We had a fantastically groovy musical meeting at Pattaya City Expats Club, on Sunday 10th December when we welcomed Barry Upton on to the stage. Joined by Paul Rosenberg. Barry, a big Beatles fan, started off with ‘Here Comes the Sun’ to rapturous applause. Between songs, he gave us a very interesting insight into his career and future aspirations, spanning an amazing 42 year period. At the end of his presentation he played some of his latest music, which I can tell you got my feet tapping.
Born in England in the 1950’s, Barry was always interested in music and is today an accomplished songwriter, music arranger, engineer, musician in this own right, producer and DJ. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he used to present a 96FM radio show and was a TV presenter for Pattaya People Media Group.
You could say that fortune smiled on Barry in 1982 when he was working as a songwriter and producer in a London recording studio. Here such bands as The Who and The Hollies recorded their music.
It was at this juncture that Brotherhood of Man were recording their new title and were looking to recruit a new singer. Barry joined them. He was now working with top music people and this gave him, in his own words, ‘…a massive leap up in the business…’
In 1990 Barry went to the ‘Midem’ music trade fair in Cannes, where he met a fledgling A&R man by the name of Simon Cowell. Barry said, ‘…He gave me my first major publishing deal, which enabled me to purchase my own top quality recording studio, and one year later, had a UK top ten pop hit on Simons’ new label at BMG with ‘Sonia’. He and Simon remain good friends to this day.
By the 90’s, Country Rock music had a great influence on him. The line dance phenomenon was sweeping America and so he went to Nashville where he was fortunate enough to meet up with some of the big country stars. Returning to the UK, he wrote the song 5, 6, 7, 8 for Steps. It was a big hit, which remained in the UK charts for 16 weeks and went to no. 1 in Australia.
It was about this time that Shane Richie labeled Barry ‘a pop tart’ because Barry was always after the hit song, genre didn’t matter!
Although there have been so many solar accomplishments in Barry’s career, he is very down to earth and a nice guy to chat with.
Never one to sit on one’s laurels, Barry’s latest project is ‘Life’s a Beach!’ – a movie musical based around beach based songs. “It will be in the style of such greats as Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Mama Mia,” he said. The past year has been spent in the recording studio compiling the music. The next step is to film a demo version and take it to the movie studios. I for one can’t wait. So fingers crossed. We wish him luck and I know it will be a great success.