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The RnB singer talks about living the high life in LA, returning home to Melbourne for Christmas, and why telling Jay Z to fuck off was actually a good idea.

So Dan, you’re in LA at the moment?
Yeah, I’m living down here in LA and I love it! But Melbourne has to take the cake for places to live. It’s my hometown, it’s where my family is. Whenever I go back there I’ve always got a smile on my face.   

You’re back for Foreshore, where’s your first stop when you touch down?
My friend is a designer so I usually see him and stock up on the new gear he’s been cooking up. Then hang out with my brothers and get a beer. 

Whose on the Foreshore must-see list?
I’m just really looking forward to seeing everyone. I always discover new artists and get inspired to see everyone there, so it will be really good fun. I’m really looking forward to catching Sam Sparrow’s set at Homebake as well. 

Homebake is in December, will you hang around for Christmas?
Yeah I’ll definitely stick around and hang with the fam. I haven’t seen them for a while so it will be good to hang out with them.  

What’s a Merriweather Christmas like?
We’ve never been big into celebration you know. We enjoy each others company, so we’ll just hang out.  

Has living in the US changed your sound?
Living in LA with the sun and fresh air, well not real fresh actually, it’s probably changed, if anything, my mentality. So you know, mentality is music, so who knows what this next album will sound like.  

Paint me a picture of your next album?
I can’t. I really can’t, at the moment it’s a collection of songs in really rough forms. I’m definitely going to get into the studio soon and get a band together to try find a sound that fits these songs. I really wanna go back to the 90’s and early 2000’s influences like RnB and soul. 

Any collaborators for the new album?
I’ve been working on other people’s music projects at the moment, so haven’t really got into the realm of collaborations for mine. But I’ve been working with this guy called Justyn Pilbrow who used to be in this band called LMNOP from New Zealand. He’s incredibly talented, so that would be the first collaboration for the album probably. 

Who would be your ultimate artist to write for?
There are some great, talented artists in the charts at the moment. I think Rihanna’s an amazing artist. The way she expresses her personality, I think is really cool, so I’d like to write something for her.

Living in LA, have you been star-struck?
The only time I’ve ever really been properly star-struck was when I first met Jay Z, that would probably be the only time. I don’t think you can walk into a room and not be star-struck, he sort of has this presence about him, but I’ve slowly gotten over.

Any embarrassing celeb encounters? 
Yeah actually, I had a shocker with Jay Z. I went to Beyonce’s birthday a couple of years ago and Jay Z was there. It was this kind of intimate setting in the Hamptons and I got a bit drunk and thought Jay Z was moving in on my girl. So I sort of aggressively told him to ‘fuck off’, but in that kind of Australian way, you know? You don’t mean to sound rude, but it comes out as rude.

Some introduction! How did he take that?
He kind of just stood there absolutely shocked, and I stormed off. Then I walked back into the room and he was playing chess and I said something weird like ‘how can you be playing chess after four shots of Patron?’ and he looked at me again dumbfounded. Since then we’ve been actually a lot closer than we normally probably would have been because we went through this awkward introductory stage. 

You’ve done well, it’s gotta be hard to make an impression on Jay Z!
[Laughs] I have, I have! Sometimes you’ve gotta get into arguments with people before they take you seriously! 


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