Interview with Donae’o: Fire and his return to music
Hiatuses in music are usually nothing but a guise for eventual retirement. It’s rare for any artist to be ‘out of music’, for any period of time, and subsequently find their previous form (other than Take That… suggestions welcome!).
If you stepped foot in a club – or even a bar that plays music – in the late noughties, you’ll remember Ian Greenidge, better known by his alias ‘Donae’o', and his hugely popular track ‘Party Hard’. With a regular dose of journalistic scepticism, I met up with the man himself to discuss the memorable (Donae’o, Dona-a-a-e’o. Ring any bells?) singer’s debut single on his return to music.
Fire, Donae’o’s latest exploit, to me, signifies the artist’s move away from his more traditional UK Garage sound and more into the popular, commercial branch of dub-step. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s already a smash in clubs up and down the country and artists are having to evolve with every track they make.
But why the return? “I have been doing this for about 13 years now, after a while it becomes hard to want to carry on especially when your in the business of making music,” he tells me. Understandable when you consider the competitiveness of the market today which forces anyone wishing to ‘make it’ to live, eat, sleep and dream music.
“I didn’t want to quit music, I wanted stop being an artist and do more writing and producing, more background stuff,” he adds, “and in 2012 I did a lot more collaboration and behind the scenes work.”
The excitement of being an artist is the major factor in his return to music, it seems, and although the usual high work rate has resumed the enjoyment outweighs the difficulties.
“I haven’t fully changed my mind. Some days I’m like ‘yeah, fuck being an artist’ and other days I’m like ‘well maybe no it’s a bit fun,’” Donae’o says.
“One thing that has made me reconsider retiring was working with Vato Gonzalez and a label called New State who released [my song] ‘Not A Saint’.
“Working with them showed me that there are people and companies out there who are creative and care about the music as well as the business. They also showed me that there are good people in the music industry that just want to work hard, show respect and be successful.”
Donae’o’s new-found motivation could well be down to his new goals and ambitions – to nurture the UK’s next generations of aspiring artists.
He tells me: “Right now I just want to concentrate on working with fresh, up-and-coming talent. The youth are the future and they bring new energy into the fold. In regards to my career as an artist, I have another single I’m going to push after ‘Fire’ then I’m going to release an EP called The Forest of Zephron and then ill take it from there.acoustic, Donaeo, dub step, fire, music, party hard
Recent Posts on Arts
- Crowds at Lahore Lit Fest ignore bomb risks and raise hopes for Pakistan’s future
- Rolo Tomassi Interview: “It's comforting to know that we've not been treated as a novelty”
- Goblin's Claudio Simonetti on Profondo Rosso reaching the big 4-0
- Friday Book Design Blog: The Ecliptic, by Benjamin Wood
- Ask the Author: Vivian French
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter