Artist Focus – Murphey

Murphey is a name many of you will be unfamiliar with. The 22-year-old artist, originally from Colchester and now residing in Brighton, describes his sound as alternative R&B/Soul – he doesn’t like to put his music into one category however, not wanting to put restrictions on his creativity.

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His first two singles are brilliantly original, and even more so when you realise that Murphey has sang, played the instruments and produced them all on his own. He plays the guitar and piano but has a soft spot for the trumpet which he learned when he was young, playing in jazz bands and orchestras. He picked up the guitar at 16, when he used to write songs and perform in small venues and pubs. Nothing’s changed: he’s still writing and recording, and says his favourite part of the process is seeing people’s reactions to his music, with plans for more gigs in the foreseeable future.

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His first single, Feed & Devour, was released on 30th March this year. Murphey was in a Funk/Rock band but wanted to try something different. It started out with him exploring a different vibe but once his friend encouraged him to pursue it, the song evolved into the single released this year. It’s slow and soulful, masterfully produced alongside Murphey’s smooth vocals. He describes the song as being about self-destruction and sacrifice in the name of love, as partners who focus their energy on making their significant other’s dreams materialise. Feed & Devour is Murphey’s response to the people who have dreams but sacrifice them for the people they love; this is a self-damaging approach to a relationship, and he wants to say to anyone in this situation: “What’s your dream? You’re capable of great things too! What are you passionate about? Do it!”

I asked Murphey more about the process of making a song, and he says that there’s no set time to creating a single, and that it’s always different. A song can take any amount of time between 10 minutes and a few hours to write, then he records it and everything else takes shape around that ‘skeleton’ he’s put together. It can come together quickly or take weeks. If new ideas come in and the track keeps evolving and changing, he’ll leave a project for a week then come back to it.

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He’s a self-confessed perfectionist; he’ll find something he wants to do and it’ll take him over. He’ll spend however long it takes to get it right. When he was learning to mix music, he would spent 12 hours a day learning and experimenting, but as crazy as that seems he says he loved it. He’ll get immersed and dive in to a project and won’t come up for air until he’s perfected it – an approach which has definitely paid off, with both of his released singles amazingly put together, every aspect of which is slick and a blessing for the ears.

Overreacting is Murphey’s second single, released on the 6th July, and takes his music in another direction to Feed & Devour. This song is more to my personal taste; a memorable chorus where Murphey’s vocals really shine through, complete with a short rap with brings a whole new layer to the track. It’s still slow and soulful, and it’s clear what sound his voice lends itself to. As with Feed & Devour, this is amazingly produced – hard to believe he only started to learn that side of the music process 9 months ago. Overreacting is described by Murphey as a song about ‘the one that got away’, about regret and all the emotions that coincide with it. The inspiration for the song is how it feels to know you’ve lost someone, raising questions such as ‘Do you blame yourself? Was it mutual? Should you have acted differently, or was it them?’. There’s a deliberate progression in the sound of the song, as it starts ‘solemn and daydream-like, until the emotion and overthinking takes hold and the regret turns into anger’, whilst often pausing to question himself, ‘maybe I’m overreacting’. Overreacting is a song people can relate to, as everyone has lost someone at some point in their life.

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He is the definition of an ‘up-and-coming’ artist – he has the talent, and the skills, and he’s only going to improve as he gets more experience. Two exquisitely produced singles under his belt, and plans for gigs in the pipeline, Murphey is a name to look out for.

Listen to his singles on Spotify here.

Murphey’s socials: Facebook & Instagram

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