Interview: WESTHEART

WESTHEART is a brand new musician on the scene, creating classical music with an ambient edge. His debut album, The Space Between Darkness & Light is incredibly impressive for a first release, showing great promise for the future. If you’ve already checked the record out, you can find out more about WESTHEART here.

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new record titled The Space Between Darkness & Light. What can you tell us about the record?

The album was written during the two lockdowns and largely down to me having the time and space and being unable to collaborate with musician friends. So I guess that period forced me into the solo project that would become WESTHEART. The album explores the space between darkness and light where we find ourselves in a position where we can only control the emotions we are experiencing, rather than maybe the situations we find ourselves in.

How has the reception to the record been so far, and where can the album be purchased?

The response to the album release has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. I am a member of the Ólafur Arnalds OPIA community, which is a discord server online space where likeminded composers, poets and visual artists can reside, interact and collaborate. I’ve had an incredible amount of support and encouragement from that community, which was so important to me during periods of lockdown. The album has already had 1000+ streams so I’m very grateful and thankful for that response.

The album is a digital only release at present and can be obtained from all platforms using the link below:

Have you released any singles from the album and do you plan to release any in the future?

Yes there are two singles available on all platforms – Sunshine After Rain and The Night Lights. There may be further tracks released in the near future.

Have you started writing for your next record, or is it too soon?

At the moment I am taking a short break to promote the album. It’s quite tricky doing all this on your own – ideally, I’d like to have a team around me – but that isn’t the case at the moment so I’m concentrating fully on making sure as many people as possible hear The Space Between Darkness & Light. But I tend to spend the winter months in the studio writing, so the next project is already in mind.

The Space Between Darkness & Light is a very interesting record, including both electronic and classical elements. What/who are you most influenced by? What have you been listening to recently?

I have a varied range of influences – but I’d definitely pinpoint Sigur Rós, The Blue Nile, Brian Eno, and more recently Ólafur Arnalds. I’m a big fan of the Icelandic music scene – there’s so much happening on that island for the size of the population – it’s incredible and very inspiring.

You’re from Scotland. What is the local music scene like with you?

Scotland had always produced great music and the Highlands is an area that is full of talented musicians who maybe don’t get the recognition compared to the central belt. There’s a thriving music scene but more is needed to promote the Highlands and Islands as an area full of creative artists.

The record is your debut release! What is the writing and recording process like for you?

The album was written and recorded in my small home studio – the surrounding area is very beautiful and picturesque, so it’s not hard to find inspiration when out walking around. My head is always full of little melodies, and I often sing a melody into my phone – so I’ve always got music in my mind, no matter what I’m doing.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up in the next few months?

At the moment, my focus is on promoting the album and planning how I’d bring this to the live stage in intimate settings. To play this live, it would have to be well thought out and right for me to perform it – anything less wouldn’t work for me.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

Not at the moment – I’m in the process of working out how I’d take this to the live stage and what instrumentation I’d need with me in order to make the songs sound and feel the way they do on the album, which is very subtle and intimate, so the setting and atmosphere would need to be paramount.

Any last words for the fans?

Just that I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and given the album such a positive response – I really do appreciate the support and it makes me feel like I’ve done something worthwhile. There’s plenty more to come from WESTHEART.