Pop/Soul artist Sharon Watkins will release her debut album in 2023. Collaborating with producer Sam Miller (The Hoosiers, One Direction), latest single ‘The One That Got Away’ on 18th November 2022, is an intimate acoustic ballad about escaping a toxic relationship, growing stronger and embracing new beginnings, boasting enchanting piano melodies and the singer’s signature soulful vocals. Her previous tracks ‘Proud’ and ‘Stranded’ achieved overwhelming success, amassing over 250k views on YouTube and 150k on Spotify. Music News caught up with Sharon to find out more...
Hi Sharon How are you? Doing really well thanks! So excited about all the momentum we’ve had with our first 3 singles, honestly, it has been insane to have had BBC radio interviews, rotations, global press coverage and to have won an international song contest in such a short space of time!!
Tell us about your latest release ‘The One That Got Away’? Well, it starts out as a real wintery piano ballad, portraying that moment when you suddenly realise that someone you're with is messing you around. Then, with the help of big strings and orchestral percussion, it develops into a powerful "I'm over you" song…. It is really a defiant two-fingers up at the ex that never appreciated you until it was too late. It moves from the turmoil of still having feelings for that person, cutting lose and moving on to triumphant recovery, knowing that you made the right decision.
The music video is visually stunning and the dance is beautiful, talk to us about the filming of this video and the creative decision to use dance to express the meaning of the track. Thank you, that means a lot! We’re really pleased with the way the video came out. Me and my brother, Sammy J Stopford, who has been my partner in crime on this whole album project, knew very early on that we wanted a contemporary dance that portrayed the turmoil in this song. I also knew I wanted the video to express the mental turmoil you go through after finishing a relationship and the underwater medium just seamed such an ideal metaphor for that. We put out a request for dancers and choreographers on Instragram not thinking we would get much interest. One of our lessons on this project is that you can’t pore the right energy into a project if you don’t love the music and so this was the main pre-requisite for dancers…. “please only contact us if the song inspires you!”…. we couldn’t believe the response!! We ended up watching so many amazing dance videos from such talented people. Our album is about adult life lessons and so we knew we wanted a believable couple, that had a great connection and were old enough to have gone through an adult relationship and breakup. We chose Florivaldo Mossi (Michael Jackson in West End Show “Thriller”) & Ashley Cavell (Star of many shows, including ABBA Fever) as they are both incredible dancers but also fit the storyline so well. I couldn’t believe it when Choreographer, Stewart Arnold (choreographer & dancer to Kate Bush) agreed to work on the project!!
The writing in the song is very personal. Was it emotional pouring these emotions into lyrics? Honestly, it is like an exorcism. Songwriting is how I process and deal with life’s ups-and-downs and so I would be lost without that outlet. It forces me to really dig deep on my emotions towards things. You can’t write songs about superficial stuff, otherwise it just sounds cliché.
What do you hope people take away from ‘The One That Got Away’? I feel like it’s the song you need a friend to play you when you have broken up from someone and are feeling injured and unsure. You need someone to tell you that you missed a bullet and one day that ex will look around and realise that they lost something very special. I have had people reach out already and tell me how relatable the message is and that it has helped them… this is the biggest compliment of all!!
Talk to us about your influences as an artist. I grew up in Manchester surrounded by an incredible 90’s music scene, in a house where my dad played everything from The Beatles to Zappa. I then spent 8 years living in the states, picking up some great American influences like Carole King. I have now made Nottingham my home, which is where I recorded the album and I have honestly really been enjoying the return in popularity of singer-songwriters like Lewis Capaldi and Tom Odell …. So all-in-all a pretty varied range of influcences… making for an eclectic pop album that I hope you all like.
Going back briefly on the video, you collaborated with some great people on the video such as Stewart Arnold who worked closely with Kate Bush and Florivaldo Mossi, noted for being Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. Tell us about your experience working with them. It's been the stuff of dreams really. I am a massive Kate Bush fan and to work with Stewart was like a dream come true. He and I had some long conversations about our vision for this video and the turmoil I wanted to portray. His ability to translate that into dance is something amazing to watch. I had the honour of watching him choregraph the dancers on the morning of the shoot and it was like watching a master at work, the artistic ideas that he brought to this project were incredible. Flori Mossi and Ashley Cavell are both experienced dancers but seeing the way they clicked together, and their interaction and interpretation of the song just blew me away.
What can we expect from you next? Well, we have 3 more singles coming ahead of the album launch in 2023, so make sure you follow me on Spotify to keep up with those (Sharon Watkins) and we’re also going to be doing a series of “Live Lounge” performances of our tracks ahead of the album release so follow me on socials @sharonwatkinsofficial to keep an eye out for those.