Described as a modern day Cat Stevens with a healthy splash of Passenger, Newton Faulkner and Paul Simon, singer-songwriter Richard Sutton is hard to pigeonhole.
From the beautiful medieval city of Norwich in the UK, Richard sings personally about our ups and downs, aspirations, fears and doubts, and delves into the triumphs and adversities of the human condition.
Richard comes from a musical family, and has music running through the fabric of his life. As a child he was exposed to everything from the great influencers of musical trends such as the Beatles, Buddy Holly, AC/DC and Metallica, through to classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
He left school with a burning determination to be an individual and an intense passion for music.
Looking back now, he now realises it was some tough school years that gave him a real insight into music. "I had become very withdrawn at school," he explained, "and was truly swept away with music, retreating into it whenever I could. I would listen intently to the complexities of the music, and that's where I learned what makes a really good song."
While on a vocational cabinet making course he met a truly inspirational musician and songwriter, Graham Dee, who could see something special in him. This chance encounter changed the course of his life.
Richard picked up the guitar and started to write songs.
By the time Graham moved away from Norwich in 2005, Richard's love of music had turned into a strong determination and vocation.
Over the next 10 years Richard launched three rock bands, wrote and recorded a portfolio of songs, including the album Don't Look Back, performed with his third band The Indebtors. This went on to receive critical acclaim and the band reached the finals of the national Rock The House competition with his song A New Day.
Through this long apprenticeship, he worked with singing coach Kay Webber (coach to Britain's Got Talent star Ronan Parke) and for a short time with guitarist Paul Hill.
Meanwhile he signed on at City College Norwich for a music course to improve his music recording and production skills.
Along the way he met and worked with some talented and inspirational individuals and began experimenting creatively with orchestral composition and film score writing, finally graduating with a BA Hons in Creative Practice and Enterprise.
March 2015 was a game changer for Richard as he realised that rock music was not leading him to the career he wanted.
He went solo acoustic to refocus on song-writing and recording.
The intervening time has been filled with festival appearances and gigs, including guest appearances at places like the Cambridge Folk Club, and he has written some of his most effective and eloquent songs.'
He released his first studio album, Paper Plane, on 15 October 2018, and has sold copies to listeners in the UK, Europe, Australia and USA.
Richard has a number of exciting projects in the pipeline.
He is playing live solo gigs, writing a lot more music, and plans to produce and release a second album in the future.
He is heavily involved in several co-writing projects, and is also applying his technical skills to producing and mixing recorded tracks for other musicians.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has been a gruelling and tragic experience and musicians, like so many individuals, have had to find alternative ways of working.
From isolation in Norwich, Richard turned to the strong songwriting partnership he had formed with Graham Dee in Dorset. Songwriting over the internet was just the beginning.
Within days Richard began recording guitar and vocal tracks from their homes in Dorset and Norfolk via zoom and skype, and extending the collaboration to include arranger Godfrey Wang (London) and mixing and mastering engineer Martin Smith (Wiltshire).
Songs for today:
The first Sutton-Dee product is VACCINE (For the World), a groove-driven pop plea to the people of the world to come together and save the planet for the good of us all… and our children to come. It is a topic they are both deeply passionate about.
The second is Ballad of Old Covid, a toe tapping outlaw-style country song with hints of Johnny Cash, bringing humour and warmth to the unique challenges of our times.
Keep watching this space. There are plenty more songs in the pipeline.