Recently, I had the chance to chat with Heyward Howkins, an accomplished musician hailing from Philadelphia. Heyward has formed and performed in multiple successful bands and over the course of his musical career so far, he has opened for bands such as My Morning Jacket and OK GO. “Howkins is also a founding member of The Silver Ages, the critically acclaimed choral group featuring singers from a wide array of Philadelphia-based bands, including David Hartley (Nightlands, The War on Drugs, Buried Beds, BC Camplight), Charlie Hall (Jens Lekman, The War on Drugs, The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society), Gianmarco Cilli (National Eye), Shai Halperin (The Capitol Years, Sweet Lights), Todd Starlin (Like Moving Insects), Brandon Beaver (Buried Beds, Nightlands), Brian Christinzio (BC Camplight), Rick Flom (National Eye, Mitch Fiction), Dave Wayne Daniels (The Capitol Years), Josh Newman (Mitch Fiction), Zach Miller (Dr. Dog) and Dan Matz (Windsor for the Derby, Birdwatcher). Heyward often credits the group’s vocal workouts, hazy afternoon rehearsals, and rich catalog of traditional material as a catalyst for his own unique style of song writing and his distinctive voice.”

Heyward shared his debut album with me and I was honored to give it a listen. Each track of the album seems to flow effortlessly into the next. The first night I listened to the album, I played it endlessly on loop. And some days after work, I crave a night in, listening to The Hale & HeartyHeyward has written a beautiful album that is absolutely worth the $6. Grab a copy today and read on below to hear his take on the album, the 80’s and his critically acclaimed project, The Silver Ages.

Lauren Ignited: Where were you when you played your first instrument?
Heyward Howkins: I played trumpet really badly through grade school. I remember starting up guitar in 8th grade and playing ”LOUIE LOUIE” in the talent show. The nuns were dancing and a kid was playing an unplugged guitar and dancing on stage while I played the actual song. The nuns all congratulated the other kid after the song think he had played it….sigh….

LI: What originally drew you to music and continues to draw you to it today?
HH: My dad was a really good singer and sang first tenor in a big Philadelphia choral group for years. That definitely sparked my interest in singing. I am sure I switched to guitar so I could start learning my favorite Cure songs and Smiths tunes. Led Zeppelin too 😉

LI: Which song on the album called for careful attention, if any?
HH: Definitely Waist High or Dry. We totally redid that song and rethought the whole rhythm of it. I am really happy with the final result especially cause I almost cut it from the record.

LI: What do you hope for most out of the record?
HH: I just hope a large number of people get to hear it and enjoy it. I really put everything I had into it and I couldn’t be more proud.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dujfYW1seCw]
LI: What are your goals for yourself as a musician?
HH: Honestly I have already exceeded my own expectations. I never thought I would actually really record and put out my own music. Anything else is just icing.

LI: Tell me about the Silver Ages.
HH: I really enjoy singing tenor in the A Capella super-group, The Silver Ages. That experienced as definitely shaped my vocal style and given me confidence with singing. We have guys from many great Philadelphia bads including: The War on Drugs, Buried Beds, Dr Dog, National Eye, Nightlands, The Capitol Years. We sing mens choral music in the style of the Yale Wiffenpoofs. Really cool traditional songs from the 1800s and on. So, so different from all the music that the members play normally. And so satisfying to sing.

LI: If you were a character from an 80s movie, who would it be?
HH: Definitely Ducky from Pretty in Pink. I am pretty shy.

LI: What is on the list for 2013?
HH: SIlver Ages yearly gala concert. Possibly SXSW and recording many new songs for a second record.

Connect with Heyward on facebook, twitter and bandcamp. Pick up your very own copy of the album for less than what you paid for lunch yesterday.

Images courtesy of HeywardHowkins.com.

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