Northern Irish musician and singer-songwriter Foy Vance talked to us about his new album, collaborating with Elton John and being signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label, Gingerbread Man Records.
Interview by Jane Howkins.
For those who haven’t heard it yet, what can you tell us about White Swan?
There’s a lot more about love, new love, and rediscovering love on this record than there was on the last one. The last one was more about the death of it. I just wanted to pick songs that felt good enough and felt like they belonged together somehow. There are certain songs on the record that are in the same vein as each other and there’s other ones that stick out like a sore thumb, but I like the idea of a little collection of vignettes, and to approach each song as it’s own entity. The Joy Of Nothing, sonically speaking, sort of tied in all together from top to bottom, and this record is a bit more of considered tangents.
One of your singles that we particularly enjoyed was called Burden. What can you tell us about the writing of it, and why did you choose to release it as a single?
Burden is gospel driven music.
Growing up we lived in Oklahoma, in a small town that only had a few hundred people living there. It had a garage, a shop, a school and that was it. So, people would come around to our house every week, every Wednesday and Sunday. My dad was a preacher at the time, and they would sing. Singing was their worship. They were the Church of Christ and they didn’t rely on instruments, but the cool thing about that was that everyone used their voice in a unique way. It was the regularity of that happening every week that influenced me. I would just sit and listen to the glorious noise that was being made. It was great.
We hear you supported Elton John on his world tour this summer. How did that come about?
Ed Sheeran introduced us. He and Ed are good friends; they work together a lot.
The album was released on Ed Sheeran’s record label – Gingerbread Man Records. What was that like and how did that come about? Did you get to work with Ed much?
That’s right. I think he’s got his eye on other acts that he’s looking to sign now who are in different areas, other types of artists. It’s a great label to be on. I like that it’s artist led and that it’s led by an artist that I know, and that I know over the years has been into my music. I knew he was gonna want me to do exactly what I wanted to do.
Why do you think people should come and see you play, and what can fans expect from a show?
We’re not here for applause. We’re here to enjoy music with you.