Nairn singer/songwriter Mork kicks off 2020 vision with concert at the Market Bar, Inverness
Q Hi Mork, thanks for answering these! How do these questions find you? How was your Christmas?
A A pleasure. I am very well, and my Christmas was amazing thank you. Lots of time with family and friends.
Q So you've got a gig at the Market lined up this weekend – you're quite a regular returnee to the Inverness bar! Looking forward to shaking off the New Year cobwebs with a few tunes? What can the folk yet to hear you expect from your gig?
A Yeah it's such an amazing venue, and I'm glad that I've been welcomed in. The place has such an awesome history. I look forward to every date I play there, always an amazing reception, and it'll be nice to play while people are still riding on the festive buzz. As to what you'll hear from me, even I don't know. There's always a bit of everything thrown in there, and I like to play off of the room. I like to throw originals into a load of my take on any host of songs.
Q So tell me about yourself and your music – who/what was it that first got you into the idea of writing/performing your own music? Can you tell me about your first time on stage?
A I played chanter from a very young age, and joined a pipe band initially, so playing music in public was always the norm for me. What got me really into playing guitar and singing would have to be a huge obsession with Nirvana as a young teen. That grew into a huge musical obsession, and I couldn't imagine a world where I wasn't playing live now. My first time on stage I was a young teen, and a couple of mates and myself had entered a talent contest in school. The singer pulled out last minute and somehow I got talked into singing and playing guitar, and I've been trying to sing ever since.
Q What do you aim to bring across when you're creating or performing a song? What would you say is your, I suppose, "sound"?
A Most of what I write tends to be about stuff that gets me fired up. The way I see the world. When doing covers I like to look at a song differently. Make it my own. I don't see the point in trying to sound like the original, that's what the jukebox is for. I tend to put a bit of a punky feel into what I do, that's just who I am. I love making things reggae as well though, cause everything sounds good reggae.
Q Over the years of gigging and performing, have there been any standout moments or achievements that you're particularly happy with or proud of? What have been your big music highlights?
A Every gig has its special something. I've had many bands and collaborations over the years, and I've loved every moment of it. I did have the pleasure of twice playing alongside Dave McPherson of InMe, that was pretty awesome. And the second time round I even got to duet one of my favourite InMe songs with him. That was pretty special.
Q I do know that one thing you were very involved with was the Stardust project a few years ago with fellow Nairn artists – you cowrote the song lyrics and did a lot of research in the process. How was the project for you in the end? And how was it having musicians coming together for a project like this – it must have felt good making a difference?
A I loved doing that project. Getting to work alongside so many talented musicians was really cool, and making the video was a cool experience. The lyrics I wrote came very easily to me. In fact I think I went into the studio with about five pages of lyrics written for only two half verses. It was for a cause that is all around us. It was a real good feeling to be a part of bringing the community together for something good.
Q What has been the best bit of advice that somebody has given you with regards to music? And what bit of advice did you learn yourself that you feel musicians need to know?
A The best advice I've been given when it comes to music, is to not take it too seriously. Don't worry about making little mistakes. Once I learned to do that I changed a lot musically. And the advice I would give is to play from your heart, really feel what you play, and it will come naturally.
Q What is your music dream? What would you like to achieve with your tunes more than anything else?
A My dream is to just keep playing. Other than that everything's a bonus. It don't bother me whether I'm playing to 6 people or 100, as long as someone's listening I'm happy.
Q 2020's just about to kick off – what have you got planned this year? Any wee schemes or projects in the pipeline?
A I'm hoping in the coming few months to start recording a wee album or something. It would be nice after years of doing nothing but playing live to record again. See where we can go with that. I may have just got an invite to a certain festival not too far from here, and a couple of other prospective gigs that could be quite interesting. Watch this space
Mork plays the Market Bar, Inverness on Saturday night from 10.30pm. Entry is free. Search Mork on Facebook.