In hindsight, I should have known there was something fishy about this whole “Damien Fairchild” story. The songs – however sweet and innocent and charming – were just a bit too good, too sharp and well-produced, to be the product of a barely teenaged artist. Never mind the logistical problem presented by the idea that this young man had already been in love so many times, with so many different girls, at such a young age. The whole thing was too good to be true, but it was sweet and adorable and I liked the idea that I was giving this young, budding talent some of his first press, in however small a venue.
Turns out it was all too good to be true. Yesterday I received what might well be my final e-mail from “Damien Fairchild.” It started off by letting me know that his new single, “Valerie,” was up at Soundcloud. Here, check it out:
Anyway, with the business out of the way, “Damien” revealed his secret to me. He is not, in fact, a thirteen-year-old Romeo/savant, but a somewhat older, road-hardened troubadour known as Drew Danburry (previously credited as the director of at least one of Damien’s videos). Said Drew:
In 2010, I felt like I had hit a brick wall with music. I’d been touring nonstop and trying to make a living playing music for at least 6 years straight. [This is where I started thinking “wait, this guy can’t be 13 . . .”] Music was no longer fun. It was filled with pressure and expectation. And more than anything, I really wanted to enjoy making music again. To go back to the beginning and to start again.
So I created a character named Damien Fairchild, to write songs through, similar to a method actor. . . .
It’s a fine line between sharing your music with others and maintaining your privacy and I guess I’ll never have both. But I am happy to be making music again, and I can only hope there are some people out there who are happy about it, too.
Well played, Drew. I do feel a little blindsided, but in the end I think I can say I haven’t lost a great story about a precocious young songwriter, but rather gained a new friend – not to mention an artist with a very deep back catalog to check out – in Drew Danburry.
The For All the Girls album will still be released this Valentine’s Day, as far as I know, and I’m still looking forward to hearing it.