In July Daniel Koek, famous for his turn as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, hosted an intimate evening of music at the Royal Albert Hall to launch his fabulous new album, High. Not only were we lucky enough to secure an invite to the Champagne fuelled evening, but we caught up with Daniel After for an exclusive interview about his work! In this post you can watch Daniel in action with a clip from the night, read our interview with the man himself and of course, read our summary of the evening.
Daniel In Action
In the video below, Daniel performs February Song from his forthcoming album, High. Watch and weep my friends!
Daniel In Interview
Hi Daniel how Are You
Very well thank you!
I Really Enjoyed the Launch It was great fun!
It was wasn’t it! It was really nice to have you there too!
Love an event sponsored by a Champagne brand
Gives it a nice touch doesn’t it!
Can you tell us a little bit about the preparations that went into your album launch?
Lots! The Album has been in the making for the past four years really. In that time I have been in shows so I have kind of had to work in as much time for it as I can, which was a major challenge. The team who play with me and who have recorded with me on the album are musicians in their own right so were also working and on tours etc. Trying to get everyone in the same room at the same time was often difficult, although saying that it really came together in the last three months. As I was coming out of Les Mis I was able to really focus on launching the album. I have been able to really rehearse with the band. It has all come together in the last 12 weeks and we found this lovely venue and set a date! I am so happy with the outcome and the attendance and the reviews online so far!
Have you seen the show with Peter Lockyer as Val Jean yet?
Because I have been focusing on the album launch I haven’t managed to see it yet. I would really like to though.
So High is a follow up to your first album, Self Titled Tenor, do you think there is a story in this album that has been continued from the first or are they separate entities.
They are completely different! Self Titled was more of a “musical” album if you will. There were a lot of musical medleys. Now I am trying to break into the realm of being a commercial recording artist. Now I am going for that classical cross over to the pop opera genre of music that I really want to break in to. I’m stepping away from musical theatre for now in this album purely from a commercial point of view. Saying that, of course Bring Him Home had to be on there, but I have really tried to put a new spin on it and all of the tracks on the album to make them more Pop/Opera than theatre.
Many strings to your bow!
Do you have a favourite track from the album.
I really like “High,” It’s up tempo, catchy. This is going to be the lead single from the album I think. I am also really fond of the song I sing with Carrie Fletcher, it’s called “Remember Me,” I am a big fan of the instrumentation.
Some of the songs you sang at the launch were really emotive. You tell the story of a dear friend, Eddie, who passed a way before you sang And So It Goes/She’s Always a Woman it seemed like you were singing the song to her. Is there anyone else you are singing directly to on the album?
There are certain songs that are kind of like a soundtrack to a certain time of your life. There are some songs on the album that represent heartbreak etc but yeah, I am not necessarily singing to anyone in specific, more just singing songs that reflect a particular time and feeling in life.
The Album launch was a really big showcase of your talent. You sang a lot of songs from Phantom and Les. I know you are moving more into the commercial recording artist direction, however if there was a show that you were longing to get involved in, what would it be?
Well I do love Phantom. That said I don’t want to go straight into a musical. I’m having a rest from theatre for now as it is so consuming. Having to do so many shows a week and be fully dedicated and amazing in each show, it does start to take its toll. Not necessarily in terms of exhaustion but in terms of life style; if your friends and loved ones aren’t performers they will have different schedules to you. You need a happy balance between work and play. I am happy to be out of musicals for a year. The Phantom is a role I would love to tackle but I need a rest before I could tackle the role with as mucho gusto as I would want to.
So if you are out of musicals for a year then what is next for you while you’re out? Album number three? Domination of the pop charts?
We had some record labels at the launch. That is why the launch was a bit of a show case really. We are not making the album commercially available before Autumn , by then we are hoping to get a label on board for marketing and distribution. But if not then we will go for plan B and have a more independent distribution of the album. We are hoping for a small tour with Charlotte (Jaconelli) I also did a duet on her album. I am talking and working through a few different collaborations. We just want to get on the road and get the music out there.
And finally, what would you like to say to your fans and supporters who will buy your album?
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Thanks for the support, either as a recording artists or as Val Jean and the other parts I have played. It is so nice to have dedicated and loyal fans. Thank you.
I love a good launch, I really do. The atmosphere is slightly more relaxed than that of a full show but the excitement is strangely higher, like you are about to witness the birth of something great. This was very much the case when I went down to the Royal Albert Hall to hear Daniel Koek perform an evening of songs from his second album, High.
The Elgar Room is lovely and intimate, the perfect place to wow a small audience, which was the aim of Daniel’s game after all. Sponsored by Dautel- Cadot Champagne, the evening was off to a fabulous start and got even better when the man of the hour took to the stage! Over two hours including an interval (more time for Champagne of course!) the audience were treated to tracks off the forthcoming High as well as a few extras.
Daniel was joined by an array of special guests with special voices joining in from time to time, including the extremely cute Caoimhe Ballard who played little Cosette to Daniel’s Val Jean during his run of Les Miserables. Daniel watched on as she performed a sweet version of Castle on a Cloud!
Another stand out guest was the beautiful Charlotte Jaconelli, who sung with Daniel on several occasions throughout the night, lending her expert vocals to Daniel’s already well formed and orchestrated numbers.
Highlights (excuse the pun) of the evening included the touching and soulful And So It Goes/She’s Always a Woman, the operatic Oceano and of course the classic Bring Him Home, all of which appear on the album.
High is Available through pledge
Everyone loves a giveaway, especially when it is one this beautiful! We have two copies of High to give away to two lucky tweeters (THE ALBUM ISN’T EVEN OUT YET YOU GUYS!)
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