Interview: New Quay singer-songwriter Danielle Lewis

 

Photos by Aga Tomaszek

Bay Radio Manager Cassie Smyth talks with the New Quay singer-songwriter

DANIELLE LEWIS HAS been a Bay Radio favourite for a while, featuring on our Welsh Playlist multiple times and regularly lighting up the stage at Aber Student Media events. Now she’s quickly becoming a national favourite! Danielle’s recently been chosen as artist of the week with BBC Radio Wales and two songs from her new EP have been selected for Visit Wales’ new Online Advert, which features ‘Love Live Life’ and ‘Dawnsio at eich galon’. The video will be out this Autumn. Dreams Grow, Danielle’s second EP, was released in June and has since provided us with the perfect summer soundtrack. I spoke to Danielle about her new EP and recent successes:

Tell us a little about Dreams Grow, what was your inspiration behind it?

‘Dreams Grow’ in my 2nd self-released EP published by Charlotte Church’s company ‘Bounce Publishing’. The EP is a colourful mix of songs I wrote before gigging across Australia in 2011, during my trip and after. It’s my journey and experiences with a positive message that if you keep at it and follow your dreams they will grow.

What was the process of making the EP like, and who were your influences?

Making this EP was incredible, I got to work in a professional studio for the first time with talented producer Gethin John (who also produced Charlotte Church’s EPs). I was at ease recording with Gethin and he could hear exactly what I wanted. There’s some really big summery sounds in there like ‘Love Live Life’ and more expressive, lyrical sounds like ‘Aros’. I was influenced by artists like Australian duo ‘Angus and Julia Stone’, Regina Spektor and Colbie Caillat from California.

You’re a grade 8 trained singer, has your classical training influenced your music in any way?

It definitely has, my voice has strengthened in range and become more rich since my classical training. I’m always looking for ways to utilize it in my music for instance in ‘I’ll Wait’ I blended my opera sounds to mimic a string section creating a heartfelt and haunting tone.

You’ve had the honour of becoming BBC Wales’ “Artist of the Week”, what was that like and how have things changed since then?

This was definitely a dream achieved and what I’d hoped this project would bring. It was great fun doing a live session with Eleri Sion on BBC Radio Wales and the response has been amazing, I’ve been so surprised by how many people have come up to me at gigs and said they’ve heard me on the radio and know all about me!

You’ve become a prominent Welsh-speaking artist, how do you decide whether to write your songs in English or Welsh? Are there any other Welsh artists you think we should be looking out for?

I enjoy writing in Welsh as I think it adds a whole new dimension to my voice and creativity. I have translated my EP into Welsh versions too, having performed them on Welsh TV and what I’ve wrote in Welsh I’ve changed to English. There’s so much great music in Wales at the moment, but I would definitely say look out for Ellie Makes Music and Remembering August, they’re lovely people and super talented!

What’s next for you?

I have just released a new music video for ‘Love Live Life’ which is on my website and YouTube to watch. I’m currently in the middle of my tour promoting the EP in and around Wales. I’ve had so much support from S4C with TV performances on ‘Noson Lawen’, ‘Y stiwdio gefn’ and ‘Heno’. I have my first showcase in London at The Bedford on the 5th of August and will be playing at major festival ‘Glass Butter Beach’ on the 14th of August. I also have my first headline show at Chapter in Cardiff on the 4th of September, all the dates can be found on my website.


‘Dreams Grow’ EP Out Now via iTunes/Amazon/Spotify. To find out how to see Danielle live, visit http://www.daniellelewis.co.uk