Here at CelebMix, we pride ourselves on supporting singers and bands of all kinds, from the world class musicians of today to the rising stars of tomorrow.
One artist who we have been championing for a long time is singer-songwriter David Mark Bulley. After impressing with his album Prologue last year, he has since been hard at work on his new music which promises to be his most real and truthful work yet.
Earlier this year, he released ‘Where Are You Now’, which gave us a taste of what to expect from his forthcoming album Jour Un. Just yesterday, David announced that the album’s first official single ‘Black Widow’ will be released on July 7. Having already had a sneaky listen to it, we can confirm that you are in for a treat and it definitely has the potential to be your new favourite anthem.
We hopped on the phone to chat with David all about ‘Black Widow’, his forthcoming album Jour Un, what fans can expect from this new era and much more.
You’ve just announced the release of your brand new single, ‘Black Widow’. Are you looking forward to finally put the song out there?
I’ve been waiting a very long time, since October, but I wanted to wait for a time when I felt like “it’s time to release it now”. I’ve held off but now I feel is the right time to put it out there. It’s been a long time coming but I’m excited to finally let it all out and for people to hear it.
What can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?
This song is about a person that I had a very toxic relationship with. For a long time I tried to believe that everything was alright and that it was normal and how it should be. Then I started to realise that this person was kind of changing who I was as a person. I didn’t fit in with the people I was hanging around with so I started to change what I did, where I went, what I wore and stuff to fit in with that crowd, which isn’t cool at all. Those people were really not people that I would get on with or hang out with so I felt that it was my time to move away from that and get rid of those people because they weren’t healthy for me.
That’s when I decided that a lot of people go through that, as you grow up you go through lots of different friendship groups, relationships etc so I decided to write a song that lots of people could relate to especially my fans because they range in age. Some are going through the transition of being a teenager to an adult, children to teenagers etc so I wanted to have a song that people could relate to in that sense. You should never change yourself for anyone, you should be who you want to be, and love yourself for who you are. That is the concept of the song.
What was the songwriting process like on the song? How long did it take to put together?
Usually for me with songwriting, well definitely with this album, I used voice notes a lot. They are my life, no matter where in the world you are, travelling, touring, or whatever, if an idea or a melody comes into my head I’ll immediately do a voice note on my phone and safe keep it. I had little snippets of voice notes for this song, but it was never anything set in stone, just me humming a chorus or a verse. I knew I had the outline of the kind of song I wanted to do but I never had anything concrete.
I was driving back home with my dad at the end of September to go to a family event. I was playing him some of the demos from the new album and I played him the wrong voice note by accident and it was one of the ‘Black Widow’ ones. I don’t know how or why but I immediately got an idea into my head and went into full shutdown mode. I said to dad, “please be quiet, don’t speak to me for the next few hours, I just need to write”. We were on the M4 and I just wrote it there and then. I immediately texted my producer straight after I finished it and was like “look, I’ve just finished this song, I’ve wanted to write it for a long time, how soon can I get in the studio?”.
Three days later I went in and during that time I’d heard what I wanted that song to sound like, but my producer Simon Pollitt, who is also producing the album, is so talented. He had ideas that I could never dream of. We went in with the idea I had for it, and his ideas just created something completely different. It was a very very quick turnaround – whereas some of my other songs have taken so long to do, this one just felt like everything fell into place which I was really happy about. Sometimes it’s more about the creative side of it rather than overthinking it so I went with my heart rather than my head.
It must have been an amazing experience for the idea to just come to you whilst sitting in the car. How have you enjoyed seeing the song go from something written in the car to the finished product?
I’ve listened back to the voice notes, which I want to share after the release of the album. They’re really bad but I want fans to hear the original ideas behind the song. The end product is really interesting to see so it’s fun to go back to August last year and listen back to some of the voice notes to see what I originally interpreted the song to be but now it’s completely different which is really exciting.
You’ve been teasing the release on social media for a few weeks – what’s the general consensus around it so far?
I’m being completely honest, I genuinely think people are wondering what the f–k is going on. Even for myself, I’m learning every day and going with the pattern that I want to portray, a subject around the song of how I felt when I created it. I’m kind of going with the flow – people seem to be excited but I understand that everyone’s also a bit like “well, what is it?”. Obviously by now people know about ‘Black Widow’, but I do enjoy that aspect of it. I love it when my favourite artists start doing teasers and stuff, it’s the clues and puzzles which keep people guessing and it makes it a game. I enjoy the creative side of it. I do feel that people have been a bit confused by it, I understand that as I confuse myself, but it’s exciting as well.
Among some of those teasers, you’ve been sharing some lyrics from the song. What’s your favourite lyric from ‘Black Widow’?
The theme of the song goes through certain months of this relationship. I love to be able to reach out to my fans, if people have gone through friendship changes or gone through relationship changes, you can kind of relate to this in any way that you want to. I love that the lyrics tell the story of the months, but there’s a breakdown in the middle eight where I introduce the nursery rhyme Incy Wincy Spider, which I absolutely love because of the theme of the song. The lyric is “you’ll be washed out like Incy we’ve all heard about, the little spider that came up from that water spout”. I love that lyric, I don’t know why but I just feel like it was part of my childhood and now I’ve grown up and I’m singing it in a completely different way. My other favourite lyric would be “go f–k your life up” just because it’s throwing shade at the people who really hurt me haha.
You’ll be releasing a music video for the song – can you tell us anything about the video concept?
What I would like to say to everyone is expect the unexpected. We did have initial meetings a couple of weeks ago and the direction of the video is very dark but I want to sprinkle some light humour over it. With this whole album, it’s a break up album and talks about the trials and tribulations of growing up, changing friendship groups, finding out who you are as a person, loving yourself for who you are, break ups, that kind of stuff. I wanted to put a pop twist on it to make it more fun too, so to see the brighter side of things.
With the video, the first initial meeting was very ‘Psycho’ inspired – I love horror films and at the time I really loved the idea but then I thought “I don’t want to take it too dark”. There’s going to be some dark scenes but there’s going to be some light humour to brighten the mood. There’s going to be a few exes involved, a few ex friends, not my actual ones or that would be awkward haha. I want to show strength in this video, that was the key word, so people will see a different side to me which they haven’t necessarily seen yet so I’m excited for it. That’s all I will say right now because I don’t want to give too much away but I’m very excited for it and looking forward to shooting it in a couple of weeks.
‘Black Widow’ is taken from your forthcoming album Jour Un. We’ve previously heard ‘Where Are You Now’, so what made you choose ‘Black Widow’ as the next single?
Thinking back to when I wrote ‘Where Are You Now’, I thought that it was the first track I wanted to put out from the album, but for me it was more of a taster. Even though I released Prologue last year, all of those songs were written years ago, they were in archives and I just thought, “I’ve recorded all of them so lets put them out there for people to hear”. I feel like ‘Black Widow’ is the first proper single to be taken from the new album. I chose it purely because it was the first song that came so naturally to me from the context of it to the creative side and the recording of it. Also I feel that the song has a strong anthemic feel to it. All of these songs that I’ve written came from a vulnerable place. When I wrote them I was feeling very vulnerable and didn’t know where I was or who I was. When I recorded them, I felt the strength in them but ‘Black Widow’ in particular has that independent vibe so I wanted to portray that as the first single from the album to show strength, independence, fire and a bit of sass. I wanted to say “I got through it, and this is how I did it”, so that’s why I wanted ‘Black Widow’ to be the first single.
As we just mentioned, your new album Jour Un will be released later this summer. What can fans expect from your new body of work?
I genuinely think that I’ve found where I want to be in terms of sound. This album is very much a personal collection of songs. I didn’t set out to go “well, I’m going to release an album with a load of uptempo songs and a couple or ballads” nor did I say “I’m going to write an album”. For a long time I didn’t write, I just did voice notes. With this album, it’s very much a timeline of me evolving as a person. I was around 20 when I wrote the last song for Prologue, so when I released it when I was 24 there was a massive gap to not have written anything.
This album is very much me growing up into an adult. It’s very personal – I always had an issue with writing deep, personal lyrics. I always sugar coated them and that was my downfall. I definitely feel with this album that I’ve let a lot of skeletons out of the closet and I’ve opened my heart up a lot more to my fans because I wanted to be as honest, truthful and raw as I can. I feel nervous because there’s some songs that when people hear them they’re going to go, “oh I didn’t that he went through that” but it’s liberating for me. It’s like therapy and I can just let it all out and let it go. I would definitely say that the album is very truthful and honest, which is very exciting but also scary!
What do you hope that your fans will take away from this album?
I just want them to love themselves for who they are. We all have our flaws, faults and imperfections but that doesn’t make us a bad person. We all do things that we’re not proud of, but we also do things that we are proud of. I just want them to take from the album that you can go through a dark time but you can come out at the end of the tunnel. It’s okay to have crappy, low days. We all go through the changes of relationships and friendships, but I just want them to be who they are. I hope this album allows them to learn about growing up and moving away from things that no longer serve us. I hope that it inspires them to be proud of who they are and love themselves for who they are.
Who would you say are some of your current musical influences?
I do have a lot of influences in the music industry but I haven’t necessarily gone down the route of going “I want this song to have this artist’s vibe”. With Prologue, I was still very young when I was writing and I was like “I love this artist’s song, I want my song to sound like it” and I was very naive about it. I’ve taken inspiration from a number of genres rather than one artist in particular. I’ve listened to a lot more electro-pop, I’ve been listening to folk music, it’s very bizarre. We’ve incorporated a lot of different music instruments into it, so on one song there’s a harpsichord which is from Baroque time.
I wanted this album to sound like David Mark Bulley, not like [insert artist name here]. I have evolved with my music and I listen to a wide range of people. It’s a very dangerous path to fall down when you have listened to a song by a particular artist and you go “y’know what, I’d like to infuse styles that they’ve used into my song” because that’s when you can become scarily close to sounding like that artist and you lose your own identity. I’ve experimented more with instruments than influences.
You’ll be doing some shows in support of the release of Jour Un. What can fans expect from these shows?
I spent so long on tour last year, and even though I’m proud of the songs off Prologue, as I said previously I wrote them when I was 20/21. I’ve changed a lot since then so I was performing music that I couldn’t really relate to and I felt very disconnected to them. Now, when I’m talking about upcoming shows, it’s so exciting to be able to show me for who I am and be singing material which expresses who I am today. Fans can expect a lot more fun, sass, empowerment. I want to start playing keys at shows. I also want to bring back the live instrument element to it because I love it. I toured for years with my friends backing me which was amazing and I feel that I can’t connect to the music as much with just backing tracks. I love changing up the songs when performing, changing parts of the melody to what it sounds like on record. I’m very excited to put on the show that I’ve really wanted to do for a very long time.
In September you’ll also be touring again with Artur Sikorski in Poland. This time you’ll be revisiting certain cities and exploring new areas too – are you looking forward to getting to see more of your second home?
I’m very excited. I was on tour in Poland for so long last year so we’ve focused more on the UK this year and not travelled so much. It’s exciting to revisit places that I’ve been to before because I remember faces and it’s lovely to go to a show 18 months on and see the same faces in the crowd. It’s so beautiful when that happens but it’s also nice to visit new places. I’ve seen so much of Poland already, but with this set of dates with Artur I’m visiting places I’ve never been before. I love exploring, experiencing the culture, connecting with new people, sending messages to new potential fans, it’s great. I’m very much looking forward to that.
Finally, do you have a message for your fans?
I just want to say thank you so much for being so patient. I’m sorry that it’s taken so long. I’m still learning now and I want this to be the best album possible for you. Thank you for your support – I’m nervous but excited for you to hear everything I’ve been working on. Thank you for filling my heart with so much love and support and I hope to see you at a show very soon!
‘Black Widow’ will be released on July 7.