Having captivated crowds with songs from his forthcoming Light Breaks In EP, including the single ‘Glass’, whilst supporting critically-acclaimed newcomer Soak on the Sheffield leg of her tour in January and Lucy Rose on her UK tour in March, it won’t be long before The Half Earth (Conor Stephenson) conquers not only our local pubs, but, well, half of the earth.

You just went on tour with Lucy Rose. How did that go?

Incredible. It surpassed all my expectations. Touring with Lucy was a dream and hearing her new songs was a privilege. There’s some absolute bangers on the new album. It was great trying out my songs on an attentive audience every night and finding my way with some new ones. I’m pretty poorly travelled, even in the UK, so visiting new places made me incredibly happy.

Which tour date was your favourite?

Coming home to Sheffield and playing Plug was obviously a highlight, as there were lots of friendly faces in the audience, but I think Bristol was my favourite. The venue was a docked boat called Thekla. During my opening song, the boat rocked and my microphone tried to escape. I had to grab it to stop it swinging out into the audience.

How did you first get into making music?

I never saw myself as a live performer or song writer. I just wanted to make big sounds. About three or four years ago, my life’s ambition was to be a producer. I didn’t know any bands or musicians I could use as guinea pigs, so I started making my own music and one thing led to another. It felt really natural.

Song writing is still new to me and I feel like I’ve got a lot to learn. And I am definitely learning. I feel my songs are getting stronger. I absolutely love performing and since the last tour I’m enjoying it even more. I was itching to get back to gigging when it ended, but the studio is definitely my natural habitat.

You have a unique and atmospheric sound. Who do you draw inspiration from?

My three big inspirations are Radiohead, Björk and Kate Bush. They’ve all had such long and amazing careers. They’ve never stopped innovating at the same time as reaching a large audience. There’s such beauty in all their music and hearing that beauty from an early age informed my own music writing process. But at the same time, I like to remove myself from my inspirations when I write. It’s important to create something new.

You played a couple of slots at Tramlines last year. Will you be playing again this year?

I’ve played four times over the last two years, so it’d be bad form not to squeeze in at least one this year, wouldn’t it? All being well, this should be the biggest year yet.

Which other festivals are you playing this summer?

Cambridge Folk Festival, The Alternative Escape and Live at Leeds, which I’m particularly excited about. I went a couple of years ago and saw some great artists perform in the Holy Trinity Church, where I’ll be playing, so it’s great to be joining loads of exciting artists there this year. It’s an incredible venue and I can’t wait.

What else does this year have in store for The Half Earth?

I’m working on new material that I think is a big step forward in terms of my song writing and production. I’m hoping to release another EP by the end of the year and it’d be great to do another tour to support that.

I don’t like thinking too far into the future. I’m just enjoying doing what I’m doing. All I can do is to try and write the best songs I can. Anything else that follows is a massive bonus.

thehalfearth.com

Phoebe Seymour