The Mystery of Doug Walker
Genuine rags to riches tales are few and far between and with artists like Sandi Thom and Koopa having more spin than New Labour its refreshing to witness a talented artists such as Doug Walker finally get national recognition
5.50am Doug Walker turns up at Radio 1 studios to hand out promo copies of his new single the Mystery, an hour and a half later Chris Moyles is playing it on the radio and by lunchtime he's in talks with Universal Records and in a photoshoot with The Sun. A week later he's getting over 2000 plays a day on Myspace of the track and Ladbrookes are giving odd of 6/1 for a number 1 single by the end of the year
You can hear the single on Doug's myspace (www.myspace.com/dougwalkermusic) but in the meantime find out about the man behind the mystery!!!
DOUG WALKER BIOG
"My two Jeffs: Jeff Buckley and Jeff Lynne of ELO. I guess I'm a bit schizophrenic and these are the two extremes of my personality. There's definitely a melancholic, deep thinking side to me and then a bit of a young hoon. I guess I'm a walking contradiction."Doug Walker, June 2006
Its safe to say that Doug Walker is not your average singer-songwriter. After all how many unsigned singer-songwriters do you know that have been joined by a ninety piece orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall?!
Growing up in Camberley, Surrey he left home at 17 and toured with an educational theatre company and a band for three years.
I came from Camberley - the same town as pop sensation BROS which is, lets face it, hardly a credible musical heritage! I left home and sung and acted in educational theatre. We were in a different school every week and it was a bit like Legs Akimbo from League of Gentlemen" explains Doug. "We actually went to Bosnia and Croatia and a place called Mostar which was always in the news back in 1996, just about a year after the war had ended. We were in this house that was covered in bullet holes and all the UN guys were driving round in trucks with guns. I remember cos it was Euro 96 and we were sitting in this pizza place whilst England were playing Croatia. Whenever Croatia got in Englands half there was gunfire everywhere because they thought they had a chance of scoring. It was like the wild west!"
A chance meeting with a family in Manchester led to his relocation to the leafy suburb of Bowdon in South Manchester, home to millionaire footballers and the cast of Coronation Street.
It wasn't all afternoon tea in millionaires paradise though as Doug elaborates ; "I worked in a bar, worked in a factory,cutting metal, laying concrete. I wasnt very good at it and my heart wasnt in it but hey - it was Manchester! Soon after I started work as a youth worker in Benchill which at the time was the most deprived area in the entire UK. So - Bowdon to Benchill. Book title?"
But enough about the story, and believe us there's plenty more to tell, what about the music? Dougs debut EP was produced by Matt Wanstall, brother of Athlete's keyboard man Tim Wanstall and features the timeless ballad My Delight and unashamed pop anthem Stranger than fiction which has received airplay on London's XFM and Manchester's KEY103.
"My producer Matt's had a track on a Café Del Mar album and is a brilliant producer who can turn his hand to anything from hardcore dance, r'n'b and pop to live band stuff. All the electro sounds and production ideas on the E.P are Matt and all the over the top cheesiness is me. Matt is very good at restraining me and saying "No- were not having a flippin' French horn on this track, Doug!" I think it was a great partnership, a good balance.
I think through lack of finance I've never really bought a lot of CDs so I just listen to a lot of radio. I basically love good pop songs and melodies. At the moment Im really loving 'The Feeling'. In this interview that I read recently they were talking about just writing what they liked and that they really didn't care whether it was cool or not. They're just into good pop songs. That was really refreshing to read as thats where I'm at."
With a plethora of labels recently showing interest in Doug Walker, Popworld.com selecting him as 'Artist of the week' and web provider Tiscali inviting him to showcase online on the same show that recently saw Orson, Morning Runner and The Feeling take to the stage, it looks like this long journey is about to reach its next stop....
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