Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I just turned 23 and I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of things. The city of LA is becoming more comfortable to me — I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and spent high school at a boarding school in New Hampshire — and while those two sound like two very different places, LA has been the toughest place to adjust to by far. I love being outdoors more than anything… finding the good nature-y spots in LA has really helped me to acclimate to the city which I think is otherwise pretty crowded and kinda dirty.
How did you first get into music?
I started singing around the house at a super young age. My mom signed me up for guitar lessons when I was in 3rd grade and I was kind of on and off with that for a few years. I started performing more in middle school and really up the ante in high school.
How would you describe your musical style?
Lyrically, it’s very personal… I like to tell stories about my life and upbringing. Musically, I’d consider it to be some sort of acoustic, melancholic rock. The songs have a wide range of instruments on them — saxophone, strings, rhodes, electric guitar — that come together to paint a nostalgic but celebratory picture of my life.
How instrumental was it for you to have the ability to perform at open mic nights and student concerts in developing as an artist?
It was great! I think that that’s where you see the fruits of your labor. It’s awesome to share your music with other people and to bring them together because of it. It’s all about building a community.
What can audiences expect from your debut album, “Southwood Waltz”?
Southwood is the name of the street I grew up on. Waltz is a cool, nostalgic word that isn’t used too much. The album is a collection of eight songs that I’ve written in the past few years and that I finally got around to recording this past year. I think it represents very accurately what I do lyrically and musically at this point.
What are a couple of your favourite songs on the album?
Each song has its own heart and meaning to me so it’s very tough to pick my favorites, and that also changes quite often. The song “Silverlake Sunday” was super fun to record, produce and now perform, so that’s up there. I think “Where We Land” and “New York” are also really strong and great to perform live.
Do you have any performances coming up? What’s the experience like at one of your live shows?
This summer, we’re playing a bunch of shows in Los Angeles at places like The Venice Whaler, Irish Times in Culver City, King’s Row in Pasadena, and hopefully a gig at a big venue near the end of summer that we’ll get all of our fans out to. Our live shows are pretty high energy, despite some of my songs being more downtempo. We just take the crowd’s energy and run with it. Last show, we had somebody crowdsurf… that was wild. I don’t know if The Hotel Cafe has ever had that before… it’s supposed to be a listening room (haha).
What’s next for your career?
Just gigging as much as possible, writing and recording more, and trying to make new fans any way possible!
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
Write from the heart. Write detailed and specific. Perform as much as you can — the more you do it, the easier and more fun it becomes.
What’s your life like outside of music?
Hanging with my roommates, playing pickup basketball, enjoying the beaches in LA.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can follow me on Instagram – @davidayscue, like me on Facebook, or check out my website which is www.davidayscuemusic.com. I’m also going to start uploading more content to my YouTube channel, so you can check that out too: https://www.youtube.com/