum Thomson is featured on the track – he is the drummer in my band Gypsy Circus. He will make more appearances in future songs, hopefully! The producer of ‘Señorita’, Rod Jones (of Idlewild) helped out with keys and organ.

How and when did this project form?
I’ve been in my band Gypsy Circus since I was about 20, although I’ve been writing acoustic songs for myself since I picked up my first guitar more than 10 years ago. Folk and acoustic-y music has always been my favourite genre.

Where can we listen to your new music?
My debut solo single ‘Señorita’ was released on the 28th of September and is available on all major platforms including Spotify.

Tell us a bit about your songwriting process.
My process can change and differ from song to song. I’ll usually find the melody I like on guitar first, and then I’ll get inspiration from the lives of others or something close to home to help me create lyrics.

Name three other bands / artists that you’d say have influenced your music.
Ben Howard’s acoustic melodies and vocals in his album ‘Every Kingdom’ has been on repeat since its release back in 2011. His music has really helped me drive my own career.

Ray LaMontagne is another huge influence in my music. His simple chord changes can take you places, along with his soulful lyrics. I think about his songs a lot.

Last but not least, I’m going to go for John Mayer. He really opened my eyes to strange alternate tunings on the acoustic guitar. He’s also a god at shredding the blues, which i can appreciate.

What do you listen to on the way to a gig?
Usually nothing to be honest. I’ll stay for the support/headline acts so I’ll have a night of music covered.

Which of your songs do you enjoy playing the most?
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic I’ve only been able to showcase Señorita once. It was in a socially-distanced field near Innerleithen. It was great.

Gigging with my band Gypsy Circus is always a treat and we bounce off each other in a very positive way on stage – my favourite song to play in our repertoire would probably be ‘Obstacles’. I love that song and I’m fired up every single time we play it live.

If things go exactly to plan with your solo material, what would you like to achieve?
That I continue to live solely off making music. For a living I am a bar/events musician playing covers of songs I love, so I can’t complain. Although it would be nice to be able to live completely off my own music. I’m just honestly very grateful that people are taking the time to hear my songs as it makes all the effort I put in very, very worthwhile.

Which bit of music gear could you not live without, and why?
I don’t depend on anything fancy, no pedals or whatnot. Although, if i didn’t have my acoustic guitar i’d probably just have to be a poetry-slammer.

What was your best gig ever, and why?
I was playing Brewdog in Edinburgh for the last Hogmanay. I was in the middle of playing ‘You’re Not Alone’ by The Enemy, who are one of my favourite bands, and none other than Andy Hopkins (the bassist of The Enemy) was there in the crowd! I didn’t even notice him at the beginning. He gave me a tip and we had a chat. It was all very surreal.

What was your most disastrous gig ever, and why?
A few years back, I had been at a house party for about 24 hours and didn’t realise I had a gig later on. I got a call from the manager asking where I was and I arrived about half an hour later, absolutely goosed. It also happened to be one of the gigs my dad had decided to attend to show support. I think I got away undiscovered, hopefully.

What are your favourite Scottish recording and / or rehearsal studios?
Rod Jones’ studio Post-Electric in Leith is really cool. He has some super nice equipment too – i played one of Eric Clapton’s old guitars when i was last in!

If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life – excluding yourself – who would you pick?
Ben Howard everyday. Every song on his first album is solid gold. His latter albums are also great and I wouldn’t be unhappy if that were all I got to listen to for the rest of my days.

What’s next for you? Any gigs or releases coming up?
A few weddings next year but everything else has been postponed due to the pandemic. I have written some new material that is ready to be recorded and also got some stuff ready to be released with a new band next year.