Internationally acclaimed singer songwriter Druv Kent today releases his new single ‘Long When We’re Gone’ via his own record label. It follows up on last year’s single “What’s it all about ” which saw strong support across the board from the likes of Music Week, Music News and Female First as well as being played on BBC Radio 2. His new single is a lively up tempo track produced by Manic Street Preachers long term collaborator Greg Haver.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios, the renowned Welsh recording studios where Oasis recorded number one album ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’ and featuring not only Greg Haver’s production, but also his drums and percussion, the single also has Mel C collaborator Andy Taylor on guitars, longtime Chris de Burgh music director Nige Hopkins on keyboards and Thunders Chris Child’s on bass.
I was lucky enough to be able to ask Druv a few questions about his new release.
EP: Druv, great to get the opportunity to ask you a few questions on the eve of your new release. Firstly, tell me a little bit about your journey to being a musician. It wasn’t your first career choice, right?
DK: Music was instinctively my choice from when I was 13! But, choosing a journey of personal expression was even harder in middle-class India than it ordinarily already is. So, I chose the more dependable path of finance. That was until 4 years ago when I wrote my first song. Haven’t looked back since!
EP: You have lived in many very different places around the world with varied cultures and musical tastes. How has this affected the way that you make music? Who are your musical influences?
DK: I live in Asia and shuttle up to the UK often for my music. My big musical influences are British rock from the 60s and 70s (Beatles, Floyd) for its lyrical and sonic riches, American R&B (Michael Jackson, Weeknd) for its pentatonic melodies and amazing grooves, and some Indian classical (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), with its ragas and mood-driven musical shapes.
EP: Initially I understand it was difficult to get noticed. However, when you met Tim Bradshaw, John Mayer’s keyboard player, that changed. How did that meeting happen?
DK: A mix of serendipity and brute doggedness. I had written what was essentially an album and no one – who mattered – was listening. I was like a man possessed. I reached out to the teams of John Mayer and Ronan Keating, as their music seemed to my ears to be in the right space. I got hold of Tim from miles away in Singapore and sent him my songs. He heard my music and flew to Singapore to meet me and see where this music was coming from! Often, it takes a lot to get serendipity to work.
EP: Your upcoming album ‘About Time’ has a who’s who of producing talent. How did their influence help shape that release?
DK: A lot. The key is trust. The compositions and lyrics are mine, as are the original sketches, but the mood of a song is created by the sonics we create as a team. With producers like Calum MacColl (Ronan Keating) and Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers), you learn to listen first and speak second. A drummer like Clive Owen (Radiohead) and keyboardist like Mikey Rowe (Oasis) bring as much in interpretation as they do in accuracy.
EP: Your early releases found critical acclaim and support from Radio 2. Since then how has your music developed?
DK: I find that each song is a journey of sorts – where it comes from and where it goes, musically and lyrically. Little Bit Of God is about faith, Glitter & Dynamite is about chasing a dream, What It’s All About is about the love of your life, and I’m Still Riding is about a letter I wrote to my father. It’s not profound stuff, but everyday things that come from a deeply personal place.
EP: This weekend sees the release of new single ‘Long When We’re Gone’. You generally write about themes close to your heart. What’s the new single about?
DK: Our lives are so busy today we tend to forget what is important. I wrote this song almost as a note to myself – something I want to do better. I want to spend more time looking at beauty, smiling at the rain, allowing myself to just be in the moment, to be with my life partner and not think about anything else for a while.
EP: The video for the new single is stunning. What’s the story behind it?
DK: Thank you. Full credit to the video director Puneet Rakheja, a kindred spirit in my journey. He is great at communicating through mood, light, movement and music. He has woven together a series of short clips of everyday people doing ordinary things – but shot and textured in a way that reminds us how simple and accessible happiness is.
EP: Does the increase in the way technology drives the world concern you? It has vastly changed the way we consume music with listeners being able to cherry pick tracks instead of being immersed in albums with deep themes. Do you think that will hinder the way people perceive your music?
DK: Technology has been a core driver of musical creation and consumption for hundreds of years. Change brings disruption, including the economics for music-makers and the de-emphasis of the album format, but I don’t believe we have reached a truly sustainable model just yet. Regarding albums, I think of them a bit like test cricket. Not necessarily trending, but if you want to know what an artist is made of, wait for the album.
EP: Does living in Singapore change the way that you are able to market your music? Can we expect any UK appearances?
DK: Being based in Singapore, with Indian roots, probably does make my songwriting unique. Some music critics have said my lyrics have a touch of Buddhist or Eastern poetry in them. To me the songwriting is the only way I know how. I often play live in Singapore and India and am certainly keen on doing more live stuff in the UK. Would love to do more in the UK.
EP: Finally, thank you for your time Druv. What would be the best way for people to access and buy your music? I wish you all the very best with your new single and video.
DK: I have 5 singles now on iTunes, please check them out and download them. The songs can also be streamed on Spotify, Tidal, Amazon, Saavn. What I would love in addition is for folks who enjoy my music to subscribe to my YouTube channel and Facebook page. And call into radio to listen to my music! If you are on my FB page, then I can let you know when I will be playing in the UK! And thank you for the support, keep it coming. Many thanks.