Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Artist Spotlight – Roo Panes

In an age where we are surrounded by so many different genres of music and what is considered “trendy” can come and go in the blink of an eye, sometimes the true form of music and the message behind the songs can get lost. However, folk music is a genre that has been present since the beginning, as it is mainly just one person with their guitar and the lyrics they wrote. 

Even though folk music may not be seen as a commercial genre within the UK music industry, there have been several very successful artists to emerge from the scene, including Brit Award winner Laura Marling and last year’s Mercury Prize winner Michael Kiwanuka.

One of the more prominent folk artists on the scene is Roo Panes (real name Andrew) who hails from Dorset. He first started releasing music back in 2011, but in 2012 his career really started taking off when he signed a contract with Burberry which included being in a campaign for them and recording music for Burberry acoustic. Since then, he has gone on to release three studio albums (“Little Giant”, 2014 “Paperweights”, 2016 and “Quiet Man”, 2018).

Even though he is not backed by a major record label, he has seen a lot of success in terms of numbers and streams. His most streamed song on Spotify, “Tiger Striped Sky” released back in 2014, now has over 140 million streams on Spotify – more than a lot of mainstream artists releasing their chart hits back at that time. His most viewed video is “Lullaby Love” released back in 2016 which now has amassed over 16 million views.

Roo cites Jesus as an inspiration and the idea that there is more to the world than we can directly see, and that we are essentially so small in comparison to the world and the timeframe of Earth itself. Considering that Roo studied theology and university, this is understandable and makes sense that he would use the idea in his songwriting. He is also a keen traveller and cites his travel experiences as sources of inspiration for many of his songs.

As well as being a singer/songwriter, he also writes poetry and paints. His most recent song “Childhood” started off as a poem, andhe later decided to turn it into a fully formed song, which may explain the unusual arrangement of the track.  In one week, the song hit over 100,000 streams on Spotify. The song is a mixture of messages as it is somewhat a reflection of his own childhood but also harks back to the idea that everybody is still so young in the grand scheme of life.

 As well as being supported by Apple music and Burberry, some of his songs have been featured in high profile TV programmes. His song “My Sweet Refuge” was used in NBC’s hit drama “This Is Us” and his song “There’s A Place” was used in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

So, if you’re a fan of authentic and raw songwriting in its purest form, then check out Roo and his previous releases and keep an eye out for new music from him as it is currently being worked on.

Words by Jack Shephard

Posted On 4 October, 2022