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Daniel Bedingfield
The days have gone when solo artists came out with a runaway hit album, made money and fame and just vanished into thin air. But there are some that still make a mark and come back revitalized to give their fans moreÖ 23-year-old Daniel Bedingfield is that kind of performer.

Daniel Bedingfieldís debut album Gotta Get Thru This while being very ambitious and a great accomplishment, is surely not something that can be taken for granted. His voice is fertile and superfluous, with a lot of intensity in it, complemented well with his biting guitar. Heís now out with his second offering Second First Impression. The Record Music magazine got an exclusive with Daniel. Excerpts:

The Record (TR): Did you always want to be a singer?
Daniel Bedingfield: I've always known since I was nine that I would be doing this. Be it my first album or second, whatever happens, I'm ready for it.

TR: You were involved in a serious accident last year. What happened?
DB: Nobody couldíve been prepared for what really happened that day. On January 2, 2004, I was cut from the wreckage of my jeep near Auckland, New Zealand. The roof of the jeep had broken my neck. I underwent surgery and had a metal frame bolted into my skull for three months. While the fashion world briefly considered the role of the neckbrace in 2004 catwalk chic, I began a physically and mentally draining course of physiotherapy. One unlikely benefit to come from the accident was that my life slowed down for the first time in two years. After the transition from bedroom-dwelling zero to chart-topping hero, I had to take a break. Before the accident it seemed, as if whatever I was doing, I was five steps ahead of myself. It was hard to keep my head above water. And nowÖ well, now Iím just really enjoying life. I have a sense, which I know some people only experience far later in life that I know who I am. And Iím comfortable.

TR: Have these changes made anything different in your life?
DB: These changes have made an understandable impact on my music. Though some of the songs on the second album Second First Impression date back to those days recording in a bedroom, others ooze a new confidence and self-belief, a result of my production partnership with LA producer Jack Joseph Puig, a veteran whose credits include talents like Beck, The Rolling Stones, No Doubt, Weezer and The Black Crowes.

TR: How was it working with Jack Joseph Puig?
DB: Puig impressed me a lot and I feel he has the whole world in his head at one time. Communication was vital to the album. We had continued and extended conversations about how to retain an essence of what made my music me. To this end, the sounds crafted around my own home demos; while the other tracks were built from my own primitive beatbox accompaniments and some even retain those percussion effects on the finished CD.

TR: What is different from the first and second album?
DB: Like its predecessor, Second First Impression also made some bold and from the outside, seemingly reckless lyrical commitments. I love putting out really vulnerable music that could just bite me on the ass. (Laughs). Thereís stuff in my music that Iíd literally never tell my closest friend, and yet somehow it just feels right to put it into a song and tell the entire planet. It takes something that is ugly within yourself, some base instinct, or a pain that is really deep in you, and then it permits all that to enter the public consciousness. For me, itís an almost spiritual experience. Most music today has lost its power. Music has lost its force, its meaning, and its direction. I wasnít going to let that happen to me. I feel the album reaches some places the last one didnít and that maybe my songwriting jumped forward with The Way and Sorry. I would never have been able to write those songs before. TR: You could say Vanilla Ice paved the way for the white, urban artists of today. DB: Oh yeah, white music has come a long way since Vanilla Ice! You could say he broke the ice! Ha! Ha! Ha! (Daniel proceeds to laugh to himself really rather loudly and for a really long time). History hasn't been kind to him, has it?

TR: What about your love life. Anyone on your arm?
DB: I don't know. I was well into women a few years back. During my accident and stay at the hospital, I'd had half the nurses near me, before I left the hospital. Ha ha! Ha ha! (Continues to laugh loudly for a really long time).

TR: Who are your favourite artists, and what do you normally listen to?
DB: I guess my music is my favourite. Let's see, what was No.1 when I became a solo artist. January 16 1998, it was Praise You by Fatboy Slim. A great record. I was always dancing around to that. Iím also into Destinyís Child, Kylie and lots more pop stuff.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Daniel Bedingfield in the January 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

And The Grammy Goes To...
Kylie Minogue
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Lola Kutty
Gary Lawyer
Sum 41
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