Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Middlesbrough singer Christian Darby to find out more...
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m from Middlesbrough in the North East of England. I’ve always been into music from a young age, especially writing and performing. I was always writing poems as a kid and performing at different events such as school talent shows etc. As I got older and started at college I found myself mixing with other musicians and eventually got myself into a few bands as lead singer between 2010-2012. Since then though, over the past 7-8 years I have focussed on my solo music, releasing 5 EP’s and an album in that time. I am currently working on my new EP which will be release number 7 for me as a solo artist.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Through my teenage years I began to pick up on what kind of music meant the most to me, it was your generic list of bands at that age such as Oasis, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Stereophonics, The Verve, Kings of Leon, The Killers, The Courteeners and so on, the Indie/Rock Brit-Pop types.
As I got older and started to understand music more, my range broadened and I began listening to earlier bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles (particularly John Lennon), The Who and The Kinks whilst still dipping in and out of current bands at the time such as U2 and Coldplay.
Today I am into all types of different music. I’m still on that Indie/Rock line but with added influences from other genres. Bands and Artists I am into at the moment are Catfish & The Bottlemen, Blossoms, Foals, The Amazons, The 1975 and Sam Fender.
My other influences are Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Florence & The Machine, Royal Blood, The Black Keys, BRMC, Jamiroquai, Miles Kane, Thirty Seconds to Mars, VANT and many many more.
How would you describe your sound?
I always struggle to answer this one as I’m not even sure myself, it’s like a blend of all my influences into one. The best way to describe it is ‘Acoustic/Electric Indie Rock, with added Pop’.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
My new EP will be called ‘The Sound of Our Youth’. It’s a collection of songs that have meaning, taken from experiences then created into stories. I have mentioned in previous interviews that this could be the most real EP I have done to date.
What’s your local music scene like?
The Teesside music scene is thriving at the moment, it has grew and grew over the past 5 years and there really is some special talent in this area. Middlesbrough in general is growing too by bringing big artists to the area, something that we haven’t been used to, such as the Radio 1 Big Weekend and Take That at the Riverside Stadium.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Once the EP is officially released I will be gigging as much as possible to get out there and get my new music heard. I’m hoping to head a bit further afield and play more shows outside of my area to try and broaden my range a bit. I won’t be releasing any further music anytime soon after this release. I usually release an EP every 2 years on average, I think it could be the same if not longer this time. Recording an EP takes a lot of time, effort, preparation and most importantly money, especially when it is DIY. It’s important to advertise and promote a release as much as possible before thinking ahead for the next one. I’d love the opportunity to get on a lineup at a couple of festivals, that’d be a real achievement if I could make that happen with this release.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
This may be an unpopular opinion but I never play covers, I don’t get any enjoyment out of playing other people’s music. This has potentially jeopardised a few gig opportunities in the past when the promoter asks what I play, but I’d rather be known as an original artist than just another pop up cover artist with an acoustic. This may be a risky strategy as I’m not a fully fledged artist yet, so people watching me for the first time probably won’t know my original material, but that’s just the way I like to do things. So if you ever come and see me, don’t be expecting Mr Brightside or Wonderwall!