This is such an honour for me to be writing about David Warby’s journey because I was there in the beginning! Waaay back in the day in Durban! I was an avid groupie, following his band Candleman everywhere they played in Durban with my friend Nicola. I asked Bevan, the lead guitarist to my matric dance but I didn’t speak to him the whole night! haha, I was so nervous and didn’t know how to talk to boys! Thanks, Beven, you were such a gentleman and so gracious to this weird, quirky girl! Anyway, that’s a bit of history
We have stayed in touch over the years and I have been so excited to share with all that is happening with David Warby! He pulled out some Beyonce moves by producing this epic album Happy Days during this COVID crisis! You are going to LOVE IT! and LOVE HIM!
Where did your music career begin?
My music career jump-started by accident, actually, because like many Durbanites growing up in the 80s, life was about riding BMX’s and going to the beach. Music was always just something buzzing in the background, not something I was focussed on or interested in learning at all. So when a friend mentioned that a bunch of long-haired head-bangers were looking for a singer, I auditioned as a joke… and got the gig! Soon after, I started writing songs with my BFF Bevan Gauld and we formed the grunge band Candleman, which did pretty well at the time.
My favourite memory was playing a show during the Mr Price Pro (might have been the Gunston 500 back then) to a packed school hall, with some of the pro surfers joining us on stage for a mosh-and-a-stage-dive. We got to meet tons of bands over the following years and decided to launch our next band, Summersalt (in Durbs too), this time really pushing for that “earworm” quality. I was writing songs every day by then and trying to make them as catchy as possible, which for me is the real joy of it all: writing a melody that you can’t get out of your head!
What challenges have you faced in the music industry as a whole?
The music industry is a weird animal and it’s changed so much since the 90s. Back then the challenges were to do with bad record label deals, journalists printing blatant lies about you, and the eternal struggle to make a buck. But for the most part, it was a thrill ride and I just rode the wave like a good little Durban boy. Nowadays, the challenges are different. How do you get your music heard by an audience spoilt for choice? What fresh hook point can you offer?
It’s a good challenge and keeps artists on their toes. The bright shining light for me is that it’s easier nowadays to steer your career and hold on to the creative reins.
Tell us how you got to do the song for the TV series Dark?
I was actually driving my son to pre-school when this creepy melody popped into my head – a weird setting, I know. I quickly recorded the idea on my phone and titled it Wishing Well. The voice note actually has my son chatting to me about Spongebob while I’m trying to sing! Once the song was produced I sent it off to my publisher in Los Angeles and she loved the track. She submitted it to Netflix who picked it up for the show. It’s weird but I hadn’t considered that there would be any reaction to the song at all.
I thought people would simply like the series and that would be that. But one morning my brother texted me that the song had exploded all over YouTube so I went online and saw that thousands of people were wondering who wrote it! I quickly came up with an artist pseudonym (Stomper) and released the single. I raced to produce another bunch of tracks and shortly after that released the Thrillers album.
Tell us about your new album Happy Days and what inspired it?
I produced Happy Days during the pandemic as a sort of emotional medicine for both myself and my listeners. Although this has been an insane time for many of us, I wanted us to be reminded of the good things in life and to use this time to find inspiration, to allow ourselves to rest, and to rediscover each other again. I’ve been saying, “Hang in there 2020 people! Happy Days are on the way.” I turned to bluegrass and folk this time because they’re gentler, more intimate sounds than my more polished previous productions. I hope people find it comforting and uplifting. You guys can check it out on all streaming platforms including Spotify and iTunes
What have you been doing with yourself in between?
Work and family. I edit TV shows in Bristol which keeps me very busy and I give most of my free time to my family – there are no waves where we live but we splash around in the lake every chance we get. We’ve swapped our surfboards for SUPs… is that lame? Whatever time I have leftover goes into songwriting and marketing Happy Days on my socials.
What is next for Stomper and for David Warby?
Stomper is gonna keep writing and spreading the love. David Warby is gonna re-watch Dark!
I’d love it if you guys would subscribe to Stomper’s YouTube Channel, where I post music videos, cover songs, and even lyric videos for those of you suffering from karaoke withdrawals.
There you have it! Follow him, subscribe on youtube, download the album and keep sharing this inspiring music!!!