Lisa Redford is one of our finest singer/songwriters. Here she talks about why she and her friends are releasing a fundraising single today – to help make sure Future Radio has exactly that…a future
The year 2020 was set to be very busy for me musically with lots of festivals and gigs booked as well as a song-writing trip to Nashville with radio sessions and shows.
It’s an understatement to say this year has affected us all and for me lockdown became a time to reflect, write and find alternative ways to share my music and connect with fans.
This included doing radio sessions and interviews from home, creating and posting videos, performing live stream gigs and virtual festivals, playing acoustic requests, collaborating with other artists and also writing and recording personalised songs for people’s special occasions.
All of this provided a great creative outlet during this challenging time, as well as learning to get to grips with a lot of technology!
As a music tutor it has been hard not seeing my students but I’ve continued to teach my music lessons – I teach singing, guitar and ukulele – via Zoom and it has been so rewarding to encourage and guide others and also help them with their song-writing and song ideas. I’ve even expanded to teaching students in other countries.
During lockdown I also released a new song called From Afar, about missing our loved ones during that period.
I got my inspiration when walking around my local area in Norwich and seeing a poster in a window which said ‘know you are loved from afar’.
This really touched me and I wrote the heartfelt song very quickly on ukulele and then recorded and mixed it all from home.
I’m lucky to be close to some lovely countryside walks in the area and I filmed the song’s video in nearby Swardeston with springer spaniel Wesley, my only co-star!
This summer I was approached by Future Radio – who I volunteer for and have hosted shows such as the Afternoon Session – to write a fundraising single for them about Norwich and how we’re getting through this difficult and unprecedented time.
Future sadly lost their studios due to Covid at OPEN Trust in the city centre and now need to raise funds to move the station.
Future Radio is the community radio station for Norwich and has become part of the cultural fabric of the city.
Broadcasting in Norwich since 2000, it was one of the first community stations in the country to be awarded a five-year full-time community broadcast license in 2005.
After a number of short-term trial licenses, Future Radio began broadcasting on a full-time basis in August 2007 and is now one of the largest and longest running community radio stations in the UK.
The station is also part of Future Projects (formerly the NR5 Project) a local development and educational charity.
Greg James used to host a breakfast show long before his current job hosting the Radio 1 Breakfast show and the station has long been a huge champion of local artists including Ed Sheeran when he was starting out and gigging in the area.
I wanted to write something really uplifting with an anthemic feel; a song full of hope that celebrates Norwich and times enjoyed in the city while looking forward to the days when we can enjoy them fully again.
Places name checked including The Playhouse, The Warwick Social and the Blue Joanna on Unthank Road, where I have performed. Ecky Limon, the owner, also features on the song – playing guitar.
The recording is a real Future Radio effort, with Andrew Todd engineering and producing the track at Future Studios. Toddy has hosted the drum and bass show on the station since Future’s early days.
Other Future Radio volunteers, Owen Sennitt and Teresa Gibbon, also lend their voices. A few local artists and friends including Chad Mason and Yve Mary Barwood – who I played with at one of my last pre-lockdown gigs at the Bowling House – plus Callum Morgan from Morganway who I’ve also played gigs with, also contribute their vocals.
Musicians Scott Mathieson (bass), Russell McNamara (electric guitar) and Emily White (piano) complete the Lisa Redford and Friends line up.
The song also mentions the Canaries and has a rousing chorus and singalong section which I hope those in Norwich and beyond will sing along to!
The song’s release on Friday 16 October coincides in the week of Local Radio Day which celebrates all local and community radio.
The song costs just £1 to download and all proceeds will go towards raising funds to relocate Future Radio into a new home.