Dan Bodan is the new love song prince waiting in the wings for girls to fall at his feet from nation to nation. Born in Canada but now based in Berlin, Dan’s distinctive mature vocals carry his music through from seventies glam ballads to nineties dance. After playing recent UK shows at London’s Servant Jazz Quarters with Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, Dan is slowly making a name for himself with his sound not a far cry from “Tracy Chapman taking MDMA every weekend and sleeping with German Academics.”
1883 spoke to Dan Bodan about being influenced by chicks who can sing, his sobering take on dance music and suggests that perhaps we’re all lazy because everyone writes about love.
It says that you are from Canada but live in Berlin, though you have links with Sheffield? Can you set the records straight- where did you grow up?
No, that Sheffield dude is some other Dan Bodan. I was raised in the Prairies, in Alberta and then Montreal and moved to Europe in 2007.
When did you know music was the thing for you?
Not sure, just seemed like something I’d always do. I really wanted to be a cartoonist forever, but I was never very good.
What have you been up to in the last year?
I’ve travelled a lot— did a residency in Tokyo, then NYC for 2 months in the winter. Spent a lot of time on buses cuz that’s all I can afford. Read a lot. Went through a rough break-up. I just went to the Olympics and saw Greco-Roman Men’s Wrestling. That was a real highlight.
Where do you think your music fits into in the scheme of things? Describe your music to us...
All the other musicians I’m friends with produce Dance music or experimental noise and so what I’m doing compared to them always seems a little sober. I guessing I’m a singer-songwriter, but it comes from that kind of world so I hope something of that is reflected in the tracks and what I project. But maybe more palatable to a wider audience. So like: the DJ’s kid brother writes pop songs about some dance floor encounter, or Tracy Chapman takes MDMA every weekend and sleeps with German Academics.
Would you be offended if I said I can hear etchings of Spandau Ballet in your music?
Don’t know who that is, but I’ll be sure to listen to them. If people hear things in my music that’s cool, I do the same. ‘Avant-ballads’ is what one publication said your sound was. What draws you to love songs and ballads?
I don’t really know. I don’t think it’s conscious but it seems like everyone writes about love for some reason. Maybe we’re all lazy, but it could be because it’s also such an abstract concept that it can be used to express such a huge range of ideas. Or everyone just wants to be loved?
It is said you have actually been collaborating on a track with him, can you tell us more?
He covered a song I wrote a while ago that I recorded as a Demo. He’s putting it out in the next month on a 7inch and the demo will be on the other side. I love his version. It’s like night driving through Dubai or something.
Your music sounds very 70s and 80s, is there an era you take most influence from?
I don’t really hear the 80’s so much in it. I guess it’s just become common place to lump all keyboard based music into that decade because that’s sorta its heyday. But I was born in 85 so most of my early music listening was early 90’s pop and RnB and that must have influenced me in some way.
Your voice is very mature... how old are you?... have you always sang?
27 and I’ve always been singing.
What artists do you take most influence from?
It’s kind of difficult to list my influences because I feel most are unconscious. I mean I love everything my friends do but they’re all Dance music producers so it’s hard to say how much they influence my song writing but that is what I listen to most of the time. I listened to a lot of Diana Ross growing up, and like Carole King. I listen to a lot of chicks who sing.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Dj Sliink, a lot, He’s such an awesome producer and Brenmar. And that "new" Aaliyah track (minus Drake).
What’s your favourite thing about the music making process?
I def don’t like writing. It’s a pretty painful process cuz I get all these complexes about if the song is totally uncool or stupid. So once that’s out of the way I love conceptualizing it with friends and producers and fleshing it out.
What does the rest of the year have in store for you? Are you nearing an album?
I would love to have an album out within the year! But at the moment I’m kind figuring out who I want to work with on it, approaching them and seeing if its compatible. I want most my new songs to be worked on with EDM producers. Not to make dance tracks, but to get that quality of sound. The sounds of the Future. ;)