Tim Arnold (musician)

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Tim Arnold
Tim Arnold - I Am For You cover art, 2017.jpg
Tim Arnold - I Am For You album cover art, 2017
Background information
Birth nameTimothy Marcus Arnold
Born (1975-07-03) 3 July 1975 (age 43)
Soho, London, England
OriginLondon, England
GenresAlternative rock, indie rock, classical, new-age, pop, progressive rock, rock and roll, theatre
Occupation(s)Musician, Songwriter, Singer, Composer, Record Producer
Instrumentsvocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, piano, organ, glockenspiel, mandolin
Years active1995–Present
LabelsV4 Records, Epic, Sajja Records, TA Music§
Associated actsThe Soho Hobo, Jocasta
WebsiteTim Arnold's official website The Soho Hobo website

Tim Arnold (born 3 July 1975) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, producer[1] musician and film maker [2] from London. His music has been compared to David Bowie[3][4] and he is the last musician to collaborate with David Bowie and Kate Bush mentor Lindsay Kemp [5] [6]

He is also an active campaigner for the preservation of the London district known as Soho and its role in the enhancement of the performing arts.[7][8] He is the founder of Save Soho, a coalition of performers including Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch, residents and politicians that came together out of concern for the future of Soho’s historic role as a national platform for the performing arts.[9][10][11] Arnold is also a film composer and created original music for Iggy Pop in the 2016 feature film Blood Orange.[12]

He first achieved success as the singer and songwriter of Britpop band Jocasta in the mid-1990s. He runs the record label TA Music[13] and has released eighteen albums, one with Jocasta and seventeen solo albums. He is also author and composer of the musical Secrets of Soho.[14]

Early life[edit]

Tim Arnold's childhood was spent travelling through Europe, as his mother, Polly Perkins, performed cabaret in theatres and nightclubs. Between the ages of eight and fourteen, he lived in France, Spain and the UK.[15]

Arnold has stated he believes in magic after meeting a Pagan “witch” at the age of nine.[16]

At fourteen years old, he enrolled as a bard in The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.[1] The teachings inspired him to leave his mother's home in Spain and return alone to England to study at the Rudolf Steiner School, where he formed the band Jocasta with best friend Jack Reynolds.[15]



In 1994, Arnold and the band moved from Hertfordshire to London. Jocasta had chart hits with "Go" and "Change Me" in 1997. The band's only album, No Coincidence was released in June 1997, but they disbanded soon after its release.

Solo career[edit]

In 1999 he signed a publishing deal with V2 Music, and also became Master of Music at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, composing original music for Peter Oswald's 'Augustine's Oak', a new verse play written especially for the Globe. In 2000 his new band called Spearshaker recorded several songs at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, which would later be released on Arnold's solo album 'En Route'.[17] In 2001, Arnold left V2 and signed to Universal Music Publishing. For two years, he wrote and produced music for newly signed artists at Universal, mostly pop, R&B, garage and hip hop.

In 2003 Arnold travelled to the Wat Tham Krabok Buddhist monastery in Thailand, where he was successfully treated for drug addiction.[18][19] Life at the monastery had a profound effect on Arnold who subsequently left London and moved to Thailand to live in the monastery, where the monks built him a recording studio.[20]

He recorded his debut solo album Lokutara with the monks who cured him,[21] in which the music was created by following cracks in the earth, which metamorphosed into pop rock melodies.[22]

A Tham Krabok success story,[23] Arnold returned to the UK in 2004. Over the following 18 months, he recorded and released 6 solo albums,[24] including Secrets of Soho[25] recorded in Francis Bacon's spiritual home (The Colony Room).

Arnold embarked on his 11th solo album Sonnet 155 by writing over 30 letters to Shakespearean actors, including Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Briers, Janet Suzman and Emma Thompson in the hope that they would provide further inspiration and help turn ideas into songs. The responses he received became the basis for many of Arnold's songs. The album is a rock/classical crossover all driven by Shakespearean themes.[26][27]

Sonnet 155 previewed to standing ovations at the Almeida Theatre, London (2 & 9 May 2010), a cross-media performance, including contributions from actors Richard Briers,[28] Paul McGann, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lisa Dillon.[29][30][31] The album also re-interprets classical pieces of music by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov and Michael Nyman - each song a contemporary response to a Shakespearean theme. B7 Media are currently developing the format of the stage show with a view to taking Sonnet 155 on tour.

Tim Arnold live at Soho Theatre, London 2012.

In 2012, Arnold began performing new songs under the name The Soho Hobo. He performed several shows at The Soho Theatre, The Groucho Club and The Lexington with actors Jessie Wallace, Gary Kemp and Phil Daniels throughout 2012 and 2013 as showcases for his forthcoming album about Soho.[32]

In 2015 he gave the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson a guided tour of Soho as part of Arnold's Save Soho campaign. The pair were filmed by ITV news singing a duet of Arnold's song "Don't Go Changing Soho".[33]

In 2015 he also appeared on The Voice and after auditioning, was selected by Ricky Wilson.[34] By the second round, he was out of the competition losing his battle against eventual winner Stevie McCrorie. He released a single 'Hearts 4 Meat' in support of the Save Soho campaign that he leads with Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch. The song was inspired by Caitlin Moran's article in The Times 'Where is London If Soho Is Gone?'.[35] In July 2015, Arnold released his 14th album The Soho Hobo[36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Arnold lives in London[38] and was listed to represent Soho in Historic England’s 2016 exhibition ‘I Am London’ . He is a feminist[39] and a life long vegetarian. Arnold previously dated EastEnders actress, Jessie Wallace. [40]

Social activism[edit]

What Love Would Want[edit]

While Arnold identifies his sexual orientation as straight, he has explained in numerous interviews that he comes from an LGBT background, being brought up by two women since birth, with an extended family of gay women and men.[41] [42]

This distinction in Arnold's upbringing became the subject of media attention in 2017 surrounding the release of his song and video 'What Love Would Want'. Described by Fused Magazine as "A response to the divisive and for some, frightening times we are living in", Arnold's song was inspired by Emma Watson's speech on The United Nations's He For She Campaign and Stephen Fry's speech on the Catholic Church's condemnation of gay people.[43]

The song's video was published on 17 May 2017 to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)[44]. Arnold supported the event with a series of live performances in Toronto on the day[45], complete with a cruise boat choir performance on Lake Ontario.[46] What Love Would Want is one of the first songs to premiere via Blockchain technology with Canadian company Musicoin[47] , the world's first smart cryptocurrency for music[48] securing exclusive release of the song before its general release.

Actor Stephen Fry supported the song's message with an appearance in Arnold's video.[49] Arnold subsequently went on to support and work with Amnesty International at live events across the United Kingdom throughout 2017, including the petition hand-in at The Russian Embassy in protest of Chechnya's gay purge, where Arnold performed the song alongside campaigners Sir Ian McKellen, Peter Tatchell and Sir Michael Cashman.[50] Appearances at the Isle of Wight Festival with Human Rights activist Shane Enright and a performance at the Isle of Wight's inaugural Pride festival and Hastings Pride were instigated by Arnold to promote Amnesty's Love Is A Human Right campaign.[51] Arnold's What Love Would Want has since become an ongoing multi-media project to promote love and diversity.

Album discography[edit]

  • Jocasta - No Coincidence (1997)
  • Seeker's Serum (1998)
  • Lokutara (2004)
  • En Route (2005)
  • Secrets of Soho (2006)
  • Soho Confidential (2006)
  • Hijo de la Luna (2007)
  • Clever Ain't Wise (2007)
  • Another World (2007)
  • Restrung (2007)
  • Oaky Dokey (2009)
  • Sonnet 155 (2010)
  • Augustine's Oak (2011)
  • The Soho Hobo (2015)
  • Sounds To Pictures, Volume One: Conversations (2017)
  • I Am For You (2017)
  • Sounds To Pictures, Volume Two: Inspirations (2018)
  • You Are For Me (2018)


  1. ^ a b "Tim Arnold-Sonnet 155". music-news.com. 28 May 2010.
  2. ^ "David Bowie mentor Lindsay Kemp stars in new Tim Arnold video". CLASSIC POP. March 2017.
  3. ^ "Iggy Pop compares unsigned singer to David Bowie and stars in his new video". NME. May 2016.
  4. ^ "IGGY POP compares Tim Arnold to David Bowie and we have the video to prove it". UBER ROCK. May 2016.
  5. ^ Bourke, Kevin (3 July 2018). "What Love Would Want: Lindsay Kemp and Tim Arnold chat to Northern Soul". Northern Soul. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  6. ^ Cochrane, Robert (19 June 2018). "A Simplicity Sublime". Culture Catch. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Save seedy Soho, Cumberbatch and stars urge London mayor". The Times. December 2014.
  8. ^ "The Soho Hobo Calling BoJo". Huffington Post. December 2014.
  9. ^ "The Soho debate: Tim Arnold". The London Magazine. April 2015.
  10. ^ "Keep Soho sexy! Stephen Fry and Gemma Arterton join Save Soho campaign to preserve 'raffish' neighbourhood from redevelopment". The Daily Mail. February 2015.
  11. ^ "Save Soho: Fascinating old photos of the vibrant heart of London's West End over the years". International Business Times. April 2015.
  12. ^ "Iggy Pop In Tim Arnold Money Kills Love". Rockol.com. May 2016.
  13. ^ "A Son of Soho-Tim Arnold". Play Magazine. November 2006. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Lisa Dillon Reveals Musical Secrets of Soho???". Whatsonstage.com. 19 April 2011.
  15. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3, p. 229
  16. ^ "‘Soho Hobo’ Tim – the music man with magic Archived 16 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine.", West End Extra, 17 June 2016
  17. ^ Darren, Sadler (2005) "[1]", Rocksound, 2005
  18. ^ Brown, June; Arnold, Tim (19 September 2004). "Get Thee To A Monastery". London: The Guardian.
  19. ^ Singh, Anita (2009) "Bafta Television Awards: EastEnders' June Brown lands first nomination", Daily Telegraph, 24 March 2009, retrieved 2011-05-02
  20. ^ Nauman, Zoe (2010) ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)", Sunday Mirror, 13 June 2004
  21. ^ Beaumont, Mark (2004) ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)", NME, 5 June 2004
  22. ^ Baker, Trevor (2004) "Dot to Doherty's rescue: Trevor Baker wishes Pete a recovery without inspiration", The Guardian, 12 June 2004, retrieved 2011-05-02
  23. ^ Gagliardi, Jason (2004) ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)", Sunday Telegraph, 25 July 2004
  24. ^ "Tim Arnold-Another World". popmatters.com. 1 January 2008.
  25. ^ "Soho's Best Kept Secret". Playback. October 2006.
  26. ^ Churchill, Nick (2010) ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)", Bournemouth Echo, 19 March 2010
  27. ^ Hodson, Maria (2010) ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)", The Stage, 29 April 2010
  28. ^ "Briers Sparks A Sonnet Boom". Daily Express. 13 May 2011.
  29. ^ Midgley, Emma (2010) "Reading sound producer in Shakespearean music venture", BBC, 30 April 2010, retrieved 2011-05-02
  30. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (2010) ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)", Whatsonstage.com, 30 April 2010
  31. ^ Cole, Paul (2010) "TIM ARNOLD : Sonnet 155", Sunday Mercury, 25 April 2010, retrieved 2011-05-02
  32. ^ "Phil Daniels finds Soho track suits for a quick cameo". Evening Standard. 24 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Watch Boris Johnson sing to save Soho in protest against closure of Madame Jojo's". The Independent. 2 April 2015.
  34. ^ "Jessie Wallace's boyfriend Tim Arnold SECRETLY auditions for The Voice", Daily Express, 31 January 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015
  35. ^ "Anthem For Doomed Soho", Londonist, 31 March 2015
  36. ^ "[2]", Get Ready To Rock, 13 June 2015
  37. ^ "[3]", Classic Pop Magazine, 6 July 2015
  38. ^ "[4]", BBC Radio London, 20 June 2016.
  39. ^ "He for She: The Women's March". huffintonpost.co.uk. 23 Jan 2017.
  40. ^ "Interview: Tim Arnold". Getreadytorock.me.uk. 31 Mar 2017.
  41. ^ "tim-arnold-shares-single-for-sexuality-gender-and-racial-equality-what-love-would-want". Innocent Words (magazine)Innocent Words. May 2017.
  42. ^ "Addicted Inspirations - Tim Arnold". Addicted (magazine)Addicted. May 2017.
  43. ^ "Tim Arnold What Love Would Want". Fused (magazine)Fused. May 2017.
  44. ^ "watch-stephen-fry-husband-share-sweet-kiss-new-music-video". Gay Star news. May 2017.
  45. ^ "today-is-intl-day-against-homophobia". 915thebeat.com. May 2017.
  46. ^ "A Destined Meeting Sparks Musicoin and Tim Arnold Collaboration". Press Party. May 2017.
  47. ^ "A Destined Meeting". www.mi2n.com. May 2017.
  48. ^ "A Destined Meeting". Cryptolix. May 2017.
  49. ^ "stephen-fry-kisses-his-husband-in-music-video-celebrating-lgbt-love". Pink News. May 2017.
  50. ^ "sir-ian-mckellen-joins-russian-embassy-protest". Express and Star. June 2017.
  51. ^ "Tim Arnold to play Hastings Pride". Hastings pride. April 2017.

External links[edit]