Hector Cottam, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, now makes his home in London, where he shares a recording studio in Stratford with a group of talented musicians.
He’s a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who creates beautiful indie sounds from the depths of his soul.
He’ll draw you into the present with his passion for life shown in each song’s folky undertones.
We met him looking to learn more about his music career, goals, and his most recent hit, “Now You’ve Gone” which he released this year.
What is your real and official showbiz name?
How long have you been making music and what attracted you to it?
I’ve been writing music with bands for over ten years now from behind the drum kit and I’ve loved every second of that but in the last few years, I’ve had a growing desire to share songs straight from my voice, my soul. So it’s actually quite a new and very exciting path writing and releasing music that I’ve written all the parts for!
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
My first real project with a wave of energy behind it was a band called ‘Gutshot for Broadway’ which started in 2013. We made some really rocking tunes and played some great gigs in our time.
The band grew and changed its name to ‘GANA’ and we released an album. One that I’m still very proud of to this day! It’s called ‘In Groede’… I still have some vinyl left over if anybody wants one 🙂
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Oh, inspiration is just everywhere in life. I get much of my inspiration from my best friends and musicians around me. About ten of us share a studio in Stratford London and we all help each other projects out.
It’s a magical collective! My other notable inspirations are the late great Elliott Smith, Jack White, Paul McCartney, Bright Eyes… Buddhism and the cosmos at large.
What are your friend’s and parents’ thoughts on your career in singing?
My parents couldn’t be more supportive. They have encouraged my creativity ever since I expressed my undying love for it as a teenager. They’re now somewhere between my managers and my biggest fans.
My friends and incredible partner too, I couldn’t have done any of this without them. It’s actually been a very big process of self-realisation for me, one that at points hasn’t been easy but they’ve encouraged and believed in me all the way, I’m one lucky chucky and I love them all.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
Well, like everyone in the arts out there today, I really struggle to make money from doing what I love. But that will never stop me from opening up, creating and sharing my passion, almost to say thanks to those beautiful artists who inspired me and hopefully pass that same wonder on to a few others down the line.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Wowza, what a mammoth question… in so many, so so so many ways. Some really good, many bad. All I want to say is, that I really hope we collectively begin to (re)value the sacredness of art once more – someday in the not too distant future…
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Breathe, come in touch with what is really going on in your heart and begin strumming. There’s a great phrase ‘what’s personal is universal. Basically means, that if you feel an emotion and are able to translate that through a piece of art others will feel it too and be able to connect with it. Don’t overthink it, believe in your power!
What is your current project about?
I just LOVE to write music, record it and perform it for others. That’s what my personal project is about… I just want to enjoy the playing and as I said above not overthink it too much. If it’s ‘about’ anything, I would have to say it’s about – being honest and letting whatever I’m processing come through, and then sharing it with others. Because we aren’t much without connection.
What does this song mean to you?
Honestly, this song means an incredible amount to me. ‘Now You’ve Gone’ comes out of that lightning bolt of impermanence when you experience a great loss. That realisation of ‘oh wow we really aren’t here for long.
In this manifestation of life at least… So wanting to open up and live more authentically and honestly day by day. Facing those fears within that stop us fully coming alive! It’s a song to encourage myself and others to not be in our last days and think ‘oh I wish I’d just given that a try’.
Also in hindsight, I can hear myself grappling for self-acceptance of my bisexuality, something I only fully realised and came to joyous terms with around the same time this piece came through. A song that says – “go for it, be you – fully.” Some day you’ll be gone and you don’t want to look back and think “why was I too scared” – life is magical! I hope you dig it as much as I do.
What are your hobbies?
Playing, watching and listening to music. Reading. Making things with my hands.
What do you do aside from this profession?
Something that means a lot to me is my Buddhism practice. Another hugely potent part of my life is my relationship with an amazing woman called Ciára.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Open up, be yourself and love life like there’s nothing else x