NHC in conversation with Daryl Sperry - A. Main

Hitting the ground running, Daryl Sperry is the new breed of young independent artist.
Focused, passionate, and determined in equal measure, he is currently navigating his way towards personal career success while simultaneously championing the local music scene at every opportunity.

From appearing at open mic nights to headlining his own shows, from support slots on bills to supporting other artists by attending their gigs, Daryl is fast becoming a recognizable figure, and a positive one, in the Glasgow music scene.

So it gives us great pleasure to sit down and throw some questions at him.

NHC - Let's get straight into this Daryl.
You are very obviously driven in the pursuit of your career, but at the same time also promote the ideals of positive thinking to deliver results.
How have you found this approach to be beneficial?

Daryl - I think the idea of positive thinking is very powerful.
I believe it's made things come to me at a very early opportunity.
The basis of it is for me to maximise all the good things that come, to take advantage of every single opportunity, and to see everything that might go wrong as a learning opportunity, and even as a test to stay focussed on what I'm doing, while of course keeping a mindset of appreciating and being grateful for what I currently have.
I'm still learning to adapt the best way to this method of thinking!
It's definitely been worthwhile.

You do seem to have a well thought out career plan in motion.
It is partially the template that managers and labels apply to artists, but in this case it is coming from you, an independent artist.
Are you trying to take a leaf out of their book, but tailor it to your own dreams as required?

I suppose so.
I haven't used a step by step guide on what to do, but I think it's a pretty solid plan I have. I'm always thinking ahead about the next thing, and I'm always quite sure on what I'm doing.
I think people admire that, that I have looked to what comes next, and next again, that I've thought about it all so much.
It shows how dedicated I am that I do consider so many scenarios and then plan around them. If you approach things professionally then you are taken more seriously.

Well not everyone admires your approach.
There are a minority who seem to take some strange sort of offence at your confidence in self promoting.
How do you deal with that?

I think that's sort of expected.
Everybody has there own opinions so I have to respect that.
I take on board the criticisms and do consider if they are valid or not, and if they are I take note and move on.
I respect anyone in the same court as myself who do there own thing, and being able to speak to them about there own creations is really cool.
I feel that I am promoting we instead of me at times though.
I want to inspire people into believing in themselves and I try to do that in the best manner I can.
I work very hard to get out that idea.
I want it to be the best possible standard.
Some people won't get that though and I have to accept it.
I will learn more all the time.
Everything is a work in progress, even life.

You recently had a launch night with a full band backing you.
How was that?

Great man. It was the next logical step for me.
Everybody involved that night could see how seriously I was taking it, and we hope to continue on now together and open the door to more opportunities.
The band behind me are mates as well as great players so that's part of the bigger picture of promoting we rather than me.
I want to give these guys big opportunities.
Be part of their journey too.
I'll always do my part for them.

So is it straight into the studio for you all to work on an ep or full length album next?

First of all I'llbe promoting this EP that I have out, and make the outlandish music videos for it that I have ideas for, then EP2 will be made.
I want to collaborate with people a lot on that one and try a lot of different things.
I have my safety net of all the songs I will be recording next so if the collaborations is really special it will be included.
I will be speaking to the guys about what I want to do next soon.
We're still on a high after the launch!

You mentioned before about a MTV unplugged styled video/recording as a project too.
Is that still something on the cards?

Yeah man definitely. I think it will all piece itself together.
It will happen soon I'm sure. Just got to get everything together for it.

With so much going on how important is it to maintain artistic control?

It's very important to me.
I know everyone says that, but I can see my own unique direction and it's up to me to bring that out.
I have to be behind it and ultimately be the one to make the mistakes along the way to get to that new originality!

Is that something that could be problematic if labels and management were to become involved, or is their time of grooming bands for success on the wane in many ways?
Has the balance started to tip back to the artist?

I think labels and management are important because they can give me advice.
It should be possible to work together to bring an image across the correct way, almost to fine tune how I want to express my music I suppose.
I think ultimately you know what you are going to get in the end with a label or management, some people require assistance more than others and that's perfectly fine.
I like to look at American hip hop culture for influence in that respect, the artist has so much creative influence and it excels.

And that brings us neatly to influences.
Who are the touchstones for you?
And who would you consider to be the least obvious?

The Beatles. Growing up, my dad would listen to them constantly.
They are the main one.
A songs like 'a day in the life' is stuck in my head as the benchmark of creativity.
I always felt I could definitely have a go at this before I wrote or played music,  Queen and Oasis sort of brought out the passion in me, always used to dream of stunning an audience because of their performances.
Other artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Neil young,  REM, Dire Straits, Traveling Wilburys, The Doors,  all brought influence at an early age.
More modern influences come from hip hop artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Eminem, Drake, Kanye took hold of me because of his production, there's far too many influences I could speak about, but almost anything I could speak about I could listen to.
I'm very impressionable as a listener.

So to bring everyone up to date what is the next step for you?
What is the next stage you are working towards?

More of the same.
Making music videos and playing gigs with the band man, going out and doing it and spreading the word, the next stages are in my head so I prefer to keep them close to myself until they are near, but I can't wait man.
It's all good.