One of the region's biggest supporters of new music is turning the tables, this week, when he officially launches his own single at Lakefest.
Andrew Marston, who’s now presented the Introducing programme on BBC Hereford & Worcester for more than a decade, has teamed up with Hereford producer Jon Sidwell and vocalist Lucia Nicole to produce Pray For Me, both of whom he met while working on the show.
So far in 2016, Andrew has presented three takeover sessions on BBC Radio 1 and two on BBC 6 Music. He also secured a slot for Leominster’s AKA George at Glastonbury, Hay-on-Wye’s Cherryshoes at T In The Park and flew Bromyard/Tenbury musician Remi Harris out to the Montreal Jazz Festival. He’s now had more than 1,000 bands play live on-air, this year programming stages at Lakefest, Nozstock, Worcester Music Festival, Wychwood and the Hay Festival.
As Andrew explains, the single came about through unexpected circumstances: “Having played piano almost every day since the age of six, I had a stark realisation that if I suddenly died - there would be no evidence whatsoever that I could play! I actually wrote Pray For Me - and various other tracks - about 10 years ago, but my enthusiasm was so great I kept on writing new material and never finished any of them off. But in all honesty, I really struggled to find the right way forward for this song - almost suffering from writer’s block for a decade until I played this track to Lucia who just fell in love with it.”
Vocalist Lucia Nicole started promoting herself as an independent artist just over a year ago, having previously been featured on several tracks with local EDM producer Matt Envy, including a live performance for the BBC at Nozstock in 2014. Lucia released her debut EP 'The Bigger Picture' earlier this year with three of the tracks becoming the BBC Introducing Track Of The Week. Lucia also performed, last year, at the Colwall Music Festival for the BBC and will be performing for them again at Lakefest with her band.
"When I first heard the track, I thought how uplifting it was and I could hear, straight away, the direction I could take it in. I also loved the Mediterranean feel and thought it would make a great summer track. I suppose the main lyric 'Pray For Me' came from a little cry inside asking people to wish me all the best on my musical venture. I'd spent the year working on a completely different sound and it was fun to have something fresh to end on."
This will be the third single by Andrew, having released I Just Wanna, last year, and produced a remix of Dodgy’s Good Enough, with the band’s lead singer Nigel Clark, the year before. Andrew will be joined by Lucia, and various other musicians, on-stage in the Secret Ibiza Dance Arena at 4pm on Friday to perform the track live at LakeFest which, this year, relocates to the site of the former Big Chill at Eastnor Deer Park.
“It’s a beautiful site,” Andrew continues, "The Big Chill was my first music festival - so to be returning to the spiritual home of where it all began for me will be magical”.
"I am over the moon to be playing Lakefest!”, says Lucia, “It's such a great festival and one that I'm extremely proud and excited to be part of. It's going to be a great weekend and I get to play two sets; one on the Friday alongside Andrew, when 'Pray For Me' is released, and then again on the Saturday on the BBC Introducing stage, performing the tracks off my EP. I couldn't be more excited and extremely grateful for the opportunities."
You can download the single now by following this link.