You may remember Daniel Bedingfield from his 2002 hits Gotta Get Thru This and If You’re Not The One. Now, a decade later, the British singer-songwriter is back and doing things his way. Broken free from a major label, Daniel has raised over $20K to help fund his upcoming projects, and is donating a protion of the proceeds to Stop The Traffik – a movement to fight human traffiking. He will be releasing his new EP, Stop The Traffik – Secret Fear, later this month on April 24th. He was kind enough to talk to me a bit about the music industry, his past and current projects, and the fight against human traffiking.
Rebecca Butler: How do you think the music business has changed over the last several years?
Daniel Bedingfield: A wonderful and violent shift is occurring, comparable in many ways to the industrial revolution. Thousands of people are losing their jobs and the entire industry is in upheaval, the whole hierarchy is in the process of becoming displaced. Chaos reigns. There used to be a set process necessary if you wanted to get your music to the masses but this process is no longer guaranteed to work. One thing it is guaranteed to do is put you in an early grave. None of the new strategies for making it under the new system are fully developed yet and there is a larger amount of failure involved in launching yourself than ever before, so it’s best to approach everything with a spirit of exploration and experimentation. This means bringing budgets down and releasing more music, more frequently. More content more often, relying heavily on the power of social media, as fledgling as it is.
RB: How has your music evolved since you first entered the music scene?
DB: My music started very broad and has widened even further. The reggae, hard rock, RnB, and the folk influences are still there but the scope and range of styles has increased by a greater margin. I am less homogenized than I have ever been, more gritty, raspy and real. Less the pink little boy who needs a slap in the face and more the war-torn traveler on the road to redemption.
RB: What inspires your songwriting?
DB: Great emotional distress, life changing revelations, selfish freedom and the like.
RB: Your upcoming EP Stop the Traffik – Secret Fear raises awareness of Human Trafficking – tell us more about that. What inspired you to dedicate your music to such a prominent issue?
DB: There are 300,000 slaves living under your very nose in the United States. “I thought slavery was abolished” you say? – Unfortunately the human trade is thriving, and it has grown to become the second largest illegal activity in the world after weapons. 1.4 million Children are sold into sex slavery worldwide every year. All together, the UN estimates that somewhere around 27 million slaves are alive today. The problem is spiraling out of control as crime-lords across the planet realize just how lucrative and cheap to obtain living humans really are, enough said. Visit www.stopthetraffik.org for ways to help.
RB: What else can we expect from you within the next year?
DB: I will be releasing a series of 3 or 4 EPs this year – 5 tracks for free and 7 tracks as an Itunes exclusive for $3. These will be coming out roughly every 3 months, and I fully intend to keep that going for the rest of my life. Like I said, more content more often. I am looking into making a documentary about human trafficking as I tour around America and continue working with Stop The Traffik, which I co-founded with my friend Steve Chalk in 2006.
RB: What’s your favorite part of the music experience?
DB: I’m afraid I’m a little bit of an oligarch when it comes to music. In my current phase of development, I’m writing, playing, mixing, recording, musical directing and performing everything. Sometimes my mixes are assisted and I always sit in on my mastering. I do have a band when I am playing live and I am totally jealous of them too. Haha.
RB: Do you have a story from your favorite show?
DB: I had a very shroom-like experience at the Hammersmith Apollo in London once, where the band were playing so well that it felt like a huge portal opened up in front of us and the music appeared to alter the fabric of reality for a moment. Strange and unexplainable, also f***ing awesome. Music can do incredible things to your mind.
RB: Where is your favorite place to play and why?
DB: The crowds in Liverpool are f***ing mad, they’ll nick everything you’ve got from off your tour bus and then proceed to give you the best show of your life.
RB: You recently premiered a “teaser” video for your song “Rocks Off” – what was the inspiration for the video?
DB: I distinctly remember hearing the song in its almost complete entirety womping through my head whilst I was fast asleep at 3am in my best mate Paul’s house. Careful to maintain my slumber so as not to lose the state I was in, I opened my eyes just a peek, lumbered across my room to my Mbox, dragged it into the bathtub, banged a few beats out of the poor thing, smashed Paul’s hi-hats to sh*t, sang a few lines, put a bass line on it then went back to bed. When I woke up, the song was exactly how you hear it, it’s the first time I’ve managed to maintain my sleep throughout an entire musical process. Apparently I am very ADD when I’m sleeping, as it’s only a minute long. Also apparent was my nocturnal obsession with imaginary nymphomaniacs determined to remove the apparel from my appendages. I decided that a concept like this deserved its own video. Whilst not being particularly original, it gave me a stimulating alternative to zombies. In the end it kind of reminded me of trying to get through the screaming mob to the tour bus after a show.
RB: If you could tell fans one thing about you and your music, what would it be?
DB: I would say thanks for the support, hopefully there’s at least one song in there somewhere that you’ll like.
– Submitted by Rebecca Butler, Social Media