Declan Galbraith 2014

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Declan Galbraith in Beijing, China - Interview, July 2012

Declan Galbraith and DouDou - "Olimpic Afternoon Tea" Interview - Beijing, July 2012

Declan Galbraith & Dou Dou Interview - Beijing 2012 (edited)

Watch Declan - The Olympic Afternoon Tea Interview - Beijing 2012 in Music | View More Free Videos Online at

Declan Galbraith & Dou Dou Interview - Beijing 2012 - part 2

Declan Galbraith & Dou Dou Interview - Beijing 2012 - part 3

Interview transcript by Carolina Lazarescu

Reporter: Hello, Declan. Hello, Dou Dou. Welcome to our show!
Dou Dou’s interview (in Chinese)
Reporter: So, Declan, tell us a little bit more about your hit song “Tell Me Why”. Actually, I listened to it this morning before I came, and it was really impressive. (Declan: Thank you). So I know probably this song made you a real star not only in England, all over the world, including China. Can I say that?
Declan: Yes. Yeah.I mean I think it’s one of the main songs I’m known for especially in China because I think it was used for part of the education curriculum to teach English I think, which is fantastic offer to be used in that way obviously and… but it’s not really… because it was on my first album when I was like ten years old it’s not really what I’m known for, in Germany or around. Most of Europe I think it’s, that was different songs from when I was 14 or 15, but in China especially it’s “Tell Me Why”. And it’s gonna sound quite different in the concert when you hear it. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much, but it sounds different, obviously, because I recorded it a long time ago.
Reporter: Did you know what the lyrics say in “Tell me why”? Do you know why it’s so touching to many people?
Declan: I think the… I think the song, well, it’s the song has a very strong meaning. It’s a very deep song and I think a lot of people related to it because they ask the same question that many people think of and ask, but there never seems an answer for. And I think it’s especially strong when it’s coming from a (you know, I recorded it originally when I was ten) it’s especially strong when coming from a child or from Dou Dou’s age group, because it had that powerful meaning of myself in the video as a child, asking the world tell me why these things are happening in the world, why the sea is being destroyed and polluted a.s.o. So, I think, a lot of people could relate to that.
Reporter: Declan, tell us if you ever wanted to give up. Like do you feel tired being a star and then also especially when there must be a moment that your voice had changed from a boy to a young man. So how did you overcome that? Was that difficult for a man or is that more difficult for a woman because we don’t know.
Declan: Yeah, my voice obviously changed when I was around (what was it now, I think,) 14 or 15 something like this. And I was recording an album in Germany at the time, actually, so that was difficult and there were certain songs which I had trouble singing after the album was released so it made it more difficult to promote it and to perform the album live, as well. I can sing the songs now, that’s the funny thing but at the time your voice is kind of fragile, when it’s going through the change and it’s not really that you can’t sing the songs, it’s just that they put your voice in a position where it’s not so strong or stable. So, it’s a bit of a worrying time I think for most singers because they think: “ What if it’s like this for ever? What if I can’t sing, you know, normally again?” And I think every man will tell you that when they’re going through the voice change, they get funny things going on like this. Sometimes they talk and sometime they’ll go suddenly high the first split second, or a kind of crack, so all of these kind of things are happening and it’s a bit of a worrying time but……
Reporter: How long did that last? A couple of months, a year?
Declan: Quite long, quite long. Probably like 9 or 12 months something like this. For some people it’s instant like they couldn’t be singing or talking and it instantly changes. For me it was like slowly, like I noticed: “Oh, I can’t sing that song, in that key any more!” or “I can’t sing that song, in that key any more!” You know it’s like slowly getting a bit lower, but then, at one point I found it was smoothing out again and I was still having some problems with it, some difficulties with it when I actually toured in China. Still a little bit fragile and there were some songs which were a little bit difficult for me, but after the concerts, I think towards the end of 2008, it was getting better and becoming more strong again.
Reporter: Let me ask you to do something that’s easy for both of you. I’m sure singing is easier than talking, for you, guys. So, can you do a little live singing on Tell Me Why? Just to …… the two of you.
Now let’s talk a little bit more about how you guys grew up because this is a very rare oportunity that we have a youth from China and a youth from England sitting at one, at the same table and we can talk about how you were educated and how you have chosen to do music and then, we can make a little comparison. This comparison is not to compare who’s good, who’s bad it’s just because we wanted to know how with the different backgrounds you actually arrived in the same place.
Declan: Well, I always sang, always for some reason, I always loved music.
Reporter: When you were 3 years old?
Declan: Even younger. We have pictures of me, with a little microphone like one year old, learning to walk but I’m holding a microphone. I don’t know. So, I was always kinda trying to sing and kinda trying to make sounds, banging drums and things, and I think, at a very young age, it’s what every child does, but I continued it, obviously. And I was very influenced by my grandfather, my mum’s father because he was in an Irish folk band and he played guitar and he played the whistle and a few … a tin whistle and a few other folk based instruments and my grandparents, before I was of the age that I could go to school, they would look after me in the daytime when my parents were at work and so I’d be around all his practice, all his rehersals and he would take me to his performances as well, with his band, so I would be around this from a very young age and I would be taking all in, and so, I think that was really the first big kind of like impact on me, with music and it carried on from there, until I just started going to local kind of performances, talent competitions, things like these, just for fun, you know, and like at the age of 8 or 9 just to be able to do some music and then when I was about 9 - 9 and a half I was seen by some producers and writers and they signed me to their production company. And so, it went on from there.
Reporter: Did you have a teacher who taught you how to sing use your voice or you’re just some sort of born with the ability?
Declan: I always just sang by listening, just by listening. I loved music, you know, I always loved music and many different styles of music. My grandfather brought me up on lots of Irish folk music because my family is from Ireland, particularly Dublin and this kind of southern island area, so I was getting a lot of Irish and folk Celtic music but then at the same, on the same hand or on the other hand should I say, my dad is very into classic rock like Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, bands like these, so I was getting this balance of Irish folk and rock and pop and you know it was great for me, at such a young age, 5 or 6, I was listening to such bands like Led Zeppelin, and……
Reporter: That’s awesome. So you also learned how to read scores and how to…
Declan: I don’t read score. Everything I do is by…
Reporter: Oh, really? Even now?
Declan: Even now, yes. I plan maybe to learn to focus really hard on some notation and sheet music kind of things, in the future, but at the moment, it’s just by ……
Reporter: You have the talent for it, that… You can hear …You know, for most people it’s much harder to remember the melody or the music. For you, probably, it just comes to you. As soon as you listen to a tune…
Declan: But, you know, it’s also the same for me. I really respect people who can look at a piece of music and just play it, like they’re reading a book, or a magazine or something. Like another language.
Reporter: Now let’s talk about a little bit of… so what makes you happy, what makes you unhappy, because as a young star performing you are very …, you are on schedule, and then you have to …,sometimes a lot of people have a lot of expectations on you and that’s from adults, and that’s a lot of pressure and burden, for a young star. So I want to understand where’s your happiness and where’s your sadness, if you can tell us.
Declan: Well, I’m always very happy when I’m around music and especially writing music and producing music and, you know, something I really love is to be set with my equipment at home and, you know, I have a small, little set up of equipment, and microphone, and things and I really love to just be set there with my guitar or my piano and to be playing with ideas and trying to create things that’s really enjoyable, or space for me to be, and unhappiness, sadness… I don’t know, really… Ask Dou Dou what makes her happy and we’ll come back to that.
Reporter: It seems like both of you have found the music space that you can go back to. That, maybe, tells us why you can sustain so much pressure, because, for you, maybe performing, singing is not a pressure. You will forget about yourself. So, tell me a little bit more, when you stand on stage and the lights are shinning on you, you couldn’t really see how… the audience. Did you just sing to yourself or when you sing, do you think about the audience or yourself? Like tell us what type of… because we really want to know. We are no stars. You guys are the stars, always in the middle of the stage.
Declan: I guess it’s one of the things and again you kind of… you get used to, but still, as I mentioned, there is still the element of nerves, although you’re excited and you’re prepared well a.s.o. you still get a little bit nervous, because you know there’s a big group of people out there, and sometimes it might even be going on television, to millions of people and, you know, you always have that thing in the back of your mind “What if it goes wrong? What if I forget the lyrics? I’m saying it a hundred times but what if now? So you never know, you never feel trully comfortable, but I guess that’s also one of the things that makes it rewarding and enjoyable, because, if you didn’t have that then it would be kind of too easy I think and…but with that, when you’ve completed it, and it’s all gone, well, then you thin “ Yes, I did it. And it went smoothly and everything went perfect and” … So…
Reporter: Are you afraid of… when you open your mouth and you are out of tone, this for people who cannot sing, this is our worst nightmare, like, if I have to open my mouth …and sounds… like should be this something goes here…
Declan: If I’m ill, then, yes.
Reporter: Normally, your very good solid control over (your voice)…
Declan: I guess so, I mean for someone who sings all the time, you know you picture the note in your mind before you sing it, just a split second before you sing it, and you can, kind of almost physically feel where the note is.
Reporter: So, you guys, you’ve come over to put this concert in London. It’s one action that you are inspired, because by being inspired, you can come here and, in the meantime, you also are singing to inspire other people so it’s really one of the most important events. Thank you both, for coming to our show.
Declan: No, thank you.
Reporter: Thank you.

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