Press

“When My Ship Comes In” is a highly dramatic EP in which a gamut of emotions gets a full run. At times light and poppy with the ivories really twinkling then counterpointed with a harder, slower, darker more menacing feel.”

Fatea Magazine June 2012, read it here

 

“Each song is filled with emotion and passion; with beautiful piano accompanied by his deep, powerful voice … The power of Danny Sherwood’s writing means that this EP can captivate the listener from start to finish. Another high point are the lyrics; they aren’t vague and meaningless but deep, thoughtful and occasionally amusing, due to the genuineness and honesty within. This makes Danny a very talented  and exciting songwriter, with oceans of potential. “

Plug me in! June 2012

 

“something that will always be needed within the music industry is singers with the ability to create Goosebumps with their vocal limits and that is exactly what Danny Sherwood does.”

 

Unsigned Britain June 2012

“Wow, I just love that song [Flowers of Happiness] … I can listen to that over and over again, listen to the words, I sort of transcend into the lyrics, if you know what I mean. Fabulous, Fabulous.” Astrid Haigh-Smith, Covent Garden Radio

 

“Love it, beautiful, what a voice, just really hits you, you know.” Never Enough Notes podcast, listen here

 

“A bit jazzy …, pretty classy.” Jim Gellatly, Amazing Radio

 

“You are a threeway love child of Duke Special, Rufus Wainwright and Nick Cave.” Pop-folk trio Learn to Swim

 

  Your music makes me happy.” Random, but appreciated, audience member

 

 

Gesture Magazine interview July 2012

What was the first piece of music you remember hearing? 

When I was little, I wouldn’t go to sleep without listening to Burning Spear or Poet and the Roots.

Why did you choose the instrument you play? 

I had a few years of piano lessons when I was a kid. I sang and played the keys in a band from when I was about 11 years old, and just kept going.  

How long have you been playing? 

It must be around 20 years (showing my age!).

Who are your influences? 

There was always lots of music in my house growing up. As well as the reggae we’d hear British folk music, delta blues, The Beatles, The Stones, Chopin. I think the first album I bought was Iron Maiden. I then landed with Guns ‘N’ Roses for quite a while, before getting into The Smiths and Suede and then Britpop as a teenager. I think every artist I’ve really felt has left something with me.

In terms of my songwriting now, Tom Waits is probably my biggest influence. He really makes me feel the stories he tells. I think Closing Time is an incredible album and I always aspire to write like that. I love Regina Spektor. She can hold a song with just a piano and a vocal, which I have a lot of respect for. Her songs have a real simplicity and tenderness to them, but can be really abstract and unusual at the same time. I’m a fan of Ben Folds. He’s a great pianist and I especially like the way that he can bring humour into a song without being comic. As in life, I think sadness, beauty and humour should all be able to live side-by-side in a song. And of course, like every singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan. Dylan influences me to write big narrative songs that place you right in the character’s shoes.

Musically, what are you up to at the moment

I’m always writing. Now the When My Ship Comes In EP is finished, I’m all ready for the next record. I try and make every song different to all my others. I think there’s so much you can do with writing that there’s no excuse to churn out the same thing  over and over. I’ve also started working with a cellist, and am looking to getting some other musicians involved in a little band/collective. 

What do you think of the creative process? 

For me, I think the most important part comes from my subconscious. I don’t sit down and think “that was a tough breakup, let’s write a song”. Lyrical phrases pop into my head, often with a melody attached. Those phrases often have a song inside them, waiting to be pulled out. It’s often not until after writing the song that I realise how close to me it really is. If I was a religious man, I might see it differently! Having said that, I’ve never had a song come out fully formed. After the initial inspiration, there’s a lot of hard work to be done. It can take weeks, months or years until a song feels right.

Who are you listening to at the moment? 

My listening is pretty all over the place. I’m not too concerned about keeping right up to date, and there’s always plenty of Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan to listen to! I’ve been listening to Debussy recently – I’m always fascinated by what you can do with a piano. Bellowhead really do it for me at the moment, I really like their take on folk songs, bringing other genres in. Antony and The Johnsons, Beirut, Roots Manuva, The Unthanks. And I think Laura Marling is a genius.  

What do you think of the music industry currently? 

I’m not a fan of the massive separation between a very lucky few who are often not the most talented, and those who are doing something really interesting and heartfelt but struggle to get heard. But that’s nothing new. It would be nice if being a musician was like other jobs where some talent and hard work are enough to guarantee a living. 

The DIY thing is a mixed bag. There are real opportunities now to get your music directly to fans and to reach new audiences without having a record company behind you. It does mean doing lots of other people’s jobs as well as your own! But it’s pretty amazing that I can record an EP relatively cheaply and have digital downloads available globally for very little money. 

What listening, reading, research or experience informs that opinion? 

Hearing what’s around! There is a lot of very bad music and, even worse, very boring music around. While people can buy what they like, they also buy what they are exposed to. So when you play bland commercial pop everywhere, people will buy it. I hear a lot of acts playing small gigs who have way more going on than most of the stuff you hear on commercial radio. I’ve been doing most of my own promotion etc. for a while now, so I’m pretty used to that side of things. And, as being a musician allows, I spend lots of time speaking to other musicians about music!

Which is more important, practice or performance? 

You can’t be a musician without practising. You could be a great musician and never play to anyone. Although it seems a waste!. 

If money isn’t an issue, which brand and model of instrument would you get and why? 

If reality wasn’t an issue, I would have a van and a nice Steinway grand to take to each venue. There was a flaw in me choosing to play an instrument that’s bigger than a person! Realistically, I would love to have a Nord stage piano – they just sound and feel better than the others. 

What do you most enjoy about playing live? 

I love getting my songs out to people. When people really understand it, really feel it, that means a lot to me. If I can make someone laugh or cry, then that makes me very happy!

Which do you prefer, studio or stage? 

I think the stage is more intimate. There’s a purity to a songwriter performing their own songs with the minimum of mediation. I like the immediate feedback. I really enjoy the range of options the studio gives, but the focus on perfection now makes me sad. I don’t want to hear a perfect voice and a perfect performance, just a heartfelt one.   

What makes a good musician? 

Practice. For most people, if they were taught as a child, had a half-decent instrument and have played regularly and plentifully, they’re going to be a pretty good musician. It helps if you listen to good stuff.

What makes a great musician? 

That’s something different. I think some people have something in them that they really need to get out. Something that connects to others in a special way, or does something different to everyone else. There’s a “soul” or an “X-factor” (in its untainted sense) that you can’t learn at music school. And they also practice very hard!

Choose one: playing or listening

I think I get more pleasure in the moment when I’m playing.

Finally, why do you make music? 

I have stuff I want to get out there. Songwriting is cathartic and I love it when it connects to other people. Which is why I often sing about love and lovers – it’s something we can all relate to.

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