What made you start music, are your family musical?

Not particularly, no. No one’s ever asked me that, it’s a weird one.

I don’t really remember how I kind of fell into music, just that it’s the cliché of I’ve liked it from a very young age and I’ve always subconsciously really enjoyed like creating music. It’s just been one of those things that’s kind of grown over some years. Devon is quite an isolated music scene. I did a lot of music there, but it wasn’t really stuff that would get anywhere. There were a few really great small festivals in the summer and I worked with a really cool project that did like four-part harmonies. That’s why the change of scene to Brighton has been mad, people talk about the city giving inspiration which is true but it’s more like what happens to you in the city that is the inspiration more than the actual place I think.

Do you have a specific writing method?

I enjoy lyrics, that’s the main part of writing for me so it’s usually like story telling type things.

I’ll have an axe to grind sort of thing or something will have happened. There’s an element of melodrama to song-writing so some songs are pretty depressing, and some songs are overly happy, it’s kind of highs and lows that you just kind of exaggerate but I do it through lyrics and everything else kind of falls around it

What are your main influences at the moment, because you were saying that you were finding a new sound?

It’s interesting because I’ve always loved pop music but I’ve always played acoustic guitar, so I used to kind of write to what I could play.

I absolutely adore John Mayer and was writing like that for a long time.

But I think I’ve just kind of embraced pop a bit more since being here because there’s more opportunity for how you can arrange things. So I’ve been listening to a lot more current stuff like Sigrid, artists that kind of use the more electronic pop production to make it interesting to listen to.

Has it been useful being surrounded by so many different musicians at BIMM?

So handy, having people that do so much similar stuff and different stuff and everyone has their different strengths and sounds.

I haven’t actually ended up working with the same people twice which has been good because you can get a lot of different influences. But then it’s been good when you find people it’s good to kind of to go back with people and ask, do you want do this again? I’ve been co-writing stuff which has been cool because that’s something I never really did before.

Do you find co-writing quite difficult? I know you write a lot with a another songwriter, Eden, from BIMM

It was easier with Eden because we knew each other and had met before.

I haven’t actually done this yet, but it would be weird for me to go in with someone you don’t know at all.

There’s a barrier of what do you want to write about? What’s going on with you? You have to open up to someone that you don’t know at all. Which sometimes ends in a worse song because there’s an emotional barrier. The first song Eden and I ended up writing together, we didn’t really pick a topic but ended up doing it line by line in the way that it naturally came together. That was interesting because we came up with this story that you would never have otherwise thought of.

Are you working on anything new at the moment?

I’ve been doing a lot of writing mainly, I got into a phase of write release, write release but that didn’t plan out so well.

So, I’ve been focusing a bit more on getting stuff together trying to find a sound if that makes sense. I’ve been doing a lot of piano versions of stuff and taking them to people, asking do you want to do this? It seems to be forming more electronically which is cool. .

Your performance at the last live and lyrical was really different, is this the new sound you’re aiming for?

It was more pop, it was a bigger arrangement there’s less going on like musically in terms of how complicated some of it is

Have you tried to come out of your comfort zone a bit?

Completely. Performance wise as well, definitely. I think acoustic guitar is sort of a safety blanket for a lot of songwriters. I don’t really enjoy accompanying myself either, I’m not particularly strong on guitar or piano, piano is nicer because there’s more scope but when you write with a big imagination for what a song is going to turn out like its nicer to play with a band.

Dan’s music is available on Spotify, with new releases to come soon!