Singer Paul Pashley is known as the Sheffielder with the velvet voice but he’s added more Yorkshire grit into the mix with new EP, Learn to Fly.
Paul performs mainly in the Rat Pack or big band swinging jazz style favoured by singers such as Michael Buble or Harry Connick Jr but he’s keen to show he can do more too on this outing.
Paul, who is from Arbourthorne, started off as an actor and laughed to remember that one of his first gigs was playing a clown at Meadowhall, aged 15.
He said: “I always wanted to be an actor. I decided that until I was 18. I did my BTEC at Norton College in performing arts and then did a BA degree in Manchester.
“I was singing in a production in Coventry in panto and then a big band leader put me on the road with Memphis Belle and Kings of Swing, so then I got to singing songs as myself.”
A friend in the band advised Paul that he needed to get his own music and eventually he met up with renowned Sheffield-based house music singer-songwriter Steve Edwards and they worked on writing four songs together.
Steve also collaborated on the production of the EP.
Paul said: “I thought I can’t not work with this guy. He wrote World Hold Up, which was a huge hit. I started writing with him.”
In 2017, the BBC Introducing new music strand played a single that Paul had uploaded within a couple of days, and that gave his writing ambitions a big boost.
Paul, who appeared on TV show The Voice in 2016, tours the world with Manchester United, performing at VIP hospitality events. He was off to Barcelona this week.
He also sang at Wayne Rooney’s wedding and Alex Ferguson’s golden wedding.
He performs solo to backing tracks or with band line-ups ranging from four to 17.
Paul said: “I do sing in a suit but I’m a lad from Sheffield. If you surprise people they don’t expect it.
“The single is based on past experiences and situations – this happened to her or him. He’s left her or she’s left him.
“Hopefully I will have built up enough interest in the single for people to buy the EP. There’s four tracks: Loving Arms is like a swing jazz standard, All For You is a croony jazz number and (You Are My) Assassin is more upbeat.”
For Assassin, Paul found himself back at Meadowhall, filming the video with a glamorous spy theme in the multi-storey car park in the early hours.
Paul said: “We turned up at 3am in a Range Rover with a girl dressed in black in the back and she’d got a gun.”
They managed to give an unsuspecting security guard a fright.
These days Paul books his own shows and manages his own career, after bruising encounters with managers and agents. He puts his CDs out under his own TriplePProductions imprint.
His last CD, More, was covers, a mixture of standards and unusual inclusions such as Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor and a version of Dancing in the Moonlight that won praise from Philomena Lynott, the mum of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, who wrote the song.
The single Learn to Fly is out on April 26 and is available for pre-order on distrokid.com/hyperfollow/paulpashley/learn-to-fly-2, or via his website, www.paulpashley.com