Award-winning folk/pop singer, Toni Sidgwick releases her new EP ‘Lions’ on Saturday 10th June at 12 Bar Blues, Barnard Castle.

Ahead of that NE Connected regular & PR guru, Dean Midas Maynard got an exclusive chat with Toni.

Dean Midas: Who musically inspires you?

Toni: I listen to just about every type of music, and I do think I’m influenced by the mix of genres in someway. Real story tellers have always inspired me, particularly the likes of Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen, who I have been a huge fan of for a long time. Seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band is an unforgettable experience and that buzz went on for a very long time after, it’s that buzz that makes me want to pick up a guitar and write music. More recently Ben Howard is a huge inspiration, I love his style of music but also that he isn’t scared of writing the songs he wants to rather than songs everyone else expects him to. Although saying all that, my favourite song is Shine on You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd :).
Dean Midas: Your alarm clock goes off in the morning, what gets you out of bed, what inspires you to start a day with a bang?
Toni: Generally food, haha! I am a bit of a foody but also try and keep fit and healthy so like to cook things from scratch. I work locally but get out of bed half an hour before I need to so I can whip up something tasty that will keep me going through the day. My favourite at the moment is an omelette with various veg, chilli and a bit of chorizo! The dream would be to wake up in the morning knowing that my day ahead will be spent writing new material, practising old songs and working on setlists, there would definitely be a bounce then! Till then I’ll keep working and be inspired by the opportunity to gig new places and write new songs in the evenings and weekends.
Dean Midas: What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Toni: The first thing is finally releasing my new EP, Lions, on Saturday 10th June at 12 Bar Blues in Barnard Castle. I recorded the EP with the amazing young producer, Lauren Deakin-Davies, and I’m so excited to hear what everyone thinks. Some of the tracks may surprise some people but I hope it will be a good surprise. My favourite thing is performing live and I am so chuffed to say that I will be joined by Gary Sanders on Cajon, percussion and harmonica and Chris Groom on keys for the EP launch.
We will also be showing the debut play of my first music video for carry my heart at the EP launch. I worked with the brilliant Dan Charles from Moody Cow Productions on the video and it looks amazing, he’s done a fab job!
Gary and I will also be playing a set at the O2 Academy in Newcastle, supporting Box Wallet and The Roadside Shrimp on the 29th July and I can’t wait to get the opportunity to play on such an iconic stage. In the long run there will hopefully be lots more gigs and I’ve also been writing some new tunes so keep your eyes peeled for some more new music.
Dean Midas: If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
Toni: I think I would probably be a mountain goat as I may be little but I’m determined and won’t ever give up until I’ve reached as high as I can get. I’ll work as hard as it takes to achieve something and I’m not scared of the hard work it takes to get there.
Dean Midas: Would you ever audition for The X Factor or The Voice?
Toni: I actually went to a Voice audition after being encouraged by a scout to go along, although I only got through a few rounds it was still a good experience. There are so many talented individuals out there and X Factor and The Voice is a brilliant channel to discover that talent. I also think it’s a brilliant way to keep young folk excited about music and to give them something to be passionate about and get behind. As an artist, I think my style of music is probably less suited to those outlets and so it’s probably not something I would pursue further but there is a place for both in the industry.
Toni Sidgwick Twitter: @Tone_87
The Lions EP launch will take place at 12 Bar Blues, Barnard Castle on Saturday 10th June. Free Entry. 8pm Start.