This week, local singer/songwriter Danny Smart releases his new single and video. Up until now though, Danny has made the majority of his live appearances in Sheffield. I caught him last summer as his opened up the Coalfields music festival. Opting to through him covers, including Ed Sheeran did him a massive disservice. Okay, okay, I can’t stand Ed Sheeran. However, I stuck with it and ended up liking both Danny and his songs. The praise his debut EP One More Night got was certainly deserved.
Since then he has earned lots of support throughout South Yorkshire, and finished a respectable second place in the Yorkshire Unplugged competition last month. I caught up with t’owd Danny to find out a bit more about him. But first, what’s this single like?
New Man has a similar feel and beat (check those handclaps and backing vocals) to KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and a Cherry Tree, or maybe even at a push, something like Doobie Brothers Long Train Running. In the last year, Danny’s voice has really developed and you would never guess his was still in his teens. The song writing is accomplished and he joins Ginger Tom as acts most likely to breakthrough into the pop mainstream. However, I reckon he’d definitely benefit from having a backing band now. Find out for yourself though by checking out the video after the interview.
You recently came second in the Yorkshire Unplugged competition. Did you have any favourites performers in the competition?
I hate to limit myself to a favourite but I really enjoyed Sheffield artist Danny Beattie. Danny is such a great performer and writer. I always love to watch him play. So much soul that kid!
You’ve released a couple of singles. You ready for an album soon?
I love the idea of an album but it just doesn’t feel like the right time yet for an album for me. I want to try and create a comfortable amount of interest in my music so that an album really sets the mark for my career. It’s important it’s right.
You played quite a few local festivals last year and since then, you’ve played Sheffield quite a lot too. What are your plans this summer?
I really want to establish my new EP in and around South Yorkshire so I’m going to try to get that out there by playing as much as I can and try new things and new places. I have a few festivals lined up this year which I am looking forward to such as Contours Festival in Sheffield and Ripley Music Festival in Derbyshire but I really want to work on getting more people interested in my music.
…I’m playing Metrocks Festival 30th of august too by the way.
You’re music is very radio friendly and you’ve managed to get a lot of local radio support in the last year. Are your tastes in music along the same lines?
I really irritate myself as I try to listen to more modern music but all my favourite music comes from either the 50s or 60s. The old ones are the best! I love Sun Records!
My parents are listeners to BBC Radio 2 and I recently heard ‘Bee Bop A Lula’ by Gene Vincent and I went straight upstairs and downloaded it. I love it! But yes, I believe it comes from the older songs when radio was more appreciated.
And what’s your take on the Barnsley music scene – favourite acts, venues, experiences?
I think there are some really underrated acts in Barnsley. I love Demographic and their new album. I go to college with the lead singer Billy and I’m always singing his songs to him! I also really like Harriet Grant. Her songs are really my kind of music! I don’t think that venues support artist enough. I’ve played at a few pubs that when you walk in you wouldn’t even know there was a gig on which is really annoying. But I love what the organisers of LIB are doing it’s a really great thing for us artists getting the public involved as I think that Barnsley needs more people involved to get a greater music scene.