Brewing Innovative Songs and Indefinable Genres with David Dino White

David Dino White is a singer/songwriter out of North Bay, ON.  I was sent his music recently, and within about 20 seconds I knew I liked it.  It's thoughtful, but cutting; it's really lyrically-driven, (and David's emotional but edgy voice makes you listen to what he's saying), but with interesting progressions that blend jazz and rock genres.  I've been listening to his music for the past week now, and I can't quite put my finger on how to describe it.  I asked him about this in our little interview, and he can't quite describe it himself either.  The only thing to do is listen and hear it for yourself!

David Dino White will be performing this Friday, September 1st at Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound, with special guest Dead Winter.  Click here for details:

Thanks to BT Promotions for setting up this show and interview:


Photo credit: Ryan Marshall Photography

Photo credit: Ryan Marshall Photography

LC: To begin with, who are the members of the band and what does everyone play?  How long have you all been in this project?

DDW: Right now I’m very lucky to have Andrew Sowka playing bass and singing back up vocals and Ben Leggett playing drums. These two have been the back bone of David Dino White for almost 2 years now. Before them, I would play all the instruments on my recordings and strictly perform solo. Over time I came to the realization that if I was going to continue growing as an artist, I should hire pros to play on the album and have the goal be to eventually have them help me bring the songs to life in a live setting too! Skip a few member switcheroos and add some lengthy nights in the jam room trying to nail down parts and BAM! Power trio!

LC: Your songs are very lyrically-driven.  What's your songwriting style like?  Do you sit down on your own to write songs and approach it from a personal place, or is it more of a group effort with the rest of the band?

DDW: 9 times out of 10 I start songwriting with a concept or story in mind that I want to tell. My process involves 2 different trains of thought and a third part that basically involves completing the song(s). Part 1 is the notepad in my phone which basically houses a jumbled up collection of song ideas, some are just a word or two and others are a sentence, a verse, or maybe a whole paragraph of something I want to say in a song one day. Part 2 is a similar collection of instrumental ideas, again, sometimes it’s only a chord or two and there’s no real structure, other times it’s a full 3 or 4 minute song but without lyrics. Part 3 is reviewing all of these ideas and then doing something organic like going for a run, mowing the lawn, or maybe taking a drive and allowing my imagination to run with these ideas until two of them clickand I feel like the message is getting across. I like writing this way because it forces me to let ideas brew for a bit before they get used up. A song can take me aneternity finish sometimes but occasionally things line up instantly and I can call a song ‘done’ practically over night!

LC: I love how you incorporate a bunch of different genres in your sound.  From pop-rock to Eastern-European folk to ska/reggae to even R&B influences.  Do you describe your sound by any particular genre or do you think it's a real hybrid? 

DDW: Interesting that you’re hearing so many of these influences! My end goal is always to provide, what I consider, the most appropriate ‘feel’ or ‘groove’ to help bring a concept to life. I listen to everything on my free time and as a result, can’t usually tell if what I’m doing is abstract or not. As a result, I typically call my music ‘Rock’ or if I’m feeling really chatty ‘Gypsy Jazz Rock’, but neither cover all the bases so I normally recommend that people who are curious take the 3 minutes to check out a song. Haha!

LC: I get a real sense of the '90s alternative sound from your EP "Hair of the Dog".  Something about the bright tone on the guitar, really melodic vocals, and how you play with emotion in the instrumentation.  Do you have inspirations from that era of music? 

DDW: As mentioned above, I listen to everything! So, maybe!

LC: How would you describe the North Bay music scene?

DDW: North Bay’s music scene is small but strong! We have about 20 local muscians who all create a total of about 20 bands. Some of it is covers, some of it is original, some of it is folk and some of it is metal but all of it is friendly, inviting, and fun! Bands share members and audiences at local shows are among the most consistent I’ve seen anywhere in Ontario! That is to say, there’s so much support it’s kind of insane. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the people, music, and venues that constantly inspire me to bring my best to the table and simultaneously remind me to enjoy myself in the process!

LC: What/who have you been listening to lately?

DDW: I’m totally obsessed with this album called ‘Pêche-Rien’ by Simon Kingsbury. A song from the album appeared in my Spotify ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist about 5 or 6 months ago and I haven’t had a day go by where I don’t throw on a song or show his music to somebody since. I think he’s from Montreal and all of the lyrics are French which I really like as well. I speak some French and can understand most of what he’s saying, but even my English speaking friends agree that it’s easy to forget what language it’s in and get lost in the music just the same.

LC: How is the tour going?  Any fun tour stories you can share?

DDW: So far the tour has been a blast. Ben got hired to help with the audio recording program at Canadore College and started literally a week before our Ottawa/Montreal shows that just passed so Andrew and I threw together a two-man band set which involved Andrew playing bass, kick drum and singing back up vocals and myself playing acoustic, tambourine, crash cymbal and lead vocals! We had 4 days to rehearse the show and 4 shows to perform on that weekend so it was a real challenge but we both loved doing it and it was really well received too so I imagine we will probably do it again sometime! 

david dino white concert dead winter heartwood hall

LC: Can't wait to see you at Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound this week!  It's an awesome venue.  Where can people go to find your music and upcoming show info?

DDW: I try really hard to keep all of my social media spaces up to date but truthfully, it’s all about those Facebook and Instagram accounts for me. will always have all the tour dates and upcoming events and will always have warnings for where I am heading next and photos of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to! I’m also really excited about coming to Heartwood Hall and also about getting back to the trio set which is a fair bit easier to perform than the two-man band versions from last weekend. Haha. Thanks for the interview!


Thanks for catching up with me, David!  Can't wait to hear this guy in person this Friday, Sept. 1st, at Heartwood Hall.