FOR six years Dan Audio fronted his own band. A blend of rap, rock, soul and drum and bass, they carved a niche in the Leeds music scene – even at one point staging their own hip-hop nights at TJs Woodhouse Club.
When the band ran its course Dan decided to continue his musical career as a busker on the streets of Leeds city centre.
Last summer he lost his voice – and a whole new sound was born. Instead of singing cover versions of popular songs, as he had been doing, he began playing lead guitar over friend Lynsey Cawthra’s rhythm guitar chords.
“People were standing up and clapping us outside Costa Coffee on Briggate and it paid well – I did not expect that,” he says.
“Amazed by the reaction, I set about putting an instrumental set together using my loop pedal and my acoustic guitar to play the tracks live when busking.”
Within a couple of weeks, Dan had recorded an EP of six original tracks. Called Elements Vol 1, it has sold around 500 copies since June.
“It’s nice, simple, laid back, chilled out acoustic chords with me doing soloing over it,” he says.
Taking his music to the streets of Leeds, York and Manchester, Dan, who also works as a youth worker, says he has “met so many people who have enjoyed the music”.
Now he’s about to take things a step further and release a full album. Named Street Song, after “the very first instrumental track I created while busking with Lynsey”, he will launch it tomorrow with a gig at the Fox & Newt on Burley Street, Leeds.
“On the night I will be playing with a full band. I have two support artists who are buskers from Leeds – Lysey Cawthra and Vanessa Maria,” he says.
The idea appealed because, he says: “Everybody sees buskers around a lot but they don’t tend to team up.”
Copies of the album will be on sale on the night; it will also be available from Leeds record shops Jumbo and Crash and digitally from iTunes.
In the meantime Dan will continue busking as he’s thoroughly enjoying it. “I had only been busking a month and lots of people turned up,” he says. “It was a new thing, really. I’d never had people that seemed really dedicated, they were really enjoying the music. Fingers crossed I can keep it going.”
For details visit https://danaudiouk.bandcamp.com/