Magnus Chapple is one to watch … with a sound that is uniquely his. The London-ased singer, songwriter and producer describes his sound as ‘ambient, alternative, R&B’. With his next EP ‘Sarum’ dropping on his 20th birthday, it marks a transition from croony piano ballads to soulful electronic infused hip-hop. There is a progression in technique and a new sense of maturity to his writing. Georgia Evans caught up with the burgeoning artist ahead of his EP launch to discuss his growing career, living in a house of musicians and loves that could’ve been.
Right, let’s talk about Prague, where was it written and what inspired it?
It’s post-Prague, like prague remorse and realising its better not being at home. Do you want to know what it’s about?
Alright, basically I was on a night out at Koko in Camden. I saw this girl and she caught my eye, and we just kept making eye contact, but she was being hit on by this guy. I could see she obviously didn’t want it, so I got her away from him. After we left the club we went back to her hostel because she was from Sweden. A week later we were still messaging and we just booked going to Prague together. So the song is about a love that couldn’t work because of that distance.
So when you write your tracks is it from personal experience all the time or do you sometimes create narratives?
A lot yes, but it is half and half. Some lines will be and then some are narrative to add more to them. I also write from dreams that I’ve had, sounds weird but your brain is strange when it’s unconscious. Souvenir is about that, that’s why there’s a speech at the end. I dreamt I was in an empty house and it was like someone had gone away, and then there were these guys giving me a lecture suddenly.
You should keep a dream diary.
I would but my handwriting is terrible.
What’s the name of the EP, and why did you chose it?
Yeah so it’s called Sarum, (pronounced sair-uhm) which is the old name for Salisbury where I’m from.
And it’s coming out on Monday…
Yeah it’s coming out on the 23rd April, launch night is at The Social. Doors are at 7.30, not sure on set times yet but got some great support as well from Shades, Dom Mcallister and Obijuan.
How have you been preparing for it, have you been preparing for it?
Yeah we had a good rehearsal running through the whole setlist, we’ve had two so far./ All sounding great but because I’m so familiar with all the tracks and there’s not many other components apart from me, Alex Sil on guitar and Calum MacDonald on saxophone, and one support for a guest feature so as long as we have it all together we’ll be alright. It’s sounding good though.
Do you get stage fright?
Not particularly but it’s always the first ten minutes before, but as soon as you’re on there it’s a rush.
Do you have any particular artists or influences you look up to?
Not like look up to like they’re my idol but there are a lot of people where I’m influenced by their art and I am influenced by them. Obviously Kendrick Lamar, but less so in this EP, more James Blake because I like his production style and I love ambient music. I love Anderson Paak and his R&B vibe, but obviously I’m new to this whole thing so I’ve started slowly and will get to more upbeat music. All my old stuff was sad piano ballads because as a fourteen year-old boy that was all I knew how to use.
It’s a natural transition then.
I guess this EP is a mash between them, they are sad piano ballads but they’ve got more going on than just a piano.
So how would you describe your sound?
Ambient, alternative, R&B. It’s hard because it’s such a mash, and there’s not really one defined sound. You sound like a dick when you say ‘oh it’s a whole new sound’ but yeah it’s ambient chill with influences of R&B.
Did you have many collaborators with this?
So, three of the five are completely me. Departed and Angel are produced by my housemates Niels and Barış.
What is your favourite song off the EP and why?
It would be Dream because I was really ill for a week, and it was the deadline for me to submit the EP and I had to get these tracks in. I had been away from the studio for a few days so as soon as I got home, I sat down for three hours and bashed it out. It was such a release of tension from being in the countryside all that time, not having my computer and just being sat in bed with all these ideas. Without being able to read music you can’t write them down so I was on the keyboard trying to remember what it was and then bring it back. That’s why I did it so quickly, so the ideas didn’t rush out my head. It was the biggest relief and the most emotional track on the EP because it’s so stripped back, kinda like a dream.
‘Sarum’ by Magnus Chapple is out Monday 23d April, with a launch party and live performances at The Social the same night, doors open at 7:30 with tickets available HERE