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Raphaela Svirinskaya

The Edinburgh Interview Series - Dec Gibson, Part II

Today we bring an interview with Declan Gibson, a singer-songwriter and Edinburgh student, to catch up in anticipation of his new single, ‘Come Back’, being released on December 24th.

Raphaela - You’ve described this as a very personal track and it is your first release since ‘Better Off Without’ that you released in July. So how did this track come about?

Dec - I think we wanted to stick with the emotional headspace and create something similar to ‘Better Off Without’ but also a little different, so we decided to go in with the guitar, which is still equally as beautiful in my opinion and equally as emotional but just bringing something a little bit different…

R - You’ve mentioned in our previous interview that the songwriting process is a way that you can elaborately express your emotions. Do you feel you have achieved this with this track?

D - You know I think I did it even more with this song. Songwriting for me really is a place where I can write about what I am feeling and about what’s going on - and this song is about the emotions that I’ve had for years. It’s hard to express because it’s something inside of you, something that’s just there and you sort of just live with it and it becomes a part of who you are. That is what I’ve written about. Emotions are just a piece of your personality and this song is a piece of me. Putting it into a creative form with lyrics and music has been a really beautiful and healing process for me.

R - So whilst you are doing all your writing, how are you finding balancing that and your university work and what has taken priority? Are you able to do both or do you have to sort of ebb and flow?

D - I am sure there is a lot of people that are doing something similar to me where they have passions outside of their degree. I definitely feel that you have to be able to find that balance, especially at the University of Edinburgh with a demanding course, so to be honest I have found it difficult. I was at the library in the morning and throughout the afternoon and then in the evenings I would go to my friend’s studio, Meatlocker Studios, and do writing and recording there until about midnight. And then I would do it all over again. There are times when you ask yourself if it’s worth it, but for me personally, I can’t help but make music and it actually makes it more rewarding.

R - Did you find the period before university kicked in again to be a more creative time for you?

D - Making good music is always the goal for me and I want to make something that is an expression of something that I am connecting with. However, at the same time, if I am not feeling necessarily creative or expressive of myself, I will just write about things that are going on. You can literally write about waking up and being pissed off at the world. I think I was feeling very blocked, I had a lot of university work on and I remember just grabbing pen and paper and just writing my stream of consciousness. You know it may be the worst song I have ever written and I may never want to record or work with it, but just being involved in the practice is valuable in itself. Songwriting is just self-expression and if I’m not feeling creative then that’s okay, I’ll just write about something that isn’t cool nor crazily creative.

R - Since we last spoke you’ve been posting a couple of collaborations on your Instagram and also a wonderful cover of Daniel Caesar’s ‘Blessed’ that you encouraged your followers to collab over. How important are collaborations for you as an artist?

D - It’s always fun to play with other people and the main reason I wanted to do it was just to be able to connect with people and share a little bit of happiness. I was living in Amsterdam and a lot of my friends are musicians so I would just show up at gigs and they would get me to jump on stage and sing a few songs. It would just be amazing with a band behind me and people dancing and having a good time. Music is for sharing and it’s not a selfish thing. Maybe with songwriting I will write selfish songs about what I want to write about but live performances are such a collaborative and connective thing whether you are in the audience or on stage.

R - What music have you been listening to lately or connecting with?

D - I’ve been listening to Daniel Caesar and I’ve really enjoyed his RnB vibes. Also The 1975 for that kind of underground disco 80s but still modern sound. With that, I feel like you can really create modern music with current lyrics but still tap back into older sounds. So that’s also where I have been getting my inspiration from, just listening to a breadth of music and seeing what artists are incorporating into their tracks.

R - What are your hopes for 2021? Any plans so far or are you just playing it safe?

D - I am definitely making plans. I want to hopefully release an album in 2021 as well as releasing more singles. I have so many songs that are already written and they are waiting to be released which is very exciting. We have some songs that are beautiful on their own and are so atmospheric which can just take you to a different place when you listen to them so I feel like these would stand better as singles. But there are also some songs which are rocky and fun and would do perfectly in an album!

'Come Back' is released on all major platforms on December 24th.