David Arn is feeling the pressure. His recent single, “Mother’s Day – The Mother’s Tale” has catapulted the singer-songwriter/musician to the top of the iTunes charts in several countries, including the UK. It has thrust the Virginia resident into the national and international spotlight. With a follow-up album in the works, Arn is raising the bar for his creations. He talks about that, and much more in this exclusive IPM interview…
Hello David! Congrats on your recent successes with “Mother’s Day” and “Traveler Tales.” Are you at all surprised by the overall reaction to the album, in particular “Mother’s Day?”
Thanks very much for saying that. I am very pleased especially for Ava Hart’s performance on “Mother’s Day”. I had reservations about that song. It was unlike anything else I’d done. But reaction to the song and wonderful video Nastya Memphis created has been at times overwhelming.
As a writer and creator, what is the single most satisfying element to what you do?
Everyone is given certain specific gifts. The most satisfying part is getting to that place where you can freely work toward fulfilling the obligation of having received that gift. I say that humbly. There have been many times I was doing things that were not in line with that obligation. It was not as satisfying.
If you were not a songwriter and musician, what do you think you would be doing?
I come from a line of teachers and professors. I would most likely be teaching and trying to get poems published in The New Yorker.
Who would be your dream collaborator? If you could write and record with anyone, who would it be?
Many people have influenced and inspired me–Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Tom Petty, Since you phrased it as a dream, there are no boundaries. I would love to have worked with Elliott Smith before things turned bad for him. I am speaking about a collaboration around the time of XO. I listen to that album trying to learn from his transitions. He was seldom lazy in his writing. I tend to be more structured. It is in my Swiss-German DNA. I admire his linkage of the confessional lyrical stream of consciousness with the stream of chords in the arrangements. He made it seem effortless and natural. Perhaps some of that might have rubbed off on me.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is it just something that comes to you at various times of day, or are you constantly on the lookout for something to write about?
I think inspiration is overrated. Ideas fall down around you, some pass through and occasionally you latch on to one. I have no idea what prompts me to take out a pen. I am constantly inputing observations, ideas, quick rhymes into my phone notes for possible later use.
I say inspiration is overrated because after the idea takes form, there is heavy lifting– trial and error, revision, reduction. I sometimes write a song in my head, write it down on paper, and then step up to the microphone and record it. On playback I realize what I was hearing in my head is far from working. That’s when you work to hopefully resolve the differences.
After receiving much attention for this release, do you feel the pressure to follow that up with your next one?
Definitely. I can already see the creative process is sometimes slowing down because I am holding myself to a higher self-imposed standard, second-guessing myself ,or perhaps reaching for something beyond my grasp.
Tell us about your next release. What can fans expect from the next David Arn album?
I am working on a new album of acoustic songs with a simpler production. The working title is “Alone in Seven Pieces”. These are songs written this year in isolation during the pandemic and the style is much more intimate.
What advice could you share with up and coming artists that might just be getting started in the industry?
I am speaking in the moment. It’s a rough time. Any advice I give will soon become obsolete. Bottom line is that you have to eat. The only advice I give is this, “Show up for work everyday and do what you say you are going to do”
Thanks David! Any last words for our readers?
If you’ve read this far, I am thankful. I feel privileged being able to bring my music to you.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.