Damien Smiler: new single 2020 CLUB. Interview and review!

One of the most striking stand out new artist music tracks released in January 2021 has to be the debut single 2020 CLUB from London (Camden Town based) musician Damien Smiler.

2020 CLUB is solid, beaty and dancy with vibes channeling right back to the pioneers of 1970’s electronic music. I particularly admire the gutsy bold, slightly disconnected edgy beat which keeps it interesting. It feels like one of those songs you hear at a club, just at the point you realise you are starting to really zone out from reality. 2020 CLUB is that tasty.

Given I love the poppy but edgy vibe of 2020 CLUB, I contacted Damien Smiler to find out more.

Firstly, I was keen to discover a bit more about the layers of musical history within the track:

“The influences came from Giorgio Moroder’s 1970’s “Here To Eternity” album, as well as Italo House records; predominantly “Dirty Talk” by Klein & M.B.O as well as one of my favourite groups Pet Shop Boys where songs like “Was It Worth It” To “New York City Boys” came into the mix also”.

I think my generations music in a lot of genres is influenced heavily by retro sounds. Everyone would have killed to be at ’77 UK Punk and ’89 3rd summer of love, and everything in between.

A few snippet quotes from the song’s lyrics will tell you much more about the strong message within the song much better than one of my paragraphs might: “We are the 2020 club”, “the bedroom generation”, “the lockdown generation”, “this is our decade” “nothing will change who you want to be”. In a few words, Damien Smiler has perhaps summed up lockdown for a generation.

Damien and I chatted about the history of the song and he explained it was a stroke of good fortune that got the song to where it is today:

I write & sing my own music using Logic Pro & a recording mic in my bedroom. 2020 CLUB got attention through a demo released on Soundcloud, and Mark Refoy (Guitarist of Spiritualised & Spaceman 3) picked it up and produced a mix, which is the one released”.

“I hope to work with Mark again, as well as his close friend Pete Gleadall (Pet Shop Boys engineer since 1991) in the future. I live around the corner from Murray Street Studios where they recorded all the first demos of their early hits.”

While I can produce also, the expertise is invaluable to me right now. When this world gives you very little luck, you have to take it when it comes. I’m 21yrs old & dreaming big”.

While there is a strong musical archive melded into the music, there is also a distinct fresh and strong feel too. 2020 CLUB is a song which doesn’t sit on its hands, instead it bounds across the room to ask you for a date.

I also wanted to ask Damien a little more behind this strong statement of intent and image for his music:

Music has to be bold, but I find in so much of today’s pop music it’s very safe and algorithm generated. This is dangerous in contributing to destroying authentic artists from real backgrounds for the benefit of blown up ones for sales, with the trend injected rubbish they churn out”.

Hip Hop infused pop is to the exception of genuine underground music rising entering the top 40, and there needs to be more variety from underground scenes, I believe. I hope to help change things”.

Next up for Damian Smiler is Slightly Knowing to be released on 13 February. The journey begins here.

Chris R

* Images taken from Damien Smiler’s social media

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