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Secret Sessions Discover: Danny Starr

by Ella Gregg

Danny Starr is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from London. Since the age of 14, he’s been writing music and gigging around London, working his way up from pub gigs to headline shows. “I picked up a guitar for the first time when I was 14 after I saw a mate of mine singing Wonderwall at a school concert. HA! It was a right handed guitar and after discovering I was a left handed player I started teaching myself with the guitar upside down. I never put it down, learning cover after cover off YouTube and eventually I began writing my own songs. All I can say for my earlier song writing endeavours is, when a friend brings out one of my soppy love songs from 2013, I have to run out of the room with my hands over my ears. Cringeworthy to say the least.”

Starr has since been supported by BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and has featured on multiple Spotify playlists. He previously got to the final stage of Fame Music’s Unplugged competition and played in front of over 1000 people at the Westfield main stage in the final of ‘Gigs: Big Busk’.

His musical influences include Ben Howard, Amy Winehouse, The Kooks and Alex Turner. “Alex Turner’s live performances are so charged with all sorts of energy and the way that comes through on his records is something I really wanted to do on my latest EP. I wanted the grunge and kick behind everything I sang to really move people when they have a listen. The Kooks have been a big inspiration in terms of my overall sound. The bouncing toe-tapping melodies and hooks that you can listen to for days on end. That’s the kinda stuff I wanna be writing and performing for the next few years for sure. When I’m writing, recording or performing live, all I’m thinking is “How is this gonna be taken by the fans?” I want them to be enjoying listening to me, I want to see them to connect with my music and I want them to carry on supporting. That’s what music is about”

Tonight, Starr is holding his next headline show at Notting Hill Arts Club to celebrate the release of his latest EP ‘Elixir’. “I started writing Elixir as soon as I finished recording my debut EP ‘Darling’ back in August. I was so excited about the release that I wanted to be straight back in the studio doing more. I wanted to have more fun the second time round and I wouldn’t let myself settle for a song I didn’t think would get people singing along and moving their feet. I wrote as many tunes as I could and whittled down ideas until I had 5 or 6 tracks I really wanted to be on the record. From there I refined them with the guys at The Animal Farm, where I recorded the record, and we only decided which tracks would be on the EP a couple of days into recording. I’m sure the other tunes will surface at some point.”

With all the success of 2016, 2017 is looking to be even bigger. He is itching to throw himself into music fully once he has finished studying for his A Levels. “Hopefully I’ll be playing live much more regularly once we hit summer because the live shows are really what I do this for. I love connecting with fans and the music face to face. Seeing familiar faces at gigs is a great feeling, coz it lets you know they wanna support you whenever they can, and that’s what keeps me going at this. I love how and where my music is going at the moment and I just want to carry on. The fun of it is the most important thing”

Danny Starr has also been confirmed to play at The Great Escape in May.

You can follow Danny on Twitter, Facebook and Spotify.

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