Over the last few years I have visited Brighton on many occasions and it has started to become like a second home to me. There is an amazing buzz about the place, which is a hub of creativity, including a very impressive music scene. I have already featured many musicians from Brighton and now I want to introduce you all to another, Darius Alexander.
Darius is a singer songwriter who has recently released his debut EP ‘Dark Ocean’ which you can read my review later in the post. I have not been able to find much information about Darius so I thought I would speak to the man himself. We talked about his inspirations, his debut EP and a little more. This is what he had to say:
What or who inspired you into becoming a musician?
When I was a smallish child I found out that I happened to have good ear for music. My older sister had perfect pitch so she was always singing, listening to music, playing piano, oboe, flute etc for as long as I can remember. It’s strange because I’m pretty sure I hated music at first because my sister was doing it so much and I figured it was “uncool”. (even though I sang in a choir at school!!) I guess I secretly liked it.
I remember watching ‘Back To The Future’ when Marty Mcfly was playing Johnny B.Goode and I thought to myself, “That’s so cool I want to be able to do that”. I then went on to learn guitar from a brilliant guy called Jem. He got me hooked not just on guitar but music in general. He had a room down in a basement in Brighton with a drum kit, bass, keys, percussion, DJ decks, and all sorts of other musical devices! It was awesome as I got to have a go on all of them!!! He got me playing with other musicians and encouraged me to sing and write my own songs and then that was that! MUSIC.
When you write new music what is the important part to your process and what helps you get passed writers block?
This is a tricky one to answer! The writing process varies. Sometimes I hear ideas in my head, like melodies or hooks that I can’t seem to shift out of my brain so I have to do something about it. Sometimes I listen to some random music which could be any genre and if I get a strong emotion from it I then get the need to make something on guitar whilst wailing random melodies and random gibberish words until either one of two things happen. I either love it or hate it. Most of the time I hate what I write but occasionally I love it.
Lyrics come afterwards for me as my brain seems to be more melodically creative as opposed to someone like Bob Dylan who is more lyrically creative. Lyrics are important to me though, so I spend a lot of time on this process after the melodies are created.
Which is your favourite song from the EP and why?
I really love Lonely Vision because its grower not a shower! (if you know what I mean?). There is more to that song than initially meets the ear. I love the orchestration and the song structure as it is not the conventional type of structure that everyone hears everyday. I also like Coins! (whoops! am I allowed to name more than one?) Because It was recorded without a metronome therefore came out more naturally and also I got to play an amazing instrument called a santoor. The santoor is an Iranian instrument that my dad bought whilst on his travels in Iran and It sounds sooo good!
Is there anyone you’d like to write a song with, or collaborate with?
I know this is pretty unlikely but I would love to co-write with a female artist by the name of Kaki King. She is pretty damn creative and also amazing on the old guitar, you should check her music out!
I would also love the opportunity to collaborate with an orchestra of string instruments as I think it would work really well with some of my ideas.
Now that your debut EP is now released, what are your future plans for your music?
I’m going to carry on writing new music with the intention of releasing EP #2 early next year. Gigging is a little tricky at the moment though because my partner and I have recently had a baby! This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop gigging forever though! I’m used to performing live as I have done it for many years but I would love to gig more outside of the UK as I feel there are some great gigs to be had overseas.
‘Dark Ocean’ is a 4 track EP with music that pulls you in to take you on an audio adventure. As much as I really enjoy the vocal ability and tone delivered by Darius, it is the music on show that steals the limelight for me. There is something about the use a various musical instruments to create the many layers of music within each song which has caught my attention. Of the instruments used, the use of the acoustic guitar stands out for me as it is so integral to the song and mesmerising to listen to. You got to hand it to Darius, he has a gift when it comes to the arrangement of his music as it adds a wonderful atmosphere to each song. This atmosphere reflects the emotion and mood of the lyrics which are delivered by Darius’ great voice. The more I listen to Darius sing the more I appreciate his vocal style and range.
This is a seriously impressive EP that deserves your attention. I know that I always give my opinion on my favourite tracks but I have found it difficult to choose as they are all of a high calibre of song writing. If I had to choose my favourite then I would say its ‘Coins’. I simply love the guitars on the song especially on the finger picking style used on the intro which is repeated throughout the track. Such a great song which also features my favourite vocals on the EP.
Overall, this is a must hear EP if you like atmospheric music with great vocals. You can head over to Darius’ Bandcamp page (click HERE) to listen to the EP in full, better still, just buy a copy as you will not be disappointed.
‘Dark Ocean’ is a great debut which showcases Darius’ musical talent and I feel this is just the beginning on what he has to offer. I am already eager to hear more from this musician and when I do then you can expect to read about it here as I am a fan. If you can not wait until I do then you can keep up to date with Darius’ world of music by checking out his website at Dariusalexander.co.uk or his social media pages at Facebook or Twitter. Listen to the music of Darius Alexander and if you like it, then show your support!