Artist Spotlight: Peter Welsh
By: Pamela Hodder
We didn’t get to go to Lewisporte and sit with Peter Welsh in person, but we did have a great cyber chat and here it is. Take a moment to explore another of Newfoundland’s young talent talking about music, dreams and plans for a bright future.
Rock Eden: Tell us about the song Shutter N’ Shake. What is the idea behind the song and what inspired the idea?
Peter Welsh: The song is essentially comparing young love to taking instant Polaroid pictures. In the sense that often times as a teenager and a young person, love comes in short stints and feelings fade quickly but we really should just capture every moment. It’s a concept I was very familiar with. It’s definitely not an entirely brand new idea but I think in songwriting familiarity is a good tool to have because it connects with the listener more, if the topic is something they already know of. Also relating and referencing a retro era in my song (like I do) helped showcase who I am as an artist and person.
This idea came to me from a song I wrote when I was in the 10th grade. There was a line in the song that said "the ink from your photograph is tattooed in my mind" which in hindsight is a great lyric I think that I should recycle, but this was an idea I built from when writing "Shutter N' Shake". A year later in October of 2016, my friends and I used to drive around town listening to music a lot and one of the songs we'd play all the time was a song called "Hey Ya!" by Outkast. In the last bit of the song it says "shake it like a Polaroid picture" and this just completed the songwriting puzzle for me. I thought to myself about how we can link dancing and shaking instant pictures, and how sometimes dancing and just having a good time making memories can be easily compared to taking pictures in a sense that finding love and having a good time, sometimes fades just "like a Polaroid" but it all just starts with a good time or a "Shutter N' Shake".
RE: What influences are behind the sound of the song?
Peter: The song mixes common bass grooves from mainstream pop radio and a guitar-driven hook inspired by rock anthems. I take a huge liking for the classic rock and pop era from the 60's, 70's and 80's, as well as popular music from the 90's. It is the music of my parents time and they have passed it down onto me. My father actually played in a hair metal band in the late 80’s early 90’s by the name of “Broken” along with my producer Peter Newman, their guitar player. As an artist, I like to keep this classic era inspired edge, charisma & energy evident in my music (for some songs it’s in smaller ways than others), but yet combining it with this modern maroon 5, Hedley, Nick Jonas, The Weeknd dance element from pop music.
RE: Did you write this song before choosing it to be your first single? or was the decision made after you finished the song?
Peter: I wrote this song before choosing it to be my first single. It’s actually one of the newest songs I have in my repertoire right now, and a lot different than most of what I have previously written. We went in the studio with around 5-6 songs I demoed and just chose the right one to start with.
RE: Are you working on putting together an EP or a full-length album that will include this song?
Peter: I have actually decided to pace myself and go slow because I think it gives me time to focus on quality over quantity and help me figure out exactly who I am as an artist. Starting with a single was a good choice because I think that’s where the music industry is going now; [it seems] the staple around having an album is dying. You'll probably hear another single from me sometime in early 2018 that I intend to show another side of me with. That being said, I do think albums are works of art, and they are an archive of ideas that are showcased to music listeners. I do have a big idea in mind to release an EP somewhere (hopefully) in the near future. I have even thought of how my first EP would go, and the story it will tell about me. Sadly, I do not see "Shutter N' Shake" being apart of that. I think it’s really just a stepping stone for me.
RE: Do you have a vision for what you want to do as an artist? Or, for where you want to go musically?
Peter: My vision as an artist is to really just be a part of a significant point in a music listener's life. I'd like for someone, anyone, to just hear my music and it instantly make them feel something. If I can be a part of someone’s hello, a part of someone’s goodbye, a part of someone’s laugh, the song they listen to when they're having fun, it is a job well done for me. When it comes to where I wanna go musically, I definitely want to bring traits of a classic era of music into mainstream, some of which is already taking place with popular stars. I just want to incorporate those vibes and that old school rock n roll charisma to pop music. I also have taken a liking to the rise of EDM, and sampling, and a lot of cool in the box dance elements, so you may even hear more of that from me as well.
I should also mention that I released a music video with a guy named Lucas Hillier from Hillier Photo & Video that is out on my youtube channel under Peter Welsh. He is a young photographer, videographer, director and entrepreneur himself that deserves some recognition.
RE: Is there anything you’d like to say to other young artists (or entrepreneurs) out there... anything motivating, or words of inspiration?
Peter: Hone your craft. Even when you’re [feeling] lazy. It’s hard to really learn the importance of discipline in all aspects of life at this age - not just music. Be good at what you can do and, things you can't do, try! I feel as though I've stepped leaps and bounds into things I never thought I could do, or things I thought were never really me, but it really did something [positive] to my music and personal character.