Sometimes all it takes is one great concert to inspire a new generation of musicians. And for an 11-year-old from Cheshire, UK, that was a live performance from The Vamps.
Daniel knew he wanted to make music after seeing the British pop band in 2019. Since then, he’s been practicing guitar and writing songs. He even won his school’s talent show with a performance of one of his original pieces.
After learning about Daniel’s journey, Spotify invited him to the Noteable Studios in London to record some original tracks. We also invited The Vamps along—but kept it a surprise. Check out Daniel’s reaction when he met his music inspiration for the first time.
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For the Record caught up with Daniel to learn more about the experience.
Tell us a bit about the concert where you first saw The Vamps. What made it so impactful?
Daniel: I first saw the Vamps in their Four Corners Tour in Liverpool in 2019. Seeing a live concert was so much better than listening to music in the car. It felt like a party and made it all more real. Seeing the guitars and how they played them was very cool.
How would you describe your musical sound? Are there any other groups that inspire you?
Daniel: I would describe my musical genre as soft pop, but I’m also working on some songs at the moment which I’d describe as pop rock! I’m also inspired by James Arthur, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Anson Seabra.
What is your creative process like? How do you come up with ideas for lyrics and melodies?
Daniel: It depends—sometimes when I’m jamming on the guitar I decide I like the riff or think that the chord structure might be fun to work with. I then put it on a loop on my looper pedal, and sing in my head and experiment with a tune. At other times I’m singing to myself and decide that the lyrics sound nice. Once I’ve got a few lines of lyrics, I’ll find out what key I’m singing in and then I’ll try and work on the instrumental ideas.
Tell us about the eventful day in Noteable studios when The Vamps surprised you.
Daniel: I loved my whole day at the Noteable studios. It was so good working with Amy, the sound technician, and learning the process of recording a song. When The Vamps arrived my heart stopped, and I couldn’t speak. It was the best day of my life so far! I enjoyed having a chat with Brad, James, Conner, and Tristan on the sofas and sharing the fruit! We chatted about school talent shows and writing songs. Since my trip to the Noteable studios, I’ve been inspired to write more songs and improve the songs that I’m writing. I’m in the process of writing an eight-song album!
Then For the Record asked The Vamps for their side of the story.
What was your reaction when you got the call to come surprise Daniel?
The Vamps: Any opportunity to encourage people to follow their dreams, we’re in! We were all very excited to meet Dan and check out his vibe. We recorded the last album, Cherry Blossom, in Metropolis Studios, so it’s always special going back there. We always jump on an opportunity to help a young musician. I remember when we were all getting started and any good advice we could get, we would listen. I loved Dan’s attitude towards making music and the confidence he has to enter a studio with such heritage.
Why did you want to jump on the opportunity?
The Vamps: Since the start, one of the main objectives of The Vamps is to spread love and happiness. If we can do that then so can he. When we saw Dan’s letter it was a no brainer. When I was that young I would do anything for some advice that would point me in the right direction. Life is about believing in yourself, and if there is anything we can do to help, we will.
In the video you give the young songwriter a piece of advice. Can you recall any advice you got when you were first starting out? Any that you wish you had followed but didn’t?
The Vamps: I think one of the main pieces of advice is that music doesn’t just automatically show up on a piece of paper, or is created by a computer. It comes from emotions and experiences. He will go through these during his lifetime growing up. The best thing he can do is write about it.
Of course when you’re that age you don’t tend to want to listen to other people. When I was younger, sometimes I would over-play, and not listen to anybody because I was having too much fun; but the reality is, the song is king. You have be in the mindset of “What is best for the song?” and not what’s best for you as a musician. Now when we write, I’m always thinking, “What does this music NEED?” and think less about what I want.
What are some other ways Spotify has helped you connect with your fans?
The Vamps: Spotify is the new way of discovering and listening to music. I can’t tell you how much it has helped The Vamps reach an international audience. I feel it delivers what people actually want, and ignores any politics behind the music. I have discovered artists that I never would have 10 years ago. It connects music, which connects people.
Check out more from The Vamps below.