Rachel Ann, Dave Clarke, Paul Hurst, Steve Ellis & David Courtney

Interviews from 14th September include Rachel Ann – TeenStar 2015 champion live in the studio, Dave Clarke of Kast Off Kinks live in the studio, Paul Hurst of The Jokers, Steve Ellis of Love Afair, along with David Courtney.

Rachel Ann was crowned champion in front of a capacity crowd and a prestigious music industry judging panel at The NEC in Birmingham on Saturday night. Her unique performance of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” won over the competition industry judges making her the overall winner of TeenStar. She will now be offered a recording and development deal including a £5,000 advance to spend on the development of her music. The national singing competition is courtsey of Future Music – the company behind the discovery of artists such as such as Luke Friend and Karen Hardy both of which have had chart success this year, Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Jahmene Douglas, both of which are now signed to Sony Music.

Dave Clarke started playing piano at the age of 4 and guitar at 9. His first record in 1963 (at the age of 15) was produced by Luigi Creatore at New York’s Roulette Records. He has been lead singer and lead guitarist with The Kast Off Kinks since 1994.  The Kast Off Kinks are a band composed of members formerly in the band The Kinks. They mostly tour Europe and attend reunions for fans and for charity, such as the Leukemia Research Fund.

The Jokers, who hail from the North West of England, were formed in 2006, with the aim of creating the world’s greatest rock and roll band. Their debut album, ‘The Big Rock ‘N’ Roll Show’, while mixed by Mike Fraser in Vancouver, (straight after he had mixed AC/DC’s 10 million plus selling Black Ice album), was only recorded in guitarist Paul Hurst’s Liverpool living room, with duvets hanging on the walls to help the sound and provide a makeshift vocal booth.

Steve Ellis first began singing in a band at the age of 15. The band were called Soul Survivors, initially gate crashing weddings, youth clubs and barmitzva’s in north London on the pretence that they were booked to perform. When the band improved substantially they began to play venues such as The Marquee, The Flamingo, Tiles and Mod clubs in Brighton, Clacton and Soul clubs in Manchester, Stoke etc.  After the bands first release on Decca Records, they moved on to CBS and became one of the most successful British pop acts of the late ’60s, under their new name “Love Affair”, and had a string of hit records, including “Everlasting Love”, “A Day Without Love”, “Rainbow Valley” and “Bringing On Back the Good Times”.

David Courtney is a British singer-songwriter and record producer. Courtney’s first big break was as a songwriter with Adam Faith and Leo Sayer; Courtney co-wrote several hit songs with them (including “Giving it All Away”, recorded by both Sayer and Roger Daltrey) and he co-produced Faith’s 1974 album, I Survive.  As a producer, David has also worked with musicians such as Roger Daltrey, Gene Pitney, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Jimmy Page.  In 2002, David was responsible for introducing the first Walk of Fame cultural attraction in the UK, located in Brighton.  In 2015 Courtney celebrated his 50th anniversary in music which is accompanied with the publication of his autobiography entitled ‘David Courtney Giving It All Away’ and the release of his Anthology album on Angel Air Records, featuring 40 tracks from artists he has written for and produced during his career. In January 2015, Courtney joined UMU Music to supply an exclusive backstage pass into his personal music life, letting his fans see behind the scenes and receive downloads from Anthology and signed hard back editions of his forthcoming autobiography.

Rachel Ann, TeenStar Champion (Live in the Studio)

Dave Clarke of Kast Off Kinks (Live in the Studio)

Paul Hurst of The Jokers

Steve Ellis of Love Affair

David Courtney