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Danny G: Activism, Marvin Gaye and the Major 7ths

Daniel Groenland is not a name that would register in the minds of many but say Danny G and you get pulses racing. 

Danny G is one of Dublin’s biggest performers and he is famous for performing with his band which he calls the Major 7ths. 

Describing his early days as a performer, Danny G recalled he used to perform with the soul band Mob Fandango and it was after performing with them that he started searching for the best performers in Dublin, asked them to join him and called them Major 7ths

“I used to play in a funk band called the Mob Fandango and we were playing all over Dublin about 10 years ago,” he said.

“We were all young guys and it was kind of loose and at that time in Ireland (10 years ago), soul music was not popular in Ireland.

“At that time, I was just learning to sing and I was doing the flute and harmonies. That was my kind of education and when that band split up, I had a lot of songs so I just went searching to find the best musicians I could find all over Dublin.

 “I just headhunted and I just called the band the Major 7ths.”

After setting up his all-Irish band in 2012 (one person is English), he began writing songs, touring in Dublin and performing in different gigs. 

Danny G describes himself as a neo-soul singer who is inspired by the music of soul legend Marvin Gaye. 

The 33-year-old also says his current music and songs from his upcoming album talks about saving the planet although his first album talks about love. 

“My first album is all a bunch of personal love songs but my next album which I am nearly finished is moving away from that a lot and it’s gonna be called the lookout,” he said. 

“It’s looking outward rather than inward and the songs are all about other situations and not just me.” 

“Probably the most important one from the climate change point of view is a song called when it all runs out. It is just asking world leaders what they are gonna do when we run out of all the world’s resources.”

“The album that means the most to me is Marvin Gaye’s What’s going on?. 

“He (Gaye) talks about the world, what is going on, the ecology, the Vietnam war and I think that album touched me more than anything else.

“That album was in 1971 and it is still relevant today. It was ahead of its time; talking about pollution and it’s hard to write songs like that because you do not want to come out as too preachy. 

The father-of-two is hoping that more singers would talk about the need to focus on the environment. 

“It is the most important thing we should be talking about right now. When I hear love songs right now, I think we already have enough love songs but then the next day I would write love songs,” he said, chuckling. 

When he was asked if he would like to consider himself an activist, he said: “I would love to consider myself an activist but not a very good one.”

“I work in an office and pay rent like everyone else but in my music, I would say yes I am an activist and I try to push that message out through my music.”

Speaking about the BlueFire festival, the singer who just hit 100,000 streams on Spotify said he was excited as he was performing at a festival which matches the messages he is sending out in his current songs and his world views. 

He adds: “I would say in the three to four years I say I have become radicalized and even I before I became educated about climate change, I was really against the globalization and capitalism that is destroying the world.”

Danny G is expected to perform at the 2019 BlueFire festival. The event coincides with the International Day of Peace, whose 2019 focus is Climate Action. It also coincides with the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

Bluefire Street Fest is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to promote social integration and cohesion amongst young people from Dublin across all cultural backgrounds.

Danny G’s next sophomore will be released in early 2020.

About the author

Ayomide Akinshilo

Ayomide is a journalist and editor with a passion for sports, video games and African culture. He has degrees in Mass Communication, Journalism and Media Communication.


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