Song­writer fi­nally hit­ting the right notes in Bei­jing

China Daily (Canada) - - EXPATS - By CHINA DAILY

David Daniel grew up lis­ten­ing to the greats of Amer­i­can glam rock like Kiss and Poi­son and dreamed of one day em­u­lat­ing his he­roes.

Al­most 30 years later, he may not be fill­ing sta­di­ums and top­ping the charts, but he is liv­ing a lit­tle bit of that dream in Bei­jing.

“When you want to achieve some­thing, and you have the de­sire to achieve it, you will some day, no mat­ter what or when it is,” said the 43-yearold, who re­leased his third al­bum, Wild Child: Bits & Pieces, on­line this month.

Like all DIY mu­si­cians, Daniel jug­gles writ­ing and record­ing mu­sic with a day job, in his case teach­ing English at a pri­vate school in Bei­jing. He is also a mu­sic con­sul­tant for a bar in the city’s Chaoyang dis­trict.

The singer-song­writer, who moved to the Chi­nese cap­i­tal in Fe­bru­ary af­ter spend­ing six years in Hong Kong and sev­eral other Chi­nese ci­ties, re­leased his first al­bum, Way Too Long, in 2012. It marked the end of his long mis­sion to fi­nally have his mu­sic pub­lished.

“When some­body says you can’t do it, you will do it. When peo­ple deny you, it just makes you want to do it more,” he said.

Daniel bought his first gui­tar at 15, and started to write his own ma­te­rial at 25, which is when he also re­ceived his first re­jec­tion let­ter from a record com­pany. It came from ABC Coun­try Mu­sic, based in his na­tive Syd­ney, in Aus­tralia.

“I felt like my whole life was over be­cause that’s all I wanted to do,” he re­called. “It’s like they were telling me that my dream was never go­ing to re­al­ized. … It makes you feel aw­ful when peo­ple say your mu­sic is rub­bish when you be­lieve it’s great.”

He con­tin­ued send­ing demos to record la­bels, but to no avail. “Af­ter years (of do­ing this), I re­al­ized it wasn’t go­ing to work. I started to think I had wasted too much time and money al­ready.”

So he stopped and put his mu­sic on the back­burner — un­til in 2013 when he was en­cour­aged to con­tinue chas­ing his dream by a su­per­vi­sor at an ed­u­ca­tion com­pany in Syd­ney who lis­tened to his mu­sic.

“It meant a lot,” he said. “I needed the en­cour­age­ment, and it has kept me go­ing un­til now.”

Daniel re­leased his al­bums for free on CD Baby, an on­line mu­sic store, and he said his tracks can also be down­loaded via Ama­zon, iTunes and Xi­ami, the Chi­nese equiv­a­lent of Spo­tify.

Yan Dongjie con­trib­uted to this story.


Aus­tralian DIY mu­si­cian David Daniel re­leased his third al­bum in China this month.

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