High Notes

That British singer-songwriter David Ford is even a musician at all is kind of an anomaly.

WWD: Is there anybody out today whom you like?

D.F.: There's a band from upstate New York called The Fleece Brothers, who put a record out last year that was my favorite record of the year.

WWD: You swear a lot in your lyrics and sometimes sound angry or bitter.

D.F.: I'm not an angry individual. I think it's very easy in the modern day to be — maybe bitter's not the right word — I think disappointed is the word. I don't consider myself to be someone who writes about politics. I'm someone who writes about things that mean something to me — I write love songs, sad songs, I occasionally write some angry disappointment anthems. But essentially I'm just trying to approach songwriting as a human being, rather than trying to be a celebrity and talk about all my houses and my hos.
WWD: But you must have dozens of hos....

D.F.: Oh yeah, you know...I'm blinging. I quite like some hip-hop music, but I don't really understand why anyone would want to hear someone singing about all the money that they've got. It's just boring.

WWD: Do you find there's a difference playing for American versus British audiences?

D.F.: I've always found American audiences to be a lot more open-minded, which I really didn't expect. A London audience will stand at the back of the room, with their arms folded, with this "come on, impress me" thing. American audiences will think for themselves. They don't need to be told what gets to be cool and what doesn't get to be cool. Which is really useful for someone who's incredibly uncool.

WWD: Do you consider yourself incredibly uncool?

D.F.: I do in England. Over here I think there's a certain mystique that comes with speaking differently. People sort of fill in your backstory for you even if it doesn't exist. "Yes, I'm the 13th Earl of Marlborough and I live in a big house in rural Hertfordshire, with a butler."
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