Dom Youdan

by the partae
Dom Youdan

Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?

I’m in Sydney and the vibe here is pretty dreamy. I also topline and I’ve been privileged to jump into sessions with some killer artists. Saying that the live scene has taken a massive hit thanks to some idiotic decisions and politicians, but we’re starting to see a few green shoots of recovery.

How did you first start playing music?

Well…I was absolutely terrified by the concept of singing/performing live. So, after a strong start I pretty much stopped from 9-24 ha. But eventually I couldn’t resist. I’m just your typical, ‘terrified I could sing but knew I kind of could sing’ story. Eventually I taught myself piano and guitar and I’ve been scaring myself on stage ever since.

Your new single ‘Is Your Love Still Cool’ is your first release since your debut EP ‘Tigerlilly’ came out in 2017, what have you been up to in the last 18 or so months?

Shit, 18 months…it’s pretty crazy. I think when you’re trying to establish yourself everything takes longer. I had a lot of material that I wanted to drop last year but it didn’t quite feel right so in the end I went back and just really immersed myself in writing and collaboration. Is Your Lover Still Cool is the first single to come out from that, but the next is not far away.

Who or what influenced the sound and songwriting for “Is Your Love Still Cool’?

The sound speaks to my influences, I think at heart I’m a storyteller, I grew up on Dylan, Mitchell and Springsteen but also connected massively with the alt pop and indie artists like The Weeknd, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, and early Drake. I think this song is a bit of a fusion of genres and that sits nicely to who and what inspired me.

How did you go about writing this track?

I actually wrote the melody in the morning overlooking a beach just north of Byron Bay. As wanky as that sounds it’s true! I’d been writing a lot on the piano and was about to jump into a session. I loved the idea of this big but also chilled out chorus, and the song came together pretty quickly from there.

Where and when did you record and who did you work with?

The track’s produced by Jack Gray and Robert Conley who are both incredible musos and lovely chaps all round. We recorded it in Byron Bay at Robert’s studio. You’d spend six hours getting into it, then beers on the beach, then repeat. It was a blast.

What programs/equipment did you use when recording?

The track’s very much a blend of digital and analogue. The guitars, keys and some of the drums are organic and recorded live, but the set up was very minimal. We went through an Apollo Duo, which is just a beast. Jack had also just got a Nord, which we were all very excited about. What can’t that baby do. It created a lot of the textures surrounding the track. The bass was actually digital made up of a few components. I think two parts of it are through Serum.

Where and when can we see you play next?

I’ve actually got a gig this Wednesday in Sydney at Folkswagon, which is this beautiful and intimate experience (which I love). Then I’m heading to Melbourne for ‘Debut Melbourne’ in May which is about to be announced.

You’ve also released a film clip for ‘Is Your Love Still Cool’ please describe how the concept for the video came about?

I didn’t want the video to have another idea in addition to the song’s own, I very much wanted it to be this epic piece that captured the sentiment and only reinforced the message. The song is very much about growing up and looking back, so we thought we’d do the same with the setting. We wanted to bring modern to retro and that meant it could only be one thing… karting and laser tag. Obviously.

Where did the filming take place and who did you work with?

The video’s directed together with Dan Hartley-Allen and his team. Dan is quite simply and insanely talented human being who shoots and frames everything so uniquely. He’s also a wonderful human.

There’s this place in Albion Park, on the way to Kiama, that I’ve driven by a few times called C1 karting and I thought it could be perfect. It’s indoor which meant we could shoot at night and really control the lighting. Then we found out it also had laser tag. The child in me got very excited. ps, i’m still a child.

What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the filming and production process?

Timings and production is pretty full on when you have such a small team. Once we actually started shooting I had full trust in Dan and we work together really well, but it’s a little tricky creating something beautiful and grand with the world’s smallest budget. Oh and we had like a week to do everything. I think at one stage we were shooting in two days and didn’t have a location. But we got there.

Did you learn anything new during the whole process?

When you’re working with Dan you learn a lot of things. We actually managed to rig his camera to the go-kart, which was such an epic win for no-budget cinematography. So…now we know how to do that. Well, now Dan knows how to do that.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Broods, Julia Jacklin, Vampire Weekend, Sigrid, The 1975, Maggie Rodgers, Tame Impala and Bec Sandridge to name a few. I’ve also got back into Paul Simon in a big way. I’m going to Graceland.

What do you like to do away from music?

I’m also a creative writer, so when I’m not making music I tend to be trying to make people buy things with the power of advertising. I pretty much love all things sport and entertainment. I’m a bit of a gamer too. Ok..I’m a lot of a gamer too.

Any secrets that you care to share?

Well, I’m actually working/writing a secret TV show at the moment, which we’re about to pitch out. The plot is bonkers in the best way possible and will probably never get made, but it’s awesome. Would love to tell you more but…it’s a secret.

What planned for the rest of 2019?

Next single will ‘hopefully’ come out in June. Shit that’s close, so yeah I had better get onto that.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

RaRa Ramen in Redfern into The Bearded Tit. Great…now I’m hungry.

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