Independent ArtistInterviews

Interview: Patrick Rowles – The Independent Christmas Playlist

So, this is Christmas. And what will you be listening to? No doubt, the streaming platforms will be ready and waiting for you with their playlists, rammed to the brim with cheesy pop classics from years gone by, and all-too-happy to abruptly destroy your chances of winning Whammageddon this year.

But one man out there stands eager and prepared to provide us with an alternative take on the festive season. Patrick Rowles, from Manchester (UK), describes himself as a sharer of music, maker of playlists, and eater of Quavers. Prior to reviewing each track on this playlist over the coming days, we sat down with him to have a chat about his captivating Christmas compilation.

Ed: So, first things first, would you describe yourself as a Santa or a Scrooge?

Patrick: Most of my life I’ve definitely been a Santa but as old age creeps in I can feel the inner Scrooge coming through!

Ed: What inspired you to come up with this playlist?

Patrick: I was inspired to do an independent Christmas playlist so that these artists/bands would get a bit of notice. I was a bit fed up of Wham and Slade every year and figured it was time for something a little different!

“[Musicians] want to show that despite of what nature (and the government) throw at them, they will still try and bring joy and entertainment into people’s lives.”

— Patrick Rowles (@PatrickRowles)

Ed: Has the way that 2020 has panned out changed the way independent artists have viewed Christmas? Has there been a bigger volume of Christmas releases this year?

Patrick: Having spoken to quite a few independent artists and bands on the run up to December, I got the impression that this Christmas needed to be different, and celebrated more with this pandemic hitting 2020. With the music industry being battered the way it had, they want to show that despite of what nature (and the government) throw at them, they will still try and bring joy and entertainment into people’s lives. So I think there has definitely been a rise this year of independent Christmas songs, some funny, cheery, cheesy and sad… either way it’s been a good year for songwriting!

Ed: What’s your favourite Christmas song – mainstream or otherwise?

Patrick: I couldn’t pick just one! So as far as mainstream songs go it would have to be Chris Rea and Driving Home for Christmas. When the song first came out I hated it – not for any particular reason. Then I changed jobs and became a long distance lorry driver… then it hit me; every word made sense! Being stuck in traffic on that last day of work just wanting to be home with my family.

As for independent tunes, I’m torn between Jess Kemp and The Last Clouds… both epic Christmas songs that I personally think should be doing far better than they are.

Ed: What does the future hold for the Independent Christmas playlist? Will you continue to update it over the coming years?

Patrick: When I put it out into the Twitterverse that I wanted to do an independent Christmas playlist, quite a few people said it was a good idea, some started to make their own. I think next Christmas it will only get bigger. As for this playlist it will stay as it is, no updates or additions. I try to keep my playlist at album length so listeners don’t lose interest. The way it’s going there will be enough new songs out there to make a fresh playlist with 12 new Christmas songs next year.

To celebrate and share Patrick’s amazing work, we’ll be reviewing each track on TempoTempo over the coming days – along with some comments from Santa (AKA: Patrick) himself! You can take a listen to Patrick’s Independent Christmas playlist on Spotify.

And while you’re here… If you’re keen to hear more about the latest and greatest independent artists, make sure you give us a follow on our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook pages! We love sharing new sounds with you, and would love to hear your recommendations, too!

Ed Eator

A lover of anything with a decent beat and a poignant lyrics, Ed's always been a big fan of the local music scene in London and the Home Counties. From rap to reggae; punk to pop, Ed'll listen to it all. After playing in a couple of smalltime bands, Ed realised that his passion lay in listening to new music and promoting other musicians on the scene. If you'd like Ed to listen to your new or upcoming release, drop him an email at

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