From Notts with Love

Chris McDonald

Nottingham Contemporary celebrate some of Nottinghamshire’s many musical talents this evening with a SOLD OUT gig From Notts with Love curated by BBC Nottingham’s Dean Jackson.

We caught up with 2 of the acts playing this evening, Chris McDonald (C.) & Nina Smith (NS)


–          What can we expect from Chris McDonald on Friday?

C. I’m bringing some musicians from London so will be performing with a seven piece including a string section playing songs from my debut album. I’m really looking forward to it! Apart from that, I’ll be running around and sorting stuff since there is only me and Tommy from Farmyard who are organising the event…

–          Is this the first time you’ve been involved in a Notts showcase such as  this one?

C. Yes, I came back to Notts and the music scene was buzzing. Liam Bailey asked me to put on a gig so I asked Tommy from Farmyard Records to help and we asked what we considered to be some of the best artists we could think of and they all said yes which is amazing!

–          A few local artists have recently secured deals with major labels (including Natalie Duncan), do you think something has changed in the way the industry perceive Nottingham talents?

C. I don’t think the London music scene is behind Nottingham but it’s getting there. I just think Nottingham has amazing talent which gets noticed eventually. We are taking this same line-up down to London in August to try and point the spotlight on Nottingham. We are planning to do another showcase in November which we will take to London in December. This is what inspired the title of the event – ‘From Notts with Love’.

–          Which other local artists should we keep on our radar?

C. Liam Bailey, Natalie Duncan, Nina Smith, Harleigh Blu, Tim McDonald – plus Gallery 47, Leah Sanderson, Ryan Thomas, Old Basford, Injured Birds, Firstblood, Bella Gaffney, Beth Frisby, Jake Bugg, We Show Up On Radar, Parks…there’s too many artists to mention, Nottingham is an outrageous city for talent! 

– What can we expect from Nina Smith on Friday?

NSA refreshing sound of soulful pop. Im hoping my cover of the Spice Girls and The Police will get people excited. It’s an interesting mash-up of 2 Become 1 and Message in a Bottle.  Suprisingly it works.

–          The Nottingham scene seems healthier than ever – do you think Nottingham is finally making its mark?

NSI definitely do. We are still a way to go just yet, but with Natalie Duncan, Jake Bugg, Liam Bailey and Dog Is Dead onto good things then they might just lead the way.

–          Dean Jackson is curating the event on Friday, do you think we need more people like Dean to help spread the word about the many talents of Nottinghamshire?

NS  We already do. We have lots of them, Tommy of Farmyard Records, Pete Fletcher of Denizen Records, Mark Del, Anton and George Akins of DHP, Will Robinson of ‘I’m Not From London’,  Ste Allen,  Trevor Rose.. the list goes on.  I just think Dean Jackson has that extra bit of power with radio as he’s well respected. Nottingham’s great for support in general.

–          Who do you think are currently the ones to watch?

NS –  I think Indiana will make her mark over the next few years having now signed to a big industry manager.  But i’ve always had a soft spot for Natalie Duncan.  I think she’s the best singer to come out of Notts. If she doesn’t become ridiculously successful then there’s something wrong with the music world.

–          Which artists have influenced your soulful style?

NS I Love Alicia Keys, such a huge fan of her. Lauren Hill too. I can listen to them both on repeat for days.  Justin Timberlake for his melody and harmonies, they do something funny to me. Or it could be that he does something funny to me. Haa, can’t make my mind up which I love more, his face or his music.

Look out for more dates coming soon in Nottingham and London to showcase even more of Nottinghamshire’s talents.

Posted on 06 July 2012
Featured author: melissa.gueneau

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