By Vanessa B
DIY Indie artist Snippet shares his new album Chippa, chockfull of delightfully creative and melodic “English Wonky Pop to lift the spirits during these dark days”.
“Maybe it was because I needed to, to get me through the day and not always be wrapped up by pain, or that an inner voice was calling for the sunny disposition inside of me to rise up again, that it had been missed and it didn’t come out into the sunshine often enough.“
Check it out along with our interview with Johnno below:
How would you describe the album ‘Chippa’ to a first time listener?
Chippa is my positive spin on a negative world. It is English Wonky Pop to lift the spirits in these dark days, full of joyful hooks, sweet melody, juicy beats, bass & synths, with breather interludes inspired by nature and the street. All handmade in Colchester with love. Chippa is chock full of stories about the power of women, love, dodgy geezers and petty cash squeezers, redemption, kindness, online blaming and fat shaming, and the power of humans to overcome adversity as part of our eternal search for happiness and a good life.
It’s an album to take with you on a journey, to let loose to and dance to at home, or simply to be your company when you are ready to switch on your headphones or speakers – a joyous, poignant and optimistic reaction to the last 2 years of the pandemic which so massively impacted all of our lives.
I took the decision to not use my art to moan about the pandemic, rather to take a positive and hopeful route into our new tomorrows. Personal, observational, reflective and very appreciative of life. I got that sense when crafting these songs and these sound collages, that they soothed me, improved my mood and made me happy when I wasn’t always feeling that way, I hope they do the same for you.
Grab it here: snippetcuts.bandcamp.com/album/chippa.
Where does your music fit in today’s world?
Happily thriving amongst the UK DIY indie music scene. Music from the borders and margins can kick as good as the mainstream, and has the same international passport. Based in Colchester, Essex, UK I’m told by supporters that I have well written songs that travel well and sound great on the radio. Also, music is my saviour, my love and my therapy and I’m proud that it also lifts people and makes their days better. Cottage industry, going on Cult.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Oh my, there are so many and they change all the time. Mac Demarco, Gruff Rhys, Augustus Pablo, Trojan Records, My family, Charles Trénet, Baxter Dury, Fred Buscaglione, Marvin Gaye, Sufjan Stevens, Gorillaz/Damon Albarn, Flanagan and Allen, John Grant, Phoebe Bridgers, Sweet Baboo, Moses Sumney, , The Specials, Kate Bush, Eek-A-Mouse, Lambchop, Beck, Virginia Astley, Roots Manuva, Ian Dury, Prefab Sprout, The Clash, Madness and The NHS.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
When my brother said to me – put creativity first, money second. If you put the time and effort into your craft and just be creative, things will happen, and for me they did in all sorts of lovely ways and I’ve never looked back.
How would you describe your perfect day?
Good people, good weather, good food, good music, no stress or pain, laughter and all round happiness (in a beautiful setting).
What is your favourite sound in the world?
It would be between the sound of birds singing, children happily playing or human/family laughter. Actually, can I cheat and have all 3 please?
What is your creative process like?
It always starts with improvising, usually on the guitar with me singing and I always have the voice memo app on my mobile phone pressed to record from the very beginning to make sure I capture everything, as the first ideas are usually the best. And quite often the first words and melody I’ve sung randomly into the phone make it all the way to the final master of the song. I have a little travel guitar by Cordoba Guitars (cordobaguitars.com) called a Mini O that I love and that little beauty helps me deliver most of my songs these days. Ideas for songs float through the air waiting for the moment to land in my brain when I feel inspired. I think you have to work on your craft to be ready for when that inspiration arrives, and I’ve trained my ears, to then trust my ears. The best songs I’ve ever written always arrive the quickest, they are usually fully formed within 20-30 minutes. Sometimes the inspiration for songs come from what I’ve observed or felt in my life, another artist or sometimes they simply start with a title.
I absolutely love the songwriting and recording process. Once I have a structure or a general idea for a song I start recording it on Logic Pro X and I really like creating interesting sounds with my voice, plug-ins, guitar pedals, old keyboards and handmade percussion and trying different things out, all handmade with a lot of love. I put a lot of effort into the vocals and alongside guitar, I also play keyboards, melodica, bass and I program or play drums/beats.
I played and produced everything on my Chippa album at home but I don’t really consider myself accomplished as some kind of multi-instrumentalist, I’m just very good at making tracks that I love and cherish, first and foremost and luckily others do too. I am proud of my songwriting and production abilities and achievements but there is always something new to learn and get better at every single day.
I follow the sounds, instruments and vocals until they sound right to my ears. Nowadays they start with a demo in Logic Pro X and stay there until I mix them. I then ask my friend Luke Barwell to master the finished mixes because he is very talented at it (and makes great music on his own as Bitmap – recordmountain.bandcamp.com/ ).
What is something you would like to draw attention to through your music?
Well I certainly don’t like to use my music to preach, I can just talk about myself. In my life I’ve chosen kindness and positivity and I guess that comes through in all my music. I try to stop and appreciate life and enjoy living in the moment and I feel lucky that I’m easily pleased. Chippa is my little offering to try to make my little corner of this big, wild, crazy, sometimes horrible world a better, kinder and happier place. Just me, my songs and the listener keeping each other company.