Daniel Zisin began writing music in primary school. He wove melodies, raps, and rhythm-stick patterns into songs about growing up in St. Kilda and the hardships of being a sensitive Grade 3 kid. Despite a lucrative once-off busking venture and a gig at St. Kilda Festival, Daniel’s primary school band couldn’t balance their rehearsals with lunchtime footy matches and the group went their separate ways.
The scars from his first band’s breakup had long healed by the time Daniel began his tertiary music studies and he was finally ready for a new project. What started out as seven friends improvising jazz-infused hip hop quickly evolved into the cult sensation known today as Still Thinking. The group held residencies at several iconic venues performing their electrifying blend of eclectic hip hop to thousands of fans. Still Thinking played festivals, toured, and recorded an album with acclaimed producer Jan Skubiszewski.
Now in his early twenties, Daniel was struggling to balance his pseudo rock-star lifestyle with his mind-numbing full-time job of creating telephone on-hold messages. As he stared blurry eyed at his computer screen trying to find the perfect elevator music for his on-hold messages, he would often think, “There must be more to life than this…” So, after only a few months in the job Daniel asked for an unrealistically high pay-rise coupled with the threat of resignation if his demands weren’t met. As expected, his outrageous demands were refused and his resignation accepted, effective immediately.
Daniel was now more determined than ever to fulfil his creative destiny and auditioned (for the fourth time) to the Victorian College of the Arts. To this day he can’t be sure if it was by virtue of his tenacity or simply an administrative error, but Daniel was finally admitted to a Bachelor of Improvisation at Australia’s most prestigious music college.
After three years of study at the VCA, Daniel was no more employable than before, but at least he had learnt the art of self-loathing and could now play music that sounded like the colour purple. In all seriousness though, Daniel did refine his skills as a composer and was now writing music for film, theatre, advertising and even published a musical children’s book.
Daniel Zisin’s debut album has been a long time in the making. There are songs about love, loss, joy and injustice. Songs that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder your place in the world. Using his piano and voice, Daniel writes music to make sense of the world around him. Lush and soulful, heartfelt and lyrically deft, Daniel’s music is the culmination of hard-won lessons in music, life and love. From a lifetime of listening, learning, and thinking, Daniel’s music is a rare thing - songs that are angry but hopeful; music for a better world.
On Wednesday 21st of September Daniel Zisin will celebrate the launch of his debut album at the magnificent Toff in Town. With songs about love, loss, joy and injustice, Daniel’s music will resonate long after the show. An impressive array of guests including Lisa Crawley, Ciecmate and Duvz will join Daniel in what promises to be a spectacular night of music you will not forget.
Join Daniel Zisin for a rare chance to hear this local songwriter perform music from his debut album with his full band and some very special guests.
Wednesday 21st of September
The Toff in Town
252 Swanston Street
Doors at 8:00pm
$15 on the door.