Introducing: Danny Azhar
Danny Azhar is a Coventry-based singer, songwriter and producer. ESMEDIA had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Danny Azhar and talk about his musical journey- everything from quirky pre-show rituals to musical inspirations.
On an Saturday afternoon in Coventry we were set to meet our musical guest. The venue for this rendezvous was the city’s lively and happening hotspot for musical acts across all genres- The Tin Music and Arts Centre. Anticipating our arrival and welcoming us was Danny Azhar himself, his warm personality shone through as he greeted us with a hearty hug. He was a good-humored, friendly conversationalist and immediately put everyone at ease with his calm, natural presence. When asked about what inspired him to pursue music he replied, ‘[M]usic was always in me, even from an early age…’, he recalls drawing a lot of inspiration from his mother as she pursued her own musical career as a jazz singer back in the day. As an artist, he places a lot of importance in the art of storytelling, his music helps his audience relate to social issues such as relationships, breakup and new found love.
‘[I]t’s about being able to tell a story, not only from my past experiences but also from experiences that people can relate to…’
Danny Azhar describes his musical taste to fall under the genres of current soul and alternative R&B. Evidently, his favorite artists to cover are contemporary R&B legends including Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars and Soul English Singer-Songwriter James Morrison. During his acoustic set, Danny Azhar performed a heart-rending cover of Daniel Caesar’s 2017 hit song ‘Best Part’, he sang with a very soothing, emotive air around him making sure to hit all the right notes and all told, delivering an unadulterated, beautiful show.
Danny Azhar is not only a singer but also a talented songwriter, when asked about what themes run through his lyrics he replied, ‘it’s a bit cliché, but like a heartbreak.’ To further dive in we asked if anything is particularly hard to put into words, we came full circle as he expressed that it’s harder to write about ‘getting over’ the same heartbreak.
From The Rolling Stones requesting a Shepherd’s pie before their set, to Chris Martin impulsively brushing his teeth before going on stage, all musicians over the years have had pre-show rituals of their own standing, when asked about his way to deal with the stage jitters, he replied, ‘I have a lot of fizzy drinks, to get hyped and I shout, it helps me relax.’
Danny Azhar has previously performed at Coventry’s infamous Godiva Festival, he recalls the experience as being ‘nerve-wracking at first’ but he mentions that after a while he eased into it and thoroughly enjoyed playing the set. As we were on the case of stage nerves, he revealed that he once broke a string on stage but kept going, ‘It was one of the most embarrassing moments but I carried on performing.’ After all, the show must go on!
Since Coventry won the bid for City of Culture 2021 in 2017, the music scene in the city is gaining significant traction- up and coming talents like Danny Azhar are leading the way by enabling collaborations and producing incredible work. When asked if he feels any pressure representing the city at this very potent time, he replied:
‘Yes, there is a little pressure, there’s a lot of attention coming to the city and you want to bring as much good positive attention as possible.’
Finally, when asked what advice he would give to young aspiring artists, he replied with an assuring, confident stance saying, ‘keep doing what you do, no matter how hard the wall is in front of you, just keep pursuing.’
Here at ESMEDIA, we are eagerly looking forward to witness everything that 2019 has in store for Danny Azhar, including his very own album and mixtape which will see him venturing into new genres like House and Garage.
Written by Mehreen Yousaf
Edited by Esmé Spurling
Photography by Sophie Nugent
BTS Photography by Sophie Allsop
Special thanks to The Tin (Coventry) and Danny Azhar