David Craft is a 25 year old Australian singer-song writer and describes his genre as ‘contemporary folk rock’. His debut album, ‘Smokey Lungs and Dirty Puns’ has received acclaim and a lot of love from his audience. The combination of a talented band and soothingly beautiful baritone voice has brought him the Best Folk Award from West Australian Music. Christy Ku caught up with him in sunny Australia (virtually, sadly) for a chat:
Could you tell us about yourself and your music? How did you get into it and what influences your work?
I’m a songwriter from the hills of Perth, Western Australia. I think growing up in a small town shielded me a bit from the commercialism and capitalism of the modern world which taught me a lot about appreciating timeless music and art. I spent most of my youth listening to old folk and blues records, which I think still shines through the songs I write today.
How do you feel about winning the Best Folk Act award from WAM?
I’ve spent most of my life admiring folk music and the history of folk in general so it feels pretty nice to be considered a “folk singer”. Folk music to me is songs about people and sharing ideas. I try to execute those exact qualities in my songwriting. Sometime I fail and sometimes it works.
What was your inspiration for your album, ‘Smokey Lungs and Dirty Puns’? How was the process of creating it?
The album is literally about people – the people I interact with and how they interact with me. The process was short and simple; I recorded the guitar and vocals live, then we layered the tracks with various instruments to fill them out a bit. We recorded the whole thing at my girlfriend’s house which felt right because I wrote a lot of the material there.
Your single, which shares the same name as the album, was tweeted by the influential rockstar Amanda Palmer! What are your thoughts on this?
I didn’t know much about her until I supported her at a private house concert. I immediately noticed that her songs were raw. No gimmicks, just her personal art. I’ve never used Twitter but was told she posted it, which I think is very nice of her.
In some of the videos I’ve seen of your live performances, you play with just a guitar and vocals. How is it performing without a band?
Performing with a full backing band is very mathematical. I like to change songs up a bit when I perform solo and that’s kinda hard to do with a band because every element of the arrangement is planned out. I do have more fun with the band though – I generally play with them, but it all depends on the venue. It all depends on the venue. The bigger the gig, the bigger the band.
You’ve just completed a tour in Melbourne – what was that like?
It wasn’t a full Australian tour, just Melbourne. I was living above a bar for 5 weeks, playing all over the city and a little in the country. It was sad, happy, fun, lonely, depressing and eye opening.
Coming to UK soon?
As soon as possible, yes!
What advice do you have for young musicians?
I think there is a big difference between an artist and a musician. For me personally, music is just a tool I use to express what is inside. If you have art inside of you, it will come out. Do not try to be a musician.
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