Dean Dovey is a singer/songwriter from Birmingham (UK). He didn’t pick up a guitar until his early 30’s. Dean writes songs about everyday life that reflect his emotions and feelings at the time of writing and recording them.
“I grew up in a Birmingham suburb, Great Barr, about a 25 minute bus ride from the City Centre. I was just a normal kid, really, I didn’t particularly excel at anything but wasn’t really bad at anything either, apart from sport.”
“My Mum and Dad loved their music, they used to listen to a lot of UB40 and 60’s music when I was growing up and I used to love watching Top of the Pops. I can’t say I was massively into music until 1994 when Oasis burst onto the scene.”
Did you have any music lessons growing up?
“No, none at all, but then music classes at school were quite uninspiring. There was a lack of decent instruments – the only thing you could learn and bring home was a recorder, if you got good at that then you were given a clarinet, which was uncool. So learning music never really entered my head and the school music lessons became a bit of a doss about.”
You didn’t pick up a guitar until your early 30s. What made you pick up a guitar at that point in your life?
“It was down to a long term relationship break up. I guess I suddenly felt free, had more time on my hands and things that didn’t before seemed to appear more achievable. I guess I started to discover there was a lot more I was capable of.”
When did you start writing music? What can you tell me about the first song you ever wrote?
“I wrote my first song in 2012. It was completely out of the blue and unexpected. I’d just started a covers band with my mate playing in the local pubs and one Friday evening at home it just happened, it was like someone had flicked a switch. It was such a weird but wonderful experience.”
“The song itself was in a kind of champagne supernova style and was titled ‘This Summer’s Forever’ and was written about my daughter.”
When did you first start playing in a band?
“Around 2013/2014 when I joined a band called The Silent Union as the frontman and lyricist.”
What’s your most memorable concert experience?
“At a gig with The Silent Union we supported a young upcoming band at a packed out O2 Academy in Birmingham. We’d never heard of them, but they had a big following especially young women. Anyway, we did our set and it went down really well. We were being asked to sign cd’s and all sorts. We were buzzing!”
You’re also part of a covers band On Standby. What’s your favourite (cover) song to play live?
“It will always be ‘Lucky Man’ by The Verve. If it wasn’t for that song I don’t think I’d of wanted to pick up and learn to play on an acoustic guitar. I also really love playing ‘High and Dry’ by Radiohead – what a tune!”
Who are your main musical influences?
“Richard Ashcroft, Noel Gallagher, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Marvin Gaye. I really love some artists from the 50’s like Jimmy Beaumont and The Drifters – jeez those guys could sing! I often sing along to them whilst in the kitchen cooking.”
What can you tell me about your creative process? Has your creative process changed over time?
“No not really, songwriting is such a strange phenomenon, it either happens or it doesn’t. Sometimes I’ll get something whilst playing a few chords on my guitar or I’ll get a few lyrics and a melody whilst walking the dog. The only thing that has changed is that I take a lot more time refining a song – sometimes weeks, sometimes months or even years. It has to pass my own picky standards before it even makes it to a studio.”
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
“Keep going – the show must go on!”
What do you enjoy most as a musician? Is there anything you don’t like?
“I love the process of writing and recording – it really helps to heal the mind and soul. I’m not a fan of videos – they are a right pain and expensive! I also hate the administration side of things when I’m about to release a new track, the writing to and sending off hundreds of emails I find that really tiresome, but hey it’s gotta be done.”
What are you most proud of to date?
“I’m proud of everything I’ve done musically so far. I have absolutely no regrets. I’m loving the journey.”
Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
“No one in particular springs to mind, but I do like to collaborate and have done occasionally it’s good fun.”
What are you working on right now? You’ve released 5 singles. Can we expect an album?
“I’m currently getting my 6th single ready for recording, which will be the final track on my debut EP. It will include my previous 5 singles and maybe a bonus track. The EP will be the first opportunity to own something physical from me, definitely on cd and maybe vinyl.”
Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?
“Hopefully I’ll still be making quality music that people love and enjoy and hopefully I’ll still have a full head of hair.”
What’s your favourite song from the Cool 20?
“My current favourite is ‘Pull’ by Sean Buckley, ace tune that is.”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track to our chart and why?
“It would have to be a song called ‘When I’m with You’ by Sam Lambeth. He’s a local singer songwriter in my area, it’s a great great song and he’s a huge champion of new music.”
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