Welcome to January! This week’s Track of the Week comes from BIMM Institute Berlin’s Dan Valnic, whose brand of rock aims to appeal to a younger generation.
His latest track, Wake You Up, explores the internal battle faced during a break-up. Listen below.
Describe your new track in three words…
Dramatic, energetic and chaotic
What inspired you when writing this track?
This song is about wanting to wake yourself up from that post-relationship, almost comatose state. In other words, it is about the inner fight between your rational consciousness and your subliminal, overly emotional self, which is what I was struggling with at the time of writing this song.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
In general, my songs come from a rather personal place and I don’t constantly think about the work or lyrics of other artists while writing them. But right now I’m working on a couple of new songs that are inspired by the lyrical work of Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave and Kurt Cobain.
What would you say makes your music unique?
While utilising the instrumentation of a whole band, I still identify as a solo artist, as I’m writing and recording my music on my own. Which is a relatively rare thing in the rock genre. In doing so, I have total creative freedom over what I want my music to sound like. The music that I make is my attempt to modernise and revitalise rock music for a younger generation and push the boundaries of the rock genre and its subgenres.
Do you have a process you follow when writing a song?
When approaching a new song, I usually just pick up a guitar or sit down at a piano and start playing. As English isn’t my first language, I typically don’t immediately start singing in complete sentences, but rather start with humming melodies and trying to come up with vocal melodies in gibberish. After having a vague idea of what I want the melody to sound like, I start translating the gibberish into actual words that fit the song’s context. But of course, there are other times when, going into a session, I already feel lyrically inspired by real-life events and I just start writing without any particular melody in mind.
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
BIMM has helped me figure out who I want to be as an artist. Whether that’s by studying specific skills like my guitar technique or receiving advice on songwriting, publishing music or the music business in general. BIMM has shown me how much work and dedication is necessary for an artist to succeed in the music industry. It also keeps me motivated and inspired to keep working on myself, my music and the artist that I want to become.
What’s next for you?
This song is only my second single ever and, right now, I’m working on an album that is set to be released in May 2022. Until then, I’m going to put out a couple of singles, while still focusing on finding my sound and making every new song that I release better than the one before.