Aberdeen’s own crooner Dan Greavey has a dream of creating his first solo album with swing-version covers of hit pop tunes – but he needs help to make it a reality.
The entertainer – well known across the north-east in his own right and as part of Rat Pack-inspired Ocean’s 3 – has launched a crowdfunding drive to produce his new work, which has the working title, Swingify.
But the performer has chosen an “all-or-nothing” approach to his drive, setting a target of raising £4,000 by the end of October or not making anything.
Dan explained: “It gives you that urgency to hit the target, you push and push. You ask favours and you ask as many people as possible to share the link to the fundraiser and you ask as many people as possible if they can give directly, even the smallest amount.
“The tendency with the fundraiser where you just take what you get is you put it out there and take whatever you get.”
Album of distinctive covers
But Dan says the full £4,000 is needed to pay the people who are helping him bringing Swingify together, from arrangers to musicians to singers to studio costs – even though many of them are friends and fellow musicians who are happy to help him “out of the goodness of their hearts”.
“But you need to pay professionals for doing a professional job,” said Dan, who won’t take a penny for himself.
The end result will be an album of distinctive covers, bringing the swing and big band touch to a range of instantly recognisable pop hits… although quite what they are is being kept under wraps for now.
Dan said: “We haven’t really announced any of the songs that we’re doing yet. It’s all being a bit of a secret. But each song that we’re covering is inspired by a song from the crooner classics.
“So we have inspiration ranging from Fly Me To The Moon to Cab Calloway’s Minnie The Moocher, from the Blues Brothers to feeling good by Michael Buble. We use these arrangements of Big Band songs to inspire the sort of change from one style to another.”
From Beach Boys to Christina Aguilera
While staying quiet on individual tracks, Dan did reveal he is drawing on the backlog of stars such as Elton John, The Beach Boys, and Christina Aguilera, admitting “it’s a bizarre mix.”
Dan decided to swingify the pop songs he enjoys listening to for one very simple reason.
“My main singing experience over the last 15 to 20 years has been doing songs by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc, ably enhanced by the arrival of Michael Buble, which has been good for my career. People like to listen to that music.”
Dan has been working with his friend, talented arranger James Pritchard, to give the songs that big band sound. Also helping on the project is Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra, including their leader Alan Haggart and arranger Fraser Gill, to bring that vital big brass sound to Swingifiy.
The album, which has been mainly pulled together with people working from their homes due to the pandemic, will have around a dozen songs in total, said Dan.
“Hopefully (it will appeal to) people who want to hear these songs done in a different way,” he said.
“I know there are a lot of people who enjoy the music I currently sing, the crooner stuff, so I am hoping they will be on board.
How you can crowdfund Swingify
Dan has his fingers crossed he can hit that vital £4,000 target with the people of north-east – and further afield, with people supporting someone local trying to do something different.
If he hits that tally, Dan has a second crowdfunding goal in sight – to organise a live launch for Swingify.
“It would let people hear the whole thing as it should be done, with live musicians. We haven’t got the final venue yet, but it would be in Aberdeen or Inverurie,” he said.
To help Dan reach his goal, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/swingify#start