After first picking up a guitar at the age of 13, Paul Wilkes quickly found the urge to write music and wrote countless songs. Several years later in 2005 he did a short songwriting course at LIPA. There he won the ‘Sinatra Songwriting Award’ and met and played with Paul McCartney. So confident he was as songwriter and performer that during a short session with the legendary Paul McCartney, he instructed McCartney how he wanted him to sing the backing vocals on the song.
Shortly after I travelled to Ireland and toured for 3 months gigging across southern Ireland self-releasing two acoustic EP’s gaining critical acclaim from Irish music magazine ‘Hot Press’ and famous Rock journalist and author Paul Du Noyer. Wilkes was clearly making a good impression and in 2008 he supported three-time Grammy Award-nominee Joan Armatrading on her UK tour, playing 6 dates with her around the UK including a sold out hometown show at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. Through constant touring Paul Wilkes quickly became an exciting new name in the Liverpool music scene, so much so that 6 months later in the beginning of 2009, he headlined a sold out show for his own fans in Liverpool.
Shortly after his wife was expecting their first child Johnny, Paul decided to take a break from the music industry. His desire to perform and write music never faded and 2 years later Paul began writing music again. After contacting music producer Chris Potter (The Verve, Rolling Stones, U2) and sending over some demos the Brit Award winning producer invited Paul to his studio in London. Impressed with the quality of his music Potter wanted to record a full album with Paul. After adopting a new artist name ‘Wilson Minds’ the pair began recording an album at Metropolis Studios in London. The album featured original material entirely written by Wilkes and featured performances from Damon Minchella (Paul Weller) on bass, Geoff Dugmore (Annie Lennox) on drums and Jeff Wooton (Gorilaz) on guitar. Once the album was finished in 2013 they began approaching the industry to try and get distribution and publishing for the record. After countless meetings and differences in artistic outlook negotiations broke down. Becoming frustrated with an industry which at that time was withering, the album was shelved and wouldn’t see the light of day for a number of years.
After losing a close friend in 2015 Paul, inspired by this loss, decided he wanted to write and record music once again and soon a bunch of new material was recorded, releasing it on his own label under his own name.These three EP’s ‘River Running’ Take the Sunlight’ and ‘Patterns’ were released that same year (2015). The song ‘River Running With Me’ off the EP ‘River Running’ was dedicated to his cousin and led to long time Liverpool radio DJ and author Spencer Leigh saying the song was “one of the best he heard coming out from Liverpool in recent times”.
Soon after, producer Chris Potter and his Manger Zita Mchugh secured him a sync and publishing deal with West One Music in early 2016 for his previously unreleased album. That album, ‘Shadow and Shade’ (2016) was released in October 2016 and has already been featured in films and TV commercials worldwide.
During the summer of 2016 Paul Wilkes began to write and record what he describes as “my definitive material”. Setting up a small studio at his home he began recording his new self-titled album ‘Paul Wilkes’. After it was finished Paul came across Revolver records through a music forum and the rest is history.
Paul Wilkes’ new self-titled album will be released on 02/06/2017.