This time on the NAS 10 Questions we get to know Darren Burdis, a UK based solo singer/songwriter and guitarist from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. If you love the distinct melancholic sound of Elliott Smith, the rawness and honesty of John Frusciante's vocals and the sweeping melodic beauty of Elbow, you'll enjoy Darren's music!
The track "Talk About It" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
I'm originally born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, up in the cold and grey North East of England. In terms of what I'm currently doing, I have a new single, "Talk About It" and a new 4 track EP called "Nobody Asked For This EP" both being released today (26th June). Beyond that I'm continuing to write more new tracks that will be released throughout the year.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
It took me a while to really find my love of music, I'd say mid to late teens was when I really started paying attention. It was the 90s and Britpop was huge, with Oasis and Blur competing at the top of the tree. I liked both bands but I think Oasis would really be my original influence, not so much for the music, but they embodied the whole idea that anyone, from any background can start a band and I became fully invested from there. I played in a few local bands, then I had a go at real life, jobs, family, kids etc. And at the start of this year decided it was time to start playing and writing again, so here I am flying solo now.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
My influences and tastes expanded dramatically after Oasis. I'd now consider Elliott Smith, Ghost, Depeche Mode, Richard Ashcroft, Elbow, Interpol, David Bowie and many more to be among my biggest influences.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
It's a great question, and one I constantly have floating around in my head. I mean, anyone that says they wouldn't like to be the next huge artist, with millions of records sold and playing packed arenas is lying. But realistically, I just want to keep releasing music that shows my true authentic self and even if that means only a handful of people ever listen and take any inspiration from it, then that's good enough for me.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
It'll always either start with a lyric, maybe one or two lines or a chord progression on the acoustic. Once I have one of those things I start trying to expand it out, thinking of the main theme of the song first. Getting the structure of the song is always the easier part for me, but this is all very much a DIY project so I record and "mix" everything myself too, sometimes if the mood takes me i´ll program some drums or add some strings, but the basis of all my songs is just me and an acoustic guitar.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
A song called Break Your Heart by Gaslight Anthem. It's just a beautiful song, lyrically and musically. Either that or Cirice by Ghost if i felt like something heavier.
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
I'm not sure I'm best placed to be giving anyone advice in terms of music! If I did though it would be to always just write from the heart for yourself, if you're not enjoying it then you can't expect anybody else to.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
I think, probably, putting my first solo single out there for the world to hear. It was a song called Heartbeats and although there's a very questionable recording quality to it, I still think it's one of the best songs I've ever written.
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
The majority of my embarrassing moments are too graphic to go out on the Internet. I'll keep it simple with a time years ago when I drank too much whiskey on a night out, it was close to Christmas and there was ice everywhere. I'd made it all the way home and just as I was about to unlock the door to my house I slipped on the ice and fell backwards. It wasn't until I woke up the next day and saw what looked like a scene from a horror movie in my bedroom that I realised I'd split my head open and had concussion. I had to ring my boss and explain I couldn't come to work etc. So don't drink on the ice, kids.
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
That's a difficult one, as I think I'm only just getting started really so hopefully the highest points are still to come. There are certainly things I'm proud of in terms of certain songs I've released. Low points for me have been that I think I write decent songs but the production needs to improve, and has improved a lot from where I started 6 months ago, but I think I'll inevitably need to bring in some help in that area soon.
Stream "Talk About It" now
and follow their socials
Please share this post and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!