In collaboration with VERO, we get the lowdown on the multi-instrumentalist and music maverick.
Over the past fortnight, our VERO followers have been taken on a wild ride as pop maestro Dan D’Lion took them on a journey from Kelis’s noughties RnB to Jamiroquai’s jazz-infused electronica. With an unconventional sound palette, his sound is just as unique as the music recommendations he’s been dishing out as part of his two-week takeover. Gaining speed with his own brand of left-field pop tinged with psychedelia and funk, he’s squaring up for a refreshingly modern take on stardom.
Before he blows up (as he tells us, he has big plans for 2021) he walks us through his favourite places in London, top tips for getting over a creative block and the one piece of advice he’d give to his younger self.
Have you always been musical?
Well, I’ve always known that music was my life. Since leaving school I played in a load of bands, and wrote songs for and with my friends. But it wasn’t until I moved to London that I really started finding my feet. Pushing myself into rooms with artists and producers all over town to make as much music as possible. I loved those days cause I had no clue. I learnt so much though. Then a couple of years ago, I wrote a handful of songs which felt too personal to give away. This was the point where Dan D’Lion was born.
Describe your sound in three words.
DAN D’ LION.
What’s a song that changed your life and why?
“Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai. It’s unapologetically forward-thinking and classic at the same time. The obscurity of the chords that sit under this powerful soulful melody and mental lyrics made it instantly unforgettable to me.
Tell us three of your favourite places in your hometown and why they’re special to you.
My hometown is Reading but London is home to me now. So my favourite place is my local Vietnamese restaurant, Tre Viet. It’s my favourite spot to eat. You gotta try the bun hue soup. Then it’s Alexandra Palace, I’ve had some of the best nights of my life in that venue. And my studio, if I lose my mind I find it again in there.
Who’s your VERO essential follow?
What do you miss most about performing live?
Honestly, that electric feeling walking out into a room filled with people that are there to escape for a moment! It’s like putting on a party every night and having your favourite people show up.
What’s one piece of musical advice you could give to your younger self?
Never stop writing.
How do you get over a creative block?
I see it as a tap that keeps spitting out dirty water. You have to keep it turned on to get through all that muck to get to the clean water. I never stop thinking and writing things down. Even if they’re not being formed into songs, having the flow of just writing down what I’m thinking or seeing is important to get over a block.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing right now?
Learning how to play the guitar.
What’s next for you?
Enjoying the ride! For 2021 I have big plans. Let’s see where it takes us…
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4 December 2020