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Daniel Bedingfield – 100% independent
With versatile songwriting skills that generate stubbornly sincere lyrics, great beats and charisma, Daniel Bedingfield won us over a long time ago. His solo debut “Gotta Get Thru This”, famously recorded in his bedroom became a chart-breaking sensation in no-time and helped secure him as one of the top aspiring new talents of the 2000s.
Born in New Zealand but raised in the U.K., Daniel Bedingfield discovered his rapping and boom box skills while in school and along with sisters Natasha and Nikola, he started a group called The DNA Algorithm. His first was releasing the “Gotta Get Thru This” single in 2001. It gathered fans in the UK garage scene before breaking the charts and becoming a number one sensation. Further singles, “If You’re Not The One” and “Never Gonna Leave Your Side” also went on to be number one, while the debut album sold over 4 million copies worldwide.
Bedingfield’s 2004 release, “Second First Impression” won him a BRIT award for Best British Male Artist and reached number 8 in the UK. He has worked with artists like Pixie Lott, recorded with a former member of The Roots and played with Busy Signal.
Lately he’s been working on new material and has recently launched the single “Rocks Off”, to be followed by “Secret Fear” (available mid-May 2012) off his latest EP.
Give us a brief bio, how and why you got into music and a bit about your history?
I’ll die if I stop singing. I think I smell much better this way.
Which TC-Helicon products are you using?
I use the Voice Live 2 all the time. I use it on everything. I copiously slather it in between the cracks and push the BVs way to the back. It’s a great soundscape creator. I find it helpful to be able to access ideas from beyond my own instincts and then be able to modify them to suit the world I’m creating in the track.
How did you hear about the gear in the first place and what attracted you to it?
I was trolling through the guitar center and became intrigued by the mic pointing directly at my face as I entered the tech arena they have there. I found myself glued to that box for the next three hours, desperately hoping that ALL the other people in the store could hear the AWESOME things I was doing with it! Ha, ha! And I have to be honest, it was one of the most awesome concerts of my life. It’ s a dream maker, that box. Huge choirs on African savannahs, notes of Bon Iver, Imogen Heap, Phil Collins, Queen and Bobbie McFerrin. I don’t think I had been that excited since I bought my talk box.
How are you using it and how has the gear changed the way you work (e.g. use of presets)?
I record my keyboard and guitar parts first in Ableton Live or ProTools. Then I record my vocals through my VoiceLive 2 instead of my Mbox. Handy how the harmonies sync up with the prerecorded chords! I’m in the process of making a transition toward playing everything and mixing it myself. I use the VoiceLive 2 to stimulate new ideas if I find myself stuck. It’s the only thing I allow in my creative process that is not entirely driven by me. I want to explain. It’s imperative to me that I really connect with the sounds I hear in my head and bring them out into the world in a way that honors the magnitude of how COOL they sound, well they sound cool to me anyway. Any musician can tell you of the struggle to fully materialize the energy they hear in their minds.
I believe it to be very important to limit the amount of interference from outside sources when you’re writing, as it’s so much easier to implement a weaker melody than to push like crazy for your own strong and (hopefully original) melody. A cheap and easy preset from many keyboards is often the most dangerous thing you could ever use. But because it’s MY OWN VOICE that the voice box sends back to me, by default it cannot be generic. Each person’s voice is unique to them and has its own signature. If you work with inferior input, like water, the tunes can take the path of least resistance and you’ve ended up creating mush. I find that the ideas that VoiceLive presents to me are strong and don’t tempt me to be lazy.
What do you find most useful about it in terms of features?
I’m about to begin my tour and I intend to use this thing live. My amazing PA Terrell is about to upload the new firmware that will allow me to use the VoiceLive as a loop station. Very helpful! I’ve seen Imogen use the TC-Helicon products in her concerts to highly inspiring effect.
Have you discovered any great features that people may not have noticed?
If you sing 6ths or 7ths or 2nds the VoiceLive 2 will still play the right cord. So do that if you want a complex or atmospheric cord placement.
What is your overall philosophy or approach when it comes to composing/playing live/recording/mixing?
I use to think that I had to work with the greatest musicians in order to attain the high standards of the recordings I grew up listening to… like the Beatles. I used to listen in wonder at the spells they could weave that I could never pull off with my own hands. But I’ve come to a drastic change in focus. Now I’m all fascinated with finding something within my own capabilities that blows me away. Less focus on excellence and more focus on originality. I think my music has found a lot more humanity in that process than the previous stuff, it felt a bit cold with an obvious attempt to be polished. Now I really just want to move myself and hopefully, you too!
What have you got planned for the near future?
I am currently working 100% independently: no label, no manager, no filter whatsoever between my fans and I. We are at an amazing place in the music industry where artists like myself can finally take control of our careers and have a fighting chance against the major labels. It is incredibly exciting for me as an artist! I’ve also been hard at work on some new music, which I will be releasing this year as a series of EPs called ‘Stop The Traffik’. I can’t wait for you to hear it!
Catch up with Daniel at www.danielbedingfield.com/
Get 4 custom presets made by Daniel Bedingfield for VoiceLive 2, VoiceLive Touch, VoiceLive Rack, VoiceLive Play & Play GTX:
Download Daniel’s newest EP “Stop The Traffik – Secret Fear” (released April 24, 2012) for free: