Ed Staal, Hertfordshire-based artist, is someone to watch. With a sound that combines Staal’s smooth voice, thoughtful lyrics, with laid back, groovy production, his recent releases are testaments to his potential as a voice in alternative Pop and RnB music. With the release of “3 AM,” “With You,” and most recently “God’s Lounge,” Staal’s forthcoming EP is taking shape in an effortlessly cool and exciting way.
We checked in with Ed Staal to discuss his forthcoming EP, collaboration, and the music that shapes his writing.
Starting off, what music did you grow up with?
Growing up with a guitar nut like my Dad I was surrounded by Rock mostly, like ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix etc but then also rock n roll and the blues such as the Beatles, Chuck Berry, BB King and people like that.
I read you essentially had a guitar in every room of your house growing up, does your songwriting usually start with guitar?
It used to be my only method, but I do find myself writing amongst the keyboard and sometimes to a beat and a bass line on Logic since I’ve taught myself how to produce and play keys to a better standard!
“With You” is all about love and commitment. What was the inspiration for the single?
Inspiration for “With You” was quite introspective for me. It covered a few different experiences I’ve had with people in the past where either one of us has wanted to take the next step and the other doesn’t, and it was just something I hadn’t written about before and wanted to get off my chest.
Stream “With You” here.
On “With You” and your forthcoming EP you have some great collaborations. How did working with other artists and producers shape the EP?
Working with other artists has been amazing. Each one brings something so different to the table in their respective songs and I adore the unexpectedness of what they’ve added to this project. It boosted the EP’s musicality and uniqueness ten-fold.
Speaking of the forthcoming EP, what were some of the musical influences for the project?
There are so many influences me and Dom wanted to bring to the table, as each song is so different in their own right. Vocally there’s a huge influence from Justin Timberlake throughout the project with hints of Amy Winehouse and more modern artists like Sinead Harnett. Guitar wise Dom really helped me curate quite a unique tone for this project that stems from influences like John Mayer, Tom Misch and hints of Blues players like BB King. In terms of our general sound and production it takes influence from so many more but I’m confident in saying what we’ve created really is unique, you’ll hear bits from so many different people we love in there.
When did the project start to take shape?
Dom and I started creating back at the end of October last year, we didn’t really plan what we’d do with the songs, we just knew we wanted to create something…. and an EP just naturally formed after that!
Can you tease anything off of the EP for other new music?
I think the elements of RnB and Soul that you’ll hear throughout the project are traits I want to carry with me for my next releases. However, as it stands my plans post EP are very unknown, I love to keep my options open and may try new things musically, so I guess we’ll see!
Finally, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I truly think there is a song for everyone in this project, no matter what their background, and so I simply hope that everyone who listens can find real enjoyment at least partly from it and can also familiarize themselves with the messages we’ve told throughout.
After sitting down with Staal, he shared “God’s Lounge,” a soulful and effortlessly cool track featuring UK-based producer Dom Porter and RnB heavyweight [ KSR ].