September 2015 is a month that will live long in the memory for the singer-songwriter from Hertfordshire. You only get to release your debut album once, and in an era where everything inevitably lives online forever, you will be associated with your earliest work for the rest of your career. Fortunately for RHODES, he’s not daunted by this. He seems in a relaxed and excited mood as we caught up with him to talk Wishes and his upcoming UK tour.
Hi RHODES, how are you today?
I’m very good thank you! Struggling with the fact that it’s September and my album is out in just over two weeks!!
To someone who has never heard of you, how would you describe your music to them?
It’s quite introspective but with an uplifting message, I like a big chorus so it’s very dynamic with very stripped back sections and also quite grand and cinematic in places.
It’s a very exciting time for you with your debut album Wishes out September 18! What can fans expect from the record?
The album has a loose narrative. I wrote it about over coming fears and about relationships and how my life has changed over the last two years. I like to write about love but not just romantic love, there are elements of a very personal nature but the overall theme is very relatable and I’m hoping quite uplifting to listeners.
You’re heading out on your biggest ever headline tour as well, how would you describe a RHODES show?
The show is going to be very atmospheric and the sound will be big with my band behind me. I like to keep the set as dynamic as possible so I’ll keep it really up-tempo for a while and then bring it right down and do a couple of songs solo maybe on the piano. My band are very diverse so there’s some strings in there and percussion and lots of nice backing vocals.
You’ve supported some huge acts (Sam Smith, London Grammar), how much do you have to alter your set depending on what kind of audience you’re playing to?
I try not to adjust my set too much; the only real difference is whether or not I do it solo or with my band. I like to do either and I see those shows as me introducing myself to people for the first time and saying hello! I think it’s important stay true to yourself so I’d probably have hard time tailoring my set to specific audience. Luckily I’ve been very lucky and the support shows I’ve done have been very well matched and the audiences have been wonderful.
Your collaboration with Birdy is really special, how did it come about?
We met and got along really well. We exchanged a few ideas and decided to sit at the piano one afternoon and see what happened!! It was very organic and flowed very naturally. We had no real intention for the song at first and so it wasn’t planned to be a duet! I’m really glad that’s what happened though.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote and can you tell us what it was like?
It was called ‘drowning’ and later I changed the name of it to ‘turning back around’. I’d written in bands on my instrument but that was the first fully formed song I wrote on my own. I wrote it about leaving the band and not going back on my decision! It was very hard as I felt I was letting my friends down. Turned out alright though! And they’re doing great also.
Thanks for your time!
Wishes is out now!. You purchase from iTunes
Rhodes will play for following shows this autumn.
28/9/2015 Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth TICKETS
29/9/2015 Komedia, Brighton TICKETS
30/9/2015 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham TICKETS
02/10/2015 Exeter Phoenix, Devon TICKETS
03/10/2015 Thekla, Bristol SOLD OUT
05/10/2015 The Plug, Sheffield TICKETS
06/10/2015 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds TICKETS
07/10/2015 king Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow TICKETS
09/10/2015 KOKO, London TICKETS
10/10/2015 Gorilla, Manchester TICKETS
11/10/2015 Rainbow Bar, Birmingham TICKETS