British Folk with a passion for Italy: Q&A with Blair Dunlop
Do you remember that little boy playing the role a baby Johnny Depp terrified by his dental surgeon father in “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory”? Today that boy is 22 and an acclaimed British Folk musician with his second full length album coming out next year. The son of folk singer Ashley Hutchings, Blair Dunlop is a modest, talented, very promising young performer, whose music earned him positive reviews from The Guardian and Q Magazine. He also won the Horizon Award at the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. I had the chance to meet Blair for the first time one year ago and despite his unquestionable talent, he’s quite down to earth and modest… and with a true passion for Italy, particularly Florence.
Following is my new interview to him, where he talks music and future plans.
Q: When did you realise you wanted to be a rockstar in your life?
A: Well both my parents are musicians, my Dad has always been professional so it was a natural path for me to take. I only started thinking about it seriously in my last year at school, when I was 18.Q: What are your songs about? What inspires you when you compose them?A: It varies from song to song. I like listening to people, I also like watching people and I get a lot from that. The more personal songs often come from dissatisfaction within me; whereas the more linear, objective songs tend to be about other people.
Q: How long have you been doing it professionally?
A: 2/3 years now.
Q: Any particular artist who inspires you?
A: So many… I’m influenced by a lot of 70s West Coast Americana, people like Jackson Browne and Warren Zevon. My biggest songwriting influence is probably Richard Thompson, I find his satire really rewarding. But also a lot of cerebral hip-hop, people like Lupe Fiasco and Kendrick Lamar inspire me, even if they are not ‘influences’ as such.
Q: I know you tour all over Europe. Isthere a favourite country where you particularly enjoy playing?
A: Haha, Italy. Forza Fiorentina. And the food is good.
Q: Any plans to tour the US?
A: Yes, I recorded an EP over in Atlanta, Georgia last December with Larkin Poe, an American group. Playing over there was a great eye opener for me, hopefully I’ll go back soon.
Q: Have you signed a contract with a recording label? How many albums have you published so far?
A: Yes, I’m recording my second full length album this Autumn. It should be out in Spring.
Q: What are your plans in short terms and long terms?
A: Short term: Finish writing the album. Long term: Move to Florence? Haha, I don’t want to set ceilings or targets, I just want to be happy with my material. I probably won’t be though, I think that’s probably for the best though!