The musically itinerant Lawrie has his fingers in a lot of musical pies, which he admits made it hard for him to settle on one style for his original material.
Over the years, I’ve been in a lot of different types of bands – I played trumpet in a ska-punk band, and I played keyboards in a hip hop band and then I played piano in a country band, and now I do this. So when it came to making my own music under my own name, it took me a while to work out how I was gonna get all of those things into one sound.
Lawrie’s USP is his big, burnished, James Morrison-with-a-hangover croon, and it’s this that has helped him edit his song writing
I just leaned quite heavily on the way my voice sounded and let that dictate what kind of music surrounded it. I didn’t wanna make a straight-up singer-songwriter record. I mean, I love Laura Marling and Mumford and all of those, but I didn’t want to make that record. Vocally, I get compared to Ray LaMontagne and Ryan Adams, but I didn’t want to make that Americana-folk-Southern record either. I love that music, so there’s a lot of that in there, but I also spend a lot of time listening to hip hop, so I tried to mix it up with samples, and I listen to a lot of soul and Motown, so I’ve just tried to wax all that together.
It’s likely his next record will be waxed into a different shape.
I am aware, now that I’ve got a record coming out – and the last single was playlisted on Radio 2 – that I have to front that sound for a while, that is the representation of Pete Lawrie for however long I’m promoting that record. But my heroes are people like Paul Simon. He made folk records, but my favourite album of all time is Graceland, where he went, ‘Right, sod that.’ And Paul Simon is still all over it, but it’s a different sound. The other option is to play it safe, but who wants to hear that record?