‘Everything I’m looking for is at home’ – Brad Walls
“I kind of fell into the trap of wanting to fit in, the middle ground. You have to stop living for other people and start living for yourself,” extols Brad Walls as he talks about his musical beginnings, inspirations and future aspirations.
From sitting down at home one day, frustrated, wishing that he could make something of note, he bought a guitar at the age of 16 and he’s been not only learning but perfecting his craft since.
Born and raised in Beighton, the former student of Wales High didn’t particularly enjoy school.
He felt as though he spent far too much of his time trying to fit in – the ‘middle ground’ – if only to avoid being picked on for not being part of the ‘in crowd’.
Apart from a short period living in Crookes, it wasn’t until he went to university in Lincoln for a degree in business studies that he realised that, “nobody cares that much, so you may as well just do – and act – how you want”.
It wasn’t only that though. After he graduated he decided that he didn’t want to sit in an office.
“My heart’s not in it, I’ve got 40 years of working and life, and I gonna figure out what I want to do. I went travelling for a few years – around the world twice.”
Brad takes a holistic approach to his creative process.
“Initially, I just wanted to be like Oasis. As I got better at music and learnt more about myself from writing songs and discovered, kind of, who I was.
"I figured out it’s not me and that’s the thing about music.
“It’s surrendering to the void, creatively… and just letting go and then discovering something about yourself from whatever comes out. It’s almost like not trying.”
Barring Oasis, The Beatles – “best band ever” – come up in his list of musical influences.
His favourite song from Fab Four is a split decision between Come Together or Get Back.
Richard Hawley “definitely deserves a mention,” clarifies Brad.
And Brad also speaks fondly about his home city and Sheffielders in general.
“It’s grounded, the people are grounded, and it’s having this idea that you can have a city centre and yet you can go out to the countryside in like 10 minutes.
“When I went to other places like down south, I found that people were a lot colder.
“People obviously seem to be a lot more friendly in Sheffield.”
So it seems home is where the art is for Brad.
Despite the cloud cast over the creative arts and live performances due to Covid-19 he is still working on new material, although much of this is on hold until the world reopens once again.
Brad has only released two songs, so far.
The most recent – Hold Me In Your Arms – has had a video release on YouTube just this week.
It’s an introspective number that tells the story about someone who constantly beats himself up, but who really needs to learn to love himself more.
Less a cry for a lover but more about obtaining self love.
His previous release, Chasing Rainbows, will receive a new video, alongside the release of two or three newly-recorded songs in the coming weeks.
Chasing Rainbows, says Brad, is a song about “how everybody’s kind of running away from themselves and who they’re distracted by, money or possessions, whatever it is that’s warping the sense of who they are.
“Either that or it’s me running away from myself at the time, just like the chorus ‘Everybody’s on the run’,” he adds.
It’s about looking inwards at who you are and what you want to do, knowing your purpose
With lockdown limiting outlets for creativity, the question arises of how has he kept himself going.
His reply was suitably apt: “It’s about finding the light… once you find it hold onto it.”
You can listen to Brad Walls on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube and on social media.