“I’m thinking guitars might catch on…”
I’ve released two solo albums, played on a number of other artist’s albums, play guitar in Soul Messengers and continue to play live shows across Sydney. I’ve played all over the world in Europe, Asia and at heaps of Aussie venues. I work as a session guitarist, run a YouTube guitar channel, teach guitar lessons at my Leichhardt studio and design guitar inspired T-Shirts at Guitarmony. When that’s all done I write an irregular blog; SimonLovesGuitars.
I started playing guitar at seven. My folks would drive me every week to my half hour classical guitar lesson at Rouge Bouillon School. In spite of having to learn endless Eastern European folk tunes, I kept at it and was playing locally in semi-professional bands at 13.
Fast forward three years and I’d added teaching guitar and regular residencies with both original and cover bands in my hometown of Jersey, UK.
At 17, I won a place on BBC Radio One’s Sound City, a nationally recognised songwriting comp, beating thousands of applicants to one of the 20 spots.
It was then that I realised there was a possibility of making music a career. I continued to write music and started touring the UK university circuit in a variety of bands from a mid 90’s pop combo to a 12 piece funk orchestra. My most successful band, “21” also played support slots to some of the Britpoppers and at summer festivals in the UK.
After a short detour into the über corporate world of Finance, I left my native UK on a whim and after a whistle stop world tour landed in Australia.
My first solo record, ‘Songs from the City’, was released in 2005. Receiving airplay on over 40 stations across Australia, the album was touted as “a pretty perfect debut” by Anna Maria Stjarnell of Sweden’s Luna Kafe and “a collection of eleven superbly produced and played pure pop gems” by Malcolm Carter of UK Magazine PennyBlackMusic. In addition to being a live studio guest on ‘Arvos’ on FBi 94.5FM and ‘AcousticA’ on 2SER 107.3FM, I toured Japan, France, Germany, the UK and Spain in support of the record.
My second long player, ‘Record #2’ was a guitar led Brit-rock inspired record. On it I channelled 60s PowerPop and combined it with story based songwriting. About Record #2, NotLame.com said “[Morel is] An emerging, important new arrival on the power pop scene and the pay-off is big here on “Record #2”. Hot4s Magazine added “expect to be gifted with some of the best hooks and melodies around…superb”.
In addition to the records and hundreds of live shows, together with Amanda Easton, I hosted PopTarts from 2006 to 2009. It was a weekly independent music night showcasing upcoming Australian music artists at a variety of Sydney venues. In 2008, a 13 episode series, PopTarts TV aired on community station all over Australia.
In 2009, I opened the ‘The Record Factory’ a free service to help music artists avoid the pitfalls making their first recordings.
In 2011 I played on the very first Soul Messengers LP “I’m Alive”, it was a lot of fun! In 2017 we released our third album, “Vision & Faith”. That album went on to reach #5 in the Australian Blues and Roots chart. There were some great reviews from all over the world too, Huffington Post said “Soul Messengers’ sound is deeply rooted in soul, R&B and funk. It’s a sound that’s simultaneously dirty and luxurious.” Cool!
2015 saw me start up my YouTube teaching channel and now (Nov 2021) I have over 7,000 subscribers and there are over 550 lesson videos available.
So what next? Well, I continue to be involved in original projects including Soul Messengers and my teaching studio continues to be busy with a great range of students from 12 to 80 year olds. Through my YouTube channels SimonMorelGuitar and AussieGuitarLessonsWeekly I’m teaching more people the guitar than ever.