DANIEL Shipley never intended for the public to hear his new record.
By day a hospital pharmacist, by night a musician, he’d recorded a bunch of songs that were “emotional outlets”.
“Many people will be surprised how personal some of the tracks are,” he says as mini album Find A Way Through reaches ears around Sheffield. “The feedback that I received encouraged me to release it.
“One of the most important tracks is called Steel City. When I first arrived in Sheffield the network of friends and family I had in my previous home towns disappeared.
“While this was initially quite a lonely time Sheffield provided me with the time and understanding to process a few things I had been running away from. For this reason I wrote the song as a way of saying thank you to the city.”
Daniel recorded that and five others tracks at G2 Studios, on John Street. The style moves between acoustic soul and carefully-crafted pop.
“During my childhood I was constantly surrounded by music. While my parents weren’t musicians, their enthusiasm for songs and melody undoubtedly influenced me.
“My father introduced me to blues and British rock and roll - Beatles, Cream, The Kinks, John Mayall, Led Zepplin, Jeff Beck etc - while Mum was more enamoured with soul, Motown and folk. Growing up in the ‘90s meant I was inevitably listening to Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chilli Peppers...
“At 15 I started writing lyrics with a friend. By 16 I had a guitar and started to write compositions.
“After completing my A levels I was invited to teach songwriting at an American summer camp in New Hampshire. During this period my confidence as a writer and performer markedly improved.”
Find A Way Through oozes that and an easy-going charm, from the brushed drum warmth of gentle opener You, through the casual summer swagger of Sing Together to the raw lyrics of Running Out Of Places Left To Hide. The defiant soulful chop of Lonely is countered nicely by the piano-edged title track for a fairly consumate offering.
“Strangely my passion has always been songwriting rather than performance,” says Daniel, who hopes to gig soon, in between completing a clinical diploma.
“This album has been written over about seven years,” concludes Daniel.
“I have always found expressing myself through music incredibly therapeutic and during recording it became apparent this collection of songs was quite conceptual as it charted some difficult and challenging times of my life. Find A Way Through seemed to conveniently knit the tracks together.”