R&B powerhouse APW has just released his debut single ‘Love I Never Had’, an emotive and bitingly honest production centred around a painful love story. Oozing in soul throughout, the artists first step into the world of songwriting shows no fear whatsoever of appearing vulnerable, pouring his heart out with exquisite vocals. It’s not often as a listener that you’re able to connect with an artist at the first listen, but in the case of APW, it feels impossible not to. Totally transparent and genuine, that ability to relate to total strangers will undoubtedly be key in APW’s journey to the top.
Inspired by real life events, the source of the song’s storyline came easy to the artist, but as with any debut release it’s finding that sound that listeners will remember you for that saw APW look in many different directions. On the creative process the artist explains: “Inspiration wise, I was led by the guitar originally. Listening to Kazuki Isogai, Jordan Rakei, Tom Mich. Vocally, Stevie Wonder is always in my brain. Singing away, influencing a lot of my vocal decisions. Along with artists like Jazmine Sullivan, Solange, and recently Cleo Sol.”
What came was a classic soul sound merged with the youthness of R&B, ultimately creating a unique aesthetic. Coming from a stage trained background, APW had all the tools to be a successful musician and it’s just a case of putting the final piece together. Utilising his distinctive tone and agile vocals alongside his authentic writing capabilities, ‘Love I Never Had’ follows the artists journey through a relationship where the realisation of a love that turned out not to be real sinks in. An impassioned vocal performance works perfectly alongside the infectious groove, taking you on a heartfelt journey without the ensuing depression.
Originally from a working-class background in Manchester, APW is a queer artist who clearly has endless potential. Honing a sound that feels fresh and a voice that could hold its own on any stage, you can’t help but feel like his time is coming. It might well be later this year with the release of his debut EP. ‘Love I Never Had’ gives us a taster of what we might expect, with more personal stories and groovy beats sure to come, the future looks exciting for APW.
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Words: Jake Wright