Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted February 15th by Design Splat in Singer, Songwriter

Today we have a VERY exciting feature! I have been looking forward to this for some time! It’s exciting for two reasons!

Firstly: This is our very first singer/songwriter interview! Many of you will ask what this has to do with design but I feel singing/songwriting is another form of expressing yourself creatively.

Secondly: Who better to start this off with than Darnell Swallow. Contestant of the Big Brother House 2008. Darnell finished in 5th place.

Darnell: The Artist (Click for Video)


– Interview

Hello and Welcome to the Design Splat Blog Darnell!

Tell us a bit about what you have done since leaving the Big Brother House:

Since I left the Big Brother House, I have been persuing my music career as a recording artist.  I have performed in several venues and have done several collaborations with artists such as: Giggs, Best of Both, Ashley Walters, Skibadee, Bashy, DTV, Ayo, & Frownz, and I’m looking forward  to focusing on my solo career more in 2010.

My latest music video called ‘Kisses Arent Contracts’ went to number 15 in the Official Urban Music Video Chart, and is in currently in rotation on Channel AKA and FLAVA:

Kisses Arent Contracts Music Video (Click Here)

How did you get into song writing and singing?

As a child I would describe myself more as a loner.  I never really spent time playing with other kids, like most children.

So I turned to singing, rapping and writing songs.  I’m thankful now as it’s a part of me and who I stand for today.

Do you think Big Brother gave you the step up to get your foot on the first step of making it in the music industry?

Being a Big Brother Contestant taught me a lot about myself and I’ve grown a lot since appearing in 2008.

Entering the Music Industry is a very challenging thing and it takes a lot of set backs and thick skin to get that break.  Big Brother did not give me a step forward, however it has given me a fan base so I’m aware that others know I’m a positive person.

Are you signed or unsigned at the moment?

I am an unsigned artist at the moment, but with my persistance it won’t be long before I’m a signed artist.

How would you describe your music to people?

I’m a versatile musician who can sing and rap and also write my own music.

My music is entertaining, challenging and meaningful at the same time.  People listening to my songs will see that my music I’ve been through a lot in my life and now I want to share my music with others.

What are your songs about?

The trials and tribulations of everyday life……..and my various experiences with women, both postive and negative!

What image do you think your music conveys?

Image is a very important thing and my music conveys that I’m a realistic guy who wants to be happy.

What or who is the influence for your music?

Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Drake, Jay-Z and My Mother.

Who is your target audience?

I sing for everyone, but especially the ladies and I rap for the youth.

I do a lot of youth work working with fortunate and misfortunate young people whilst teaching music production, songwriting and providing studio and industry experience.

Which part of creating music is the most important to you? The writing of the lyrics, the beat or performing?

There’s nothing like performing on stage, especially to a full house of people who have came to see you personally.

However until you’ve made it then that is a rare occasion.

So i would say that my most enjoyable and most important part is the creation process and the song writing because with that it is like bleeding your heart on to paper and with writing you can crossover to so many genres and reach loads more people.

That’s the poet in me I suppose.

How do you know when a song is good?

When the song hasn’t been recorded or released and people are humming the melody or singing the lyrics already.

Sometimes without knowing and seeing the response from others can be a positive thing!

I once lost a job to another writer yet the person who was making the decision left the building accidentally humming my melody.

He then suddenly realized the error in his ways and gave me the respect I deserved

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well according to the Daily Star I will be headlining Glastonbury!

But I see that I will be continuing my music and running my own record label managing artists, while entertaining my on recording career.

My aim is to collect those Mobos, build it up to the Grammys.

How do you rate yourself as a singer/song writer?

I rate myself very highly.  As a song writer I am registered with the PRS-MCPS and hope to start benefiting from my origniality of song writing.

Also with my singing, I feel that i’m a very highly skilled singer/rapper who will persue my career and succeed professionally.

In your eyes what makes a good singer/song writer?

Versatility and the ability to create an infectious melody.

Do you think the Music industry is difficult to break into?

There is so much competition and everyone believes they will make it.

It’s challenging and difficult but I believe with determination I will succeed.

What do you think it takes to become successful in the Music industry?

Commitment, Faith, Belief, Support and Great Management Support!

What drives you/give you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

This is all I want to do and I can’t imagine doing anything else but singing and song writing.

What level of fame do you aspire to reach?

Fame is overrated. I would trade fame for a University Degree any day. I might not be a celeb but i am a hell of a lot more famous than people give me credit for! Spend a day with me and see for yourself.  I honestly think about moving to Africa but it’s too hot and I will probably combust!

But seriously, fame comes with the success.  I aim to reach my highest potential in my music, so what ever comes with that I will appreciate.

Where can we buy/download your music?

Watch this space. I’m currently recording my album so once it’s ready for distribution, I will promote heavily and it will be downloadable soon.

Do you have any new releases coming up?

Yes, I have a Mothers Day video coming out for my song called ‘ Bio – Love Like That’ which is dedicated to all the mums out there who have stuck it out and given their all when it comes to raising kids.

Especially all those single mothers out there who work, raise their kids and never complain. My music is for them.

Three words to describe yourself?

Hungry, Thirsty and Determined for Success!

Hobbies and other interests?

I am a Filmaholic! I have seen EVERY movie, and some more than once!

Favourite singer/songwriter?

Favorite rapper Jay-Z, but my hottest at the moment is Drake. The list goes on……

Tools of the trade?

Pen & Pad. Except in the BB house where I couldn’t have either and had to draw my inspiration from a short round tThai woman ‘Kat’ who had a strange infatuation for cookies!

I love writing, listening to music, singing and rapping.

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring singer/songwriters?

Make sure you have a strong team around you who believe in you and are willing to invest their time, effort, and most importantly their money in you.

Find your best piece of work and ride it till the wheels fall off.

Nowadays the industry mostly deals in hit records. the days of the album are lost and its all about that number one single.



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