The mastermind behind pop’s biggest hit singles, including for Take That and The Spice Girls, has launched a personal album in response to the pandemic.
Known as ‘the songwriter to the stars’ Eliot’s career spans 25 years. Kennedy has had major hits with co-writer, Bryan Adams, including Baby When You’re Gone featuring Mel C, the title song to Celine Dion’s massive album, Let’s Talk About Love, and Never Gonna Break My Faith with Aretha Franklin and Mary J Blige, which won a Grammy. He also worked as a Talent Director on ITV’s The X-Factor, where he mentored the finalists.
His first number one hit was Take That’s Everything Changes, co-written with Gary Barlow. Milestone hits since include Say You’ll Be There for The Spice Girls, and Picture of You for Boyzone, which won an Ivor Novello. Eliot has written and produced for S Club, Five and Billy Piper.
Eliot Kennedy said: “My new album, Mind Music, is world’s away from what I ordinarily do as a songwriter and talent developer, where the focus is hugely commercial. For me to feel the need to release something like this is a significant move and has come from an emotional shift.”
Eliot said: “I made this album as a result of lockdown and anxiety and not being able to sleep well. It’s deeply personal as I found it therapeutic and cathartic to write and produce. It came from a different place – for my own sake really, to help with stress and anxiety.”
Covid-19 has presented huge challenges for musicians.
“We’re stymied right now. There are no gigs, no audience, record companies can’t promote artists properly – from that point of view it’s extremely stressful. It’s the fact there’s no end in sight right now that’s really bringing about anxiety. So, I think it’s a good time for this album. I sent it to some people and got such amazing feedback on how it was helping them rest and to sleep.”
Eliot said he was inspired by nature and the environment as lockdown has put a renewed focus on its therapeutic effects.
“I wanted to do more than that zen-style of airy music associated with alternative therapy. I incorporate the sounds of the forest at night-time or ocean waves in a more meaningful way so the listener goes into zones – space, under water – and is transported - you can’t help but be emotionally taken away. The music is thematic with strong melodies with movement and arrangement, so it feels like it ebbs and flows. A lot of thought has gone into where the journey takes you, to make you feel immersed in that space.”
Eliot feels lockdown has helped audiences and musicians re-focus.
He said: “People are feeling this need to reconnect. They are realising the more important things like family and connections to other humans because we’ve been starved of it, and not celebrity and not things you don’t need in your life. It’s been a really good period for people to sort out their priorities. We’ve had almost a year without new reality TV shows, and who really cares? Nobody is looking for the new reality star. It’s been really good on that level. More importantly, because we’ve been out of the way, the planet has started healing, we’ve seen the better air quality in our cities for example. It’s an interesting time of collecting one’s thoughts and prioritising - which is only going to have more and more positive effects.”
Eliot sees Mind Music as music therapy, helping to put anxieties in perspective.
“It comes from the heart. This album wasn’t something I wanted to do commercially, it started as a cathartic exercise to lose myself musically and see where that journey took me, and it’s incredible to hear how it’s helping people.”
To view the video of the first single from the album, The Blue Aegean, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY4DYFOHrdU
Mind Music is available on Spotify, YouTube and other streaming platforms. Visit: https://spinnup.link/366895-mind-music
Photo of Eliot Kennedy (please credit Richard Doughty).
Notes to Editors
About Eliot Kennedy – composer, songwriter, record producer
Sheffield-based Eliot Kennedy is a Grammy and Ivor Novello award winner, Golden Globe Nominee and the co-writer with Gary Barlow of the hit Broadway musical Finding Neverland, as well as an A list film score composer on both sides of the Atlantic.
Eliot’s first No 1 was Take That’s Everything Changes which he co-wrote and co-produced with Gary Barlow which started their long running song-writing partnership. In 2012 they co-wrote, and Eliot produced, that year’s biggest selling single Sing, the official song for the Diamond Jubilee. They co-wrote songs for ITV’s Britannia High series for which Eliot also scored all of the episodes.
His first global success was the Spice Girls single Say You’ll Be There. He’s also had major hits as writer/producer with Celine Dion, Boyzone, Blue, S Club 7, Five, Billie Piper, Atomic Kitten, Bryan Adams and Take That. He and Bryan co-wrote Mel C’s hit When You’re Gone.
Eliot won the Grammy for Never Gonna Break My Faith, performed by Aretha Franklin and Mary J Blige for multi-award-winning feature Bobby and was beaten by Prince for the Golden Globe that year. His Ivor Novello was for Boyzone’s Picture Of You. He won Canada’s Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year jointly with Bryan Adams for their song When You’re Gone and the two of them were nominated for the Critic Choice Award for Never Let Go which featured in the movie The Guardian. In New York Finding Neverland won the Broadway.com Best Musical award and also Best song for Believe.