AMONG the busy world of the singer-songwriter…
there are those who stand out and remain in the memory. Darren Campbell is one of those artists with the range and talent to endure and compel. He tells me about his latest track, Wherever You Are, and how it feels having it out there; how he has progressed as a musician – he tells me when music came into his life.
I ask him about gigs and influences; whether there is more material coming later this year; how it feels picking up impressive acclaim and support; if there are any new acts worth following – Campbell ends the song with an awesome song choice!
Hi, Darren. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, Sam. I am doing great, thanks. This week has been pretty hectic as I am in full swing of promoting my new single! I am also planning a trip to the States for my brother’s wedding - so that’s fun!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Of course. My name is Darren Campbell and I am a twenty-four-year-old singer-songwriter from Scotland. I am now based in London and spend my time playing in venues around the city to promote my music and meet like-minded musicians.
Wherever You Are is your new single. Can you tell me what its story is and what inspired you to write it?
Wherever You Are is inspired by the need to travel and see what’s out there in the world. I have older brothers in the States, great friends living in different countries and my parents back home in Scotland. With this song, I captured the feelings I had regarding the need to get out of your comfort zone and experiencing life whilst still feeling close and connected with the ones you love, even if they may be half the world away!
I see it has picked up a lot of acclaim – including a spot on a prominent Spotify playlist! How does it make you feel knowing the song is connecting with people around the world?!
This is honestly the best feeling a musician can have. When you take into account the fact the song has gone from only me playing it in my room to being produced and put on the Internet, and now being heard by people across the world…
It’s quite an amazing feeling.
Will there be more material coming later in the year? What are you working on later this year?
Yes. I am working on a music video this summer, so watch this space!
Dundee is your hometown. Is there quite an active scene there at the moment? Do you think the mainstream media overlooks Scotland when it comes to musical talent?
I’m honestly not too sure about the state of the Dundee music scene at the moment. I reckon London has more opportunities going for musicians: I guess that is the reason I moved here in the first place. I don’t really think Scotland is overlooked either. For example; there is The Edinburgh Fringe festival in August!
Do you recall when music came into your life? What might we find if we searched your record collection?
I don’t recall a specific date. But, the first album I ever bought was by a band called Ghosts; it was called The World Is Outside. I loved that album and played it constantly! Nowadays, I listen to lots of style/genres. My top-three (artists) at the moment are Gregory Alan Isakov, Harbour and The Wonder Years
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
My next gig is at Roadtrip & The Workshop on 2nd June in London! I am supporting a band called Mercy Mode (from L.A.).
It seems, to me, the stage is somewhere you love to be. Is performing live your favourite part of releasing music would you say?
I love most aspects of being a singer-songwriter: performing on stage is an incredible feeling and I always walk off feeling great. I also love the idea of people listening to my music in their homes and on their phones!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
This year, I will be working endlessly to get people’s attention on to my music. I am confident now that I have Wherever You Are recorded. I’m so happy with the finished product.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
One night, I brought my speaker down to Leicester Square in London and performed live on the street. I drew a large crowd and everyone began dancing to the songs. It was a brilliant night that I will always remember - and something different to what I am used to.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Only by the Night by Kings of Leon; This Empty Northern Hemisphere by Gregory Alan Isakov and War Paint by The Dangerous Summer.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Well. I’m not sure how qualified I am to give advice as I am only twenty-four! But, the principles I am living by at the moment is work, work, work! You have to want to succeed more than you want to relax - and more than you want to go out and get smashed on the weekends. Also; money you earn should be invested back into your music - not on extortionate meals, extortionate alcohol and extortionate fancy clothes, cars and jewellery etc.
Sounds extreme, but that’s what drives me - and I’m pretty passionate about these viewpoints!
IN THIS PHOTO: Misterwives
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I set one evening of the week aside from music (usually Saturday evening) to chill, destress and spend time with my friends.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here.
Let’s say this one from Harbour...
Follow Darren Campbell