Up and coming Indiana singer/songwriter Damion is premiering his new single “Your Secret’s Safe With Me” right here on Nashville.com (listen above.) The talented Hoosier got the inspiration for his debut solo LP, Special Interest, listening to late night classic radio while delivering pizzas to earn the money to follow his dream. “After 11 p.m., you stop hearing the regular Eric Clapton-y classic rock on the hits radio station and start hearing more esoteric stuff, one-hit wonders from 1976, or really minor singles from artists I thought I didn’t like because I just hadn’t heard this one weird song before,” says Damion. Rather than let those offbeat classics fade into the twilight on his late-night drives, Damion returned home and went straight to the Tascam cassette machine.
The result of that late-night recording is Special Interest, a ’70s AM radio retro sound with a fresh feel. “I am mostly inspired by singer-songwriters like Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Eddie Kendricks,” Damion says. “I [also] began as an Elvis impersonator at age three. I think the razzle-dazzle energy he had made an impact on me as a kid.”
“The single is about secrets, but only because that’s what felt right in the context of the music. I always write the music first, so the mood is typically established there. I knew the last line of that chorus needed to be the hook, and one day a co-worker confided something in me, and I sort of jokingly said ‘your secret is safe with me,’ because to me that phrase can’t be said in a very serious way. But those words just sort of stuck with me, so I decided to write the song around that hook.”
The LP was produced by Ben Lumsdaine and Lewis Rogers. “I had really meticulously demoed every song on my cassette machine at home, so the recording process was just a matter of adapting the songs to a more hi-fi context. Ben and Lewis each have a ton of studio experience, so we were able to work really quick. I like the limitations of recording to cassette tape (you either have to play the part right, or learn to love the way it sounds wrong), so even in the studio we kind of abided by those same limitations. Ben played all the drums, some music students came in to do the horns, and I brought in a bunch of friends to do the occasional overdub. Besides that I played most instruments myself” says Damion.