Sputnik Faith and Arts Dan Crook is breaking genre boundaries

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…





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.


You Might Also Like...

Sputnik Faith and Arts Ben Lawrence’s musical journey through grief

Wed 18 May, 2022

Ben Lawrence’s musical journey through grief

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, we're helping songwriter Ben Lawrence to push his debut album even further.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Trees, songs and creation care: an interview with Lydia Hiorns

Wed 11 May, 2022

Trees, songs and creation care: an interview with Lydia Hiorns

Newcastle-based artist Lydia Hiorns is reclaiming the messy and dangerous world of nature to inspire a 20-track musical project.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Loving the local arts scene: an interview with comedian Tom Elliott

Wed 30 Mar, 2022

Loving the local arts scene: an interview with comedian Tom Elliott

A thriving arts scene is a common good that blesses many: so we've helped to fund Tom Elliott's 'Big Local Night Out' project.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Art as an act of aspirational joy: an interview with Joanna Karselis

Tue 21 Dec, 2021

Art as an act of aspirational joy: an interview with Joanna Karselis

Composer Joanna Karselis talks about her journey so far, and the struggle that birthed her new EP—which was funded, in part, by Sputnik Patrons.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Kapes A. Witness is searching for the right words

Mon 20 Dec, 2021

Kapes A. Witness is searching for the right words

Birmingham rapper Kapes A. Witness talks through how faith has changed his artistic practice, and his new project supported by Sputnik Patrons.