Fiona Bevan is an English singer-songwriter from Suffolk, who currently lives in London. She is noted for co-writing the song "Little Things" with Ed Sheeran which became a number-one single in 13 countries for One Direction, and for which Bevan and Sheeran received a BMI award.
As an artist, Bevan's debut solo studio album Talk to Strangers (April 2014) was released on Navigator Records, and she has toured as support to Nick Mulvey, Ryan Keen, Ed Sheeran, Hawksley Workman, Ingrid Michaelson, Gwyneth Herbert, Luke Friend and Bill Bailey. In 2015 she completed a tour of Canada, supporting Hawksley Workman and the year before that Fiona completed a tour of Australia supporting Busby Marou. Bevan also runs a residency night at Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston, London called "Fiona Bevan Presents" which has so far featured acts including Mercury Prize-nominated Sam Lee and Ed Harcourt, who also remixed her first single, "The Machine" in 2014.
Early life and education
Bevan is of British and Canadian parentage. Her great grandmother was romantic novelist D. E. Stevenson and Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson was her great-great grandfather's cousin. She was born in Bulmer in Essex, brought up in Suffolk and went to secondary school in Colchester.
Fiona Bevan's debut EP In The Swimming Pool was released in 2007. Her debut studio album Plant Your Heart was released in 2009 on the Fallen Idol label. A second EP Us and the Darkness was released in 2011 on Venus Climbing.
Bevan's second album, Talk To Strangers was released in 2014 on Navigator Records in the UK, Planet Music in Australia and P-Vine in Japan. In 2015 it was released on Convexe / Universal Music in Canada, and Convexe in USA. The album's twelve songs were written by Fiona Bevan, arranged and played by Fiona Bevan and Shawn Lee produced by Shawn Lee and engineered by Pierre Duplan in Bloomsbury, London and mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios, San Francisco. The Guardian wrote "Bevan took us on startling odysseys that suggested Erykah Badu, Joanna Newsom and Kate Bush spine-tinglingly joined". The Line OF Best Fit called it "...mesmerisingly beautiful..."
The first single "The Machine" was remixed by Ed Harcourt and featured Fem Fel and received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC London. Clash Music commentated about the track, "Fiona Bevan contrasts pastoral, acoustic textures with her golden, golden voice"
The single "They Sang Silent Night" was released in 2014 as a peacetime/Christmas song, marking the 100-year anniversary of the Christmas Truce ceasefire when enemy troops united in peace to sing Silent Night across the trenches. A live version of the song aired on Christmas Day on national ABC radio in Australia, featuring Fiona accompanied by Jeremy Marou from Busby Marou on guitar.
In 2011 she released her debut EP, Us and the Darkness, co-produced with Robin Baynton. It features Bevan on lead vocals and guitar accompanied by Rosalie Bevan on bass and James Crichlow on violin. One of the songs on the EP, "Dial D for Denial", was a semi-finalist at the 2011 International Songwriting Competition. The song "Pirates and Diamonds" was included on the OneTaste Collective Album Vol. 2, released on 14 June 2010, while she also appeared on Winter Hunter Remixes by The Living Graham Bond released on 26 July 2010 on the Fat label.
Her song "Love in a Cold Climate" was included on the For Folk's Sake Christmas 2011 compilation album.
In December 2016, Fiona Bevan was featured on the Stefflon Don mix-tape Real Ting, with other artists such as Jeremih and Scouse Trappin Tremz. She wrote the song 'Forever' with Rymez and SteffLon Don, who was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2017)
In 2017, Fiona worked with the group Steps on their comeback album Tears on the Dancefloor. "Scared of the Dark", the single she and Carl Ryden co-wrote for Steps, reached number 37 on the UK Singles Chart.
Bevan released a new solo EP, Wild Angels, Sweet Demons on Laurel Canyon in 2018.
One Direction / Ed Sheeran
Bevan co-wrote the song "Little Things", that appeared on the One Direction's album Take Me Home, and was released by Syco Music on 12 November 2012 as a single. The song was written by Ed Sheeran and Fiona Bevan, and produced by Jake Gosling. In October 2012, Sheeran acknowledged Bevan's songwriting credit in an interview with British radio network Capital FM: "The great thing about it is I wrote that song with a girl called Fiona Bevan when I was 17 and we lost the song. I've kept in touch with Fiona, we've done gigs and stuff and about two months ago she sent me the tune and was like, 'Oh, do you remember this?' I was like, 'Yeah, I do remember that', and I was in the studio with the One Direction boys at the time and I was playing it and they were like, 'We really like that'. It's got one of my favourite lines that I've ever written in a song." The song went straight to number 1 in 13 countries, and the album Take Me Home went on to become number 1 in more than 35 countries.
With Ed Sheeran and Terrius Nash she performed "Sight of You" on The Party Machines' album 2013 Party Jams.
In February 2017, The Observer selected the song as part of the article "A history of the love song in 10 tracks", underscoring its importance in the digital era, especially for young music listeners, as
"it tackled the physical inadequacies many young women feel in the age of social media and told them they were OK to have".
In the article, Bevan remarked that
"It felt very important to write it like a feminist love song...Girls at that age – 12, 13, when their self-esteem is often rock bottom – need to hear those things said, so to hear them from their heroes is life-changing."
Accordingly, not only did the song become a hit but Bevan received "hundreds of messages from girls on social media, which reminded her what she was like at that age" as the singer recalls in The Observer article "It also made me realise the absolute power of a song," she says. "When you’ll listen to nobody else, you’ll let a love song speak to you."
Bevan co-wrote the single 'Skydiving' as well as 'Morphine', both from LIGHTS's album 'Skin And Earth' which went to number 3 in Canada and top 20 on the US iTunes chart.
5 Seconds Of Summer
Bevan co-wrote 'Voodoo Doll' with Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin from 5 Seconds of Summer for their debut self-titled album. The acoustic video of 'Voodoo Doll' has proven to be a fan favourite with over 30 million views on YouTube. The album went on to have international chart topping success and was number 1 in 8 countries.
Bevan wrote 'Unholy' with Julian Bunetta and Rena and Nia Lovelis of Hey Violet for their debut album 'From The Outside'. The New York Times named it one of the best albums of 2017, in Jon Caramanica's end of year list.
Fiona has also been extensively working with Billie Marten, including co-writing Billie's first single 'Heavy Weather' produced by Cameron Blackwood and chosen as Huw Stephens' Single of the Week on BBC Radio 1, and the single 'Milk And Honey' which the BBC streamed live from Billie's SXSW performance. She also co-wrote Billie's debut EP title track 'Ribbon'; the song gained radio support from Lauren Laverne, Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe and featured in Nylon, Clash, HungerTV and Vogue. Billie was nominated for the longlist for BBC Sound of 2016. Bevan and Marten also co-wrote the lead single 'Lionhearted' and the final single 'Live' for Billie Marten's UK iTunes top 40 debut album 'Writing of Blues and Yellows' released through RCA.
Shane Filan of Westlife
Bevan co-wrote 'Girl in My Heart' with Shane Filan and Jonathan Quarmby; the song was included on the deluxe edition of Filan's third solo album "Love Always" which peaked at number-one in Indonesia and the Philippines, number-three in Scotland, and number-5 in UK and Ireland.
Bevan co-wrote "One Night" for Ben Haenow with Ben and producer duo Red Triangle (production team) for his deluxe debut album.
The Album reached the top 10 in the UK and his subsequent 'One Night Tour' was also named after the track.
Bevan co-wrote, with Gwyneth Herbert, two songs on Herbert's 2013 album The Sea Cabinet – "I Still Hear the Bells" and "The King's Shilling" – and performed with Herbert on the album and at its London launch at Wilton's Music Hall in May 2013.
With Laura Welsh, Bevan co-wrote the single 'Red' and 'Concrete' from the 'See Red EP' which The Line Of Best Fit called "stunning". Bevan also co-wrote Laura's previous single 'Sex and Violence' which was released as a 'Stream Only' premiere on Spin.com.
With Neil Luck she co-composed music for, and performed alongside the avant-garde string ensemble ARCO on Last Wane Days (squib-box), a two-act monodrama for voice and ensemble, which was released on 12 March 2012. In a review, Tim Rutherford-Johnson said: "Bevan in particular can turn her voice on a dime. As co-composers, Luck and Bevan use sound and recurring motifs cleverly, so that the rampant dislocations achieve an unexpected coherence and continuity. Serious artistry".
For several months in 2011, Bevan was joint lead guitarist in the Poussez Posse, a band fronted by Georgina Baillie and mentored by Adam Ant. Fellow members included other lead guitarist Danie Cox (later known as Danie Centric), bassist Molly Spiers MacLeod (daughter of Spizz) and drummer Rachael Smith. The last three later left to form self-styled "flock rock" band The Featherz. This version of the Posse played several support slots for Ant in 2011 and recorded tracks for a planned single plus EP. It was replaced by a new line-up, still fronted by Baillie and including future Curse of Lono bassist Charis Anderson, which continued to support Ant on UK, mainland European and Australian tours until the end of 2012. Footage from 2011 of a band meeting of Bevan's lineup of the Poussez Posse at Ant's home is included in The Blueblack Hussar, a documentary about Ant directed by Jack Bond.
Music for advertisements and television
In the spring of 2015, Bevan's own track "Slo Mo Tiger Glo" from her album Talk To Strangers was chosen as the theme music for the HSBC adverts aired in the UK and Ireland. Her song "Beginners Luck" was used as the E! 2015 winter red carpet season USA track.
|Plant Your Heart||16 November 2009||Fallen Idol|
|Talk to Strangers||28 April 2014||Navigator Records|
|In the Swimming Pool||16 February 2007||Fiona Bevan|
|Us and the Darkness||March 2011||Venus Climbing|
|Wild Angels Sweet Demoms||November 2018||Laurel Canyon|
indicates a background vocal contribution.
|2012||One Direction||Take Me Home||"Little Things"||Edward Sheeran|
|2014||5 Seconds of Summer||5 Seconds of Summer||"Voodoo Doll"||Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, Adam Argyle|
|2015||Ben Haenow||Ben Haenow||"One Night"||Benjamin Haenow, George Tizzard, Richard Parkhouse|
|2016||Max||Non-album single||"Christmas Song"||Max Schneider, Matthew Radosevich|
|Tom Walker||"Play Dead"||Thomas Walker, Joshua Grant|
|Laura Welsh||See Red EP||"Red"||Laura Welsh, Jonas Wallin|
|"Concrete"||Laura Welsh, Jonas Wallin|
|Una Healy||The Waiting Game||"Angel Like You"||Una Healy, Jez Ashurst|
|2017||Steps||Tears on the Dancefloor||"Scared of the Dark"||Carl Ryden|
|Caitlyn Shadbolt||Songs on My Sleeve||"My Friends & I"||Caitlyn Shadbolt, Mark Landon|
|Steps||Tears on the Dancefloor||"Neon Blue"||Carl Ryden|
|Tom Walker||Blessings EP||"Rapture"||Thomas Walker, Timothy Deal|
|Hey Violet||From the Outside||"Unholy"||Nia Lovelis, Rena Lovelis, Miranda Miller, Casey Moreta, Julian Bunetta, David Pramik|
|Lights||Skin & Earth||"Skydiving"||Lights Poxleitner, Matthew Radoisevich|
|Tom Walker||Non-album single||"Heartland"||Thomas Walker, Shahid Kahn, Wesley Muoria-Chaves|
|Guy Sebastian||Conscious||"High On Me"||Guy Sebastian, Mark Landon|
|Lights||Skin & Earth||"Morphine"||Lights Poxleitner, Steve James Philbin|
|Mika||Non-album single||"It's My House"||Michael Penniman Jr., Jonathan Quarmby|
|Steps||Tears on the Dancefloor:Crying at the Disco||"Fool for You"||Carl Ryden|
|Sonny Alven||Non-album single||"Cool with You"
|Sondre Alvestad, Jonny Wright, Simen Hope|
|Alexandru||"Sellotape"||James Newman, Maegan Cottone, Jack Walton|
|No Frills Twins||"Lonely with You"||Inna Rogers, Vanessa Rogers, Ash Howes, Richard Stannard|
|2018||Owen Thiele||TBA||"Some Like It Hot"||Wynne Bennet|
|Aurora||Infections of a DifferentKind (Step 1)||"Queendom"||Aurora Aksnes, James Edward Jacob, Couros Shebani|
|Natalie Prass||The Future and the Past||"Far from You"||Natalie Prass|
|Lewis Capaldi||Breach EP||"Tough"||Lewis Capaldi, Jonathan Quarmby|
|Tom Walker||What a Time to Be Alive||"My Way"||Thomas Walker, Timothy Deal|
|LION||LION||"Oh No"||Bethany Lowen|
|Aurora||Infections of a DifferentKind (Step 1)||"Gentle Earthquakes"||Aurora Aksnes, James Edward Jacob, Couros Shebani|
|"Soft Universe"||Aurora Aksnes, James Edward Jacob, Couros Shebani|
|Joseph J. Jones||Built on Broken Bones Vol. 1||"Put the Word Out"||Joseph Gibbons|
|"Angels Turn Away"||Joseph Gibbons|
|Backstreet Boys||DNA||"Chances"||Shawn Mendes, Scott Harris, Geoff Warburton, Ryan Tedder, Zach Skelton, Casey Smith|
|Andy Brown||Non-album single||"Put That Record On"||Andrew Brown, Jonny Wright|
|2019||Claire Richards||My Wildest Dreams||"My Wildest Dreams"||Steve Anderson|
|James Morrison||You're Stronger Than You Know||"Brighter Kind of Love"||James Morrison, Jonathan Quarmby|
|311||Voyager||"Good Feeling"||Nicholas Hexon, Matthew Malpass, John Feldmann|
|Andy Black||The Ghost of Ohio||"Heroes We Were"||Andrew Beirsack, Matthew Malpass, John Feldmann, Stephen Beerkens|
|Ashley Tisdale||Symptoms||"Insomnia"||Ashley Tisdale, John Feldmann, Dylan McLean, Scott Stewart|
|Tom Walker||What a Time to Be Alive||"All That Matters"||Thomas Walker, Timothy Deal|
|Aurora||A Different Kind of Human
References and footnotes
- Victor Alfieri (16 March 2012). "Woman of Indie: Fiona Bevan – Us and Darkness". Indie Music Reviewer. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Take Me Home (liner notes). One Direction. Syco Records. 2012.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "Fiona Bevan Wins BMI Award for co writing One Direction song". Westminster University. 20 October 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- Singer offers free song-writing classes – Suffolk Free Press Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Chart success for songwriter and former Colchester schoolgirl Fiona Bevan". Daily Gazette. Colchester. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Fiona Bevan: In the Swimming Pool". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Fiona Bevan – Plant Your Heart". Discogs. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "New Album: Fiona Bevan – Talk To Strangers" (Press release). Navigator Records. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Fiona Bevan – Talk To Strangers". Discogs.com. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- John Fordham. "Gwyneth Herbert – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Stream Fiona Bevan's "The Machine" at Best Fit". The Line Of Best Fit. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Track of the Day 10/2 – Fiona Bevan". Clash Magazine.
- "New Single: Fiona Bevan – They Sang Silent Night". Navigator Records. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Fiona Bevan – Us & The Darkness". Discogs. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Winter Hunter Remixes MP3 Music". CD Universe. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "For Folk's Sake Christmas 2011 (2011)". For Folk's Sake. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "SteffLon Don". BBC Sound of 2017. BBC. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- Homewood, Ben. "Steps reveal services deal with Absoute for comeback album". Music Week. Music Week. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- "Scared of the dark | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
- Lewis Corner (25 October 2012). "One Direction new single contains my favorite lyrics, says Ed Sheeran". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "2013 Party Jams MP3 Music". CD Universe. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Rogers, Jude (12 February 2017). "A History of the love song in 10 tracks". The Observer. p. 13. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- "Lights Scores Top 10". 5 October 2017.
- "iTunes USA".
- "5 Seconds of Summer – Voodoo Doll (One Mic, One Take)". YouTube. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- York Times Best Albums of 2017
- "Billie Marten – Heavy Weather". Discogs. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- "Milk & Honey – Live from SXSW 2016". BBC. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- Billie Marten / Ribbon / Official Video. 24 June 2014 – via YouTube.
- "BBC Music – BBC Music Sound Of, 2016 – The Longlist". Bbc.co.uk. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "UK iTunes Chart".
- "iTunes Italy".
- "Mika It's My House". 19 October 2017.
- "Stasera Casa Mika".
- "Ben Haenow – One Night lyrics | Musixmatch". musiXmatch. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- "Ben Haenow Announces Headline "One Night Tour' Dates For 2016 – SuprTickets". SuprTickets.
- John Fordham (28 May 2013). "Gwyneth Herbert – review: Wilton's Music Hall, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Line Of Best Fit
- "Laura Welsh drafts Fiona Bevan for new song "Sex & Violence" – Hamada Mania Music Blog". Hamada Mania Music Blog. 22 October 2015.
- "Laura Welsh Cracks Herself Open on 'Sex & Violence'". Spin. 21 October 2015.
- "New release- Last Wane Days". Squib. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Tim Rutherford-Johnson (5 April 2012). "Pocket reviews for April". Neil Luck, Fiona Bevan, ARCO – Last Wane Days. The Rambler. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "The sisters of song: Fiona Bevan and Kal Lavelle". dailyecho.co.uk.
- "More than one direction for Fiona Bevan". The Irish Times. 17 April 2014.
- "Fiona Bevan's Slo Mo Tiger Glo featured in the new HSBC advert". Navigator Records. April 2015.