“Music has been the compass guiding me through life and has informed every decision that I’ve ever made. Since I can remember it has been the driving force for me. ”
Twickets caught up with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Diana DeMuth to talk about her upcoming album, the importance of a persistent mindset and why she decided to turn down contract offers from multiple major record labels.
Raised on the Massachusetts coast by supportive parents with an extensive record collection, singer-songwriter Diana DeMuth has always felt destined for a life in music. Armed with a distinctly powerful voice, a surefire knack for intricate songwriting and a story that resonates with many, the release of Diana’s debut single, ‘Hotel Song’, at the tail-end of 2019 marked the beginning of her incredible journey.
Now gearing up for the release of her debut album, created alongside visionary multi-platinum record producers Simone Felice and David Baron, a new decade seems set to bring about a whole host of fresh opportunities for the singer. Ahead of her biggest year yet, Twickets sat down with Diana before she took to the stage in London to talk about her introduction to music, her biggest influences and why creative control is so important.
When did you first start making music?
Diana: It was honestly the only thing I was ever interested in, I got a guitar when I was 13 and started writing songs straight after that. It always felt like that was what I was supposed to do, and I was honestly never that good at anything except music. It’s been the compass guiding me through life and has informed every decision that I’ve ever made. Since I can remember music has been the driving force for me.
Who were some of your earliest influences?
Diana: When I was growing up, we always had music playing in the house. We listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac. I think that those artists definitely influenced the songs I create now and I still like to listen to music from that era. I also love that I was brought up on a good balance of female musicians, which I think was really important in inspiring me to take up music.
You recently released your first single, ‘Hotel Song’, could you tell us about the inspiration behind that track?
Diana: I started writing that song when I was in London for a couple of weeks and staying in a really shitty hotel. I was at a time in my life where I didn’t really know what was going to happen with my music and I was trying to figure out what my next move was going to be. When I started writing ‘Hotel Song’ I immediately felt very connected to it and off the back of that London trip I flew to New York to begin working with Simone Felice. That was one of the first songs that we wrote together and started this journey that has become much bigger than I ever thought it would be, it’s already opened a lot of doors for me.
‘Hotel Song’ is taken from your upcoming album, which you also worked on alongside Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers, Jade Bird). What was the experience like making that record?
Diana: Simone produced the record and co-wrote most of the songs with me, it was a collaborative effort and we really came at it as a partnership. We recorded it in the Catskills in New York, where Woodstock took place, alongside our other producer and engineer David Baron. The creation of the record was incredibly simple, which I think is what I like most about it. We also had Byron Isaacs from The Lumineers come in to play bass, which was really cool.
The album’s second single, ‘Rose Of Nantucket’, was also released earlier today. What is the story of that song?
Diana: I love that track and it’s the heart of the album. It focuses on the idea of human loneliness and the importance of relationships with other people, it’s such a special song to me. We shot the music video in Las Vegas, and it’s a portrait style montage of all these lost souls wandering around the city. I’m really happy with how the imagery of the song worked out.
You recently signed to the independent record label, Thirty Tigers, but prior to that you turned down a number of major label contracts. Why did you decide that this was the best path for you?
Diana: I think in this era owning your music is incredibly important, especially at this early stage. Having complete creative control over everything is essential and to be honest I don’t necessarily trust anybody else to put this record out in the way we want to. A major label definitely felt like too many cooks in the kitchen.
Something that stands out about your art is this idea of independence. Why is this so important to you?
Diana: Music is very freeing to me. Writing this album made me feel free and because of that I think it’s a great record to put on whilst you’re driving. ‘Hotel Song’ especially captures the emotions of feeling like you want to get out of somewhere, which is where the album starts off. From there it goes into different topics such as heartbreak, growing up and nostalgia – it definitely feels like a real journey. That concept came naturally and wasn’t intentional, but it makes the album feel very whole.
As an independent artist, what have you found to be the hardest part about breaking into the music industry?
Diana: I try not to think about it too much as being an industry, because that can become incredibly draining. I’m not a religious person at all but I am spiritual and so I think that if you are meant to do something, you’ll do it. The most important thing is perseverance and refusing to bend to other people. Owning what you do and who you are is essential, and if you are genuine and people relate to what you’re doing the rest will fall into place. You just have to wake up every morning and know in your heart that it’s what you want to do and you’re not going to stop.
What message do you want your music to send to people?
Diana: Liberation. If music can make you feel liberated then that is such an incredible thing, and that’s really want I want to achieve with this album. Hopefully I can give somebody else those same feelings that I had when I was growing up and listening to my favourite artists.
After the new record is released, what are your plans for the remainder of 2020?
Diana: We have some incredible tour announcements coming up this year which I’m really excited to share with everyone. The live aspect of what I do is essential and it’s really the heart of music as a whole. It’s going to be an awesome year.
Check out Diana DeMuth’s latest single, ‘Rose Of Nantucket’ below, taken from her forthcoming debut album.