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Dan Crook is breaking genre boundaries

A couple of weeks ago, ‘Sign of the Times’ arrived in my inbox. It’s a collaboration between long time Sputnik favourite, Mike Lawetto, and Dan Crook. Dan is a singer songwriter and spoken word artist from Southend-on-sea, whose passionate folky sound has always threatened to brim over into something a little more visceral. Well, the new single does just that and is one of my favourite songs of the year so far. Obviously, this called for an introduction to Mr Crook for Sputnikmagazine…

Introduce yourself. Who is Dan Crook?

Morning Sputnik. How long you got?! I love being the centre of attention (too much so). I’m a songwriter, I’m a husband, I work for or with young people most days, I like an extra cold Guiness, I’m inspired daily by Jesus, I’m a big West Ham United fan and I live in Southend-on-sea.

Musically, I’m currently performing around Essex with a loop pedal and my electric guitar.

What does success look like to you as an artist?

Writing and releasing music that I still stand by a year after releasing it. I’d also really like to tour 2 months every year, opening for artists that make great music.

How does your faith affect your art?

I believe God created nature and I believe humans are made in his image so i believe creativity is a gift from him.

If we have a smidgeon of the creative power God used when he created clouds…That should give us all confidence.

I was really impressed with the Uppah Records Christmas project in 2015, when they released 3 very different festive songs, including one by yourself. How did that project come about and what’s Uppah up to at the moment? 

I was invited to be one of their first artists when they started out and jumped on it. I had a lot of fun making Christmas Lights and those months around December were my favourite times with the label. It’s been a year since we last collaborated, so I’m not up to date!

Your back catalogue is reasonably diverse and your music is often passionate and direct. However, your new project seems to take this up a notch. Talk us through the change of style on ‘Sign of The Times’.

I know vocally it’s the harshest thing I’ve put out but it doesn’t feel like a huge shift. I’ve ostracised plenty of potential fans at solo gigs cos I sing too aggressively- just ask my dear mum. For some reason it’s much more accepted to sing like that when you call yourself a rock outfit…

Mike (Lawetto) has always encouraged me to ‘give it some’ vocally when we record together which I’ve really appreciated.

Both of us love guitars/rock music and so we have found ourselves naturally inclining to write tracks like Sign of the Times.

James LouisK. Stevenson-2

What have CROOK & LAWETTO got in store for us in the future?

We’ve got a least one more big track coming your way before Christmas. If someone wants to fund us touring, we’re game for that too.

What 3 things have you learnt from your journey so far as a Christian making art that you’d want to share with other Christian artists?

I would say this to any artist, regardless of their beliefs- be authentic in what you write about, be confident in your ability to create something original (see question 3 ) and don’t compromise what you believe for the sake of opportunities. Ultimately music is one part of life- a person’s integrity is much more important.

 

Thanks Dan. To keep in touch with what’s Dan’s up to…

facebook.com/dancrookmusic

twitter.com/dancrook

instagram.com/dancrookmusic

dancrook.com

To go directly to the tunes, check him out on Spotify and there are a few gems floating around on youtube too. I’ll leave you with this one. Thanks Dan.

 

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