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Last Updated: Monday August 01 2005 17:56 GMT

Newsround speaks to pop star Daniel Powter

Daniel Powter. Photo credit: Josh V Rothstein

Daniel Powter's debut single Bad Day has been a smash hit all around the world and was this week's highest new entry in the UK charts at number two.

Newsround's Cristina Boyton caught up with Daniel to find out a little more about him including why all the bad days are now behind him!

What age did you first start playing music?

DP: I was about four years old and my mother started me off playing the violin - which wasn't the most popular instrument in the world!

But what was good about it was that you really have to use your ear to tune the violin properly. And because I can't read music it really helped me develop this. It's also probably why I'm very self-critical - if I miss a note I know it right away.

I understand your mother used to also take you out of school to go to concerts?

DP: Yes, during my school years my mother would take me to any concert I wanted to see. I remember one time the principal said that there was no way I was going to be allowed to go to a concert during exam time - and that if I did I would be expelled.

But my mother took me out of school anyway - and I wasn't expelled! I thought my mum was really hip after that.

What was it like when you first started performing on stage?

DP: It was quite hard. In the early days, for the large part I was playing in places where I felt the audiences didn't really want me there. I would play with my back to them - but that was mainly so I didn't have to see what was being thrown at me!

And now you recently played at the Live 8 concert in Berlin, what was that like?

DP: It was very cool. I thought the greatest part about it, apart from being invited to perform, was that backstage there were no dressing rooms, bodyguards and all the performers were just hanging out and having fun.

Let's talk about your debut single, Bad Day. It has become a huge hit around the world, how does that feel?

DP: It's very humbling for me and very exciting when people like your music. I wanted to make a good pop record but I wanted to see myself inside it as well.

What is the song about?

DP: It's not literally about having a bad day, it's more about not taking yourself too seriously and complaining about trivial things. I have to admit I'm quite guilty of that at times!

Have you ever had a really bad day?

DP: I think the worst days are definitely behind me. I was a kid who spent a lot of time getting into trouble. But now I think a bad day would be the record company phoning me up and saying it's over!

You write your own songs even though you are dyslexic - has that made writing songs difficult?

DP: In certain aspects of my life, being dyslexic has been a hindrance but on a creative side it's been good. It's allowed me to create music in a way I don't think I would have been able to do if I read music.

When you know how to read music you become very structured in your thinking which I think restricts the creative process.

What would be your writing tips for any would-be song writers out there?

DP:

  • First of all, you need to work out what your musical style is. Don't get caught in the trap of writing music just because it's the "in" thing.
  • Write about things which come from the heart; writing about personal experiences is always a good starting point.
  • Be patient. Sometimes songs write themselves in 10 minutes; other songs can take six months to get right. But I must say as a musician you always want to be recognised for the song you laboured over for months, not the one that was written in minutes!