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Dan Aston Opens Up In “I Don’t Belong Here”

British up-and-coming singer-songwriter and recording artist Dan Aston shares what might be his most personal and emotional song to date, entitled "I Don't Belong Here."

Hailing from Cornwall, UK, Dan Aston's original tunes has been featured on BBC Radio 6 Music by Tom Robinson and BBC Introducing. Aston made the most of his time during the pandemic, writing and recording a fresh body of work that he promises is the most exciting chapter of just musical journey yet.

Now releasing the second single in a series of songs to be released this year, "I Don't Belong Here," Dan Aston also released an accompanying music video that dives even further into that chilling concept. He explains that he wrote the song in the late hours of the night in an unfamiliar town, "I felt a profound sense of dissatisfaction with where my life was heading and who I was becoming as a person."

Now, Aston says the song is about realizing when things need to change. "I Don't Belong Here" is an ear-pleasing and soul-soothing folk song that blesses listeners with incredibly relatable lyrics about feeling lonely and unsatisfied with your current circumstances. It's a chilling listening experience that's only amplified by the visuals in the music video.

The song's visuals see Dan Aston walking through an unfamiliar town with his guitar in hand. The stark black-and-white atmosphere enhances those troubling moments tenfold, representing that desire to escape from a world that's oozing with decay and uncertainty. It's a deeply emotional and introspective music video that reminds viewers that change doesn't have to be as scary as it seems.

Life's unpredictable moments got you down? Listen to something your mind and heart can relate to with Dan Aston's latest single and music video for "I Don't Belong Here." Find the music video on YouTube and the single on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Dan Aston. We're very impressed with the vulnerability and emotion you've poured into your recent single, "I Don't Belong Here." What does this song mean to you? Is it one of the more personal songs you've released?

Thank you so much. The song's genesis stems from a night I spent in a far-away city. At the end of the evening, as I walked back to my hotel room in the early hours of the morning, I felt a culmination of emotions that had been building for some time, and I think being so far away geographically from my home served as a catalyst that brought things to a front. I was at a point in my life where I was pretty dissatisfied with where I found myself. The lyrics reflect my feelings of alienation and frustration, a general sense of being lost and a very long way from where I should be. What did I want from life? Who were my true friends? How did I stray so far from my aspirations? Who was I? These are the sort of questions that were floating around my mind. It’s a very personal song, but all my songs are personal. I think there is perhaps an emotive emphasis on this one as it is downbeat in nature.

What was your songwriting process like for "I Don't Belong Here"? Was it challenging to be so open and vulnerable when writing your lyrics?

I had the song title in my head that night and wrote the whole thing shortly afterward. It all came together pretty quickly, really, with all the lyrics being written in a few minutes. I find that it’s best to just let the words flow onto the page naturally. If I try to sugarcoat things, then it usually translates as false and forced. Sometimes I can feel a little embarrassed about being so open in my lyrics, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that most people will be able to relate to them. When I think of my favorite songwriters and the lyrics that have touched me most and provided comfort in difficult times, they are the ones that are honest and completely open when it comes to sharing personal experiences.

What was it like shooting the music video for "I Don't Belong Here?” Who helped you bring the music video to life?

It was a lot of fun. The bulk of the video was filmed in Plymouth. I have to stress that I love Plymouth, and it’s a beautiful city, but of course, I was seeking out the areas with urban decay to fit with the tone of the song. I find brutalism and urban decay to be beautiful in their own way, anyway. Living in Cornwall, Plymouth was the closest place to recapture the imposing cityscape that surrounded me on the night depicted in the lyrics. Some of my best friends came along to help with the shoot, including Ross Stevens, who has done a fantastic job with the editing. The video was completed in just a few days.

What do you hope to make listeners think or feel when hearing "I Don't Belong Here?” What impact do you want the song to leave on your audience?

If the song resonates with and provides some element of comfort to just one person in the world, then it has been worth releasing. I hope people who are feeling lost can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone. We live in a crazy world, and it’s all too easy to stray from the path you have strived to stick to in life, but you can always get back on course.

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