There is always an element of excitement when receiving a special letter from the mailman – so when an email arrived in my inbox with the recipient ‘Mailman’ in bold, I had to click and read it.
A huge supporter of the Horsham music scene with his finger in many pies, Roffey resident Jamie ‘Stan’ Stanley is on the Battle of the Bands committee, contributes to popular live music resource Horsham-Rocks.co.uk, and performs around town as his on stage persona, Mailman (there is no costume involved).
“There’s been a music scene in Horsham long before I moved here and I’ve lived here now for about eight years,” says the 37-year-old, guitar in hand.
“I know most of the people that play in and around Horsham.”
Like most aspiring musicians, Stan spent his formative years in his bedroom listening to hits of the ’80s and playing radio DJ. Something many of us are guilty of as I wholeheartedly admit.
“I used to write little tunes when I was five-years-old and record them onto a tape recorder - then I used to be the radio DJ. It’s a bit embarrassing, I probably shouldn’t tell you, but I’d pretend I was introducing the next song,” he says, laughing intermittently.
Playing the keyboard from seven years and then progressing onto the guitar in his teenage years, Stan says music has always been a huge part of his life.
“It’s just something that came naturally to me – I know that sounds annoying to anyone who can’t play music. It’s something I could get my head around and teach myself.”
Stan would tune into the likes of Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Nirvana and Prodigy to feel inspired.
“That was my kind of era so there’s elements of all that kind of stuff in what I do.”
Already with two EPs under his belt, Stanley has now taken a big leap and signed to Australian record label, SJE Records.
“I did a collaboration with one of their artists, DJ Michelangelo. They’re predominantly a dance music label – they do a lot of trance. It’s a bit of a departure for them. This is more indie rock so it’s not what they’re used to.
“They’re taking a bit of a risk and I’m probably taking a bit of a risk, but it came along at the right time,” he admits.
Stan’s début album ‘No News Is Good News’ received a digital worldwide release on July 7.
Written over the course of several years and recorded in the last two, it is an expansive reflection on the fragility of life and love.
“It’s all about relationships, but not necessarily my romantic relationships – it’s about people’s relationships with themselves, the world around them, to society, reality.”
An entirely solo project, Stan took on the ambitious task of becoming the singer/songwriter and producer of the piece.
“It’s to do at least one thing that I can say is mine. I’d like to think that in the future I’ll be able to relax a bit more because it’s incredibly stressful doing everything at once being the engineer and manager – all that stuff.”
A DIY industry is how Stan describes the current world of music making – something that many artists must strive to do if they want to be heard.
“I’m very proud of it, but it was stressful and tiring, so I probably won’t do it like that again,” he laughs.
With his own studio, Stanley continues to record his original music, as well as producing that of others – completely immersing himself in what he loves to do.
“I’ve always been determined. I am what I am – I am who I am, and I know music is my thing, I’ve just got to keep going on.
“I’ve grown out of dreaming of super stardom but you never know with these things. You need to get tracks heard by the right people in another medium, like film or an advert, and that’s definitely where the album’s heading.”
Stan is currently in the process of forming a band to do justice to the album live with a view to promoting a physical release next year. He also regularly performs solo and acoustic around Sussex, London and the South East.
‘No News Is Good News’ is out now in iTunes. For more details, visit www.mailmanstan.co.uk.