LISTEN: Song king Eliot Kennedy releases Mind Music lockdown therapy album

Eliot KennedyEliot Kennedy
Eliot Kennedy
SOUTH Yorkshire song king Eliot Kennedy has released an album of new songs called Mind Music - to help lift the lockdown gloom.

The Grammy Award winner – who has written and produced some of the greatest hits for global superstars Aretha Franklin, Bryan Adams, The Spice Girls and Take That – hopes his ‘music therapy’ album will help people feeling anxious and stressed during the pandemic.

And he admits he found the experience therapeutic and cathartic as he dealt with the personal challenges faced as the music industry went into lockdown around the world.

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LISTEN: Mind Music is available on Spotify, YouTube and other streaming platforms – CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: To view the video of the first single from the album, The Blue Aegean – CLICK HERE.

Covid-19 has presented huge challenges for musicians.

He said: “My new album, Mind Music, is world’s away from what I ordinarily do as a songwriter and talent developer, where the focus is hugely commercial. For me to feel the need to release something like this is a significant move and has come from an emotional shift.

“I made this album as a result of lockdown and anxiety and not being able to sleep well. It’s deeply personal as I found it therapeutic and cathartic to write and produce. It came from a different place – for my own sake really, to help with stress and anxiety.

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“We’re stymied right now. There are no gigs, no audience, record companies can’t promote artists properly – from that point of view it’s extremely stressful. It’s the fact there’s no end in sight right now that’s really bringing about anxiety. So, I think it’s a good time for this album. I sent it to some people and got such amazing feedback on how it was helping them rest and to sleep.”

Songwriter and producer to the stars Eliot, whose career spans 25-years, won a Grammy for Aretha Franklin and Mary J Blige song Never Gonna Break My Faith and picked up an Ivor Novello Award for Boyzone hit Picture Of You. He co-wrote the title song to Celine Dion’s massive album, Let’s Talk About Love and other pop classics such as Everything Changes, for Take That, the Bryan Adams and Mel C hit When You’re Gone, and Say You’ll Be There, for The Spice Girls.

He also worked as a Talent Director on ITV’s The X-Factor, where he mentored the first ev er group to win, Little Mix.

He has stepped into the spotlight to perform live his greatest hits, with some of the original artists, at fundraising concerts which have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity in his home city of Sheffield – including the Women Of Steel concert, where he performed a song of the same name, co-written with St Elmo’s Fire rock superstar John Parr and city music star John Reilly, towards the cost of the state outside the City Hall which now honours the women who kept the steel munitions factories going to help win two world wars.

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Mind MusicMind Music
Mind Music

But Eliot said he was inspired to write and record Mind Music by nature and the environment, as lockdown has put a renewed focus on its therapeutic effects.

He added: “I wanted to do more than that zen-style of airy music associated with alternative therapy. I incorporate the sounds of the forest at night-time or ocean waves in a more meaningful way so the listener goes into zones – space, under water – and is transported-you can’t help but be emotionally taken away.

“The music is thematic with strong melodies with movement and arrangement, so it feels like it ebbs and flows. A lot of thought has gone into where the journey takes you, to make you feel immersed in that space.”

Eliot feels lockdown has helped audiences and musicians re-focus.

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He said: “People are feeling this need to reconnect. They are realising the more important things like family and connections to other humans because we’ve been starved of it, and not celebrity and not things you don’t need in your life. It’s been a really good period for people to sort out their priorities. We’ve had almost a year without new reality TV shows, and who really cares?

"Nobody is looking for the new reality star. It’s been really good on that level. More importantly, because we’ve been out of the way, the planet has started healing, we’ve seen the better air quality in our cities for example. It’s an interesting time of collecting one’s thoughts and prioritising - which is only going to have more and more positive effects.”

Eliot sees Mind Music as music therapy, helping to put anxieties in perspective.

“It comes from the heart. This album wasn’t something I wanted to do commercially, it started as a cathartic exercise to lose myself musically and see where that journey took me, and it’s incredible to hear how it’s helping people.”

Photo credit: Richard Doughty and Steelworks Studios