C Duncan talks his hometown and his brand new album “Health”!
We recently had the chance to speak to Singer C Duncan! Check out his brand new album health here!
Can you introduce yourself to our readers and give us one fun fact about you?!
Hello there, my name is Chris Duncan (or C Duncan) and I’m a musician from Glasgow about to release my third album! A fun fact about me - My all time favourite band is The Carpenters (and I’m not ashamed of it!)
Congrats on the release of your single "HEALTH"! could you tell us more about the song and the inspiration behind it?
Thanks! This was actually the first song I wrote for the new album, which definitely dictated where the album went both thematically and musically. I wrote "Health" just after I split up with my ex (who also played in my band) and it is about the end of our very intense relationship and how the only way to move on (for the sake of both our mental health) was to go our separate ways. It was one of those relationships where we literally did everything together - lived together, worked together, toured together etc… so it was a very difficult breakup, but I found it very cathartic to put all my feelings and emotions about it into this song, which in a way helped nurture me back to health.
What was your writing process like for HEALTH?
It was fairly up and down but I wanted to make an album that was different to my previous ones, especially lyrically. This is the first record I’ve made that I really feel I can express myself through lyrics (my previous albums are doused in reverb so you could never really make out what I was singing about), and it took a lot for me to build up the courage to be more direct with my words, but it’s something that I’m very pleased I did.
How do you feel about releasing this album vs. your other bodies of work? Is releasing an album more sentimental for you verses singles?
Releasing an album is a lot more sentimental for me than singles, as it’s the first chance people get to hear the full body of work, and the ins and outs of the themes in the record. Although it’s exciting hearing your singles on the radio etc in the run up to the album, the most important thing for me is that others get to hear your work in its entirety.
Since releasing two albums prior to
, has your process and mindset changed?
In a way. I still write and record a lot at home, but I know now that the finished demos I create in my home studio aren’t necessarily what will ultimately be on the record which gives me a lot more freedom to experiment. My previous albums were entirely recorded and produced by myself at home, whereas I recorded a lot of the material and produced
in a ‘real’ studio with another producer. This also meant that I could step back a lot more from each demo once it was close to completion which ultimately gave me time and space to reflect on each track and go over the lyrics and music without feeling pressured to quickly get the song in the bag and move on to the next one.
Has the music scene in Glasgow inspired you and your music styles?
Definitely! Glasgow is a wonderful place with a lot of amazing music and art coming out of it. What I find so inspiring about Glasgow is that there is no distinctive style of work that is made there. In the past there was the ‘Glasgow sound’ that encompassed the grittier music coming out of the city but now it’s a total free for all and this diversity definitely filters into my music. It’s also a very interesting city architecturally, which was a big inspiration for my previous albums.
You have very much been an advocate for various struggles our population faces such as Sexuality, Mental Health and even Love. Does being an advocate and speaking out about these issues ever take a tole on your own health in anyway?
I suppose it does. I wanted to share my own experiences of these themes in my lyrics which naturally takes it’s toll on you. It also took a lot of courage for me to be so open as it’s something I’ve never expressed through my music before. However, I’m very happy I did as I don’t want to keep hiding behind a mask for the rest of my musical career. On the theme of sexuality - I didn’t really have many gay alternative music role models when I was growing up (because weirdly there aren’t that many gay alternative musicians), and so it is important for me now to be open about my sexuality in the hope that people can relate to the experiences I share in my music. On the theme of mental health - it’s becoming more and more prominent in everybody’s life in one way or another and it is so important not to feel alone, which is again why I wanted to express my own experiences.
I read that you're very invested in art, have you always been creative?
I’ve always been really keen on visual art and painting. Whenever I’m not making music I’m usually painting. Both of these activities very often inspire each other, as doing all the artwork for my records means that the music and visuals usually come together to create a coherent aesthetic for what I’m trying to make - the aesthetic for “Health” being breezy yet with a darker undercurrent (the music has often sombre themes and the paintings lack any people whilst still appearing warm and inviting).
Live At Leeds Festivalis a Music Festival for new and emerging artists. How does it feel to be included in this lineup?
I’m very happy to be included in the lineup for Live at Leeds. It’s a great city that is similar in feel to Glasgow, with a thriving music scene. I’m also excited about seeing some of the other acts performing - especially Metronomy, Kate Tempest and Ibibio Sound Machine.
If you could collab with one artist who would it be and why?
The answer to that changes a lot at the moment as there are so many musicians that really inspire me. However, one artist that I reckon would be amazing to collaborate with is Julia Holter. Her music is extremely beautiful and I can hear similar influences in both our works. She also seems like a cool person.
You have a lot of fans here in America! Do you think you'll do a headline tour here in the near future?!
I hope so! I toured the US with Elbow just over a year ago and I absolutely loved it! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to tour there again soon.
What's next for you??
Next on the cards is the album release and then a full UK tour starting in April. Beyond that I’m just going to keep on writing music. Oh, and I’m getting a dog later in the year…!