Wednesday, 22 February 2017

JOHN's VOICE FEATURES ON A RECORD BY A CARDIFF MUSICIAN WITH YOKO ONO's PERMISSON

A musician from Cardiff has used a sample of John Lennon on his debut album after getting permission from Yoko Ono.
It’s something of a coup for Gizmo Varillas, the 27-year-old whose family are from Spain but who moved to Cardiff when he was five.

The Lennon estate very rarely grants permission for Lennon’s voice to be sampled, but the singer-songwriter who grew up in the Canton area of the city, managed to persuade the wife of the late-Beatles’ guitarist to allow him to use a sample of a Lennon interview on his song No War - which features on his debut album El Dorado.
“He was a huge inspiration of mine - an idol for what he stood for,” said Gizmo, who now lives in London.
“I didn’t set out to write an anti-war song, not did I consciously set out to use a sample of John Lennon. All of this happened as I started writing the song and it developed from there.
“The song evolved as I wrote each individual line. Line by line it revealed itself, and then when I reached the middle eight I was thinking to myself what else could I add to the song.
“The song is called No War and who expressed that message better than John Lennon.”

On the protest song you can hear Lennon speaking the words: “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives, run by maniacs for maniacal ends. I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane.”
The dialogue is taken from a 1968 interview with Lennon for the BBC arts programme Release, in which the iconic musician took aim at world governments including the US, Russia and China.
“I Googled his interviews and he said it much better than I could,” said Gizmo. “His words are particularly prophetic given what is going on in the world.”
The singer’s manager emailed Yoko Ono’s lawyer and thankfully she agreed to the use of her late husband’s words.
“I hope she felt connected to the song, which is a very honest song.”
 

Currently touring Europe in support of acclaimed singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti, (with whom he shares a manager) the Santander-born, anglo-Welsh musician has received universal plaudits for his debut, a kaleidoscopic confection of sun-dappled songs beholden to his love of soul, reggae, Latin and pop.
“It’s quite the unusual mix, but it kind of works,” he laughs. “Latin music is clearly a big influence but so is Wales and its people,” he adds pointing to his younger years working as a conservation volunteer with his mum in the Welsh countryside.
“Also Cardiff has got a great music scene and I have it to thank for shaping me as a musician. I owe Cardiff and Wales a lot.”

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