Daniel Wesley first made his mark on the West Coast music scene in the mid-2000s with his indie debut Outlaw.’ In 2007, he followed up with two full-length records, Driftin’ and Sing and Dance. The latter included hit single, ‘Ooo Ohh’ which raised Wesley’s profile substantially and led to a multi-record deal with Vancouver’s 604 Records. Since, Wesley has released multiple records including 2015’s I Am Your Man and 2016’s Live at the Commodore – recorded during his 16th sold out headlining show at the historic venue.
Having been in the industry for over a decade, Wesley shares that it’s not always about defining the ‘moments’. “I don’t really have a defining moment. But I am proud that I have been able to make a decent living off of doing what I love for the last 13-14 years. It has been a struggle at times but doing what you love is the most rewarding thing. Life ends for all of us, might as spend as much time doing what makes you happy.”
Wesley recently released his new EP Beach Music, which focuses on the important factors in his life – family, love, home and travel. “I was able to take about a year to just have a lot of time at our new home in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast of BC. We have 4.5 acres in a forested area that’s a few km from the Pacific Ocean. I just hung out at our house, went to the beach, and lit fires in the backyard and studio and just let things flow naturally. I really had a great year of reconnecting with who I am and my new surroundings.”
The EP features his signature, raspy yet soothing vocals with a soulful-reggae twist. All of the songs on the album hone in on the overarching feeling of being truly happy and how he welcomes change without reservation to achieve this feeling. This desire to ‘welcome change’ is also evident in his songwriting. “I sometimes go a month before I pick the guitar up if I’m not doing a lot of shows, which I find helps so when the inspiration hits I can get really focused on it and its exciting. I do believe trying every day is a good tactic to songwriting but I feel like it’s more of a wave for me. Some of them are best left for others, but when one lines up for you, you need to be open and ready for it to happen. That’s what I did on this album. I did put more time into the lyrical content on this record more so than others. I’m more of a melody guy, but the older I get the more I try to have the lyrics mean more…”
It make sense that an artist as open as Wesley would look to Neil Young for inspiration, “I just saw Neil Young recently solo and he is such a force. He has always done his own thing, which is something I have always done as well. I like that he doesn’t follow trends or anything. He just makes music and if people like it great, but he really is just creating it because he wants to for himself. I like that outlook.”
When asked if he had any advice for emerging artists, Wesley makes it clear that having passion and a positive attitude makes all the difference, “Follow your heart and don’t worry if you make mistakes. You will, everyone does. Treat everyone as if they were family. The music community is small and treating everyone with respect even if it is difficult at times is the right thing to do. I guess that’s advice for anyone not just an emerging artist.”