The RSOM team were delighted to have a chat with singer-songwriter IV Danté following the release of his new single ‘be with me’.
J: Hey Danté! Would you mind starting by introducing yourself to our readers?
D: Well as you may or may not know my names Danté and I’m 20 years old from Melbourne. I’ve been playing music since I was young and have picked up a bunch of instruments along the way from starting with guitar, to singing, drums and piano. I love jumping around on all the instruments and trying out ideas on each, which is really good fun when it comes to song writing.
J: At what point did music become a profession, or I guess the “end-game”, for you?
D: Music has always been a big part in my life so it’s never been something I’ve really thought about. It’s been something that I’ve just kind of done because I love everything about it. It’s almost like I need to have some involvement in it because without it, things always feel a bit off. So it’s never really feels like it’s become a profession or end-game, it’s just something I feel like I have to do because it’s apart of me (a bit cheesy I know haha).
J: When and how did you begin songwriting?
D: I wrote my first song when I was about 12. It was an instrumental to enter into a song-writing competition I heard about through school. Not long after and around the beginning of high school, I started slowly attempting to put songs with words and melodies together and learn the craft of songwriting. Again, it was a really natural progression and just felt like it made sense for me to write songs. In the beginning it was never really about ‘expressing’ myself or my feelings, was more just about the enjoyment I got out of creating something that I could call my own.
J: Do you have a typical writing process? If so, can you describe it for us?
D: I don’t really have a typical writing process as they all are started on different instruments or even stem from my laptop. The most common way for me is starting with a guitar riff that I’ve recorded on my phone but it all varies. My new single ‘be with me’ came about when I was jamming on my loop pedal with an acoustic guitar and flowed from there. Other songs have started on the piano and even from a drum groove I’ve heard in another song that I was really into. The lyrics and melodies usually come pretty easily as I’m essentially re-telling stories or events that have happened to me or that I’ve seen. I’m constantly writing phrases and ideas down on my phone about things I hear from people or a topic that I think would be interesting to sing about. I’m definitely not exempt from all the clichés of writing songs about girls and relationships even though I like to think I am sometimes… haha
J: What was the inspiration behind ‘be with me’?
D: Speaking of clichés ‘be with me’ is about not knowing if you can be without something in your life aha. It spawned from an event that I experienced which is what I lean on when trying not to sound like a typical ‘miss you’ love song. It has lyrical references and similar sounds from songs that I was listening to around that period of time which I especially like to do because it adds an extra element of meaning to the song for me, which is cool because it’s something only I can relate but still leaves the rest of the song open to interpretation for others.
J: I really love the vibe of the music clip for it. Where was it filmed?
D: Thanks heaps! We filmed it at different areas along the Mornington Peninsula which was really cool. There’s so many nice areas around there and was a really fun day, just me and the guys in the band hanging out and making each other laugh. It really captured the sound of this song I thought. Big shout out to my youngest sister who shot a bunch of it for me and helped basically direct the whole thing.
J: What’s the inspiration behind your “stage name”, and incorporating your own name into it?
D: Originally I was just going as my name ‘Dante’ but it became difficult to search up my music as a lot of people had the same idea and go by just ‘Dante’. I’d been playing around with the idea to add something for a while and finally asked my sisters about changing it, my youngest sister came up with the idea ‘For Dante’ then we all had a laugh and thought it actually could work. We wrote it down abut something seemed missing so I said let’s try it with the roman numeral IV (4) and then we thought it completes the name. That night I was doing some research of the idea and when I searched up ‘IV Dante’, Dante Alighieri’s poem ‘The Divine Comedy’ came up with ‘Canto IV’ which was relating to section 4 of his poem. Seeing that basically convinced me to go with ‘IV DANTE’ as my stage name.
J: What was is like to work with Jimi Maroudas?
D: I worked with Jimi a few years back on another project I had and being in the studio with someone who was so positive, encouraging and full of ideas really gave me the confidence to try anything with my music. His passion for music was really inspiring and we actually had a lot in common outside of music. In between the long hours of the song we were recording at the time we went outside and had a kick with the soccer ball which Jimi then got to show off a bunch of his hidden skills aha. The experience with working with him on a song really helped further my song writing and musicianship and I was extremely fortunate to have worked with someone of his calibre and credentials especially while still being at high-school at the time.
J: Who are your musical influences?
D: This is the question I always struggle to answer as I listen to so much music, it is hard to say who directly influence my music. I’d say music as a whole is the biggest influence on my sound, but I love listening to really well-structured Pop songs from throughout the decades to various funk, rock, alternative and fusion music. I don’t like to pigeon hole myself by listing artists, I’d much rather people listen and hear the different influences and use their imaginations to relate me to bands they like, which I’ve had people say I sound like songs/bands I’ve never even heard of which is always a cool thing to hear.
J: What are your musical goals for the next 12 months?
D: The next 12 months is going to be an exciting time. We’ve got some live shows in the works and we’ll be recording a bunch of new material and releasing throughout the year. We’re aiming to play a bunch of festivals and hopefully get on some cool support slots to help us get to the next level. We’re all really keen to see how it pans out for us. Thanks for the chat!
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra