Carving out grooves, with Dan Fable
‘’I used to run the recording studio from my bedroom and that progressed into me starting a record label’’
Musician, producer, and all-round creative, Dan Fable started his musical journey fourteen years whilst still at school, where he would rap with his friends, using nothing more than a cheap mic and a rudimentary DAW to record their tracks.
Having left school, he started out as a joiner… handy skills that enabled him to build his own home-studio which, in his own words, was ‘’decent enough for people to start paying me to use it’’. His music career took off from there as he founded his own independent record label, worked with a number of artists and pulled off a few UK tours. Things were looking promising; the label gathered momentum, a small team had been assembled, the bedroom operation levelled up to dedicated office space – however, things sadly came to an end back in 2017.
The pandemic has hindered the progress and growth of many artists around the world, unfortunately, however for Dan, where there is a will, there is a way. In the wake of the early 2020 pandemic, and following the closure of his independent label, he parted company with the artists he was working with and, having predominantly been occupied with writing music for other artists, he decided began to write for, and promote, himself online as a solo artist… once again, things have started to gain momentum over the course of the last couple of years.
His energy and drive to have his story heard is inspirational. Not only is he working on carving out his own sound, releasing music, and working with some great producers… he has also started up his label again, and is ‘’expecting great things for 2022’’.
Staying motivated and believing that better times are just around the corner has well and truly tested everybody’s beliefs, patience, and health lately. And, as with many artists we’ve spoken to, the pandemic has largely enabled Fable to focus on his solo work by writing and recording in his home studio, in addition to a host of other diverse activities, including; managing other artists and arranging tours, directing and producing videos, and putting his web design skills to use. Dan also describes himself as a marketing guru, sales expert, and social media geek.
In other words, pandemic or not, here’s a man who likes to keep himself busy by developing and learning new skills. For all his efforts, Fable has benefitted from the overwhelming support and positive feedback he has received from friends and followers on social media. He said ‘’I can’t stress how amazing it is to get good feedback from people’’ which can only serve as a platform for building confidence and laying down some solid foundations.
Without further ado, let’s get stuck into the interview…
Thanks for talking with us Dan, it’s much appreciated. Let’s start with your musical influences, and what first got you into music.
I got into music after listening to Eminem’s music. Early stuff like the Marshall Mathers LP and Curtain Call. Eminem is a bit influential in terms of his lyrical ability and his rhythm. More obvious people like Ed Sheeran steered me towards the singing with guitar vibe, and a lot of folk-influenced artists like Angus & Julia Stone influenced the melodic side of things. I have a very random and varied taste in music. It crosses all genres.
You mention Ed Sheeran and Angus & Julia Stone, well-known guitarists. You do a bit on the six-string also – how long have you been playing?
I’ve been playing for maybe around 10 years – although I feel like I peaked 9 years ago and just stayed at that level. I have an old cheap guitar from the 80s, but it’s perfect for me. I currently recording my tunes at home just on my laptop and I produce mostly myself. Occasionally I work with some amazing producers who help me push the songs onto a slightly different path which is really good for me. It helps me develop my sound.
How would you describe the music that you typically create and is there a particular genre that you associate with the most?
My music is so varied but 90% of the time it is acoustic/guitar-based. My songs are lyrically driven and so the rest of the production is just a pillow for the lyrics to sit on. I think for this reason my songs tend to sway between genres but the foundation of the lyrics remains the same.
What is it that motivates you to create, and where do you draw your inspiration from?
For me, the motivation to create comes from the desire to be seen and heard. I want people to hear the lyrics I’ve written and understand the meaning behind them. I see the creation process as a packaging up of those lyrics to emphasise their meaning. I feel like some of the best songs ever made are so simple lyrically and if you were to just read them on their own it wouldn’t have the impact intended. The motivation to create comes from wanting my lyrics to be heard in the way I intended. I enjoy the whole process, as mentioned before – taking something in my mind and wanting to make it real.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process, and perhaps a few key lessons you’ve learned whilst making music – how has your approach developed over time?
My creative process for recording a song tends to start with either a nice lyric idea I have had and written in my notes or a nice chord progression on the guitar. From there I tend to write quite quickly. I mutter melodies over the chords and find phonetically pleasing sounds and form them into words that flow with the meaning of the song.
I let the song go where it wants and don’t try to stick to specific structures. I usually start by laying down a rough loop of the chord progression and record a rough vocal take over it. From there I begin to add layers like bass guitar, pads, additional guitars, or any other electronic layers. At this point, I sometimes steer away from the guitar and progress on a more electronic vibe. This just happens naturally as I fit the lyrics and melody with new sounds which I think work.
I think the main thing I have learned is to focus more on the phonetic sound of certain words other than just the lyrics themselves. Try to find words and lines which roll off the tongue. Don’t overproduce something, focus on one thing as the fundamental point of the song and surround it with things that enhance it. If it doesn’t add to the song in a significant way then don’t add it.
How do you fill your time when you’re not making music? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
90% of my time is put into my record label. It’s visual creative based so I’m always filming music videos, taking pictures, creating single covers, focussing on image and sound. I do a lot of recording with artists and travel around the UK quite often. My life pretty much revolves around creating and that’s what I love.
Are you working on anything new at the moment that you’d like to mention?
I’m working on recording music. My aim is to be more consistent with my releases and I have some really good tunes in the bag just in the finishing stages. I’m also going to be doing some recording with a couple of great producers over the coming months which will be good for me. I have so many songs which are half-written and I am working through them to get them finished. I currently have maybe 30 songs that I want to release. That is my main focus right now. Getting them all finished.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The love I have received on my music and my Instagram videos has been mind-blowing and I can’t stress enough how amazing it feels to get good feedback from people. That is what drives me and I just want to say thank you to everyone who is supporting me.