Unleashed Dreams is a Canadian/British singer/songwriter duo who recently released their debut album, Dare To Dream
. The album quickly shot to the top of the One World Radio international chart and has also charted well on Zone Music Reporter. Sean Michael Paddison and Lindsey Gaye Walker share the vision to be part of the global movement helping to raise human consciousness for a better world. We did this interview in January 2018.
KP: Hi Lindsey and Sean! How is 2018 going for you so far?
SMP: 2018 has brought lots of excitement with lots of great new friends and opened doors for our music. Our goal is to do our best to bring our music and its message to as many listeners as possible worldwide. The more this happens, the more we feel our goal of shifting the world to a higher level of loving consciousness is coming to fruition.
LGW: Yes, we’ve had a really great start to the new year as all our goals for 2017 were reached, which felt so wonderful as we had worked so hard and gone through so many challenges. During these first few weeks of 2018, we’ve looked at what we needed to learn from in 2017 to make this year even better for us.
KP: Where in Canada are you located?
We’re in a pretty little university city called Guelph in Ontario, about an hour west of Toronto.
Click on the album cover to go to Kathy's review.
KP: Are you living in a deep freeze these days?
SMP: Yes, we have had periods of insane cold followed by big melts and then ice storms.
LGW: After living in Dubai for 17 years, I really feel the cold! I love it though when the sun shines and everywhere looks like a beautiful Christmas card! Sean and I are always going for walks even when it’s cold; we just wrap up really well. I feel so blessed to have travelled a lot in my life and experienced different countries and climates.
KP: Congratulations on hitting #1 on the One World Radio charts with your debut album, Dare to Dream! It’s a really great album and one that should resonate with a lot of people. How did you come up with the idea for the album?
LGW: Thanks so much! For me, the title reflects daring to dream even when you’re unsure about where your life is going. It’s about giving people hope to carry on, no matter what life throws at them.
SMP: Our goal with this album was to create an album we would love to hear and be resonant with in terms of its message. I wanted to produce an album that had a wide variety of flavours and feels. I like to cook and love to experiment with many different textures and tastes from around the world. I wanted to bring that into the songs as a fun listening journey. We also wanted to reflect our own journey within the album and share that to motivate others to reach their own dreams.
KP: From what I’ve read, several of the songs are quite autobiographical. Do you want to talk about that?
LGW: I feel that when you write from personal experience the song speaks a truth that others can resonate with. We all have a story and when we share our stories we realize we’re not alone. When I sing, I open my heart and trust that the song will touch whoever it’s supposed to. I let go of all attachment to how it will touch them, but allow the energy of the music to take them where they need to go.
SMP: Yes, we both have shared some of our own experiences or motivations within the lyrics of the songs. “Onward to Glory” for me is a very important song as it reflects a mindset I needed to embrace within my own world to help me through very difficult times and challenges in my life.
From things I have read, “Onward to Glory” has a very special meaning for both of you. Do you want to elaborate on that?
SMP: I have faced a lot of challenges in my personal life. My family moved a lot and my mother was a single mom/musician for most of my life and money was tight as she supported us all. I did not have money to go to university or advanced music schools, etc. Since we moved so much, I had to make new friends over and over again. Because my mother worked late hours performing, she did not have the energy to work on my homework with me after school because that is when she was getting ready for work. There was nobody else around to help me. My mom was already pulling off financial miracles holding the family together on her own with four kids. So, with my school etc. I had to hold everything myself. It was very tough as a kid being told that I was really smart but needed to TRY HARDER, yet none of the teachers or counsellors really understood how hard I was trying, doing it all on my own without any educational support at home. I was one of the smallest kids in school when I was younger and thus had to prove myself over and over again in terms of bullies. I often had to solve problems with no financial support whatsoever and had to manifest cash out of thin air. "Onward to Glory" for me was about confronting each one of these challenges and seeing them only as challenges and not as reasons for defeat. Being further along on my life path now and enjoying more glorious triumphs, the song is an affirmation of that positive thinking that helped me push through those tough parts of my life.
LGW: This song was Sean's 'baby' and I wanted to do my very best to support his vision for it both in co-writing the lyrics and singing the lead. We all face our own battles in life and this song reminds us all that no matter how hard things can get, we are all spiritually guided and that 'our time will come.’ It's the spiritual voice of wisdom that speaks to our hearts and tells us to keep going and to hold onto our truth. It's also a reminder that 'God's law' rather than 'man's law' always wins out in the end, expressed through the words, 'Thy Will Be Done.’ It’s a powerful song and musical composition to support all of us through what can sometimes be extremely challenging times.
Sean, tell us a bit about your musical journey and how you became a producer and song writer.
SMP: I have been playing music since I was 3 years old. My mother was a professional singer and pianist. She practiced when she was pregnant with me, so I have been listening or been in ear range of music since even before I was born. My mother taught me to play piano up to about age 6 or 7, then I sort of took over from there and taught myself the rest. I had a few piano teachers here and there, but not none of them for more than a handful of classes due to a lack of funds. Even when I did have classes, I was bored because I had already been playing full songs and classical music on my own well before taking lessons. I was uninspired. So I just decided to keep teaching myself. At around age 13 to 14 I got the album The Turn of A Friendly Card by The Alan Parsons Project. I was immediately inspired by its original sound and control. I decided then to learn how it all worked and made the move toward writing more of my own songs and recording and producing my own music.
KP: I understand you are also doing an online radio show. Tell us about that.
SMP: Years ago, I owned a couple of successful internet radio stations: "ListenEasy.com" and "Celtica" on the Live365 radio network. I eventually sold them to my former business partner, but I always wanted to get back into doing radio again. After releasing Dare To Dream, One World Music Radio asked me if I'd be interested in doing a radio show as they knew I had had a radio station before. I thought that now was the perfect time to do another show. This time I'm only taking the role of DJ/producer for the show which, honestly, is excellent because that is the part I like to do the most. The show is called "Limitless" and it is focused on music that helps us reach to a higher level of development and consciousness. The songs will mostly focus on EPIC and New Age music, with themes that promote introspection and self development.
Lindsay, your story is also very compelling. Please tell us a bit about your life and how you came to be a singer and motivational speaker/life coach.
Lindsey as a child.
When I was a little girl I dreamt of being on the stage and went to a performing arts school in England, the same school Julie Andrews and Sarah Brightman went to. In fact, Sarah was a couple of grades above me. When I entered the theatre at the age of 18, I faced the darker side of that profession as many men holding influential positions tried to take advantage of me and other girls my age. I became completely disillusioned and decided to give up my dream of being in the theatre and teach instead. I married my Syrian boyfriend, who was the most respectful and loving man I’d ever met, left England and taught musical theatre at the American School of Damascus in Syria. It worked well for a while, but after having two kids I fell into a depression as I missed dancing and singing. I felt my life was for everyone else and that I’d lost my little girl dream forever. My husband encouraged me to go back to school, so I did and got a BA honours in Psychology, which wasn’t easy as I had failed academically at school due to being dyslexic. Getting my degree was my personal ‘Mount Everest’ as it took me seven years to complete. I also had two more children and moved to two different countries during that time. While my husband was a wonderful man, after 23 years together we grew apart and he unexpectedly asked me for a divorce. My whole world as I knew it fell apart, but I also knew that our time was complete and Spirit was calling me back to me and a new beginning. Over the next ten years, I did all kinds of self-development work. I became a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner, Life Coach, and trained to be a motivational speaker. All of this took me down the rabbit hole of my own life which was extremely difficult at times, but also taught me so much. I also opened my own Self Development centre while living in Vienna, Austria. While I was there, I started to visualize being on the stage singing again, which seemed crazy as I was now 50. But the vision kept coming so while one part of me wanted to block it as impossible, the other part of me opened to it. Following the teachings of the Law of Attraction, I did a visualization every morning and evening while listening to meditation music. I also visualized meeting a man who would share this vision with me. It still amazes me today that this dream is clearly coming true!
KP: That’s an amazing story! How did the two of you meet?
I co-founded a songwriters’ Meetup group in Toronto. The group had its own Facebook group which I also administered online. Lindsey was about to move to Toronto so she joined the group from Austria. I was promoting an artist I had produced online, and Lindsey shared the promotion I posted. I sent her a nice thank you message. From there we became music friends. She eventually moved to Toronto and two days after she arrived, we met up. We have been inseparable ever since. The music connection also became a heart connection. It has been a magical, life growing journey so far.
It was always my family’s intention to settle in Canada, and two of my children were already living there. When my youngest son got into a Canadian university, I decided to go with him. As I knew no one in Toronto, I thought the best thing for me to do was to join a few Meetup groups, one of them being a singer-songwriter group. Little did I know that Sean was the head of that group! When we connected through the Meetup’s Facebook page, there was a magical energy between us and I just knew we were supposed to meet. The first time we met, I played him a song I’d made up called ‘Deep.’ I had no idea at that time that he would eventually do a new composition for that song and it would be the first track on our debut album, Dare to Dream
KP: Wow! When things are meant to happen, there is just no stopping them! Do you have any plans for your next album?
SMP: Yes, we are planning to start production on album #2 in February. We are currently updating the studio to create an even better sound for the second album.
LGW: We’re really excited about creating more songs to empower people to transform their lives and live their dreams.
KP: Do you perform live very often?
SMP: Not as yet, but we hope to develop a live show after the completion and release of the second album.
LGW: That’s part of the dream yet to come!
KP: Let’s find out more about your backgrounds. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
LGW: I was born and grew up in England, but never really lived at home as I went to boarding school from the age of 9.
I was born in St. Catherines, Ontario. I grew up in many cities in Canada and the USA. I have moved more than 60 times in my life. My parents moved around a lot and I have, too, as an adult. I have lived in Guelph now for over 10 years which has been comforting.
Sean as a child.
KP: Have you had much musical training or are you mostly self-taught?
SMP: As I mentioned earlier, I had a few piano lessons here and there. I also played trumpet in our high school orchestra in grades 7 to 10. In regard to songwriting, music production and arranging, I am completely self taught. I learned mostly by listening to CDs and renting pieces of equipment I wanted to learn about and testing those tools in my studio while recording.
LGW: I trained in the performing arts at the Arts Educational School in England. As I mentioned before, it was the same school that Julie Andrews and Sarah Brightman went to. Currently I’m having singing lessons with Falconer Abraham from ‘Free Your Voice’ in Toronto.
KP: Were you encouraged to improvise or compose by your music teacher(s) or anyone else?
LGW: No. Unfortunately not.
I was never with a teacher long enough to get to those areas of study. I learned mostly from working with other good players like my friend, Robert Michaels. I learned the most by listening to hundreds and hundreds of CDs and dissecting them to understand what made each song great and listening with delicate precision to what great songs have in them that make them addictive to listen to.
Lindsey in the studio.
KP: How old were you when you wrote your first song?
SMP: Hmm, probably about 6. If you watch the movie August Rush, August is very much like I was as a child. Everything was music to my ears. I was always tapping out new ideas on the piano to learn better with it, from about age 6 onward. Those little inventions eventually developed more serious structure around the age of 14.
LGW: I wrote my first song when I was 16 called ‘Take me for what I am.’ My younger brother played the piano while I sang. Nothing ever came of it, but it will always be a very special memory for me.
KP: What inspired you to start recording your music?
LGW: I guess I felt spiritually guided to do so only a few years ago, just before meeting Sean. When I was doing my daily visualizations to reconnect to my dream of being on the stage again, I felt I should record the songs I was writing.
I'd say most likely it was my first small portable cassette recorder, which then grew to 4 track and 8 track cassette multitrack recorders. I also did not score my ideas, so recording was the best way to remember the songs later.
Sean in his teens.
KP: Who or what are your biggest musical influences?
SMP: Now that is a tough question because I have had influences from many many genres. I'd have to say Bach, Beethoven, Secret Garden, Alan Parsons, Ennio Morricone, Billy Joel, Supertramp and Mozart are my biggest influences.
KP: That’s certainly an eclectic group! Lindsey?
LGW: Ever since I was a little girl I loved Barbra Streisand. She always sang with such emotion and sincerity. I also loved all of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals, such as Les Miserables and Jesus Christ, Superstar, and used to sing along to them.
KP: Have you done any composing for films and/or TV?
LGW: Not yet, but would love our music to be picked up for film.
SMP: I have scored two movies. One is called The Prodigal Son and is an independent film produced in North Carolina. The second is a short mockumentary film called "Wasn't That a Party" produced in Ontario. I also have written a few jingles.
KP: What has been your most exciting musical moment or experience so far?
SMP: Mine would have to be finishing and releasing Dare To Dream and having it chart well on One World Music and Zone Music Reporter. The album took more than three years to complete. I also had a major stroke in the second year of production which was a huge hurdle to overcome. Luckily, the stroke did not effect my listening ability.
KP: How scary! Have you fully recovered?
Well, with a full stroke one doesn't really fully recover as a stroke is, by definition, a blood clot that causes a part of your brain to in effect “die."
When I saw the MRI, I was kind of creeped out. Luckily, my stroke could have been a lot worse. I can work on my music and move toward what I need to do and have found ways to deal with some of the nagging issues. Overall, I feel blessed that I did not end up like the poor roommate I had in the hospital who was completely incapacitated, could not speak clearly at all and had very, very poor muscle coordination.
As in the song “Onward to Glory,” I saw this as just another challenge to overcome.
Lindsey and her children.
For me, listening to our song ‘Onward To Glory’ from Dare To Dream
on the radio after it was announced that we were the final #1 for 2017 for the Top 100 charts of One World Music. Even while I was listening from Paris, France and Sean from Ontario, it was a magical moment as we listened and celebrated together via Facebook messenger!
KP: Is there a particular philosophy that you try to convey in your music?
SMP: Our music is all about empowering people to stand in their truth and go after their dreams. The songs are designed to share ideas to inspire people and also help them look deep into things that might be blocking them from succeeding.
LGW: It’s our deepest wish that our music be part of the global movement that is earnestly trying to raise human consciousness for a better world. Through our songs, we aim to help people have greater self awareness and empower them to follow their dreams, or create new ones, no matter what life throws at them or how old they are.
KP: The world really needs these messages - more so every day! Who are your favorite composers and songwriters?
SMP: Wow, now that would be a very, very long list (in the hundreds). I'd rather condense my answer into saying what I look for. I like songwriters who write songs that make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I also search for lyrics and music that rip deep into my soul and deliver healing or growth. A few examples would be Secret Garden, The Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, and Beethoven.
LGW: The amazing Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Bergersen, Yanni, Deva Premal, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Secret Garden, Enigma, Era, Deep Forest, and the rawness and depth of Pink!
KP: Who are your favorite performers?
I really enjoyed Yanni recently - he is a true showman. I also love The Piano Guys, The Tenors, Loreena McKennitt, Dan Hill and Celtic Woman.
I love Barbra Streisand, Yanni, Loreena McKennitt, Dan Hill, Pink and all of those wonderfully talented artists in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals!
KP: If you could have any three wishes, what would they be?
LGW: Great question! My three would be: To be the best role model I can be for my four amazing children, who are now adults. To do my part in helping raise the consciousness of this planet for the greater good. To fully experience what it means to love and be loved.
SMP: 1) That the world's consciousness could shift to a kinder and more loving resonance.
2) That people could live life without being so controlled by fear.
3) That people can find joy inside of themselves rather than looking for it elsewhere.
KP: What’s up next for you?
SMP: Tomorrow!!! ... I try to live each day in its own mastery of actions and potential. It makes life so much more joyful and worthwhile. I have dreams and goals, however I know they will not manifest exactly as I perceive in my mind’s eye. I do know that I have a great amount of control of my “NOW," so I try to be kind to myself and enjoy the joy that can be uncovered within each and every single day.
LGW: To continue the journey with whatever it brings. To trust in all the lessons great and small.
KP: Is there anything else you’d like to “talk” about?
SMP: I'd just like to thank you for supporting this industry and providing a place to share our music and experiences around bringing the music to the world. I think that the more we all help each other move the world towards to greater sharing and creativity, the better it will be to live in. This means more dreams can come true.
LGW: Yes, thank you Kathy for offering us this opportunity to share more about our journey with our music. I’d like to conclude with a quote which I believe is important for all of us as we enter into this new year:
‘We lift ourselves by our thought. We climb upon our vision of ourselves. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always everywhere.’
Orison Swett Marden - 1850-1924, Inspirational Writer
Many thanks to Sean Michael Paddison and Lindsey Gaye Walker for taking the time to chat! For for information about them and their music, be sure to visit their website
and their Artist Page
here on MainlyPiano.com.