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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

8 regular shows, a 3 hour Review plus the 2022 Festive 50

Artist Info

Helene Greenwood

Helene Greenwood
Image from Discogs
Powered by Audioscrobbler™London based singer-songwriter Helene Greenwood has been around music from an early age. Born and raised in Dover, she grew up listening to her grandfather playing Scott Joplin & Bach, whilst her father played her the likes of Doris Day, Stranglers, Kate Bush & The Beatles. At the age of six, she was already playing the piano, with one of her earliest memories being sat playing along with thunderstorms. “My dad was a hovercraft captain, and I grew up on the south coast so I was always very aware of the weather and how dramatically it could change. I would often just sit at the piano and play along.”

Fuelled by an inspirational music teacher, Helene continued to excel at piano throughout school and at 18, moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. After fine-tuning her technical ability she then enrolled in another course at Royal Holloway, where she developed her performance style and learnt one of her most lessons in music. “One of my tutors told me something that has stuck with me to this day,” says Helene. “That music is made from hundreds of pebbles. And that each pebble is a different idea, and every pebble needs a special colour and quality to it”.

It’s this intricate approach to song writing that Helene has always applied to her own music. She began writing songs, whilst continuing to study under the wing of internationally acclaimed singers Nia Lynn (Head of Jazz singing at The Royal Academy of Music) and Anita Wardell (Award winning Jazz artist). But then life got in the way. Making music was put on hold, whilst marriage and parenthood took over, becoming a music teacher alongside raising her family.

After the birth of her first child, Helene took another look at her life, “I didn’t want to teach anymore. I re-assessed and decided that only ‘you’ can make things happen.” She began to write songs again, and found it was a great way to deal with what she calls domestic claustrophobia – “Writing soon became the best way to cope with the anxieties of parenthood.”

She decided to perfect her song writing with a course at Stanford University, New York, under award winning American singer Gretchen Parlato (winner of the Jazz Critics Poll No.1 Vocal Album of 2011) and her album finally began to take shape.

Inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, as well contemporary artists like Björk, Lisa Hannigan, Jesca Hoop and Fiona Apple, Helene writes about every day life and human interaction. “I’m a huge fan of people who notice the smaller things in life, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Haruki Murakami and filmmaker Sophia Coppala are prime examples. Life doesn’t have to be one long drama to be exciting; I like the simple joys and the in-betweenness of life and how it can be easily forgotten about.”

“I want to capture the moments in between places, whether they are beautiful, ugly or sensual.”

The result? A stunning mix of contemporary, alternative pop with shades of both folk and jazz. “My songs don’t always follow a set ‘verse chorus’ structure,” says Helene. “I want to take people on a journey with my music and make them visit places they wouldn’t normally expect to go.”

Helene released her debut EP ‘The Break EP’ earlier this year. Recorded at the Strongroom Studios in Shoreditch it featured producer and band-member Calum MacColl (son of folk legends Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger) at the helm with James Hallawell of The Waterboys on keyboards. “It was a real privilege working with them both” says the singer. “Calum said recording should be like opening a present at Christmas, full of excitement and energy. And that’s exactly how we approached it.”

All eyes are now on the debut album, ‘Collectable You’ where once again Calum MacColl takes the role as producer while also playing on the album, accompanied by world roots drummer Martyn Barker (Billy Bragg/Beth Gibbons) and the atmospheric bass playing of Arnulf Lindner (KT Tunstall). “I cannot wait for people to hear my message and music,” says Helene. “It’s been a long time coming.”

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Artist biography from last.fm

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