On the Record: Alternative-pop artist Douglas McGuire talks ‘Island’, finding love and self-producing

A true force to be reckoned with and an artist at the top of his game, alternative-pop singer-songwriter Douglas McGuire bursts back onto the scene with brand new summer anthem ‘Island’. Having collaborated with Grammy award-winning engineer James Auwarter of Coda Room Audio (Kanye West, Rhianna, Jay-Z, amongst others), McGuire sits down to discuss the journey so far.


How’re you feeling following the release of ‘Island’, is the initial reaction everything you hoped for?

It’s been great seeing so many people enjoying the record, and the positive response from various outlets such as Wonderland has been amazing!

How was it working alongside Grammy award-winning engineer James Auwarter?

James is a fantastically talented engineer and his accolades and credits speak for themselves. Very attentive and patient with what I was looking for, James really managed to bring the best out my mix and I’m hoping it’s not too long before we collaborate again.

What’s the reasoning behind calling the track ‘Island’

There are many nautical themes throughout the song, and the metaphor that the ‘island’ in the song stands for just felt right in terms of summarising what the song is about.

‘Island’ was inspired by a short-lived but intense and passionate fling with a girl, does your love life inspire a lot of your songwriting?

To be honest, yes, absolutely. I always write truthfully about personal experiences, and I rarely find interest in writing about anything outside of love. There’s definitely a deep, albeit abstract connection between love and music and I think this is why I have a penchant for sharing romantic experiences more so than anything else through this medium.

This is the first track you’ve self-produced and mixed…what’s the learning process been like for you?

It’s definitely been a long one, and even though I’m not where I want to be in terms of technical ability as a producer, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made so far, and I’m really enjoying the challenge behind it. There’s still so much to learn, and I’m looking forward to it!

Out of your many talents, including guitar, production, mixing, singing and songwriting, which would you say is the hardest skill to master for you personally (& why)?

For me personally, it’s difficult to compare something like production with musicianship – I’ve only been a producer for less than a year really, and I’ve been a musician for most of my life. Having said that, I have to say that the greatest challenges I come across are more often than not at the songwriting stage. Melody is arguably the most important component of music in my opinion, so I often spend a lot of time trying to get this right. It’s a tedious process but it’s such a high when you find exactly what you were chasing.

Which producers would you love the opportunity to collaborate with?

George Daniel is probably the best producer in the world for me. Technical ability aside, the versatility and attention to detail in his work, alongside the creativeness is what makes him one of the best. Mike Crossey, and Jonathan Gilmore are up there as well as producers and have worked on a lot of records I’ve come to love over the years. To work with any of these would be an unreal experience for me.

If you had the opportunity to produce a song for any artist or band, who would it be and why?

I’m not really sure why, but I would love to produce a Taylor Swift song. Her songwriting is so simple but captivating, and I feel that really gives the producer a smooth ride and a great creative liberty when working with a talent like that.

Lastly, what’s next for Douglas McGuire and his journey?

I’m not sure I even know myself. I’ve been considering going back to my roots and doing some more acoustic stuff, but I’m always being tempted by a lot of other styles that I haven’t yet tried but am super excited to. In any case, I’m just going to simply continue making music, and engaging with my fans as much as I can.

Listen to Daniel McGuire – ‘Island’

 

Follow Daniel McGuire on: Instagram

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