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NAS 10 Questions with Paul McCormick

This time, we get to know Paul McCormick, an EDM/pop singer-songwriter artist from Liverpool UK with influences such as Erasure, The Eurythmics, and The Petshop Boys to name a few.

The track "Unbroken" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.

Hello! I’m Paul McCormick from Liverpool, United Kingdom (not to be mistaken for a much more famous Paul McC from Liverpool). I’m a pop singer-songwriter who works in a hospital for my day/evening job, which funds my music (and other things like food, but that’s not as essential as music, right?). Currently, I’ve just released my latest track EDM/House-inspired pop track "Unbroken", I’m about to do a photoshoot for future single artworks, and I’m due to record 2 new songs in the studio in March. I’m excited to share more music and hopefully make more connections with fellow independent artists this year!

2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?

I grew up in my family home surrounded by music from the likes of Madonna, Hall and Oates, Fleetwood Mac, Janet Jackson and Eurythmics/Annie Lennox. I’ve been told that as a toddler, I’d sit in front of the CD player absorbed by the songs and would stare at the speakers waiting for the next track to start. For creating music, I loved rock music as a teenager and I was inspired by School of Rock and The Darkness (the band, not the general concept... though that does also inspire me lyrically much later!) to start playing guitar. I joined a few bands over a number of years as a guitarist and loved writing pop-rock songs. It took a long time and courage for me to eventually sing and go solo, and also to just embrace my full pop side! It was nerve-wracking to put my voice out there but I have no regrets with doing so.

𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?

Taylor Swift. I’ve been a fan of hers since Fearless, and I’ve always admired the directness and honesty of her lyricism. I have the utmost respect for how despite various challenges in her career, she’s been resilient and fought back all obstacles with making her own rules and achieving success across multiple genres. Any song I write now, I approach with that same mentality of giving people my direct honesty and making my own rules. I don’t hold back on my songs, and I have Taylor to thank for giving me that confidence. Alongside Taylor's 1989 and Reputation eras, the synth/electropop inspirations in my music are heavily driven by Erasure and Pet Shop Boys, and generally how hard-hitting lyrics and danceable tunes can go hand-in-hand!

4. What are your goals in the music industry?

Anytime someone tells me they’ve related with lyrics on my tracks, that’s an achievement for me. To know that someone else shares in experiences I’ve had is a powerful feeling, and I want to keep writing catchy and cathartic songs that are true to myself but also resonate with people. Another long-term goal I have is that I'm trying to learn more about music production and home recording as well. There’s a lot of talented fellow independent artists I know who do everything themselves, and I’d love to get to the stage where I’m not just creating demos at home, I can make the whole song from start to finish there. I truly feel like there’d be no limitations to what I could do once equipped with that knowledge!

5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.

There’s never a distinct starting point with writing a new song for me. It can start with a vocal melody, a set of lyrics, a bunch of chords, or in the case of my song “Privacy”, just a title! Once I get an idea for a song in place, I usually work out the chord structures on guitar, play around with vocal melodies and adjust my lyrics to fit those melodies. The fun/chaos continues when I load up Ableton on my laptop and start playing around with MIDI tracks and sounds to create my demo. Once I’ve got demos ready, I take them to Robert Whiteley, an amazing producer in Whitewood Recording Studio in Liverpool, and we work together to transform my demos and record the final version through his incredible studio equipment and wall of synths (it's truly a sight to behold).

6. What is your all-time favorite song?

I’d have to go with “Borderline” by Madonna. I listened to this song a lot when I was struggling to come to terms with my sexuality over a decade ago. Putting this song on in my headphones just comforted me at the time and made me feel like things would be ok. I was scared at the time of the confusion I felt and how I was going to tell people (needless to say, they were all amazing when I came out to them, and I don’t take it for granted to be an LGBTQ+ person with that loving support network). I still appreciate it to this day not just as a great pop song, but from the comforting nostalgia, I get any time those opening notes start the song.

7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music? 

Not advice I received directly, but there's a quote from David Bowie where he said “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting”. I’ve always taken that on board in my songwriting to not be afraid to take risks with songs and to push myself. If a song is giving me anxiety, then I know I deeply care about it and that I’m fully invested in making it as good as I want it to be.

8. Proudest accomplishment?

Completing my solo album “Confusion Never Felt So Clear” and releasing it at the start of 2022. The ambition of creating this album was what inspired me to go solo in the first place. I’m also proud of what I’ve achieved with my singles since then, but that album was always the initial goal and subsequent songs like “Privacy” and “Unbroken” wouldn’t have happened otherwise. In hindsight, I probably would’ve released more singles from the album and given the individual tracks more time to shine, but this whole process of being an artist is a learning curve and I will happily continue to learn and develop from it.

9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?

Many years back, in the pre-solo days, one of my bands got to a Battle of the Bands final, and during the set, my guitar went horrendously out of tune, and I just couldn’t fix it in this room full of people hearing me play out of tune. I cried my eyes out afterwards, blaming myself as the reason why we didn’t come close to winning, though I immediately invested in a guitar tuner pedal days later, so hey, at least I didn’t call it quits!

𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.

The lowest point for me is making the tough decision to leave one of my bands after 10 years. I invested so much time, energy, and songs into this band, but sadly it lost the spark for me, and it felt that I was essentially ending a long-term relationship. However, that did lead to my highest point, because going solo has been the best move for me. From releasing my first solo single “I’ve Had Enough” to my latest single “Unbroken”, which is now song number 16 of the Paul McCormick catalogue, the solo journey itself has been a high. I still feel like I’ve got new highs to reach, so I’m going to keep climbing and keep working on pushing myself as a singer and songwriter, which thanks to the lovely supportive folks at NAS, will be one of my many driving forces to keep me going! Thank you all for supporting me and for reading my 10 Questions. <3

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21 則留言

Go Birch
Go Birch

Great open 10 questions. Nice one Paul



Great artist loved it keep it up would check out more from the artist 🥂


Loved reading about you Paul, I have had the same thing happen on stage and not being able to figure out what was wrong with the tuning of my guitar. A great read!


ZipZap Zop
ZipZap Zop

Great read, for a super talent! Just saw Madonna play Borderline recently, wow, what a show! Big Taylor fan, too! cheers!


Great to find out more about the influences that shape Paul's music. From the first time I heard Privacy I thought it was a great pop track with great hooks and fantastic playful lyrics. It has a real drive and is how I imagine a collaboration from The Pet Shop Boys and The Fratellis might sound.



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