Daniel Donskoy Collaborates with Couturie to Celebrate the Release of his Debut Single
Photography by Ray Burmiston
Interview: Lara Journo
Recording artist, Daniel Donskoy has created a special piece of Jewellery with Couturie that will mark the date of his first single release, CRY BY THE RIVER. £10 will be donated for each necklace sold from Daniel's edit to his chosen charity, Restore The Music UK.
Debut single: 25. January 2019
At the age of 28, Daniel Donskoy has become an overnight star in Germany due to his lead role in hit series Sankt Maik. In the UK he is most recognised for his role in ITV's television drama, Victoria and for his award nominated production of La Ronde at the Bunker Theatre, London. He is now turning his hand to music.
A true citizen of the world, Donskoy is a cosmopolitan wanderer. Born in Russia, his childhood straddled Berlin and Tel Aviv and he completed his higher education in London. He speaks four languages fluently.
We meet Daniel at the location of the shoot for the launch of his album at Crackers in Berlin – excited that he has chosen to include Couturie within the project. Daniel has designed a piece with us that celebrates the launch date of his new musical career. He’s buzzing despite a punishing schedule of filming, song writing and production. He looks forward to ‘new chapters’ and has loads of energy..... Crackers restaurant is multi layered and provides a myriad of textures and background for the shoot by Couturie’s art director, Mr Ray Burmiston.
What is the name of your first single?
It's called ‘Cry By The River’ and I cannot express how happy it makes me that this is this song that will always remain the first I have published.
Was there a reason you chose Cry By The River?
There is something so special about doing this for the first time and this song has given me the opportunity to express my feelings in a way I have not done before. I have been writing and composing since my teens but now it feels like the right time to release it into the world and expose a little vulnerability.
Who and what inspires you?
People around me inspire me. I draw so much love from family and friends. Work inspires me it sounds incredible but the more I work the more inspiration I get from the things that I do. I could call myself a workaholic, but I adore working. It gives me passion, it gives me love. I have opened my heart to release a song that is so personal, and people do the same when they listen to it. That’s the most inspirational part of the journey.
Are you just taking a break from your acting career or is music going to be your primary focus?
I don't think it's easy to decide that. I don't think it’s healthy or necessary to decide that as I am passionate about both of them. People like Jared Leto and David Glover inspire me because they manage to put the focus on those things and have the right timing and that's what I am hoping to achieve now. I took a little break to finish the songs and I will continue to do both this year.
Thank you for collaborating with Couturie. Do you normally wear jewellery?
Daniel chose to put our Custom Date Roman Numeral Necklace on a thicker belcher. The date: 25/01/19 is the date of his debut single release.
No not that much. I can't wear anything on my hands for some reason. I love necklaces that's why I chose the necklace with the date of my first release . I'm really happy about it, I l like it a lot I will be wearing it when I perform.
Why have you chosen this piece?
I think necklaces resemble something wonderful and don't get in the way like things worn on your hands. This particular piece goes very well with the kind of clothes I like to wear: black suits, smoking jackets… and the roman numeral date in the circle is such a personal touch and can be the one detail that really makes an outfit wonderful.
Which charity will receive the profit from our collaboration?
I had this huge luxury of my Grandmother being a piano teacher when I was a child and even though we did not have much money, it didn't cost anything for me to learn because she could provide that for me. It’s given me so much and had I not had that experience I may never have written any songs or be where I am today doing what I'm doing today. I think it’s so important to give children and teens the ability to express themselves and what better way than music.
Where do you call home?
Difficult. London is my home. Berlin is my home. Tel Aviv is my home. what is Home? I don’t have a geographical sense of home anymore because I’ve been around so much but home is where you open your suitcase. Every place can be a home so long as you have loving people around you, something to eat and a bed to sleep in that's it.
Who is your favourite artist?
Many but the two main ones would be Tom Odell and David Bowie.
How is your personality reflected in your work?
A part of my personality is quite melancholic . This is the part of my personality which I don't show on social media and don't get the chance to because at those moments I become an introvert . I don't think about picking up my phone. I think my music is the opportunity to show myself in the most honest and truthful way and that's why I love it so much.
Can you tell us about the space you used for the photography?
It's called of the Crackers Restaurant . I love it so much because I used to party there. Then - it was a club called the Cookies . It's a wonderful place I love to eat there as well. I am so happy they let me shoot there . it's in the middle of Berlin, prime location.
What has been the response to your live gigs so far?
It's been f****** incredible. I had my first live gig. It was packed! And held in a huge design concept venue in the centre of Berlin called Bikini . There was about 900 people and the response was wonderful which I am so thankful for because you never know how it's going to turnout when you plan it in your head . I am super thankful.
How does your album draw on the life you have had so far?
So much. It's all about finding an anchor, about finding a home, what home means. I’m now reflecting to the questions you asked me before. It’s about unfulfilled love and so many personal things . A friend recently told me it was like going into a session of therapy with me.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
I’d call it indie pop – influences: Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Odell, Robbie Williams, James Bay, artists from the 50s, 60s and 70s who focused on vocal based storytelling .
Which musical instruments do you play?
Piano and guitar.
Where have you performed?
I'm performing on Friday Big German talk show called the NDR Talk Show which I am really happy about. Then I have a further two or three TV shows in Germany.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
I am going to play at a couple of parties at the German Film Festival but no tour planned yet.
Who is on your production team and why did you choose them?
Mic Schroeder is my producer. He is a fantastic producer who focuses on analogue sound and classical setups . That's why I'm playing with a band of 4 bass guitars keys and drums. A classic band set and Mic is a man who is really detailed really focused whilst also being hugely creative. He is a really good counterpart to me because I tend to be full of energy all the time and he really grounds me in the production process .
You have a large fan base – what do they make of your move into music?
I think they accept it which is good of course! Some people have followed me from being on a German TV show but others for being Detectorists or Victoria in the UK . I really, really hope they can find something in my music that actually makes them connect with it. I don't do it for acceptance, but I really hope it will reach people because I've put all my truth and heart into it.
How can your fans access your music?
It will be released on Spotify on Friday the 25th of January and is already available to pre order on iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music…the video will be on YouTube.
What is the dream?
The dream! Wembley Stadium, playing Glastonbury – to be playing festivals…doing what I love..
Any last words?
Famous last words…I advise you to go and find a lovely river if you’re ever sad. Go to the water and have a little cry…it really helped me!!