Sean Buckley was born in Hope, Salford (UK). He writes descriptive melodic electronica and is known for his successful collaborations, but little is known about Sean himself. Time to ask him some questions…
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
“Hello from Little Cottage, which is near Ironbridge in Shropshire, England. I was born in Hope, Salford and I grew up in the city, in Swinton and Eccles. The city is also where a lot of my musical inspiration and favourite musicians come from: Joy Division, New Order, the Fall and the Happy Mondays. The city is very working class (or out of work) and music is an escape for a lot of people.”
How did you get into music, and what is your musical background?
“I started buying records when I was 12 and just listened to John Peel and other DJ’s playing new music on the radio.”
“I got a Casio keyboard for Christmas one year and I suppose that is where I started to write my own music. I am not a great musician, I can play keyboard and guitar well enough to be able to record myself, but I now mostly use computer software to compose my pieces.”
What kind of computer software are you using?
“I got a iPad, a few years back, so I found the GarageBand app. GarageBand has been pivotal in my musical creation process. I find it very useful and it’s the only system that I’ve used to write my three albums ‘Mintball’, ‘Mintball, Too’ and ‘Mintball, the Third’. I wrote and recorded the three albums during 2020, self releasing them.”
You’ve been quite productive in 2020. Do you enjoy the process of composing? What’s your creative process like?
“I compose descriptive melodic electronica pieces using the manipulation of pre-set samples. I find composing relaxing, like doing a jigsaw puzzle. I usually hear something, that catches my attention and I then have to find other sounds that will fit in place to complete the piece.”
You’ve collaborated with several artists, including Lewca and Chris James Willows. What can you tell me about those?
“Luckily, in May of 2021 I sought advice on Twitter for someone to put words over some of my instrumental pieces. I happened to stumble upon Paris based performer, Lewca. Lewca added words to my pieces ‘Baglan’ and ‘Garages’ and they became ‘Dodgems’ and ‘I’m Alright’. Both tracks did really well, sales and streaming wise, so I set out to find other collaborators.”
“Chris James Willows has added his wonderful vocals to ‘Carriage’ and ‘Melt’ to create ‘Pull’ and ‘Target’ and Leon the Pig Farmer added his performance poetry to ‘Crucible’ to come up with ‘Tripper’.”
Are there any artists you would particularly like to collaborate with?
“I would love to work with the french composer Yann Tiersen, Jean-Michel Jarre, or the Art of Noise, none of these are recognised for their singing voices though.”
What’s next? What are you working on right now?
“On the 19th of November I have a collaboration with Laura Jayne being released. Laura is a host from On The Holler radio station and she interviewed Lewca and I, before the release of ‘I’m Alright’ and now she is singing on a wonderful piece called ‘Games’.”
“I also have a few other of my favourite new artists, working on pieces that I hope to be able to release in the future.”
Do you plan your releases, or do you just finish an album or single and release it?
“I’ve managed to release a tune a month since June and I hope to continue to be able to release a new song or instrumental piece every month.”
You make instrumental music aimed to be used by radio, tv and films. If you were given the chance to rewrite the soundtrack for an existing film. What film would you pick?
“I do want to have my music, in adverts, tv and movies. I love theme tunes and soundtracks. I have lots of favourite pieces, but if I was ever offered the opportunity to rewrite a tune or soundtrack, it would have to be the British tv show, Qi. I just don’t like the theme!”
What do you do to promote your music?
“I only use Twitter to promote my music.”
What’s your opinion on Twitter?
“I like interacting with like minded artists and people, all over the world. I have found a whole new supportive musical network, on Twitter. We are in a weird place, with music currently, since the decline in physical sales. Streaming services though, seem to me to be legal versions of Pirate Bay.”
“I have formed friendships and regained my interest in new music, via Twitter and I really do feel part of a ‘New Wave’.”
What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last year?
“Twitter has helped me to realise that I’m not too bad at this writing music.”
What have been the highlights of this year so far?
“My highlight of the year so far has been ‘I’m Alright’ hitting 25,000 streams on Spotify. That was nice.”
What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?
“I hope that more people will discover my music and hopefully I can fulfill my ambition of having my music in a film.”
What’s your favourite song from the Cool 20?
“I do like a number of acts in the Cool Top 20, but Sky Diving Penguins are cool kids, so I would select their tune to be spotlighted (even though it is higher than Target, in the chart!)”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track?
“‘Love (In the Time of Lockdown)’ by Postindustrial Poets.”
(Photos by Victoria Long. Logo is from a photo taken of Sean’s hand by Ray Chan.)