TAKING us through a peaceful Sunday…
is Danielle Lewis, who speaks to me about her upcoming E.P., Live Forever. I wanted to know what inspired the work and how she got Cian Ciaran to remix the title cut. She tells me about the music she grew up around what sort of gigs we can expect in the future.
Lewis shares three albums that have impacted her and a favourite memory from music; what she wants to get accomplished before the end of 2018 – she recommends a new act we need to keep our eyes open for.
Hi, Danielle. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello. I’m great, thank you. Rehearsing the live set with my wonderful band this week; ready for the release of my new E.P., Live Forever.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a contemporary Folk artist from West Wales and just started my record label, Red Robin Records, where I’ll be releasing my new music this summer.
Live Forever, your new E.P., is out on 6th July. How does it feel having it recorded and ready to go?!
It feels surreal - but extremely grateful and excited. I’ve been working on these songs over a couple of years and took time out to evolve and grow at my own pace. I was very lucky to have met my producer Secondson, who’s been a wonderful mentor to me. He knew exactly what I wanted to create and gave my songs so much dignity.
Are there particular stories and moments from your life that go into the songs? Do you have a personal favourite from the set?
Each song I write always has an element of my personal past experiences; emotions I still feel and how I’m changing and growing in the present. I feel like a layer comes off every time. Live Forever holds a personal pain and a desire to be a better person (and have better people around me).
The eponymous track seems to be a bit of a standout. Is it true Cian Ciaran is remixing the track?!
Yes, definitely! My producer introduced me to him and he loved everything he heard. I’m excited about our collaboration. He’s an incredible musician and producer and will, no doubt, add even more depth to this track.
How did music arrive in your life? Which C.D.s and albums might we have found on your childhood floor?
Singing came naturally for me from a very young age: it was a craving to be on stage. I grew up listening to a mix of music, but my mother’s Country tapes and brother’s film soundtrack C.D.s stood out. The raw lyrics and epic orchestral backdrops must have instilled in me. If I have to name something, it’s Townes Van Zandt.
Your voice is especially striking. Does it take a lot of training to get that sort of power and range?!
Thank you. I’ve only ever learnt from time and experience in how best to look after my voice and what suits me. I don’t like to push it out very loud and would rather focus on control and tone.
Are there going to be any tour dates coming up? Where can we see you play?
There will definitely be some live dates on the way. Make sure you keep up to date via my website and Facebook.
If we came to see you live; what sort of set might we experience? Is the stage somewhere you love to be?
Performing is where it’s at for me. I like intimate spaces and I like big halls, so who knows. You’ll have to come and witness it for yourself. Ha!
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
Just to bring out this record - that I’m so pleased with - and take it on the road. I’m already writing new stuff, too.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I was introduced to living legend Tom Paxton at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City in February. There was a large crowd forming around us at the time taking photos and watching. He heard my new music then kissed me on the head. He was blown away and that was a lovely memory.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Linda Perhacs – Parallelograms; Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas and Townes Van Zandt - Delta Momma Blues.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Take your time. Take your time to find your strength as an artist; whether it’s in the voice, writing or playing (and build on that). Be gracious and say ‘no’ sometimes.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pageants
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I always make time to walk in nature or by the seaside on daily basis. It’s definitely part of the job.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Townes Van Zandt (ft. Calvin Russell) - Waiting Around to Die.
Follow Danielle Lewis