“It’s actually a song of lust,” he laughs.
The song and video are available to view on YouTube at the start of what promises to be an important year for Littlehampton-based Simon: the year he brings out his debut album.
As he says, maybe the difficult times we are going through are a time to appreciate more the things we used to take for granted – music amongst them.
“You can find yourself wishing for how things were.”
In the meantime: “City of Hope is a song about trying to run away to the City of Hope and trying to take someone with me. It is a tale of lust and escapism. I don’t know what City of Hope really means… but we filmed it in Bognor, and I can’t say I see Bognor really being the City of Hope! But it makes it light.
“It is about your dreams. If you are an actor, you dream of going to Hollywood. If you are a musician, you dream of going to London or New York or Berlin. It’s just a romantic tale. I have got lots of songs and I am going to have an album ready for the spring. It will be my first album. My first single was way back in 2017 and then I had a three-year different direction and now I am back to how it was. I just found a new sense of relief when I got back to it and doing what I wanted.
“And then we had the lockdowns, and I didn’t manage to achieve what I thought I was going to achieve. Things got tough. Loved ones were struggling. It was a tough year, and I never managed to accomplish what I was hoping to accomplish. I was hoping to do a song every six weeks and get the album done. But I did manage to get two videos done.
“You have just got to keep plugging away. I have set a lot more goals for this year. The album is going to be coming out. One of my goals is to get just one play on national radio, but the big goals are to find a way to become financially independent as an artist.
“I am working at a builders’ merchants in Angmering at the moment, and it is good. That’s fine. That’s great, but I consider myself an artist, and people seem to like what I do, what I create. People seem to get joy from it, and it always seems to get a nice response. It’s great – and something that I am really enthusiastic about. And this year I am looking forward to sharing more music and releasing more music and hopefully facing up to some of the challenges that I am going to have to face. There is no growth in comfort. I am desperately trying to challenge myself and to have new experiences… which was a difficult thing to do last year.”
As for the music: “I would say that my music is definitely some kind of pop music, but it is also rock ‘n’ roll music at the same time. I have been described as something like a punk rock version of Liam Gallagher but with guitars from Nirvana. But I don’t really know how to describe it. I just like to think that it is unique music. I am not trying to sound like anybody. Creativity is just something that happens. Creativity just appears and you just go with it. But I would say it is probably indie music, something like that.”
Playing all the instruments except the drums, Simon records in his bedroom. And he is aiming for the spring for that all-important debut album release.
“Most of the songs are recorded and ready, and I will do another single next month.”