I remember seeing DANIELLE LEWIS perform her great originals across Mid Wales, after a trip to Australia, including RM Open Mic Night, Union event, the Aberystwyth Museum gig, Oxjam, New Quay Festival and more. Having “Paper Hearts” and “Dreams Grow” EPs released, I was absolutely chuffed when heard she had progressed even further and moved to Cardiff, getting various opportunities, including support from BBC Radio Wales, Horizon, Rhiannon (project manager) and more. Then noticing she had brought out a new EP, “FLY”, I was really excited to see her play at Clwb Ifor Bach, where the amazing performance made me raring to find out more about the latest.
So how has it been down in Cardiff?
“Cardiff is a beautiful city, I feel so lucky to be able to step out of my front door and into iconic music venues such as Gwdihw, Clwb Ifor Bach and perform alongside some incredible local and international artists. From the musicians to the promoters, everyone is really lovely and supportive.”
You have had many gigs. Do you have a favourite?
“I’ve had a wonderful welcome to the music scene and I’m very proud to be a part of it. There are so many gorgeous spots I’ve played in but a highlight for me was my ‘Fly’ EP Launch with my band at The Big Top. I really enjoy intimate spaces and this venue has a really fun festival vibe there and it’s uniquely decorated.”
What else are you doing this year? Festivals right?
“I have a summer of festivals booked all over the place which is very exciting. Here’s a little bit:
May 11th – Focus Wales, Wrexham
May 14th – IOM Cyclefest, Isle of Man
June 2nd – Eisteddfod yr Urdd, Bridgend
July 1st – Gwyl Tafwyl, Cardiff
July 14th – Holywell Festival, Yorkshire
August 12th – Folk at The Fort, Newhaven.”
You recorded “FLY” with FolkStock Records, funded by the Arts Council. Was this a great experience?
“This EP was a special experience for me and I’m truly grateful for Arts Council of Wales support and faith in my future. I co-wrote a couple of songs with the brilliant Richard Llewellyn from Alt Folk duo ‘Paper Aeroplanes’ and recorded it with stunning producer Lauren Deakin Davies who previously produced Kate Dimbleby and Laura Marling. Folkstock Records hold an amazing roster and the support from local and national radio/television has been fantastic from exclusive previews on S4C to being play listed on BBC Radio Wales.”
This being your 3rd EP, did you feel more prepared? Do anything new?
“The EP felt like a natural process from writing to producing which was important. I like my work to have a purpose, journey and growth. I loved infusing my classical tones with the folk guitar in Welsh song ‘Hiraeth’ which means homesick. The acapella vocal at the beginning almost feels like an angelic prayer and the fluttering guitar accompaniment adds to the sentiment.”
Why is it called “FLY”? What do the songs mean to you?
“The EP explores the depth of my writing and spectrum of my voice. These songs are a window into growing up on the Welsh west coast, travelling Australia and evolving asan artist. The lyrics in ‘Fly’ describe a bird on a journey (inspired from my Single ‘Anywhere is Home’ cover illustration of a bower bird). The bird is a reflection of myself striving and staying hopeful.”
Do you have plans of recording any more soon or focusing on gigs?
“I’m always writing and collaborating so you never know! You can keep up to date with my shows on my website at daniellelewis.co.uk. Hope to see you at one!”
3 lines of advice:
Health is wealth.”
WOW! I am so glad to hear DANIELLE LEWIS is still going for it and has had great opportunities along the way, with even more to come. I’m a huge fan of “Paper Aeroplanes”, so it must have been a brilliant creative collaboration to share with Richard Llewellyn. Alongside which, to get the chance of working with BBC Cymru Wales, Horizons, S4C, FolkStock, support band and more. How amazing!
After listening to the EP, it’s interesting to hear her insight into a couple and how they have come about and got created. Personally, think “West Coast Sun” shows its high relation to New Quay well, sharing the roots of the journey, “Along This Time” questions a situation, with steady and strong elements and “Fly” has a steady and subtle, yet powerful expression of the imagination of flying. Followed by the more upbeat “Belong”, which relates to memories created and shows great utilisation of various instruments and then “Anywhere is Home” gives the insight of enjoying the locations environment, no matter where one is at, with awesome tapping and backing vocals. Then the final track, “Hiraeth” shares Cymraeg/ Welsh with an amazing vocal focused beginning, building up to a guitar addition and outstanding range.
So yeah overall, I’m astonished by this EP and the utilisation of an amazing vocal range, meaningful words and added depth by other instruments. I can truly relate to the knowing of one’s roots, the imagination of flying and memories gained along the way. All of which, has a great representation of a dream. Even if one has to deal with an essence of trial and error along the way, staying on track with willingness to explore and enhance skills, can eventually add to a feeling of freedom. Keep going Danielle!
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I was extremely thrilled when I heard that there will be another OXJAM in Aberystwyth! 2014 was the first one, with Open Mic, Vale Of Rheidol Music on the Train and an awesome main Union event. This time round there are plans to quiz away, have a DJ night and more!! All leading to a full day of LIVE music on the 14th October with numerous amazing acts at various venues. Here are the ones booked so far:
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MAY THERE BE MUSIC:
MAY 12th: Aberystwyth Castle – https://www.facebook.com/events/288965724894580/
MAY 13th: Lost Like Alice and Platform1 @ Carmarthen – https://www.facebook.com/events/1885332438415594
MAY 31st: Vale Of Rheidol Music on the Train – https://www.facebook.com/events/242632832864545
JUNE 10th: Garin Fiter, The Sam Antonio Freeway and more @ Carmarthen
JUNE 24th: Benrig and more @ Carmarthen
JULY 27th: C&M (comedy and music) @ The Big Top Cardiff
AUG 2nd: Gig at Aberystwyth Bandstand as a part of Aradgoch’s “A Far Old Line”.
AUGUST 5th: Three Legg’d Mare and more @ Carmarthen
AUGUST 12th: Danielle Lewis and more @ Carmarthen
AUGUST 16th: Jack Ellis and itPapaGee and more @ Carmarthen
AUGUST 26th: The Adventures of Bert & Henry, News From Nowhere and Lucy @ Carmarthen
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If you would like to play, assist or know more, please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Em @ RM