I can feel for John Newman. I’ve not very much in common with 22-year-old Londoner, chart star, and one of the most sought after singers in the country right now. But we have both been stuck in hospital with brain operations.
Mine was because I got hit with a golf club. It meant I spent a few weeks in hospital, initially in Intensive care, and had to relearn to speak again, (trust me – chocolate is just about the hardest word to say in that situation) and had to have months off school, as well as losing my memory in a lot of ways, which didn’t really help. Newman, after suffering with headaches and eyesight problems, eventually had to have a non cancerous tumour removed from his brain.
Waking up to hear Rudimental’s Feel the Love, a track that he co-wrote and fronted must have gone some way to making him feel better. He’d already been writing, playing, recording and producing his own material, and so after Feel the Love hit the top of the charts, he followed it up with another number one, Love me again, this time on his own.
On October 7th he releases his new single ‘Cheating’, ahead of his album which drops a week later on the iconic Island Records label. Right from the off it highlight some of the influences in his life, from the Motown-like horns, and soul delivery to the dance records of the 90’s, through to the gospel-sounding chorus. Like his other records to date, it shows that he’s got an ear for a melody, and his voice, although sharing a slight similarity to fellow nu-soul sensation Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed at times, is definitely growing into one of the most distinctive voices of recent times. It’s exhilarating in the way blue-eyed soul should be, and it’s nailed on to be a huge record.
London producer Wookie has given the track a more laid back, disco-house feel, with this warm bass that acts like a comfortable chair to sit back and relax in, the stabbing keyboards just keeping your interest.
The thing about John Newman, is he has this voice so distinctive, so rich and sweet to go along with these delicious tunes he writes, it’s like eating cocholate, err clotchlate, umm chlolocate….cotchcate….oh, you know what I mean.