Valiant are feeling right at home on Spotify’s official Fresh Finds playlist…
It wasn’t until a year after meeting each other on the first day of their ACM Music Production Degree that Jack Burchill & Charlie Piper actually decided to give it a go working together. Three years, a couple of degrees and a plethora of hot hits later and Valiant look set to take the music industry by storm.
The duo have recently released ‘Feels Like Home’ feat. current ACM London Vocals student KALU. Valiant were introduced to KALU by the ADCO department’s (Artist Development & Creative Output) Kieron Pepper, and boom! this little ditty was born. We caught up with Valiant to chat about their new tune and everything they’re up to at the moment…
“Hey, we are Valiant, a UK based electronic duo comprised of multi-instrumentalists Jack Burchill & Charlie Piper. We both wrote different genres of music before electronic production; Jack playing jazz piano and Charlie electric guitar. Jack used to play in Jazz bars while still at school, whilst Charlie attended the BRIT school for performing arts.
We both discovered production reasonably shortly before applying to and joining ACM, as it’s a creative medium through which music can be arranged and sculpted without the need to rely on other people. After discovering and falling in love with Electronic Dance Music, we both bought Ableton and never looked back.”
How did you meet and decide to form Valiant?
“We met literally on the first day of ACM. We got talking outside the SU and realised we both lived in the same area and we both commuted to Guildford rather than living in student accommodation. This led to us carpooling to and from uni together, during which time we discovered we shared similar musical tastes and opinions. However, it was at least a year before we actually decided to have a go at working together.
During a late night Casino MNG (Monday Night Guildford) session, we decided to DJ together at an event Charlie had been booked for at Broadway House in Fulham. The gig went incredibly well, especially considering we’d never DJ’d together before, so from there we got into the studio and started writing heavy EDM under the name Trigger Happy. We enjoyed moderate success under that alias – one of our tracks hit 500k views on SoundCloud and 2 of our other songs were aired on BBC Introducing: The South & Surrey/Sussex. However, we realised that we were writing the same type of music, following the same archetypal formula, and it got pretty boring! We then decided to start writing music organically, with no pre-conceived ideas about how it should or would sound as a final product. Thus we chose a new name and Valiant was born.”
Tell us about the writing process of ‘Feels Like Home’.
“‘Feels Like Home’ was never actually supposed to be a full track. It was first written as an orchestral introduction, for when we played live. However we both decided that the chords and melodies were actually a really good basis for an entire piece of music, and from there it came together pretty quickly. We were really happy with how the verses were emotive, uplifting and almost cinematic, juxtaposed with the more commercial UK Dance music chorus/drop. Interestingly, the entire piece centres around a guitar riff that was written as the main element of the orchestral introduction – it’s quite ironic because it’s now barely audible in the final iteration of the song!”
How did you hook up with KALU and how did Kieron Pepper assist with the project?
“Kieron’s been a massive help to us since we first met him – which is crazy because we didn’t actually know him while we were on the course. After meeting him as alumni, he’s been in our corner from day 1 and he actually heard ‘Feels Like Home’ as an instrumental. He suggested working with Nkem (KALU) pretty much instantly and within 3 days we’d met KALU, written the lyrics, and recorded all the vocals (we’re fast workers!). Meetings with Kieron are always fun, collaborative and informal, and he’s always full of ideas about who we should work with next!”
What does the rest of 2018 hold for Valiant?
“2018’s going to be a pretty crazy year we think. ‘Feels Like Home’ was our debut single as Valiant and we’ve had an incredible reception to it already, just one week after releasing it. It’s crazy to think that it’s already on an official Spotify Playlist (Fresh Finds: Hiptronix) and we’re getting loads of messages from people all over the world telling us how much they love the track – it feels absolutely amazing. Having said that we’re not gonna rest on our laurels… we have a ridiculous amount of material backed up that we can’t wait to release, and pretty much all of the other tracks feature incredibly talented vocalists. Shoutout NAMO, Tara Flanagan, Lia White, Ria Choony and any other ACM vocalists we’ve worked with. They’re definitely ones to watch and our material with them will be surfacing very soon!”
What advice would you give to current/future ACM students?
“Everyone’s got a different path, and while we were at ACM, the opinions of all the students were incredibly varied. The main thing to remember is that, while a degree is super helpful, it’s not a guarantee of success in the music industry. We wouldn’t count ourselves as successful by any means, and even to get to the level of production we’re at, we had to put in 10 times the amount of hours at home as we did in lectures. You really get out of it what you put in to it. All of the music we’ve made, we’ve done in our own time, so it’s important to keep that in mind. However, we wouldn’t even know each other if it weren’t for Uni, so definitely don’t sniff at the opportunity to meet new people and to stay open-minded, creatively and socially speaking. Additional shoutouts to Dave Cronen and Darrin Woodford – absolute legends. They’re the guys to talk to if you’re really serious about your career.”
If you’d like to study at ACM and follow in the footsteps of our alumni like Jack and Charlie, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.