Having revamped his sound, relocated to London, and gone on tour with the likes of Pete Doherty, A-Ha and Alice Merton, Sion Hill – or Nathan Johnston, off the stage – is on the way to a new album, and a big reputation.
Sion Hill’s journey has taken in spells in Hamburg and Berlin as well as the English capital, but it’s the more metaphorical sense of being lost that carries through in his music, which speaks open-heartedly about issues like anxiety and self-consciousness.
His sound is a kind of indie-pop soul blend, with a little bit of gospel thrown in. Here’s what he sad to say for himself from the heart of the coronavirus shutdown…
Have you noticed a big difference between basing yourself in London and being back home, in terms of getting your music out there?
It’s always going to be hard in London, isn’t it? It’s such a big city – more people, more musicians, more budding artists. Back home the scene is actually quite small but I do miss being a part of something more connected and the Irish scene is pretty dope right now as well!
London feels like the epicentre of the music biz in Europe. There are so many people coming and going from everywhere. In that sense, it’s good for spreading music across a wider audience. It’s hard to see the value now though – when there’s no gigs, it doesn’t really matter where you are as everything’s online anyway…
Elephant has been out for a while now. How do you see it looking back?
Elephant was a product of a very different time in my life. I still think it’s a nice collection of songs but it was sort of a different project as I originally played in a duo with a friend from school and we recorded the album together so it’s obviously going to have a very different feel.
I’m really focussed on looking forward right now to my next album and appreciating working with some great people along the way. It’s no use looking back really, I just want to keep creating and let my sound develop as my life and experiences develop with it.