Professional singer Richard Hadfield (formerly of the vocal group Collabro) has been releasing his ‘Song A Day Keeps Corona Away’ videos every day for over two months on Instagram and YouTube, raising the spirits of music lovers during lockdown and inspiring a Crowdfunder campaign for a tour of live shows, from which half of profits will go to charities.
Richard who originally hails from Sussex, but now lives Mitcham in South West London, found fame winning the ITV television show Britain’s Got Talent with musical theatre vocal group Collabro. He has since transitioned to a successful solo career, touring the world’s most prestigious jazz clubs.
For more information about Richard’s Crowdfunder campaign, which closes on 1 July, visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/song-a-day-keeps-corona-away.
You’ve been releasing your ‘Song A Day Keeps Corona Away’ what inspired you to do this?
After overcoming Coronavirus myself, I decided I wanted to keep bringing music to the folk at home while the theatres are closed, in a hope that it could bring some joy and comfort to people who are struggling with this isolation. Now having done 76 episodes and counting, I’ve found it’s not only helping people at home but also myself as I feel I have reconnected with music during these uncertain times.
How have you been choosing which songs to sing?
I ask the viewers what they would like to hear and compile a huge list! It’s wonderful finding new music through this online community. Some suggestion however are a little out of my realm…One viewer suggested I do the ‘Venga Bus’ by the Vengaboys!
Have you had any favourites so far?
One of my favourite songs I’ve done so far has to be ‘You’ll be In My Heart’ by Phil Collins. I turned it into a duet and sung it with my brother. We recorded it in his bedroom a couple of weeks ago when I headed back home to Brighton to help my dad out (two knee ops and struggling with the stairs). However, a more recent tune I’ve loved doing is Bare Necessities which has been a hit due to my Baloo impression!
What have your fans been saying about your releases?
The fans and online community have shown nothing but love for the daily songs with their 1000’s of comments! It’s wonderful reading how the music I’m creating is helping folk all across the world. Songs can portray such different emotions for people. One song can make someone cry yet that same song can make someone else smile. That’s the beautiful thing about music.
You’ve set up a Crowdfunder campaign, what can you tell us about that?
So, the Crowdfunder was initially to raise money for better equipment so I could improve the quality of music I was producing for people at home (perhaps create a homemade album!). I set the goal at £2000 and could not believe the response. Overnight we had already surpassed the goal.
Still having over a month left on the Crowdfunder, I decided to think bigger. I raised the goal to £10,000 in a hope that If we raised the money, I would be able to bring the music live to the community on a UK tour…once the venues reopen! This would not only allow me to thank people in person for their love and kindness in these hard times but provide a brilliant platform to raise money for some great causes.
If I manage to raise enough money for a UK tour, I will be donating half the profits of the tour to Music Minds Matter and Age UK. These are two incredibly worthwhile charities that mean a lot to me.
How else have you been surviving lockdown?
I’ve been making my way through my body weight in baked goods! Never been a baker but have loved creating recipes for cookies and banana loaf recently. I’ve also started taking myself off for a daily morning walk. I’d recommend it to most people as it really helps you clear your head before you get on with the day’s tasks. I’ve come up with most of my music ideas on my morning walks actually!
What would you say to encourage new fans to check out ‘Song A Day Keeps Corona Away’?
If you’re looking for a daily dose of positivity and musicality then come join in! It’s also been wonderful sharing my progression with my home recording setup and the challenges of it all so if you want a laugh I try to give a few of them as well. All in all it’s just an extra fun 5-10 mins to escape to in your day.
Main Image: Richard Hadfield