Damiyr Shuford is learning that you can’t go at it alone.
It’s been a whirlwind for Damiyr since he was first featured on Uncharted. The earnest and confessional crooner went from performing on the platforms of the New York City subway to singing at a showcase in front of music industry players, to recording his debut album.
“Honda and Uproxx, they just want to help me,” he told us. “Why me, you know? I’m really grateful.”
To answer his question, it was one of those “right place at the right time” kind of things. Chris McClure, Head of Music at Uproxx, said that he’d wanted to make records for a while and going with the former subway busker just felt like a no-brainer.
“We featured Damiyr in an episode of ‘Uncharted’ and it did really well,” McClure, who also produced the album, explained. “It hit all the marks for us in terms of stories we tell and artists we want to get behind.”
“[Our] producer for Uncharted really believed in Damiyr, and she was right. He’s the guy.”
Choosing to record Damiyr’s album was easy. The actual recording process, however, was not.
“I’ve never worked with Chris, so I was a little worried that our ideas would clash,” the singer confessed confessed. It was a challenge letting others put their hands on music that up until that moment belonged to just him and his guitar.
“It’s the hardest thing in the world for artists to let go of their songs,” McClure understandingly said. “Like an author sending it to an editor or publisher, they look at each page to try to make it symmetrical. There’s so much trust that it takes to turn over creative control to someone else.”
But let go he did. It was no small challenge, a fact not lost on McClure.
“For him to turn over his music, his stories, he returned to it a lot, talking about how close and personal it is to him,” he recounted. “It’s miraculous we were able to pull it apart as quickly as we did. The jury was out until a few days ago.”
Damiyr not only learned to be okay with letting others in on his creative process, he learned to love it.
“The best part about recording this album is collaborating with other musicians,” the once doubtful singer proclaimed after several days in the studio. “You know. It wasn’t just my song anymore.”
The end result of letting go was a record Damiyr feels extremely proud of.
“I think it’s going to be very touching,” he reflected. ‘It’s going to be a really good work, a really good project that people will be able to listen to and feel better. I’m looking to get that out of this.”
On the more practical side of things, McClure hopes that the soon to be released album grows the Uncharted artist’s profile, and that it paints him as more than just some guy who’s YouTube famous for busking on subway platforms.
“Bloggers don’t want to talk about street performers,” McClure correctly pointed out. “They want to talk about people making albums.”
Damiyr Shufford now falls in the latter category, and it’s only a matter of time before people start talking.