Artist to watch: Dan Croll

By Adilene Rodriguez

You don’t have to be a musician to understand how momentous it is for a musician to have Paul McCartney call their music “groovy.” One artist who has received such an endorsement from McCartney is Liverpool-based musician Dan Croll.

Croll is an up-and-coming musician whose EP “From Nowhere” has brought him a lot of attention in the music world for having a variety of genres in each of the four original tracks. With so much variety in his music, there isn’t a specific genre that could be pinpointed to describe Croll’s sound.     

“Each track is unique and sounds different from the next, so hopefully it’s an EP that will keep people on their toes,” Croll told Nylon Magazine in an interview in March of 2013. Croll’s music stylings all have contained electronic influences, guitar band riffs, African inspired rhythms, R&B and folk elements. Every single song is a different genre experiment accompanied by Croll’s silvery vocals.

Such a large spectrum of different sounds has driven comparisons from a varied number of artists. Artists ranging from Prince, Paul Simon, Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit have all been used to compare Croll’s music. That’s a pretty powerful list of musicians to be compared to, especially for someone who being a musician wasn’t their original plan.

Croll was a rugby player in North Staffordshire, England in high school. He had hoped of playing professionally before an injury put those plans to an abrupt end. Croll cited music for helping him get through the injury and helped him realize his love for music.

That led to Croll applying to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in Liverpool, England. It was there where he had the honor of playing his music to Paul McCartney back in 2011.  

After winning the Musician’s Benevolent Fund Songwriter of the Year Award, he was rewarded with a cash prize of 5000 pounds ($8331.50 US dollars) and a one-on-one session with McCartney himself.  

“He suggested a couple of harmonies, but he felt like they were very strong songs and, obviously, to have Paul McCartney say that to you is just incredible,” said Croll in an interview for TIME Magazine.

Since then, Croll has been making a name for himself across the pond and is slowly making his mark in the U.S. as well. Croll has already played in big American music festivals in 2013 such as Austin City Limits and South By South West Music Festival and has been invited to play at both festivals again this year.

Recently, a remix of Croll’s song “From Nowhere” has been included in the “Grand Theft Auto” videogame soundtrack. His other single “Compliment Your Soul” was also included in the “FIFA 14” videogame soundtrack. The “FIFA” videogame has a reputation for featuring some of the best up-and-coming artists on their soundtracks.

Croll has toured with some of the most popular alternative bands out today. He supported Imagine Dragons in the European leg of their tour back in November of 2013. He recently finished touring in support of London Grammar in their U.K. tour.

Croll’s debut album titled “Sweet Disarray” is set to be released on April 1 in the U.S. and has announced U.S. tour dates in support of the album. Croll will be stopping in New York on April 17 at the Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are on sale now.

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