A YOUNG Wigan singer-songwriter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ed Sheeran and James Morrison with the release of his debut EP.
Ric Sillitoe, who was born in Billinge and has also lived in Pemberton, launched Smoke Signals after recording the album in Shevington for local label Standard5records.
Ric, who has been playing music since he was a teenager, has also made his mark on the live scene with his simply-written songs about family, friends and personal experiences with outings at the likes of Fuzzbox Studios and The Engine Rooms in Skelmersdale.
He is now hoping to take the music on Smoke Signals to a wider live audience and move up a few rungs on the music business ladder with some higher-profile supporting slots to perform his “modern folk music”.
Ric, 33, said: “I started out as a lead guitarist as a teenager, and didn’t start writing my own songs until I was 23. I’ve always used personal experiences as the basis of my writing, and the songs are also about families, friends and relationships.
“I wanted to keep Smoke Signals pretty raw to highlight my voice, so it’s mainly just me playing guitar and singing, although there’s a piano on a few tracks too.
“When I was young I over-played quite a bit. I think as you get older you realise what to leave out and what not to play.”
Ric is also juggling his musical career around training as a rope access technician, which will enable him to work in the oil industry, and a likely move to North Wales once his qualifications are complete.
However, he is not letting any of his other responsibilities slow his burgeoning musical career down, and is already hard at work on a follow-up EP to Smoke Signals, which he says will be quite different in character.
He said: “The next group of songs I’ve got are much more up-tempo, and we’re going to have a full band behind them as well. It will sound very different, and I hope to start recording next month.”
Smoke Signals is available through Bandcamp, and a release on iTunes is planned.
To find out more about Ric’s music and find live dates, visit www.reverbnation.com/ricsillitoe or www.facebook.com/RicSillitoemusic