Declan J Donovan

FRESH: ‘I Wish’ – Declan J Donovan

Declan J Donovan releases “I Wish”.

by Christopher Smith

Declan J Donovan’s bittersweet brand new single “I Wish” is out now on Polydor Records. A tender, piano-led ballad, the song follows the rising songwriter’s rousing snapshot of a burgeoning romance, “Vienna”. Speaking about the new single, Donovan reveals, “’I Wish’ is a song about not being able to fall in love with someone. Despite them being the perfect person in your eyes, you never could fall for them”.

“Vienna” has now garnered nearly 3.5 million combined streams and views since its release earlier this summer. Hailed as one of the Best New Pop tracks for June by BBC Radio 1, the captivating piano ballad was an apt introduction to the 22-year-old’s powerful sound, a mix of epic melodies and soulful intimacy. “I Wish” similarly showcases his talent for weaving stories through his music. “I love talking to people and seeing how their mind works”, he says, “seeing what they’re going through and getting perspectives on how people think. A lot of my songs are other people’s stories”.

Becoming a musician didn’t seem like a viable career option for Donovan as he was growing up in Harlow. But after hearing Ed Sheeran through the music and culture site SBTV, and then discovering artists such as Bon Iver, Matt Corby and City & Colour, he felt compelled to start writing his own songs. The first track he ever wrote, “Fallen So Young”, created especially for his brother’s wedding, was a huge success when he uploaded it to Soundcloud, getting a million plays within six months. In the wake of that triumph, he self-funded three tours around the UK and Europe, eventually landing a record deal at Epic Records in Germany, where major labels caught word of this unsigned troubadour from England playing to sold-out crowds who knew the words to every song.

He was one of the only unsigned acts to play BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend last year, appearing alongside Taylor Swift, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith and more, and has spent seven weeks at Number One on the European Border Breakers airplay chart, as well as a Top 20 in the European Airplay chart. In Germany, he’s already on the way to becoming a star: he’s had a Top 10 hit and more than 25k radio plays, Top 10 in the Shazam charts and received more than 10 million streams of his single Pieces on all platforms. He’s already played his own sold-out headline shows and is confirmed for several radio festivals in Germany in 2019. Next, he wants to replicate the triumph he’s achieved abroad in the UK. “I want to carry on the momentum”, he says.

For more about Declan, check out his FACEBOOK page and follow him on TWITTER

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