WORLDWIDE SUCCESS FOR SINGER STEPHANIE
Sarah de Waard talks to talented singer and songwriter Stephanie Kirkham about her uplifting new album, Tiny Spark
Singer Stephanie Kirkham has delighted critics with the release of her charming and inspirational third album, co-written and produced by Grammy Award winning musician Phil Thornalley.
Stephanie was born and raised in the Ribble Valley and after finishing her studies at Longridge High School she studied at Blackpool Art College and spent time working as a model in Japan before realising her dream of writing and releasing her first album, That Girl, in 2003 after sending her acapella recordings to publishers and record labels in London.
Stephanie’s latest album is packed with catchy and upbeat songs like ‘Easy as 123’, which has been featured on TV advertising campaigns in the UK for Peugeot, in Europe for EDF and in the U.S.A for Miracle Grow.
Stephanie tells me: “This new album has been a long time in the making and I have really enjoyed the whole process. There hasn’t been any pressure and Phil has been a wonderful mentor, we get together in the studio whenever we feel like it and I think that has helped to give the album such a relaxed, happy feel to it.”
In fact, the album has proved so uplifting that one reviewer declared that it should be ‘prescribed by doctors instead of Prozac!’
“I have always loved melodies, music and writing, and the joy of creating something that wasn’t there before. The singing came later as I was shy at school, but now I love the fact that I have the confidence to combine my passions,” explains Stephanie, who now lives in Cornwall.
“Hut Recordings signed me to a five album deal which was amazing but unfortunately the record company folded, which was a big blow. I had written a lot more songs that I wanted to record and so I released my second album Sunlight on my Soul in 2006 on my own label.
“I always knew I wanted to release more albums and I never gave up writing and so the third album slowly evolved over the last few years. I loved the whole writing and recording process with Phil Thornalley, who has worked with some incredible people such as Natalie Imbruglia, Bryan Adams and Pixie Lott.”
Stephanie grew up listening to Joni Mitchell, the Beatles and Johnny Cash. Her music has been described as having influences from jazz, country, Celtic folk and even Tudor madrigals, so it’s an eclectic sound.
She is also a talented visual artist and her stunning paintings have been incorporated into the album’s artwork. The photography for the album is by renowned rock photographer Phil Nichols, who has photographed everyone from Amy Winehouse to Courtney Love.
Stephanie explains: “Phil is from Cornwall and I was introduced by a mutual friend and we worked together to take the wonderful shots that appear on all the album artwork.”
Stephanie is currently on a UK Radio tour and recently supported Paper Gods, Phil Nichols Photography Archive exhibition in Bristol as well as planning appearances at various summer festivals including Summer Days in Clitheroe this July.
“I’m enjoying promoting the album and BBC Cornwall have been very supportive,” says Stephanie.
You can order the album from any good record store or if you order via Stephanie’s website you will receive the deluxe version, which is a signed copy complete with gift wrap and a selection of postcards of Stephanie’s artwork, painted to represent the songs on the album.
Tiny Spark is available to order from all good record shops or through Stephanie’s website: www.stephaniekirkham.com.