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In a world where success is defined as who is earning the most money and playing to the biggest crowds, Dave Giles is a breath of fresh air. He defines success as being able to make a living off of playing his music and everything on top is just a bonus. This doesn’t mean he isn’t ambitious or shy of a big crowd, far from it, but it does mean his approach to his audience and the industry is very different from almost anyone musician you've ever met.
A full time self-employed musician since July 2007, Dave graduated from being a guitarist who sang backing vocals to a stage centre singer/songwriter in October 2010, when he released his debut EP with a sell out show at the Camden Barfly. Since then he has been on countless UK tours, a handful of Irish tours and even a tour in Australia. He has released seven self produced EP’s and one full length album "Love, Life, Loss and Tea"(produced by Nigel Pulsford of Bush fame) on his own record label Cheeky Chimp Records. He has sold out venues all over the UK and played hundreds of house shows in living rooms, conservatories, gardens, kitchens and even in a shed.
This year is his 10th anniversary of becoming a full time musician and to celebrate he's going to Nashville in January 2018 to record his second full length album. Not one to do things by halves, he's aiming to hire the best studio, producer and musicians that he can afford and is spending most of this year fundraising for this. It's a huge project which could be the defining moment of his career so far.
When doing interviews, there is one question that Dave struggles to answer. “What do you sound like?” - It’s not that he has created a new genre, it’s just that he likes to do lots of different things. He can be folk, blues, rock. pop. country and even a bit jazzy at times. He’s recently coined the phrase “genre fluid” or “pan-genre” and jokes that his songs like to be referred to as “them” or “they” instead of “he” or "she”. Lyrically he tries to tell stories, and often they are very personal written. He really does wear his heart on the sleeve.
His live shows are always full of charm. He’s recently taken to finding the smallest possible venues and creating really intimate settings where everyone feels at home. Any tour he has organised since 2016 has featured first come first serve “Pay What You Want” tickets and he will continue to do this (obviously support slots don’t allow this option). Partly in protest to the huge rise in ticket prices and the greed he sees within the industry, not just from artists, but from all the other people involved in live events who are taking a huge cut, but also because he things that live music is an art form and it should be experienced by all. Just like your favourite museums are free with donation boxes, Dave’s gigs are now about allowing live music goers from all backgrounds and circumstances choose their own price, even if it’s nothing. This is one of the many things that Dave has done to build an extremely loyal hardcore following. When his chips are down, they come through in more ways than any artist could ever expect and he does everything he can to break down the barriers of the “them and us” approach that some musicians adopt with their audiences.
Basically, Dave isn't one of those stylish, good looking singers.
He just does his music and hopes that people listen and treats them like they’re real humans rather than just statistics to impress people.
If there are games to be played in this industry, Dave is on another pitch altogether. For better or worse, he’s doing it on his terms.
His music can be found, to buy or to be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Google Play and all the other music sites or you can pick your own price over at .Bandcamp