Graham Powell

Pohlman and Powell

Well, I'm the 'Powell' in this band: Graham Powell to be precise. I have been singing, writing and playing on and off for a long time; but it's only over the last 3 years that I've undertaken it more seriously. Scott (Pohlman) is the Head of Music at a local state school where some of my children were and, still are, being educated. He's a great musician, plays drums, guitar and keyboards and mixes and does the production on the 3 Albums we've made. He's also from the States; so he has the genuine 'Rock and Roll' voice, which I find really cool. We got together because my wife was tired of my occasionally picking up the really nice Simon & Patrick acoustic guitar she bought me several Christmases before; and making a mess of chords and trying to sing in a pitch that didn't suit my voice. So, as Scott had taught our children to play various instruments, she suggested I start taking lessons with him. Well, very soon these lessons developed into jam sessions and eventually I started writing and composing again. Before we knew where we were, we had enough material for an album and later 2 more. About a year after I began taking lessons, my wife got even more tired of me, and asked me to leave, as she wasn't in love with me anymore. As can be imagined, I was extremely upset, because I love her. Anyway, it was a great, if more than slightly unwelcome, inspiration for the song lyrics and basic melody which Scott and I then worked on together before arriving at the final version, which was usually much changed and improved out of sight from the concept because of Scott's input. I am the senior partner in a design consultancy, which I founded some years ago with my wife, and I'm always having crazy entrepreneurial ideas above my station and ability. So I thought that a good way to promote our music would be to enter an album into the Mercury Prize competition. Cutting a long story short, only record companies can submit entries, so we started Shed and Cabin Records Ltd, which also publishes our songs. 'Shed', because Scott's 'Garland Road Studios' is basically a big shed. 'Cabin' was from my old home before I left, and where in my 'agony' of tears and remorse , I wrote the concepts for the first album. I know that sounds really cheesy, but I'm just being honest - whatever anyone thinks of our 'stuff', making it saved my life, literally. As Scott was the experienced one at doing gigs, I have had a lot of catching up to do, quickly. Unfortunately we have only been able to do a handful together. So, about 2 years ago, I decided to to do as many open mics as I could, to get the experience of playing live under all sorts of different conditions. Having no relationship, meant I had plenty of time on my hands . So I have been doing between 3 and 5 a week since then sometimes 2 or 3 in a night. Scott seems to think I've improved in my playing and singing, so I guess it's working in some small way. However, there's always something new to learn and I've have met some really lovely people whom I regard as friends now. No doubt, you may have fallen asleep or long since stopped reading, but if you are still here, I just want to say all the best with your own music, I'm gonna have a surf through the site and start listening to yours, now. Take care Graham PS all our Albums are on Spotify, which from a commercial point of view is a disaster in my opinion, but at least it gets it out there. We're on ITunes and Amazon too. The latter seems to be cheaper so have a free sample listen on there on the following links:







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music has probably literally saved my life. So, naturally, it means a lot to me. Composing and performing, meeting and making friends of musicians has helped me through some difficult and dark passages in my personal life. Listening to and seeing the amazing talent that is out there all over the world , and largely remains unknown, is humbling but uniquely fulfilling.

What is your music dream?

I guess most singer songwriters and performers dream of making it big: being successful, having money but maybe more than these, being able to devote most of my time to creating, performing and improving in what I do, is my dream (only surpassed by getting my wife back, but sadly I don'tthink that's going to happen). Anyway I digress, above all music is the living proof that it's better to give than receive in my view, and that's because, when you play and sing well and people come up to you afterwards and say how much they enjoyed your songs and your performance, the feeling of happiness is just like being in love . You have made someone really important to you feel good, so you feel good too. Please forgive me iif this is a bit over the top!

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Wow, don't get me started,!

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Put your arms around me |Honey

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Too numerous to mention

What inspires you to make music?

Life, experience, wanting to be accepted as a writer and performer.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Never give up, don't let the bad guys win, have faith in love and goodness. Most people are kind and tolerant., but it's a silent majority that needs a springboard to make it's voice heard and to achieve good.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Excited, nervous, competitive (with my self), happy. Basically just want to give a good performance and entertain.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

You do ask some tough questions, don't you? Gaining financial remuneration and creative recognition is like some crazy lottery. The store of talent out there is huge, therefore the competition is great and sometimes seems to be controlled by a few key players. I think it's really difficult and impossible for most musicians to succeed, but we keep trying because we are driven and love music. I think we lowlier musicains would be greatly helped if either some of the music stars boycotted streaming organisations like Spotify and others or demanded greater royalties and fees per play. This might actually help fledgling talent to break out and be given the traction financially and achieve bigger fan bases tyo become successful.

What do you think of Drooble?

I like it but I'm not sure I understand the structure too well. Following on from my answers to the previous question; I think a more equitable split between the streaming services such as yourself and the artists would be very successful. I think I know that you are trying to act as a forum for artists and that maybe it is in the form of a co-operative, but I guess in my bumbling way, I trying to suggest that a music cooperative, where the artists and the management and owners of such sites as yours have a more equal financial interest and control would be fairer and maybe more successful. However, maybe I'm just a dreamer, eh?

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Too many questions (haha). Bad sound systems and organisation at gigs

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Yes, by attending gigs, particularly with artists that I know as friends

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Understand what their audiences are looking for, be technically sound as musicians. Treat your audience with respect and also the venue owners and organizers. It's a symbiotic relationship, in my opinion. The venue wants to make money, so do the artists and the audience are willing to pay if they like what they see and hear. Although we write original songs we mix covers of different genres with our original probably on the basis of 2 covers to one original, This way you are giving the audience material they are familiar with and letting them get to hear yours gradually. Obviously, if you are a well known band or performer with a massive following then the ratio of original to cover is higher.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Rob Hughes, Rebecca Reidtmann; Lauren and Hardy, Damon Coles, MusicbyOdette, Vinyl Staircase, The Deputies and loads more and that's just in the South of England!