Behind the piano: Philip Daniel

Behind the piano: Philip Daniel

A few weeks ago I came across Philips single Memory gate and of course I wanted to do a quick interview with him about his, and others, piano music.

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I grew up in Orange County, California but our family moved to the Midwest, and now I live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

How long have you been playing the piano?
For around 20 years, I am 27 and started when I was 7. 

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
I was forced to take piano growing up and it was just something I did. Worked at it to the point where I knew I wanted to pursue it as a career. I studied classical piano performance in undergrad and grad school but then discovered the music of Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm and it inspired me to compose my own modern classical music. I’ve been composing music ever since and hope to someday compose full-time and tour the world.

How long have you been making piano music?
Around 4 years since I composed my first tune.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I have cousins who are professional musicians and they inspired me to stop just playing songs written by other people and create my own. They started out very basic but I hopefully am getting to the point of finding my own unique compositional voice.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Jacob Pavek, John Hayes and many more. 

What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
“My Friend the Forest” by Nils Frahm.

How long is your shortest song? 
“Taking Their Leave” is around 2:30.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
Basic Harmony and lengths of songs in my opinion are rules in pop music that are too closely followed and need to be broken. 

And here’s a question from my five year old son:
Where do your songs come from?
They truly come from what I am genuinely feeling, either consciously or subconsciously. Composing is my way of expressing myself and who I am in the most pure form. 

Thank you Daniel for sharing this.

Please check out these sites for more information about Daniel and his music Spotify / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Homepage