As mentioned in my last blog. I’m an open book so to speak and always believed if I could share parts of my story and help others in writing their own story or getting through the difficult parts in their story then why not?
Here’s 10 thing you may have not known about me…
1. The Choir Days.
Music was always a passion of mine. I first learned that I had talent when I was chosen from our school choir to sing a duet with another girl from my choir. At that point I wasn’t anything special but obviously my teacher at the time saw something there. Who knew all them years later I would be talking to Superstars about working on projects with them or signing songs to internationally recognised record labels!!
2. Meeting The King of Nepal.
In 2006 I had an amazing opportunity to visit Nepal (Where the famously known Gurkha’s originate from). This was an experience of a life time and one I will never forget. My ex foster parents / parents go every year as one of them (Prakash) comes from Kathmandu, Nepal. While there we visited children’s orphanages, drank tea with the monks, visited famous temples and had the opportunity to meet the King of Nepal. He said, “Ahh you’re from Scotland?!”, Indeed I am my friend! It’s somewhere I would encourage anyone to visit. It’s a friendly place with amazing people. “Namaste”
3. The flight that changed my life forever.
Touching on number 3, I mentioned foster parents. In 2005 I returned from the United States of America and ended up living in foster care on a voluntary basis. We (my mum and brothers) moved to America after my mother married and American man who later turned out to be, how can I put this… Somewhat of a… D*ckhead! Personalities clashed and I ended up leaving and boarding a plane, alone at the age of 15, not knowing what I would do when I got off at the other side. Through many twists and turns I ended up with foster parents who were great, then due to their family breakdown I found my forever parents not long after. I’ve actually started writing a book about this and the trials and tribulations of my life. Rather than looking at it from a negative point of view, its a success story in its own right, but its not something I would release until it was perfect in every way.
4. Passenger commented on your post!
In 2013 I did a cover of Passenger’s (Mike Rosenberg) song “Let Her Go”. This went down a storm with my following and remains today one of the best covers I’ve done (The word of the people!) One day I decided to post the cover to Passengers facebook page and low and behold a notification popped up, “Passenger has commented on your post”. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw such an incredible artist had taken time out of his day to not only watch my cover of his song, but to compliment me on it! It’s always been something I’ve held onto dearly, and used for inspiration in pushing to have my own name in lights!
5. Recording with a Superstar Producer
In 2014 I began work on my first ever proper Acoustic EP. I recorded this along with my good friend and partner in music – Chris Corrigan, in a studio in Glasgow called “The Boom Box”. This studio is run by a famous Scottish Songwriter / Producer by the name of John Mclaughlin. After speaking to him he had a world famous producer by the name of “Jud Mahoney” record and produce my acoustic EP. Jud had in the past worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Usher, Justin Timberlake and many more. It was crazy at the time to think someone with such amazing achievements and that had worked with actual superstars of the music industry was helping me record / mix my first acoustic EP. For first’s… That’s a pretty good one!
6. “That’s the ‘G’ String…
Now now, who’s got a dirty mind? Haha!
In 2010 I bought my first ever guitar and began practising. This was inspired by a friends stepdad by the name of Harpo, who played Bass guitar in an AC/DC tribute band and who was someone I looked up to / look up to. He taught me the basics of the basics and taught me my first ever chord. (Em to be precise!) I watched hours and hours of Youtube videos and taught myself all I needed to know. To begin with they would go over the strings one by one… E – A – D – G – B – E. I always remembered the famous line “Every – Able – Dog – Gets – Bones – Everyday (Thanks Harpo!). After years of practice I would say I’m comfortable in rhythm guitar strumming! Barre chords were murder! But like anything, you’re always learning!
7. Your voice has an incredible tone, brother!
Not everyone will know this but in 2015 I applied for “The Voice UK”. It was an incredibly nerve wracking process and in the end I never made it to the TV auditions. (The audition on TV isn’t by any means the FIRST audition! Believe that!) However despite just being edged out to the bootcamp stages.. I had a good time and learned a lot about the process. I would never say I would never try again, but for now that’s not my route. I remember on the day we had 3 auditions (if you got that far) and in the 1st audition we were split into groups of around ten people. We did a vocal warm up with a vocal coach and then we each had 1 minute and 30 seconds to stand in front of the group and perform our piece acappella (Boy was that nerve wracking!). They asked us all to go out the room so they could discuss who would go through and who wouldn’t. They said, “if we call out your name, then please step forward”. I was the only name called in the room. “Dean you have made it to the next stage, thanks everyone else but sadly you haven’t made it”. I was gobsmacked! The told me my voice had an incredible tone and they saw massive potential. I passed my second and third auditions and was then interview by their journalists who I guess wanted to build the whole story. Mine was also the year they accidently sent EVERYONE who auditioned a “Sorry You Haven’t Made It” email… But in the end when rectified I still hadn’t made the final cut for whatever reason. But whatever will be will be!
8. Signing a record Deal with Garuda / Armada.
In 2016 / 2017 I signed my first ever record deal with Garuda / Armada. Garuda is a dance (trance) label set up by world famous Dj – Gareth Emery. Garuda is also the brother label to Armin Van Buuren’s label “Armada”, which is one of the biggest dance labels in the world and cover ASOT…”A State Of Trance”.
This was by far one of the biggest things to ever happen in my music career so far and although I started music in an acoustic genre, its shown me that I don’t have to stick to one genre as a singer and songwriter when I’m as versatile as I am. It’s also shown the ambition, hard work and dedication that I have in order to push for these things to happen. Taking no credit away from a local Dj who put a massive work load into getting this onto the desk of Garuda!
This has opened up massive doors for me within the dance industry allowing me to work with a roster of incredible Dj’s who are all creating massive waves in the ocean of dance music. I have new projects coming in 2017 & 2018 which I’m extremely excited about.
From the release of this material I have also stuck to my acoustic roots and taken some Dance songs from artists such as Gareth Emery and flipped them acoustically, thus receiving incredible feedback and attention from the likes of Gareth Emery, Roxanne Emery, Haliene, Wayward Daughter etc.
9. “The Wreck Of The Veteran”
I recently was doing some research on my ancestors and looking up a story my grandmother always told me about. “The Wreck Of The Veteran” where a Hero by the name of ‘Joe Taylor’ saved multiple people off a shipwreck in Aberdeenshire. He was recognised by the queen and was awarded a house, a boat and about £50,000 (in today’s conversion) for his heroic actions that saved the lives of other. Later he did the exact same thing again in a similar incident. ‘Joe Taylor’ is my Great Great Grandfather and its amazing to be able to look back and read that one of your ancestors was a hero! I’ve always said from a young age that being by the sea and boats always brought a good feeling to me, like a comfort. Possibly because all of my ancestors lived their life by the sea in fishing villages.
10. My mug on the TV!!
In 2015 I made my Live TV Debut on ‘The Riverside Show’ on STV Glasgow. I was on to perform three original tracks with my partner in music – Chris Corrigan. We were warm welcomed by the hosts and had a mini interview before the breaks. This was such an amazing stepping stone into showcasing my original music to the world. At home we had HUGE local support who were incredibly supportive and delighlighted to see us Live on TV! This was a small taste of things to come in the future when we continue to pursue our dreams of a career in music! Remember, you can do whatever you want to in this life. You can be whoever you want to be if you set your mind to it!