Catching up with Darren Burdis

Darren Burdis is one of the first artists we discovered when we started our magazine. We had an exclusive interview with Darren back in 2023, and we definately had to talk again about his latest release "The Surface".
Where can we find you right now and what are you up to?
Physically, I’m sitting on my sofa in my pyjamas, exhausted and ready for bed! Proper Rock and Roll! But that’s probably not what you meant is it? Currently, you can find my music on all the main platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube and Bandcamp (if you’re feeling extra generous and willing to part ways with you hard earned cash to support my cause!) My latest single, “The Surface” has been getting lots of lovely airplays on various radio stations, including Amazing Radio recently, so you can always here me there too, and I’m on all the usual social media platforms and can be found by searching for Darren Burdis Music.
How would you define success? What is your goal?
Great question! The obvious answer is that success would be the ability to make a sustainable career out of making music! But the reality for me is that I’m jut happy making music for myself, first and foremost. The process of crafting a song, writing the lyrics and the music, recording it and mixing it (which I’m still getting to grips with) and then putting out there for people to hear is enough for me, even all the added extras that come with being a DIY independent artist, such as promoting the music pre and post release and getting to engage with other artists and listeners along the way is fulfilling. For instance, last year I got involved with an online music community called The New Artist Spotlight, which is an international network hundreds of independent artists from around the world, with huge emphasis on supporting each other. They have their own Top 20 Chart, Podcasts, weekly reviews etc. and it all goes a long way to help promote indies like me, but above all else you get to meet and interact with a lot of like-minded people and learn from others. So, I’d say these kinds of things are, in their own way, success. My goal is to just keep on making music for as long as I am enjoying it. Anything else that comes my way as a result of that would really just be an added bonus.
What can you tell us about The Surface?
The Surface is my latest single, and was officially released on 15th June, as the follow up to my last single Scars On Your Memories. Where Scars On Your Memories showed a heavier, rockier side to my music, I feel The Surface sees me return to more familiar territory in more of a ballad style. On one hand, the song conveys the feelings of someone being in a relationship and finding true comfort, solace and happiness with someone, while also delivering the message of "no matter whether times or good or bad, I'll be right there with you, and whenever I'm in need of support I need you to be all in as well".
How was the recording process?
Tough for this song, actually! I probably made it more difficult than it really needed to be. I’ve found over time that I’ve started to become a bit of a perfectionist with the process, although I’m still learning the ropes when it comes to the final mix. With this particular song, my original intention was that it would simply be two tracks, which were the main vocal line and just a single acoustic guitar track underpinning it. But when I recorded it that way I felt something was missing so I started playing around with other ideas and introducing strings and more electric guitar tracks etc. until it just naturally evolved into the fuller sounding track that it now is. I found towards the end that no matter what I was adding to it, I was just tinkering with it a lot trying to get the levels right and there came a point where I had to say enough is enough. I’m pleased with how it turned out though. If you listen to that track, then go right back to the start and listen to my very first release, Heartbeats, you can definitely hear such a vast difference in the quality, so I feel like I’m progressing in the right way.
What do you think of AI in music?
This is a really interesting question, and I’ve definitely seen a lot of people talking about this, with many arguments for and against. Personally, I’m all for it, but in moderation. I’m not a big fan of all these completely artificial tracks where people get someone like George Formby singing a Slipknot song or whatever, that’s more of a novelty in my eyes, but some of the AI tools out there when used in the right way can definitely help artists to enhance their tracks. It’s all about balance. I’ve not used any AI in my actual music yet, but I know people who have to help with filling in tracks with instruments they don’t play for example. I have used AI for a couple of my music videos in the past though and some of the results have been great. I think the best way to view it is that AI is here, and is only going to keep growing and appearing more and more in our lives, so we might as well embrace it and use it to enhance our lives. Having said that, there’s always that fear that one day there’ll be some sort of robot uprising and we’ll be wiped out by our own creation, so you know, swings and roundabouts and all that.
What is your greatest achievement as a musician so far?
Honestly, just the fact that I’m blessed enough to be able to make music and enjoy the creative process. You can really lose yourself in the process and it’s a great way to express yourself. All the kind words and listeners along the way have been fantastic too. I’ve seen streaming numbers I didn’t ever imagine I’d see when I first started doing this, for instance a single I released last year, In The Hands Of The Devil has exceeded 30,000 streams on Spotify. Small numbers when you look at the big names out there as comparison, but for me I never thought my music would have the reach it has.
Tell us about your future plans.
I’m currently finishing off recording my next track, which will be called Vessels, likely to be released towards the end of August but the date is still to be confirmed. That track will be slightly more up-tempo compared to The Surface but still has a similar sound and a lot of the same elements to it that my music normally does. Beyond that, by the end of this year I am aiming to have another couple of tracks released, one of which will hopefully be a re-recording of my first ever single Heartbeats as I listen back to it now and think my lack of experience with recording and mixing didn’t do the song justice. Then I’ll wrap this year up, hopefully with my first full album which will largely be a collection of some of the tracks that I have already released with maybe one or two new ones thrown in for good measure. Then I’ll probably have a short hiatus and begin planning releases and hopefully live shows in the new year.