By: Samantha D’Alessandro
Last week I was on a casual late night drive with a friend of mine, jamming to some tunes and talking about life, when he showed me a song called "Eyes Don’t Lie" by an artist named Daggy. I was at a loss for words after hearing the classic bluesy tune and couldn’t believe it wasn’t more popular, and that Daggy didn’t have any more songs online.
The song stuck in my head and I had to find out more about the artist behind it, so I took to social media and reached out to Chris D’Agostino, the voice and guitarist behind "Eyes Don’t Lie."
Chris was very happy to hear how much I loved the song and was willing to do a mini virtual interview with me and answer some of my questions.
I was really eager to know how long he had been making music, in which he explained to me that although he’s only been producing for a year and a few months, he has been practicing and writing music from a very young age and began guitar lessons in the fifth grade.
This led me to ask about upcoming projects and possible releases, seeing as "Eyes Don’t Lie" is the only song we have access to,
“Right now we currently have a bunch of songs being worked on in the studio, just going through the mastering process. We’re aiming for a smaller project to start, most likely an EP ranging from 3-6 songs. All that is being finalized and should be ready to go in the near future.”
Hearing that he is currently working on an EP had me curious if a full-length album was in the works for the future in which he answered,
“Eventually yes, I think that’s the goal for every artist out there. As of now, our main focus is being heard with a shortlist of songs that represent us best musically. Also, music in this generation has become easily digestible in smaller numbers, and although an album is still the goal, the idea of releasing music a little at a time seems to be working best for the way the community responds to it.”
Although he could not give an exact time frame that we can expect new music, it is apparent that Daggy will be releasing a short EP in the very near future (I hope). Given the challenges over the past year with the pandemic putting our lives on pause, I ventured to ask Chris how this has affected him in his new music career.
“When we had initially started recording, it was a couple of months before covid. When all of that surfaced, we took a break halfway through the recording process so it was a bit of a blow. Then after a couple of months, we came back and finished everything we couldn’t at first. I would say the major downfall to being a musician in these times is the restriction of not being able to perform and play live. If there's one way to truly show what you’re all about, and one platform to connect with people who want to be a part of the music, doing it face to face is a connection like no other. Until we can have that luxury, all we can really do is be disciplined and stay optimistic while anticipating the return of the life I’m sure all of us have taken for granted.”
D'agostino mentioned that the use of social media platforms and streaming as a way to perform may be something that he is looking to participate in. In order to capture the raw sound of his music as well as the environmental element, he suggested the use of studio space as an ideal location to stream virtual concerts that represent him and his music in its truest form.
As we continued discussing the music itself, it was inevitable to ask what genres he is most influenced by and where the inspiration to start creating came from.
"Heavily inspired by mostly rock and blues. I owe it to the amazing artists way before me who set the tone for the style of music I love so much. I find it hard to definitively staple a genre to an artist, but understanding that artists' inspirations gives a more rounded conclusion of where the answer lies.”
When it came to the inspiration to create music Chris had a very interesting and relatable story to tell.
“I remember listening to an ad on youtube before the video I actually wanted to watch started. It was a promotion for John Mayers upcoming album Paradise Valley. I eventually clicked skip and thought nothing of it. Then the same ad popped up again and I remember thinking I would give this album a try. After a thorough listen, I liked his style a lot and never pictured myself being interested in this particular style of music. Listening to this album eventually got me to check out his album Continuum. Ever since that day, my life has never been the same. I became obsessed. This obsession led to wanting to know his influences and where he started. To make a long story short, I went down the deepest rabbit hole I had ever fallen into, and from that point on I had never climbed out. From delta blues to rock and roll generation after generation, the inspiration exponentially grows everyday. One thing is for certain, I will never remember the video I actually wanted to watch to begin with, but I’ll never forget where it took me.”
I find this story particularly interesting in the sense that in this day and age, it seems that media is both an inspiration and downfall to classic art forms. In this case, Chris’s adventure down the Youtube rabbit hole, led him to find his passion and develop it into an art form that he can share with everyone. Rather than getting consumed or lost in the abundance of Youtube content, it became his turning point.
The song that led me to contact Chris, "Eyes Don’t Lie", is the only single that is currently available from the band so naturally, I had to know the story behind it.
“Eyes Don’t Lie, along with everything else I write is aimed to be about a general idea and not necessarily about a specific moment or scenario. It's for sure love based on the sense that there is a connection between two people (typically a romantic relationship) where the people involved are not going through the greatest of times. That's not to say it could be taken from a different standpoint, but the intention was rooted more towards a romantic relationship. Talk is cheap and I stand by that. No matter what certain people say to you, sometimes all it takes is a good look in their eyes to know exactly what you were looking for in the first place. It's about that sort of insecure feeling you have when you’re skeptical about someone lying to you. Someone you would expect more from. Someone you love.”
A song about trust and betrayal that everyone can relate to, but with a bluesy and upbeat character to it. This song may have the typical meaning of a love-inspired track but it most definitely captures the classic representation of that emotion in music.
My final question for Chris touched on challenges that he has faced in the industry when it comes to releasing such a classic sound in the modern age of music. And to this question, he gave a very insightful response:
"It's not an easy question to answer. It's no secret that over the past 20 years this style of music has slowly been on the decrease, but what defines a decrease? Popularity? Being put in the mainstream light? Sure. But that doesn’t directly correlate to a decrease. If it did, how could ACDC have had one of the craziest crowds ever seen in River Plate 2009? The crowd was filled with people who weren’t even born through some of the band's best early years either. The truth is, the love for this music is only dead in the eyes of an industry that doesn’t see it fit to be profitable. Rock and rock will never die. I believe it can rise again just like it did the first time around, in the backroom of crowded bars where nobody thought it would escape. The challenge here is reviving a strong enough platform for it to stand on. I consider it a challenge accepted, and if anything, only adds fuel to the fire inside of all of us who carry it in our hearts.”
Between Chris’s passion and determination for the music he is creating, I believe he’ll find loads of success in the coming years. With only one single released he’s already begun to catch the attention of me and my friends and I’m so looking forward to the release of his EP. If there’s one thing I can say about this group, it would be to keep your eyes and ears open because music like this is rare and unique in today’s pop culture scene and I’m so excited to see it coming back.
Follow Daggy on Instagram.