Interview: "Losing Sight" - Danny Starr
Your new single “Losing Sight” is such a beautiful and moving song. What is the story behind your new track?
Danny: Well firstly, thank you. Nothing means more than hearing from people that a song I have put out has moved them, because that is really what I aim to do with my music. I wrote the song with Charlie Glover-Wright, with who it has been my absolute pleasure to collaborate over the last year or so since meeting at one of my earliest post-lockdown gigs. We started the session, Charlie sat down at the piano, I brought in this lyric I’d come up with a few days earlier - “would you forgive me if I lost sight of my path to forgiveness?” – and within 2 or 3 hours we had a practically finished single. It was one of those songs that seemed to materialise in front of us and just felt right every step of the way. I certainly spent many late nights over lockdowns interrogating my choices in life, questioning almost every decision I’ve ever made, and worrying if I’ve been living the life I should be living, and I certainly don’t think I’m the only one who found themself feeling this way. “Losing Sight” is all about letting go of this “I should/This is what I’m supposed to do/This is my path in life” attitude, and instead taking on a mindset of grabbing the opportunities the universe throws up to us and running with them. It’s a change in mentality that is a defining note of my own personal development over COVID.
What made you start making your own music?
Danny: I started teaching myself guitar and learning covers off YouTube tutorials from when I was about 13, and I first started writing my own songs when I was about 15. It was never a conscious decision to switch to original writing but felt more like that was why I started learning guitar in the first place and was the natural progression. Considering the fact it was around this time I was discovering all of my earliest songwriting inspirations, from Ben Howard to Joni Mitchell, and really learning what a song could mean, while also entering the teen angst years, maybe it was inevitable. Why did I start playing guitar in the first place? I saw a friend sing wonderwall at a school concert. Why did it become a genuine career path? I was on track to sign a premiership rugby contract, playing for an academy from very young, until a serious injury and several surgeries made it much harder to realise that dream. If I hadn’t had music to give me something else to work towards, I’m not sure I would have been able to cope so well with the fact that I was not able to play the game I had loved since the age of 4 as a full-time job.
What an incredible music video you made for “Losing Sight”. What is one of your favorite memories from the shoot?
Danny: I could talk about this music video for hours, but in a nutshell, building the concept with my partner (and editor of the video) to represent all the paths in life I have found myself on and either been thrown or jumped off of and then being able to look back at it and know how well the meaning of the song is represented in the video is the best feeling. The technology behind the shoot warrants an entire university degree but in brief, it was all shot in one day, on one virtual production stage, allowing us to be in countless locations within minutes of each other. This is what gave us the freedom to include all the settings of different chapters of my life I wanted in there, from an accountant's office to a rugby pitch, to a science lab.
What is your favorite place you’ve performed live so far? And where is on your bucket list to hopefully play one day?
Danny: Well.. this question came at a great time, as I’ve just had a whirlwind few weeks. I had my first international show in Paris the day after my last London headline. Memories of both will stay in my mind forever, but the Parisian crowd was just beautiful. The gig was in an old cinema building, the team who got me out there and ran the show were amazing, and the fans who came down listened to every word I sang, and let me off when I spoke some terrible French... I can’t wait to get back out to Paris and to explore more of Europe with my songs and guitar under my arm. The cherry on the cake is that I’m writing these responses from a beach in Miami, as I just performed alongside Gareth Emery during his set at Ultra Music Festival. We have a track coming out in the Summer on his new album Analog. It's still sinking in how insane the experience of this weekend has been, and I can’t wait to come out to perform in the states again.
What song are you most proud of in your discography? I’ve been giving it a listen and they’re all amazing!
Danny: Again, thank you thank you thank you. That truly means so much. But the song that currently I’m most proud of has to be Belong. It is so brutally honest about a terrible state of mind that I and I’m sure many others found themselves in when lockdown first started. Anxieties I have struggled with my whole life were multiplied tenfold and I felt alone in a world of lonely people. I don’t think I’ve ever conveyed a feeling better in song than that.
Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year you can talk about? I can’t wait to hear more from you :)
Danny: Well as I just mentioned there’s the collab with Gareth coming soon. But perhaps even more excitingly I’m just a few days away from finishing an upcoming 5 track EP, and this is by FAR the best music I’ve ever made. It’s a mixture of old and new songs, a couple of new co-writes with Charlie, and all produced with Michael of RYP Recordings who has helped drag all of my insecurities out of the writing and into the record. It's honest, it's raw, it's brutal, and at times you won’t want to be standing still listening to it. I can’t wait to put it out. On the live front, I’ve got Cornbury Music Festival this summer, which I can’t wait for, and a whole host of live shows in the pipeline. I look forward to seeing a whole load of both new and familiar faces when I hit the stage again with all of this new music. 2022 ain’t gonna be too bad by the looks of things…
Interviewed By Sarah Curry