Damien Ike is a Shoreditch based recording artist who has worked with the likes of Rich Cooper (Josef Salvat) Sacha Skarbek (Adele, Lana Del Rey & Miley Cyrus), David Kosten (Bat for Lashes, Everything Everything, Marina & The Diamonds) Pete Roberts (Coldspecks) and James Earp (Bipolar Sunshine, Daniel James). He recently released his first 'online' single 'Kingdom Come' (see the video and stream the track below), the song has already placed at #3 on Hypem (Hype Machine chart). Early support has already been shown with radio airplay coming from LA's Tastemaker station KCRW
We caught up with Damien to have a chat about amazing artists, favourite East London hangouts and never having tried Oreo Doughnuts, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
Hello I'm Damien Ike and I'm a recording artist from London, my music is big, badass and loud.
‘Kingdom Come’ is your first ‘online’ single, can you tell us the story behind this and why is it the first one to be released?
Kingdom Come is about the way the world changes you and how you feel like you have to live up to this image that others think is you. The message is it's ok to be you. We thought it was a natural choice. It's ballsy, it's not wishy-washy or Insipid - it goes straight for the jugular and I felt it represented what I'm a bit like.
When are you planning to release your album?
I'm still writing. Hopefully soon. That's a crap answer I know.
How has social media aided your music?
Social media has been great, it really allows you to share music with people who might never ever get a chance to listen to your music in the real world.
What does music mean to you?
Music is my passion. I feel like I have something to say. And it allows me to do that.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
I can't choose one -
- Amy Winehouse - Back to Black album
- Adele - 21
- Coldplay - Rush of Blood To the Head
- Terence Trent D'arby - Hardline album
- Tears for Fears - Songs From The Big Chair album
Who designed the artwork for your single?
An amazing artist called Flora Grosvenor-Stevenson. She is amazing you should check her stuff out.
You’re a Shoreditch based musician, what venue within the area is the place to check out new talent?
What is your opinion on the changes of areas such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and Bethnal Green in the past few years?
It's nice to see people talk about the area you live in such a positive way. We've come along way and I think the best is yet to come
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Hard question I would say 'Adele's Someone Like You', I just love the song. I love adele. Every time I hear the song it literally stops me in my track. It's a beautiful song.
What was the first gig you ever went to and the last paying gig you went to?
What was the process of making your single ‘Kingdom Comes’? What came first the lyrics or the sound?
Well the lyrics always come first. I've had the lyrics for ages but didn't know it would be that song. I worked with Lostboy and Jmac, the song came very quickly. My sessions are a bit intense a lot of debates.
You have a music video for your single, who directed and helped with the making of the video?
Andrew Morgan directed it and Adam Grasso was the director of photography. They have an amazing team. The cast were amazing and they all worked so hard on it.
Ever tried the Oreo Doughnuts in the Blues Kitchen?
I haven't - I don't like chocolate
What can be expected from your debut record?
An explosion. It's bolshy-loud, fresh big. I'm really excited for people to hear what I've been working on.
What advice would you give to any new and struggling musician out there?
Work hard. The buck stops with you. Have confidence in yourself. Remember, no means no, it doesn't mean never.
There are many good bands and musicians out there.who you would ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
A new duo called Majik. Lostboy is super sick and he has a new duo coming which I'm excited about. A young band called Knites - so good.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
I would say Olivia Pope from Scandal. Confident, brave, bold. Ballsy - in your face.
What are your plans for 2015?
More music and live shows
We thought it was only fair that Damien answers some of our quickfire questions, we make everyone else do it, no exceptions!
Coffee or Tea?
Coke or Pepsi?
Orange juice (I don't drink fizzy drinks)
Drum machine or the real deal?
The real deal
Mac or PC?
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Dry Cappucino or Builders Tea?
Builders tea two sugars
Car or Motorbike?
London Field Market or the old school Brick Lane market?
Brick Lane market
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert de Niro
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Damien for taking time out to answer our questions, we wish him every success in the future and look forward to receiving more material from him for review in due course.
Interview by Mark Wincott