Each week we invite music lovers to share the songs that have soundtracked their lives. This week, we speak to poet, author and musician Dominic Hoey aka Tourettes, who has just released his third poetry book I Thought We'd Be Famous.
1. WAITING FOR MY MAN - The Velvet Underground & Nico
My dad got me a Velvet Underground tape for Christmas when I was 7. My parents exposed us to lots of music like this and Patti Smith. This was also the first time I was listening to something with quite complicated lyrics, with their stories, so that piqued my interest. And as I got older I realised what they're actually talking about and the significance that had. That's probably where I first started getting ideas of wanting to do stuff with words, through that music and obviously hip-hop. They're still a band I listen to now. Lou Reed and John Cale are genius.
2. BLUE MOON - Elvis Presley
That same Christmas I got Elvis' Sun Sessions tape which is full of beautiful songs and even though he didn't actually write his own lyrics, the simplicity of the words intrigued me. As a kid I got quite obsessed with Elvis in that early period of his career, not so much when he got fat and joined the army and stuff. At that age most of the other kids at school just listened to the radio. I feel quite privileged now for having been introduced to that sort of music early on because I definitely think that it influenced my writing style.
3. FIGHT THE POWER - Public Enemy
I had It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and then when Fear of a Black Planet came out my mate dubbed a cassingle of Fight The Power and gave it to me.
"There's lots of cultural references that are obviously a mainstay of hip-hop but the way Chuck D used them in Fight the Power to be revolutionary and political was really mind-blowing. I listened to that cassette until it literally just fell apart and the tape started coming out if it. And that song was so powerful. I'd never heard anything like it. I remember going to school and just listening to that on my Walkman and just being so hyped up.
4. SAILIN' ON - Bad Brains
This was my introduction to punk hardcore. I'd been listening to stuff like the Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols but when I heard this song it was pretty pivotal. Just the speed of it and how fast and tight it is. I was playing drums at the time and I was trying to play those parts and it was just incredible … because they were jazz fusion players doing hardcore. Someone had a VHS of them performing live at [New York club] CBGBs and they were just slipping off the stage and going nuts. That was when I thought, "I want to make that kind of music."
5. THE FIRE IN WHICH YOU BURN SLOW - Company Flow
I'd been rapping for quite a while but had stopped, and then I heard this song and that prompted me to get back into it seriously when I was 19 or 20. I'd been writing poetry as well but this song made me realise that you could take poetic techniques and fuse them into hip-hop. Plus, it's such a dope track. I remember the first time I heard it, it made my head kind of hurt because the drums are off-kilter and its nine minutes long and really crazy.
6. DAYLIGHT - Aesop Rock
This was another pivotal moment. That whole album, Labor Days, is great. I still think Aesop Rock is one of the best writers and this track really made me step my game up. I was, like, the guy who was good at writing who was rapping and then I heard his s*** and that's when I went out and actually learned how to write properly.
7. ANGLE OF LIST - Loscil
He's this Canadian dude who makes this atmospheric synth music and that's what I listen to these days when I'm writing. There's a whole bunch of artists in that genre but he's one of the preeminent ones to my mind. I like it because it doesn't have any lyrics and it doesn't really have a beat so you can write to it and it doesn't influence your writing, it's just kind of like white noise.