Daniel Vasilyev
Daniel Vasilyev

April 19th, 2022

SoundGym Hero: Daniel Vasilyev

Songwriter with a sleight of hand and a passion for exploring the world in all dimensions, Currently from St. Petersburg, Russia. Daniel Vasilyev is this month's SoundGym Hero.

Who are you, and Where are you from?

Hello everyone, my name is Daniel; I'm 21 years old. I'm a songwriter from Russia. Born and raised in Moscow. For the moment, I live in the colorful city of St. Petersburg. I very often find myself on the road. I keep on jumping places because I consider myself a person that can't do without traveling and discovering new places.

How did you get into music?

My first passion for music began in early childhood. At the age of seven my family sent me to a music school to play the violin, but it just didn't work out because I was very impatient with my talents and I was eager to immediately perform on stage. Unfortunately, I abandoned this idea afterward because I understood that there's much more to music than I could comprehend at that age.

The second wave, which finally determined my musical future and what I consider to be the meaning of my life, was when my parents took me to my first ever musical concert, Paul McCartney's concert, and then it started... I completely got submerged in the world of music, as if an entirely new world opened itself to me. I even kept on listening to the Beatles 24/7.

The third and last musical wave (the main one) was when my parents took me to an Elton John concert. I was just speechless from amazement; ever since that event, I decided to devote my life to music.

I decided to start learning music and go to a musical school for piano classes. At that time, I came to an understanding that, in order to master playing an instrument, you need to have your own said instrument at your disposal. Buying an acoustic piano was expensive for my parents. They were afraid that my interest in music would soon disappear, the instrument would gather dust, and they would waste their money. So they suggested that I learn the guitar first, and then, if I'm still into music, they'll buy me a good acoustic piano. They did keep their promise eventually.

At the age of 14, I had my own rock band, we had a pretty good time, but nothing unique came out of it, we differed in the tastes of music therefore we didn't really have the coordination that I anticipated. It was hard for me to rely on other people because plans often fell through and I decided to write music solo. When I was in high school, I started writing poetry and then straight to full-fledged songs. The text and ideas (topline) were quite good, but all I needed was to make a good arrangement and start making good quality recordings.

When I graduated from school, it suddenly hit me that it was time to decide on my future profession, I chose music without any hesitation, namely sound-engineering. I entered the "Institute of Film and Television" at the faculty of "sound engineering of audio-visual arts" in Moscow and studied there for 2 years, having mastered the basics of musical production. Due to the drama in my personal life and medical circumstances, I realised that It will not be possible for me to continue my studies until the end. Eventually I decided to settle on the thing I was good at, traveling, which greatly helped me to concentrate on my musical work without unnecessary burdens. Now I'm 21 and I'm already tired of writing about my broken heart.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

I am madly in love with reading books, especially scientific ones on neurophysiology, psychology, cognitive science, ethology, and how our brain functions (methodology of thinking). The knowledge of the world in all its complexity its chaotic beauty fascinates me, everything that surrounds us and deserves attention. Reading allows me to do this. I just can't imagine life without music, books, and traveling.

What's your most useless skill or talent?

Hmmm, perhaps this would be sleight of hand and magic tricks. As a child, I really loved David Copperfield, and David Blaine and even tried to imitate them. I learned a lot of tricks, but in adulthood, this skill became a shadow of its former past. Many of my friends still ask me to show them magic tricks. It's just my little niche, music is where my heart sits.

What inspires you to keep making music?

What makes me write music is that wonderful range of emotions that bursts in me and connects me to my listener, like breathing which became an automatic and rhythmic activity in my brain. In addition, in my own opinion, there is no meaning in life, people always foresee it or choose from what the culture offers them, sometimes without realizing it. I, on the other hand, invented and chose the meaning and purpose of my life. Namely - to create and make your own and people's lives a little more beautiful and brighter.

If you could sit down to a session with any artist, who would it be?

It is very difficult to say, almost an impossible task for me. Probably from the old generation it is Paul McCartney or Elton John. From the younger generation, it's Tom Odell. He's just great; his manner and style of music have been a defining and fundamental factor in my personality and the way I look at things. In general, I really like all modern music and music of the last two centuries, especially by the British artists.

Any habits you have before starting a session?

My main habits before the start of a music session are: exercising my vocal cords, and trying to imagine the result I want to achieve. It motivates, energizes and makes me create.

If you could pick one, what would be the theme song of your life?

I can't say for sure, every 3 months, or even more often, my musical preferences change dramatically, but for the last four years of my life, this song has haunted me - "Concrete" by Tom Odell. This song greatly helped me in going through the most difficult and emotionally unstable days of my life.

What's the favorite piece of music gear you own?

My favorite piece of music gear is my midi keyboard Arturia mk2. Very comfortable and transportable midi keyboard. No trip is complete without it. In the modern era, using only midi keyboards, you can write anything and anytime.

What's your favorite SoundGym feature?

I really like the "Learning" section and the courses it contains. Everything is arranged very neatly and "learning points" motivate me to continue my studies, I really look forward to new courses.

What does the future hold for Daniel Vasilyev?

In the near future, I plan to release a debut EP in Russian, move to live in another country, preferably somewhere warmer and more comfortable to live in, and then, by the age of 25, hopefully, master writing lyrics for songs in English and release only in this certain language, because this will allow me to reach and communicate a much larger audience than I can now. It is a pity that I was not born in an English-speaking country and, so far, I do not speak the language well enough to express my sophisticated feelings in a good format.

From early childhood, I did not really excel in any musical talents, but I had and still have a great, insatiable desire to create and express my feelings. I will do my best to reach my expectations and achieve my goals, you will hear about me, I promise.

You can follow Daniel Vasilyev on his: Instagram, Facebook, Vk, and ToneGym.

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