Interview: Dan Amare

I’m not normally a massive fan of mainstream pop or r&b, but Dan Amare has really bucked the trend with his track Brainstorming. Whilst it certainly has elements of those genres, it’s also suitably unique adding in elements of funk and soul as well. Find out more about Dan here!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new song called Brainstorming. What can you tell us about the track?

Firstly, I promise you won’t regret listening, haha!

I wrote Brainstorming about an obsession with a love interest. I definitely tuned into my toxic, unhealed co-dependent side when writing this one. I found myself constantly brainstorming on all the different things we could do together, and also my mind felt so clouded that it felt like a storm was going on in my mind. Thankfully, I think I’m a lot better now! And I think we’ve all been there before, experiencing co-dependency.

Production-wise, Brainstorming is an ode to my years spent growing up in Dominica in the Caribbean, and it is co-produced by a Dominican guitarist whom I met while I lived there. We produced it virtually during lockdown over Zoom. Initially, he just sent me a beat he made with these guitars on it and I was like “Oh my God! Do not send that to anyone. I want it!”. He gave me the stems and from that I kind of restructured things and mixed it with elements of hip-hop & rnb and that’s how the beat came together.

It was also so wonderful to create a song that fuses elements of the sounds I hear when I’m in the Caribbean, like Dancehall music.

How has the reception to Brainstorming been so far, and where can it be purchased?

I think the uptake to the song has been incredible – every time I look I see more listeners! It’s been all positive feedback, people have been saying how they love the feel, the production, the vocals, the lyrics, etc. Actually, one video of mine on TikTok managed to get 11,000+ views organically from this song and all I did in the video was lipsync to the song. The song is available to listen to on ALL streaming platforms, and you can digitally download it on iTunes!

The track also features Dominican guitarist Mekhel Lee. How did the collaboration come about, and can we expect more songs with Mekhel in the future?

Mekhel and I met in Dominica when I lived there between 2014 – 2017. We used to perform together, he would play guitar and keys for me for gigs. I’ve even got a video on YouTube from like 2015 where we performed Sam Smith’s I’m Not the Only One live on a local radio station, totally impromptu. We will definitely work on some more stuff. We’ve kind of started working on some other songs over the years but just haven’t finished anything yet.

Do you have any more singles planned for release afterwards?

Yes! Firstly, there are some alternate versions of Brainstorming that other musicians got involved in creating that I’m excited to share. A collaboration with an amazing up-and-coming American band NicK & Six who are really big on TikTok and have played for people like Lauryn Hill. And then after that I have a lot of other songs I’m going to drop soon after! Stay tuned.

Are there any plans to release an album or EP in the near future?

Yes, still confirming everything and completing everything, but hopefully early next year I’d like to put out an EP. For now, expect some more releases and singles.

You’ve been creating music since you were 14. How has the writing and recording process changed over the years?

Amazing question. Well, it has changed so much because as a 14-year-old I didn’t have nearly as much life experience, and I also wasn’t as emotionally vulnerable as I’m willing to be now. So the lyrics were cool, but not personally relatable to my life. And production has massively changed because I used to only produce EDM as a teenager. As the years went on, I expanded out into r&b, hip-hop, reggae, electro-pop, UK garage, etc., and I’ve found so much joy in fusing multiple elements together. I used to be much more focused on pleasing others, now I really do what pleases me. If others like it, that’s a bonus but I’m already satisfied because I like it.

Brainstorming has a pop/r&b sound. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

People influence me for different reasons. I love an artist like Rihanna because of how versatile and unlimited by genre she is. I refuse to do just one genre. I love to experiment and express myself in different ways. And then one of my biggest vocal idols is Whitney Houston. But the type of music I make isn’t like her music at all. I think Miguel has influenced me production-wise and vocally. He just does whatever he wants. To be honest, I listen mostly to old music from the 70s-90s. Lots of Chaka Khan, Minnie Riperton, Luther Vandross. I love big voices. Modern-day, I like a lot of Afrobeats artists like Burna Boy and Ayra Starr, r&b artists like Jazmine Sullivan and Ari Lennox.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

What’s more exciting than more music from me?! Joking. Yeah, the year is almost over so let’s see what’s to come.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

Not at the moment, I’m really wanting to stay in the studio and get some more tunes out for the listeners.

Any last words for the fans?

Thank you! Every message, share and replay means so much to me. What’s small to others is enormous for me. I’ve always doubted myself and never really believed people would like what I do. Sometimes, the messages I get are so moving that it gives me a sense of purpose. People who come to my live shows tell me that I inspire them to have the freedom to just live in their truth. Just witnessing me perform and be a kid on stage inspires them to let go of their inhibitions.