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Artist Of The Week // HAVELOCK

Channelling feelings of dissatisfaction into a sweet tune, Havelock manages to depict the not-so-glamorous reality of work with tongue-in-cheek lyricism that is sure to resonate with listeners.

Havelock 2019

London-based Havelock is only one amongst the 50% of people who aren’t keen on their jobs, yet what marks him out amongst the crowd is his ability to work through these feelings of exasperation to compose an all-too-relatable track about it. In his newest single Vacancy, mellow vocals are backed by R&B inspired beats, creating a myriad of textures that allows him to explore his own personal feelings and paint a picture of his day-to-day reality.

Explaining more of the track, Havelock says:

When I wrote Vacancy, I worked myself into the ground with waiter work. It was really getting me down because it was hard to fit my music and writing around the need to earn money. I just externalised all of this work-related stress into a song with Oscar Scheller, who produced it. It was written super quickly. It was one of those songs where it kind of just wrote itself.

Accompanied by a DIY video which sees the artist being lugged around on a string as he attempts to go by his daily life, Havelock mentions:

For the Vacancy video, I wanted to create something that didn’t take itself too seriously on a limited budget. We went full DIY filming it all on a handheld camcorder. The concept of me being dragged around by that blue cable is meant to represent how I was being dragged through work shifts reluctantly at the time that I wrote the song – but it’s also just me and my mates messing about with a camera. My mate Ed Mannion directed and edited it, with the help of FlowerUp. At the time I was spending a lot of time at the FlowerUp studio in Hackney Wick, so we used that area to shoot the whole thing, as it was familiar to me.

Understanding his pent-up frustrations all too well, we went into further details into the making of the video, and learning more about the artist behind it all.

What’s a motto you live by?

Don’t create something just to make other people happy. Focus on creating something that’s going to make you happy.

If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?


If you could set the track to a movie, which movie would it be the soundtrack to?

‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’ by Wes Anderson.

Can you explain how the visuals behind Vacancy link to the track?

We didn’t really have much budget for the video, so we just recorded it all on a little handheld camcorder. Most of the video is just me messing around with my two mates who helped me make the video. The string dragging me along throughout the video is meant to represent me being dragged into the work/shifts that I was doing at the time I wrote this song.

Are there any behind the scenes stories of making the video that you can share with us?

There were a couple of funny moments on the day of shooting it. I think the strange looks that I kept getting from pedestrians as I was being dragged around by an extension cable was a highlight for me, though.

If you weren’t a musician, what job would you want to do?

I honestly don’t know. Music has always been the focus. Since I was 13. I’m not good at anything else haha.

And finally, what does music mean to you?

I think one of the best things about music is that it can bring all kinds of people together. You could share the same music taste with someone that you have NOTHING else in common with, and that can be enough to become close with them.