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Daniel Powter
With a voice like Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and a sound like no other, Daniel Powter seems to be just the breath of fresh air that music is looking for. Soulful tunes, bold lyrics and a trademark beanie hat have proven to appeal to fans, and Powter has struck gold with his self-titled debut album. The Record Music Magazine takes a look at what makes this Canadian a record-breaking success.

34-year-old Powter’s first single Bad Day is impossible to dislike. Its music is infectious and lyrics honest, with a music video featuring Powter playing away on his piano as two 20-somethings constantly cross paths without meeting until the very end. But the song isn’t literally about bad days ~ Powter wrote it about not taking yourself too seriously and complaining about trivial things, which he admits he himself sometimes does! Ironically, one of Powter’s most recent bad days was just before he shot the video for this song, when his apartment in Vancouver, Canada burned down.But the silver lining? Losing everything put him in the right mood for shooting the video.

Bad Day was first released in Europe in mid-2005, debuting at # 2 on the UK Singles chart and staying in the top ten for 13 weeks. It also placed fifth in the British Record of the Year 2005, voted for by music fans. Coca-Cola even used the song as its theme for a European ad campaign.

The success of Bad Day proves that Daniel Powter is definitely worth a listen, and the rest of the album lives up to the hype surrounding him. With the piano proving to be Powter’s preferred instrument, he belts out tunes that are impossible not to sing along to. The second single Free Loop is just as catchy as Bad Day, but with an entirely different theme ~ one night stands. And while Hollywood is a brutal take on the sordidness of showbiz, Give Me Life is a twisted take on a relationship that isn’t working out.
Like Bad Day and Hollywood, the rest of Powter’s ten-track debut keeps it real ~ something that he learned in his native Canada. While ice hockey is the Canadian national pastime, Powter chose to play music. He started with the violin as his mother accompanied him on the piano, and listened to his parent’s Fleetwood Mac and Duran Duran records.

His interest in music made him unpopular with his schoolmates, and Powter was often the target of their jokes ~ and sometimes of their fists. “I had played at this talent show at my school,” he said, “probably in grade five or six. I was walking across a field with my violin case when a couple of bullies from the school just beat on me. That was my turning point. I went back home with a black eye and announced, ‘You know what? I'm not doing this anymore.’”

Powter’s dyslexia also affected his music. “My teacher focused very much on being able to read,” he said. “I remember her looking over at me during one lesson and saying, ‘You know, your music is upside down.’ That's when I realized I had to break off from that structured idea of music and find my own way.”

You can read the rest of our feature on Daniel Powter in the December 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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