Chart-topping Welsh singer Aled Jones opens up to Sydney Arts Guide about that time he was in a pop band, ‘infuriatingly’ talented son Lucas, and his enduring passion for choral music.
SAG: Tell me about the song ‘Believe’ that you wrote yourself.
ALED: I really did wake up with the melody already in my head. By the end of that day, the whole thing was done, really. My first study at the Royal Academy of Music in London was Voice and my second was in commercial music, so writing jingles, adverts and so on.
I tend to write all the time when I’m on tour, while everyone rushes off to have something to eat or whatever, I find myself on stage on my own and it’s an ideal time to just be creative.
SAG: What is it about the UK choral tradition that you love?
ALED: There’s a huge choral tradition in the UK and in Wales, and it’s a sound that’s emulated all over the world, in America and all over. I’ve been very vocal about the fact that I think we have some of the best choirs in the world and for that I love choral music and classical music in general.
Our choral tradition is part of who I am, it’s what I’ve always done. I joined cathedral choirs when I was eight or nine years old. It was probably the happiest time of my life, learning music – choral music, religious music.
SAG: Being so successful so early on, you could’ve retired at sixteen. When your voice broke, did you think you might want to do something else?
ALED: I mean, I wanted to be a pop star and win Wimbledon and play for Arsenal and all sorts of things but that was never going to happen, although I was in a pop band called A-Z with my mates at college. We got reviewed by a national music paper after one of our concerts and they described me as an ‘insipid Michael J Fox look-alike’. There went my pop star dream!
SAG: Will your son be performing with you on this trip?
ALED: Lucas sang at school and stuff but he’s never had aspirations to want to do records. Lucas’ voice has started changing so he’s just here to experience Australia. He’s definitely a tourist this time.
SAG: Together, you and your son recorded a rendition of Howard Goodall’s ’The Lord is My Shepherd’. How did that come about?
ALED: Well Lucas sang at school in choir and stuff so I can definitely hear the music in him. I was in the studio one day and he knew ’The Lord is My Shepherd’ really well so I had the idea to do it, it worked so well.
I actually got a call from Howard Goodall, the composer of the piece, who said he much preferred Lucas’ voice to mine. (Laughs). The infuriating thing is that at his age I had four and a half years of training in a cathedral and lessons, and then (Lucas) the jammy thing just walks into the studio and nails it.
SAG: Good luck in Australia, Aled.
ALED: Thanks so much for your support
The final instalment in Aled Jones' One Voice album trilogy – One Voice: Believe – is released on Decca Records. To celebrate the release of this album, Aled and his son will be coming to Australia in September for a national tour and will be performing in Sydney on Wednesday 26 September, tickets at Eventopia. Find out more at his official Facebook.