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Debbie Richards, singer, songwriter

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent” Victor Hugo

 

I am from a little town called Buckley, North Wales, so that’s right I’m welsh. Buckley is the place where musically it all started for me when my music teacher in secondary school gave me the opportunities to sing, to perform, to study, to start the journey…

 

I am one of five children and my parents are originally from Liverpool and they moved to Wales in the mid 60’s bringing all their musical influences with them. My family are like my guardian angels, my defence, my confidence, my deepest foundation, they are with me always and I guess that is exactly what I need in this business, so I am oh so very glad and very lucky.

 

We always had music playing in the house and Dad would wake us early on a Sunday morning with sounds from Frankie Laine, Billy Fury, Bobby Vee and the repertoire would gradually change: mum would put on her Elvis records, The Platters, Brenda Lee and once all the family had woke I had probably experienced everything from the above to The Boomtown Rats, Suzie Quatro, Crystal Gayle, Motorhead, ACDC and more…

 

My first album was a Nolan’s cover collection which was bought for me as a Christmas present with my new record player. I would lock myself in my room for hours singing along and learning every word. Mum and Dad would buy me albums each Christmas and I would get months and months out of them singing into my hairbrush. Some of my early vocal coaches were Madonna, Cher, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner…

The music festival at Elfed High School, Buckley was one of the most exciting times for me. It was the first opportunity to show off my years of practising in the bedroom. The ‘solo voice’ option would get my heart pounding and eager to perform. I would research songs and would come up with a collection different to other pupils entering the competition as they would choose from the current charts, but I would search through our massive song collection at home.

 

My first ‘solo voice’ performance was Nicole’s 1982 Eurovision Song contest winner ‘A Little Peace’, I just loved the melody and the words. My music teacher just started to play it by ear and I remember thinking “wow this is great!”

 

I always made up songs. I would entertain my friends in our garage, or put shows on in the garden, making them listen to my new material. If any of you are reading this and remember- I’m sorry, I know you needed to get home for your tea…

 

I studied GCSE and ‘A’ Level music where I learned more about composition and I would use it in my song writing. I wrote songs for plays, North Wales Crime Prevention Scheme, musicals and usually played the lead roles…I went on to do a degree in music and drama at Liverpool Hope University focusing on voice and clarinet and then a PGCE in secondary music and I have been teaching since 1997.
 

Alongside my teaching career is my music career and for 14 years I was on the cabaret circuit performing in pubs, clubs, hotels, holiday parks all over the country and abroad. During this time I always wrote and I produced an album of songs which you will be able to listen to in the music section. The cabaret world did teach me the art of performing to all types of audiences and although it was hard and a little bit scary from time to time, I met lots of lovely, interesting people, saw many different places, good and bad, and created a whole lot of brilliant memories
with my roadies, which I will cherish forever.

 

I am inspired by the things that happen in my life and of the lives’ of the people that are close to me. All music that I have ever heard, played or studied influences me and inspires me, including the music composed by the students that I have taught and still do.  I love bands like Elbow, Snow Patrol, Goldfrapp and the Doves.  Solo artistes like Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Ellie Goulding, Florence And The Machine…the list goes on and on, all music is good to me if it hooks you either by a melody, a lyric, a drum beat, a sound or evokes an emotion, a feeling.  It can help
you to get through tough times, like medicine, it should be available on prescription!

 

My future plans are to write, write, write and to play, play, play. I want you to hear my music I want it to be part of your lives if you want it to be. I don’t want to be sitting in my music room at home where only the four walls around me hear what I create. I have seen music change people’s lives, it is powerful stuff and I hope that my music will do something for you.

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