Q: In Losing Sight, you sing, “Would you forgive me if I lost sight of my path to forgiveness? I’m sure that I could find another couple of million.” Who are you asking to forgive you, and why?
STARR: Losing Sight is really a reflective song about the pressure we put ourselves under to stick to some path we are “supposed” to be on in life and to follow exactly as expected. Charlie Glover-Wright and I co-wrote the tune after sharing thoughts on the months we’d lived in lockdown, with far too much time spent inside our own heads. I certainly spent many sleepless nights somehow remembering and criticizing decisions I’d made many years ago and finding ways to bring myself down over the smallest of toxic thoughts. I consider myself someone who loves to try out new things, but I worry when I do, and post-covid one of the most significant changes in my mentality has been to let go of these anxieties and just grab the opportunities that life throws up at me. So really, when I’m singing that line, I’m projecting what my anxieties are telling me and just asking that the world doesn’t blow up around me when I suddenly decide I have to let go of the path I’ve been working my way down. Awareness of human’s innate negativity is increasing, and we are learning to handle the thoughts our brains love to throw at us when we least expect it. I hope one day I’ll be able to handle them well enough to feel truly free of my anxiety.
Q: You almost became a professional rugby player before a life-altering injury. Did the injury catapult you into music or were you already manifesting your creative side?
STARR: I’ve always been a creative person and have ALWAYS been into music. I used to sit in front of my dad’s turntable under our TV and play through vinyl after vinyl from his huge collection of 70s/80s/90s classics. I played the trumpet until the age of 13 or so and then I started playing the guitar at around 14, teaching myself through YouTube tutorials. The injury and the subsequent surgeries were devastating to deal with, having to let go of a career path I had dreamt of since I was a toddler, but without having my love of music to turn to it would have been a hell of a lot harder.
Q: In the music video for Losing Sight, you portray yourself as a bartender, businessman, scientist, rugby player and computer tech all in one person. Where does the real Danny Starr fit into these characters?
STARR: The real Danny Starr has done all of these things. I worked as a bartender throughout my time studying Neuroscience at university. I took a remote master’s degree in computer science over COVID and worked as an accountant for 1 month before listening to all the people around me saying “that ain’t you” and sacking it off. And as we’ve just talked about, rugby was my first life. It’s amazing to look back at the video for Losing Sight and really see how much I’ve fought against my worries in life and to just go with it. It was a pleasure planning and bringing this idea to life with my partner, who also edited the video, and is somebody who has helped me become the person I am today.
Q: You’ll be performing at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami later this month. Is there anything you must do before going on stage?
STARR: Well, I’m now doing this interview on my flight home from Miami, and I’ll tell you it was seriously nerve-wracking standing at the side of that stage waiting to go on, but I just told myself to go for it and have as much fun on stage as everyone wants to be having in the crowd, and I did exactly that. I can’t wait to share the footage from the show… its epic.
Q: As a songwriter, do you find yourself easily immersed in lyrical flow, or do you have to recharge and rechannel to put pen to paper?
STARR: I am somebody who has serious ups and downs in creative flow, and Charlie, with who I cowrote Losing Sight (and a few songs coming out on the new EP…), actually helped me out of one of my worst writing blocks ever towards the end of last year. My writing is usually very personal and inspired by events in my own life, so it goes through very defined chapters. I’m not the kind of person who can unpack serious emotional experiences quickly, so it usually takes me a while before I’m anywhere near ready to write a song about what’s happened. But once I am in the right mental state, I can write an album’s worth of songs in a couple of weeks. Some of the new tunes on my upcoming release are by far my best, and I just can’t wait for people to hear what this phase of my writing sounds like.
Q: You ask yourself in Losing Sight, “Would I forgive myself if I lost it all?” To someone who has lost more than they prepared for, what advice can you give them?
STARR: Don’t forget about how much there is still to gain from living each day. Even if you’ve got to start again or have lost something or someone that leaves a hole in your universe, you can still grow that universe indefinitely with each day that passes. I’m not saying that hole can always be filled, but everything else doesn’t have to be sucked in and lost too.
Interviewed by Molly Byrne
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