As part of my original schedule, I had planned to have an interview with an inspiration of mine, at least once a month. However, what with the move, many things had to take a back seat. I am now pleased to announce that I finally managed to sit down with a friend of mine and have a long-awaited conversation. For those of you who don’t know that person is Dan Olsen.
Dan started following me on twitter a fair few years ago and I’ve been following his music career ever since. It’s great to have built a connection with him that means we both get support each other as he has done with this interview. I’ve also been lucky enough to have him sing me Happy Birthday a few times as well. Dan is an international singer-songwriter from the Faroe Islands but now lives and produces his own music in London. Unfortunately, due to personal issues, I haven’t gotten around to seeing him perform live, but it is on my to do list. Dan is one of my inspirations because he has taught me to never to give up on my dreams. He left the safety and security of his home nation, to fly to this country and pursue his music career. If I say so myself, he is doing incredible for himself. He taught me that although times can be tough and giving up is easy, that in order to win, you need to keep trying. Dan has toured in many countries and has a love for going to China, having been there a few times and has had his music used in a film. He has many songs that I absolutely love, and you should totally check them out but my favourite by far is the one just below.
What/who inspired you to be a singer-songwriter? It must have come in steps. Jack Johnson was the first singer-songwriter who led me to start singing on top of the guitar playing I was already doing and the one who stylistically inspired my first songs. And then seeing other young musicians making a career and thinking “I can do that!” (I love Jack Johnson and have listened to his music for years.)
What would be your favourite thing about creating and releasing music? When I write something that I’m happy with and it makes me feel like a kid – that’s the best feeling. After that comes when I feel like I’ve nailed the production on it and done the song justice. And lastly, when my audience make a connection with the song. That’s why I love hearing back from you.
Do you have a process for writing? I used to always start on the guitar and getting a guitar riff down to then build a singing melody on top and add words. For a while it’s been 50/50 between that and coming up with a singing melody from nothing and then adding the guitar and then words. Now I’m slowly adding the method of starting with lyrics or a concept and working from there.
How old was you when you wrote your first song and what was it about? I must have been about 21, it was called “Lucky You” and it was basically saying “if you feel like you should have started this and that earlier in your life, well you’re in luck because it’s never too late and you should just start now”.
How do you handle rejection in terms of your music? I used to take it personal sometimes. But you soon realize that you’re never ever going to make everyone happy with one single song. Because everyone’s taste is different. So, from knowing that you start thinking ‘hey, let me just write what I like, and if one or thousands or millions more like it then happy days either way’. The good thing is, I can always write another one. And that I will regardless.
What song did you have the most fun creating the video for? There are three I suppose. Candy Shop and In the Summer were fun because we had great actors in them, and the banter was great. Christmas Time With You was also a lot fun because it almost felt like a holiday at the same because we travelled to the Alps in Switzerland and had so much fun shooting the video.
What inspired you to move to London to pursue your music career? It was a combination of things. I’d always wanted to try living in London. And I felt London or L.A. would have the best scenes for getting lots of gigs and for networking. And London proved to tick both boxes from the get-go.
What advice could you give to someone who wants to build a career in music? Everyone’s different. Realize that first and what I mean by that is in terms of knowing that one thing that works for someone might not work for you. There are so many ways to “the top”. So naturally this advice will mainly be based on my own experiences. – Try things out. Get as much gigging experience as possible. Meet other musicians and collaborate. Try to organize your life in a way where all work effort is put into music so that you can get better and better at your craft whether that be writing, performing, producing etc or all of them. It’s a tough industry so if you want to make a living from it, you’ll have to be smart about it. It might mean you’ll have to lower your standard of living for the first years. It humbles you but it makes it possible and so rewarding when it pays off.
What advice could you give to someone who wanted to move to a different country? My advice would be this: say yes to everything! This could very well be your first and last chance to have these special experiences and not to mention potential new friendships this country has to offer.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? Who? Hmm… there really are probably too many to mention. From family to friends to sport people and music people and more. Everyone has something different to offer.
What would you say is your biggest achievement in terms of your music? I would say it’s to trust my instincts in terms of my own song writing but also my musical career choices.
How many instruments can you play and how old were you when you learnt? Probably just guitar. This I started learning when I was around 12. Then I dabble in piano, ukulele, bass guitar, banjo, harmonica etc.
What was your favourite thing about living in Australia? The weather was an amazing improvement. And not to mention the nature and the different animals.
Who would be your dream duet partner? Hmmm… Adele? But I’d look bad next to her!
Your song Heart Into Trouble was in the film, Carnivore, can you tell me what the best part about that process was? It’s always with that kind of recognition for your work. But the favourite part is probably that it led me to the film crew of the film which has then resulted in them creating some of my favourite music videos for me.
I know you can’t give too much away about your upcoming projects, but is there anything you can tell me? I’m putting this EP out!! And so far, Still Be Gone and Lost in the Moment have been released – they’re out everywhere!
Lastly, where are you looking at touring next? More info to come.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this interview, thank you to Dan for helping me with my first piece and thank you to everyone who has shown him support. He is a performer which means he wouldn’t be where he is today without the love and support of his fans! I hope you all have a great day and enjoy whatever you’re doing right now. Make sure to check out my social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest information on any blog related stuff. It will also be the place I drop my next name for my next interview. Keep your eyes pealed! And as always, keep smiling :). Ferrari.