Spindle Session: Dan Caplen ‘Trouble’

Friday 07 September 2018
Photography Aaron Crossman

At just 26 years old, Dan Caplen has certainly made a name for himself. Recording with the likes of Jess Glynne, Rudimental, Macklemore and now with his latest single coming out alongside Ms.Banks, Dan is definitely someone to watch out for.

We managed to catch a moment with Dan for an interview and session, covering his new single ‘Trouble’ and his admiration for John Legend.

Can you tell me a bit about what inspired you to write Trouble?

Well, there’s a lyric in the chorus called “Trouble always follows us.” It was after a night out, and shit had gone wrong that my friend just said to me, “why does trouble always follow us?” And that’s kind of where it all stems from.

I feel like people can relate to that, trouble following you everywhere.

Especially when you’re younger man. Shit always happens. That’s part of growing up, shit happens, and you learn to deal with it. I had one of those days and you’re just like, you know what, fuck this, I’m going back to bed.

Spindle Session: Trouble

You’re a great live performer, do you have any warm ups or rituals you do to prepare for the show?

Yeah, I do vocal warm ups, which sound weird. *does a brrrrrrr sound on the phone* It sounds like it’s really cold and someone has gone to grab my balls at the same time. I also always listen to Ray Charles, he’s a fucking incredible performer. I talk to the band and we hype each other up. I come off the stage sweating, I feel like `I’ve just gone to the gym, so you have to hype yourself up.

Do you listen to a particular Ray Charles song?

It’s that song with Kanye West in Gold digger, I Got A Woman? So that one and then the other tune I use is a Prince tune, but I can’t remember the name of it. From one of his last albums. They’re both tunes to hype you up…

And what about winding down at the end or in general?

Winding down off stage I find really hard to do, so I just usually go out and have a bit of fun after a gig. After a studio session, I watch a good old TV series, have a whiskey and just relax. It’s hard because I spend my whole day listening and writing music, so listening to music sometimes after a long day isn’t relaxing. I’ll listen to a song and be like, ‘oh, how did they do that?’ So, I just have to try and relax. Watch mind numbing TV and decompress.

You’ve worked with some big names, Macklemore, Rudimental, Ms.Banks, what was that like? How were they different?

Macklemore is an absolute fucking G. He’s been really supportive and a bit of a mentor for me, he’s just a good person. Everyone you’ve named are great, but you know when you’re just like, “I want to be just a little bit like you?” Jess has been great as well, she’s been so supportive. Doing the TV stuff with the Rudimental boys, it was good to have people who had already done it before, walk me through it and make sure I was alright. Ms.Banks is just wicked. She’s just lovely, she just walked in and was super nice and really accommodating.

What were some of your favourite artists growing up?

I was a big Kanye West fan, and a John Legend fan. I stam John Legend so hard. It’s funny, what he does so well, he sings about not nice stuff, like cheating, but it’s just so smooth. I’ll be listening to his tunes and my mum’s like “what you singing about?”

He’s too fucking smooth, I’m far less smooth than that.

Finally, where do you want to be in the next 5 years?

Honestly, I just want to be happy, that’s been my attitude for forever. I want to be touring as much as possible, selling out as many big venues as possible. But honestly, I just want to keep writing. As long as I’m writing, and, in the studio, I’ll be happy. You got to keep is as simple as possible man.