My name is Danny McMahon, and I’m the current UK Country Artist Of The Year.
My journey into Country music began in November 2017 and entirely by accident.
I was initially a rock and pop musician but fell in love with Country music having first been introduced to “Letter To Me” by Brad Paisley. The song was so beautifully relevant, and I just loved the perspective of the lyrical content, which is essentially Brad writing a letter to his younger self.
My experiences a as a Country fan grew into me writing Country Music for other artists, but I then ended up writing a bunch of songs about me and my life, and with some help from those around me, I was convinced to put these songs onto an EP within two months. I’d been asked to come to play at SpringBoard Festival in California as the first British Country artist to play the festival.
This led to the first summer of festivals, including Buckle & Boots Festival, by which time I’d released my second EP “Momentarily.” If I’m honest, this was the moment I realised I’d come home as a musician. I finished playing my set, and the crowd were cheering my name, and it brought a tear to my life. I thought back to all the struggles I’ve had a musician, and at that moment, everything suddenly became worth it!
That Autumn I released “When I See You” which went straight into the UK Country iTunes Charts at Number One which for me was such an incredible moment.
The song then the following year won “Song Of The Year” at the UK Country Music Awards, which was a fantastic journey for a song I was never supposed to sing originally.
My third EP “Boys Cry Too” is probably the one I’m most proud of. There are a few reasons for this, but mainly the fact that I was able to feel comfortable enough to address the concept of Male mental health, and that meant a lot to me. Not only that, but the response to it from Male fans was terrific. I’ve heard some incredible stories from people opening up to me off the back of the song, and that to me couldn’t be more special. As a songwriter, my number one priority is to stimulate emotion in people. If I can see I’ve been able to do that in any capacity, it’s always a special moment!
One of the most exciting elements of my journey has been live shows. I never thought I’d get to play Country music in Sweden, Italy, Germany and all across America, but that’s just some of the places I’ve had the opportunity to play as an artist so far. I hadn’t played on the road for a while before I started singing Country music, but I’ve truly loved every minute, from playing to four people in Stoke to playing sold-out writers rounds in Nashville.
This year (despite being crazy with the current situation), I’ve still managed to play in New York and Pennsylvania with the band which was an incredible experience!
Earlier this year, I also signed my first publishing deal in America, which was another dream come true. I dreamed of writing songs for a living as a 14-year-old, so to make that a reality is something special.
I’m hoping to release new music before the end of this year, and I cannot wait for people to hear all the new music I’ve been working on during lockdown.
I’ve had some fantastic experiences so far, but without the best part has been all the amazing people from all over the world who I’ve met whilst toured. In a world dominated by social media, going and having these experiences with real human beings has been something I’ll be forever grateful for.
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