ALTHOUGH he was not born until 1997…
Daniel Molyneaux is an artist who has a great love and knowledge of Pop - self-proclaimed to unapologetically reign as an artist, as he says so himself. he engrossed himself in music as a child; where he had his eyes opened to legends and titans – the young-artist-in-waiting started recording at fourteen and would spend his time pouring over books of lyrics and plotting his way into music. I ask Molyneaux about his early experiences and that first taste of music; the artists that spurred him and how songs come together for him.
He, in turn, tells me about his new album, I’ll Be Waiting, and the themes behind that. Guess What? I Need You is the lead single from it – I was eager to know the story behind that gem. Molyneaux gives me a window into his creative process and what the future holds; how his favourite albums connect him to his late mother - and what he has planned for the future.
Hi, Daniel. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. I'm great thanks.
My week's just been promo, promo, promo for my new album, I’ll Be Waiting – though, it's been too hot for the past few nights; so I'm a tad sleep-deprived.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I'm Daniel Molyneaux. I'm just a dude from London who lives, breathes and sleeps music - and Pop is my niche; though I do love incorporating elements of other genres that I love. I'm an independent artist and I control it all.
I’ll Be Waiting is your new album. What can we tell us about the songs on the record and their inspiration?
Yes. I'll Be Waiting is my newly-released album and is out on every single online store now - please purchase it and give it a listen.
When it comes to the songs off the album: they were mainly just inspired by thoughts and feelings I had at various-given times. But, in honesty, when listening back they mostly share the theme of wanting and waiting for someone. Whether it be to have sex with, to dance with: to form an official relationship with; to be back in communication with, to give me an apology I'm owed.
I'm waiting for a lot of things and I guess, throughout my sessions, it all transpired into the album’s songs - hence why I titled it I’ll Be Waiting.
Guess What? I Need You is the first single from the album. Was there a particular relationship/person that inspired that song?
We met on app. and we didn't officially get together; but we were getting to know each other, and, did become part of the other person's daily routine.
We spoke daily, went out etc. and I was optimistic about how things were going - and then, suddenly, when we were at our peak: they just decided to turn their back on me.
What was it like filming the video for the song?
It seems like it was quite intense at times. Filming the video was a fantastic three days.
The camera operators often wanted other shots to use on top of the singing so asked me to do things like scream and swear to the camera - so things did sometimes get quite loud on set!
Do you know which other songs might be released as singles in the future?
I have all the singles planned out but I'd rather not say what they will be. I know being secretive about next movements is such a typical ‘artist response’, and I hate sounding typical when I speak - but I'd rather just let the singles arrive and make their mark.
Who were the artists you grew up listening to and made the biggest impact?
I grew up listening to Luther Vandross and was just inspired by the way he was so free with his expressing his emotions and vulnerability. I'd have to name Rihanna and Barry White as my major influences, also.
I was seven when she first came out and over the years I've just adored how she's evolved into an all-round artist - and makes any music endeavour she does seem so effortless and natural, whatever genre. Pop will always be my forte but jumping into other genres in such an authentic -sounding way - as Rihanna does; it is something I aim to follow.
Barry White has had a huge impact on me, also, as no other music by any other artist gives me the joyful, euphoric feeling I get when I listen to his music's production. This 'Barry-White-effect' is something I always want to come with my music.
You are based in London. How important is the city and its people to your music?
London and its people are quite important to my music as I do see and hear lot of personal issues that I face and sing - about being shared amongst the city with people I do and don’t know so I’d like to think my music comforts the people.
I’d like the city, and the whole world for that matter, to listen to my music and know that I experience similar issues likewise - and find therapy with this. Kind of like “Ah, Daniel went through it too. No-one around me seems to understand but he does. He gets it. He gets me”.
I’m not saying I’m here to be a role model or someone who can halt everybody’s issues...but, it’s always comforting to know that someone else went through similar things you did. I want London to find solace with my work.
Do songs come quite naturally to you? How do tracks come together?
Lyrics and melodies come to me at the most unexpected times, mainly melodies, and I work with producers to strengthen them and turn them into proper-structured songs.
A typical start-to-finish of a finished song would be me catching a lyric and/or melody: recording it into my phone and then asking myself if I could see this becoming a viable, strong chorus. If I'm confident, I take it to a producer and play him the voice-note - and explain where I want the song to go – like, if I want it the song to go down a ballad-path; a fall-to-the-floor-path etc. He works on composing the instrumentation - which usually alters the original melody but, as long as whatever new comes up sounds amazing to my ear, then I'm happy.
I, then, take the stems away and write my lyrics to them then. When I'm satisfied; I record my lead vocals in the studio. I then work with other people to act as external ears - to hear if, what if I've brought to them, at this stage, makes sense.
Once they approve - or advise changes and often compose harmonies/adlibs I like - I record those add-ons and play the product to my best friend and some relatives – and, if they like it, I'm satisfied.
Are you already looking ahead to the end of the year? Is there new material in mind or are you focusing on touring and promoting I’ll Be Waiting?
There won’t be any material released from me - other than the singles from I’ll Be Waiting.
I'm going to be gigging the album for the next year so won't really be in the studio much. I was last there two weeks ago, when the album came out, and am already having studio blues!
For now, it's all about promoting I'll Be Waiting.
Will you be touring your material soon? Where can we come and see you play?
I'm been touring my album through doing a lot of open mics as well as booked shows – but, please do like my Facebook page as I add my dates there.
My next show is 12th July at Undersolo in Camden.
IN THIS PHOTO: Stefflon Don
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
A recent one would have to be Rihanna - ANTi.
The songs on personal growth and development are just so relatable.
I'd also have to name Sean Paul's Dutty Rock.
I was five when this came out and hearing it now always take me back to the flat in Tottenham - where my mother, sister and I lived in my early years. Its songs were the anthems of my life (back then) - so it means a lot to me now - as it's the only audible thing which brings the (most) dearest memories of my youth (that I will never live again).
For similar reasons, another album I treasure is Juanita Bynum - A Piece of My Passion.
My mother was a firm Christian and this album was what she would play around in the car, and in the house, constantly. My mum passed away when I was fifteen and, when I listen to this album and close my eyes long enough, it's almost as if I when I open them - I will see her swaying to the album in front of me as she did.
Do you get much time to take a break from music? How do you like to spend your free time?
Music is something I’m just gravitated towards so, every day I’m at least writing - if I’m not performing or recording. But, on days where a session or a gig isn’t booked, I typically just scroll endlessly through Instagram: laugh at funny memes, listen to music; eat and sleep. Haha.
For a Pop artist, my general lifestyle’s a bit boring I’m afraid. I ought to get back into the gym as well, though!
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
I'd say try not to get too caught up in the nitty-gritty technicals behind a song - but just always ask yourself how it overall sounds as you go along and remember your intentions.
Finally, and for a being a good sport, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Please play Cabaret by Alice Smith
I love this one.
Follow Daniel Molyneaux