The musical journey
Ever since a young age Ian has found great joy and satisfaction in creating and playing music and sharing it with music lovers all over the world.
Ian Haywood has been playing piano since the age of 5 when his parents had the foresight to get him piano lessons. ‘It wasn’t easy in those days - I think they had to scrimp a bit to afford the lessons’, he recalls. The family budget would have been eased a little when Ian decided he wanted to give up lessons at around the age of 10. ‘At about this time I was developing the ability for playing by ear and I wanted more freedom to explore the creative side of music.’
At school Ian’s music teacher, Melvin Beddow, had no idea Ian played the piano. ‘It wasn’t something I went round telling everybody so I just turned up to music class like everyone else.’ But Ian was to get something he would forever cherish through Melvin’s teaching. ‘I remember he had an old record player and he played the Waldo De Los Rios version of Mozart 40 to the class which was a chart hit at the time. This production crossed the boundary between pop and classical and I have enjoyed listening to both genres ever since. ‘
Not only did Ian listen to music, he also created his own music through the years and is as happy composing a pretty piece of classically influenced music as he is a folk or pop influenced song.
‘From about 15 I started singing with the piano and from an early age was influenced by the likes of Elton John and Billy Joel among others, trying to emulate their styles.’
Ian's classical influences coupled with his love of nature led to him writing and recording his first album of piano music 'Inspired by Nature.' "I wanted the album to create the ambience of nature through the piano.' Ian says.
Some of the songs Ian plays and sings today have a long history.
‘In my late teens I eagerly drove off to band practice with a new song I had recorded on two track on cassette ready to play to the band members. They loved it and we played it out for a couple of years until we split up. That song tune stayed in my head for decades until recently I came up with some new lyrics about the homeless at Christmas. After 38 years my record label released the new version of City Story which was played on local radio stations had many worldwide streams and made some money for homeless charities. I call this my collaboration between the boy and the man.’
That song is to be released again later this year, this time with an amazing animation. But it doesn’t stop there. Ian recently used an idea he had even before that for another song ‘The Lights of Dun Laoghaire’ which he is soon to record and Summertime Please Yourself is another blast from the past released in June 2018.
‘Music has always been my escape. As a child my little red radio (bought with 6 Corn flakes vouchers!) never left my side although it was confiscated once when I was caught listening to the charts under my desk in Geography!’ He was so attached to that radio he wrote a song about it!
Since his teens he has played in Country bands, Soul bands, Jazz and Jazz funk bands and tribute bands. He has played the euphonium and also plays guitar and piano accordion. He can often be found playing and singing at vegan events and recently he toured the country and scored a chart hit with vegan band Peace on Your Plate.
‘Creating my music has given me, and hopefully others, so much pleasure. At times a little frustrating when writers block sets in but hey I’m still creating and I will always be eternally grateful for those early lessons that my parents struggled to pay for.’