Interview with Dana McKeon

Sessions 58 presents Maltese artist Dana McKeon.

Dana is an international singer-songwriter and beatboxer, ranked in the Female Top 5 at the Beatbox World Championships. Being a versatile touring artist, Dana has performed at high-profile events for the British Royal Family and large-scale concerts such as MTV Music Week, the London Paralympics and Lovebox Festival. Her songwriting and production credits include two No.1 hits in Europe and song placements in short films and on TV networks including BBC, NBC Universal and ABC. To date, Dana has featured at live shows with the likes of Bruno Mars, John Newman, Rudimental and James Arthur.

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We caught up for a chat and got to know her a little bit more:

LookingGlassThere are a couple of areas we'd like to explore: Where does your artistic identity come from & What’s the main influence behind your music?

Dana McKeon: I’m very inspired by catchy melodies, rhythms and emotional lyrics but my taste in music covers a wide variety of genres from acoustic pop to EDM and HipHop. Each one expresses a different aspect of my personality so I draw elements from all these different styles to create my own blend of beatbox-infused pop.

LG: How did you start making music? 

DM: I picked up the guitar and started writing poems at a very young age. I remember sitting in my room playing and writing for hours, but it was only in my late teens that I started putting the two together in the form of songs. It was around the same time that I discovered vocal percussion, which opened up a whole new world of musical expression for me as an artist.

LG: What excites you in the music scene right now?

DM: It’s so inspiring to watch artists push the boundaries of music technology in the live music scene, especially when it comes to beatboxers manipulating the human voice! 

LG: Can you tell us about your debut EP “Street Art”?

DM: I got to work with a lot of talented people on my debut EP and learned so much from immersing myself in its release. The debut single was published internationally and hit the No.1 spot in Malta’s radio charts, and stayed there, for a few weeks. The music video for “Street Art” was also incredible to shoot as it featured innovative art-forms such as Reverse Graffiti by the world-renowned artist Moose Curtis and Glow-In-The-Dark Body Art which took hours to wash off after filming!

LG: How was it for you to jump from the Maltese scene to the London music scene?  

DM: It was initially a massive culture shock but it’s been instrumental in my growth as an artist and the amazing musical opportunities I’ve been able to experience. 

LG: If your sound was a flavour, what would that be?

DM: Passion fruit - sweet, but with a kick!