You already know him from his distinctive brand of reggae-infused, chill-out tunes like “Ooo Ohh”, “Drunk and Stoned”, and “Diggy”. Now, the coolest cat on the block, Daniel Wesley is back with his fifth studio album, Easy Livin’ – this time, channeling a bit of his rock n’ roll roots.
On the evolution from the first record to the fifth
It’s been a steady evolution. Based on all the life experiences I have had over the past five years, I have drawn from all of them and they have helped shaped what each album has become. Even the simple concept if I should use acoustic guitar or electric on a song reflects what kind of headspace I was in and what was going on in my life.
On producer, Dave “Rave” Ogilvie
Every producer brings something different to each project. With Rave it was a really easy approach. We just looked at the songs, figured out what was working and piece-by-piece, instrument after instrument…[we worked] until it sounded complete. We had a lot of fun and it seemed to go pretty fast. I’ve loved every producer I’ve worked with though and know that I’ve been lucky and would work with all of them again.
On the accidental reggae sound
When I started this project in 2006, I wasn’t personally in a happy place. I was playing in a hard rock band and had never even thought about playing reggae-infused music. My approach to this solo project was just to make music that made me happy. So somehow I started writing with a reggae touch. It was not conscious at all – it was me just going with my body and heart. So it was all kind of by accident. That’s why I think it’s kind of funny when I do the rock stuff a bit now and people think it’s a departure. Reggae was a total departure. Rock is where my roots are. But reggae is also where my heart is too.
On “tinkering” with instruments
Sometimes things are completely obvious even while you are writing the song. Like “Vagrants Life” was a given for some banjo on it. But I like to work my way through the song, rather than figure out all the things we need. Just add a layer here and a colour there and [the song] has a way of naturally finding the course that it should take. I had a blast adding a bunch of keys to these songs – something I haven’t done that much by myself on other albums. Tinkering is one of my favourite past times.
On music videos
Videos are a hard thing. For me they don’t really represent the song. We just always try to have a fun concept to have some cool visuals that can be a vehicle for people to enjoy the music
On being a complete open book
I never think about the outcome of the songs while I’m writing. So I’m always an open book. I don’t have much to hide. I think it’s healthy to deal with things with words. And I’m lucky enough to have music be my channel to express these feelings.
On being a BC boy
I write songs all over the world when I’m traveling on the road, sound checking at hotels or sitting on the couch at home. So for me I’m just soaking in the cultures everywhere. But being from BC has its benefits and going to the beach, looking at the ocean while magnificent mountains soar above, and playing some guitar never hurts. I ride my cruiser bicycle around the city a lot too. So I guess I probably pick up on the west coast vibe just through everyday life.
On touring with Matthew Good
I love meeting people that come to the shows whether I’m out east or home in the west. It’s great that people still see the importance of getting out with your friends, having a few drinks an catching some live music. The Matt Good tour has been awesome so far. I’m gaining many new fans every night. So I’m very thankful to him for the exposure and the 40 plus shows that are on this tour.
On the rules of an Easy Livin’ life
Love, family, and experiences.