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13 November 2014

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Chris Monaghan

Chris Monaghan at 53 Degrees

Chris Monaghan Uncovered

The spotlight was on two promising acts from Preston College's Music Academy at 53 Degrees. Chris Monaghan and No Man's Land both put in star performances when they supported Andrea McEwan.

We find out more about music students Chris Monaghan and band No Man's Land after their gig with McEwan who supported Katie Melua.

Chris Monaghan, 18, from Catforth opened the show with his stripped back acoustic set.

He says playing in front of the 53 Degrees crowd has made him more determined in his bid to be professional singer/songwriter...

Describe your set...

It was a combination of original tunes and acoustic renditions of some of my favourite songwriters - Jason Mraz, Elton John and Jimi Hendrix. Acoustic musicians around my area tend to only play original material with maybe one cover to get the crowd to respond, but I inserted three. I wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of how arrangements can work with popular songs.

How did it go?

It went great! It took me a while to ease into the set as the show was the biggest show I’ve played under my acoustic outfit and I was very nervous to get on the stage and perform my own music.

How did it feel playing in front of a home crowd?

It felt very reassuring! The people stood at the front were people I knew and people who know my music and hearing them singing along definitely helped me get used the stage and sound.

Did Andrea offer any advice?

Yes! She was lovely, very down to earth and very knowledgeable in her own craft. She said to believe in your own music and prove that you are proud of your art form.

Has it changed the direction you want your career to take?

Most definitely! I usually write my music for myself but rarely got to play my material as I usually play in bands. The responses I've had, though, has given me the taste to go out and do this more often.

How would you describe your style…

My style varies through my songs as I'm still really trying to find a signature sound; my sounds go from down-tempo summer lounge tunes to Latin feel samba sounds. They’re usually about failed relationships and general scenarios me or my friends have faced whilst being at college.  If I find myself complaining about relationships I write a song! Putting my thoughts down on paper makes me feel better, too.

Your influences?

My main influences are John Mayer and Jason Mraz. They are both amazing songwriters as well as performers and I’ve been lucky enough to see them both live. They are the two people I look up to most in my guitar playing and song writing. They have an ability to write new songs every day and vocalise effortlessly.

What do your family and friends make of your music?

They are very supportive, of which I am very grateful for. My parents have always told me to go and do something that I truly believe in so I am; my music!

Who and what inspires your writing?

I try my best to relate my situations to people I know and subliminally write for them and try to depict their upsets or excitements.

Tell us about your BTEC National Diploma in Music course?

The course has been a godsend; we practice all areas of music with a lot of time to record, rehearse and study the material we create. We are always handed golden bits of knowledge from our tutors as they have all been in the music industry and witnessed its ups and downs and they try to guide us to make better decisions in our musical careers. The combination of music practice, business and technology has been the perfect package for musicians who want to advance themselves into the industry.

What’s next for you?

I've got a place at Guitar-X in London as part of the music-tech schools there, where they will advance my guitar playing towards a professional standard. I'll be there for a year and hopefully the experience will create a new story for me to write about and new people for me to learn about.

last updated: 12/05/2009 at 16:26
created: 05/05/2009

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