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Druv Kent On New EP: ‘The Unifying Theme Is Hope’

The Singapore-based singer-songwriter’s latest five-track record ‘Don’t Burn Away’ is filled with buoyant songs

David Britto Nov 10, 2020

Singapore-based singer-songwriter Druv Kent. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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After releasing his 2014 debut album About Time, Singapore-based banker turned full-time musician Druv Kent performed extensively across his hometown, Dubai, London and India. The Indian origin artist even received plenty of airplay on international radio stations including BBC Radio 2. Last year, Kent even went on to release two Hindi tracks. He says, “That put me on the Hindi indie map.”

The artist is now out with his latest record, the five-track Don’t Burn Away. In this interview with Rolling Stone India, Kent talks about making the new EP, the songs on it and more.

When did work on Don’t Burn Away begin?

Songs are really stories set to music and sometimes the stories reveal themselves only in time, including to the songwriter. Some of these songs started their journey three years ago. I have been playing the songs live, and refining, tweaking them to have them tell their stories in the best way I know how… and get them ready for release.

It has been interesting to be an artist who likes to create albums, in a digital era with consumers who are more focused on the single. I have chosen to do a bit of both. To string the songs into a body of work, but to also give each song its due by releasing it individually and giving it its space and visual and sonic identity.

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What can you tell me about the songs on the EP, the lyrical theme as well as the sonic imprint?

I was keen to release it in April and follow it with an awesome international live tour. But COVID changed all that. The songs are mostly up-tempo and feel very contemporary in their sonics – with some amazing keys, drum and guitar bits played on by some of the world’s best.

The unifying theme of the album I would say is hope. It’s what I felt writing the songs and what the music is based on – and I hope that comes through. The five songs themselves are the five burning issues that keep me up at night – one per song – climate change (‘Don’t Burn Away’), finding purpose (‘Higher Ground’), the world losing its innocence (‘Bit At A Time’), a divided society (‘In Your Name’), and a pandemic that makes us feel so far apart (‘Till We Meet Again’).

Where did you record the EP? Who produced, mixed and mastered it?

The songs have been written and composed by me. For the production, I turned to my superstar U.K. producer partners – Calum MacColl and Simon Edwards who worked on four of the tracks. The fifth song is ‘Till We Meet Again’ – which only started because of this COVID world – given travel restrictions, I decided to produce myself. My mastering is all done with the amazing George Shilling in the U.K.

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How have you coped during the pandemic?

So many lives have been impacted by this virus. It is truly sad. Plus, the economic costs are absolutely staggering. On the plus side of this unbalanced equation, I do feel that it has simplified our lives for the better and perhaps helped us not take our blessings for granted.

What I do see as a silver lining is the gift of music. It is truly a universal spreader of joy and spiritual connection. We are fortunate in Singapore to be able to meet in small groups – and so along with the five-piece Druv Kent Band, we are doing online gigs that have been spectacularly received.

What’s next for you?

I am hoping to use the Don’t Burn Away campaign to raise awareness about global warming. Something I believe, we are now uniquely able to focus on. I am continuing to do my music composition for films, corporates and other causes. And I am continuing to play live online. I am also working on a set of new material I have written in Nashville and Sweden with some amazing collaborators. The inspiration and excitement continues.

Stream ‘Don’t Burn Away’ below: 

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