Nexus Meets… Daniel Blake
Beginning his career at open mic shows in Los Angeles, Daniel Blake soon became known for his eclecticism and unique finger-picking style. We speak with the American singer-songwriter about his latest EP Jakarta, evolution as an artist and much more!
What drew you to music?
I grew up in a musical household. My dad played music at church so it was sort of a constant in my life from an early age. I remember driving in the car with my dad and listening to Beatles songs. There was always a guitar lying around and plenty of great songs to try to learn, many of which were Beatles songs.
What can you tell us about the new EP Jakarta?
Jakarta is a little more story-focused than my first EP Circle Mountain. There is also a little more experimentation with different sounds which I think makes it really fun to listen to.
What was the writing and recording process like?
I like to bounce around between a dozen different ideas, developing each one a little at a time. I eventually get to the point where I feel inspired to finish one, which typically means locking myself in my studio for a couple of days working on lyrics and experimenting with production ideas. For the recording process, I sit down with my producer and go through all of the different song ideas to try and settle on some songs that we are both really excited about. From there we record the bare bones and work together on shaping it into what we feel is the best representation of the idea.
Do you feel Jakarta is a true representation of your sound at the moment?
It’s tough to say. I love the way Jakarta turned out and am proud of all of the work that went into it. However, I am always experimenting with different ideas and am never sure where I will end up.
Do you believe evolution as an artist is important?
I think so. There are some artists that find what works and stick with it for their entire careers. However, I look at artists like the Beatles and am glad they moved on past ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. I think it’s important to build upon not only what you are doing but what other artists are doing.
Which is your favourite track on the EP and why?
Out of all of the songs, ‘Freeway’ took the longest to write. I had the idea for a couple of years before finally forcing myself to finish the lyrics. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.
What inspires you to make music?
For a songwriter, there is no greater thrill than finishing a song that you are proud of. It never gets old.
Do you have any future plans for your solo project?
I’m working on a batch of new songs right now that I’m excited about and am hoping to be back in the studio within the next couple of months. Aside from that, I plan on some live performances as more venues start opening back up.
Describe your music in two words.