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Daniel Merriweather goes it alone

Aussie singer/songwriter Daniel Merriweather who is best known for covering The Smiths classic Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before with Mark Ronson has teamed up with the producer for his debut album Love And War. Newsbeat spoke to him about his new record, learning music and getting into a spot of bother with Kanye West.

Daniel Merriweather
Daniel Merriweather said he would love to work with Stevie Wonder

How did Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before come about?

Me and Mark have been friends for ages and he was making this album (Version) for fun and he asked me to sing with him on Stop Me. It was really good fun.

I believe he has done some production on your new album?

Mark actually produced the whole album which is great because it is really rare to get someone's time for that long.

It's also kind of cool because there are albums that are made with a whole bunch of different producers.

But I wanted to get a bunch of artists working on every song so there is a little bit of consistency.

I believe you learned music in an unusual way?

When I was four I started playing the violin. My mum had this old violin and I picked it up and started playing around with it. So she started getting me lessons and the whole idea was you play by ear.

After about six months of me playing it and it sounding like a cat dying, I ended up getting a rhythm and getting the pitch right. So I listened to a lot of the music and went from there.

It was a really hard instrument to play and now I can't really do it any more because I haven't played it in ages. But it was a good start for singing because they are similar instruments in a way.

You've been on tour with Kanye West and Justin Timberlake. How was that?

Kanye was kind enough to bring me on tour when he was in Australia. It was funny we were in Brisbane one night and one of my mates from Melbourne flew up to the show.

Daniel Merriweather and Mark Ronson
Daniel Merriweather and Mark Ronson team up for Radio 1
He's not the most savoury character and what happened was he was with his little cousin and his cousin wanted a photo with Kanye.

But Kanye didn't feel comfortable so my friend proceeded to threaten him horribly for ages and ages so I had to jump in between and kind of break them up.

To this day every time I see Kanye he says, 'Hey thanks a lot for that but it's kind of your fault because you brought the guy'. I made half the situation bad and and half helped it.

Are there any other artists that you'd like to work with that you haven't yet?

My dream is to be in the studio with Stevie Wonder. I don't even know if we'd make music together but to be in the studio and watch him work would be amazing because he is an idol of mine.

You're into R n B. Who are your influences?

My album is a mixed bag and I have a lot of different influences. I'm equally as influenced by Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke as I am by D'Angelo and Donny Hathaway.

For me the album is a meeting of two sides of myself. My folk side and my soul influences are what comes out from listening to R n B since I was 10-years-old. There is a point where it all matches up.

I believe you had a throat issue at one point. What happened?

That's true. I had a blister on my vocal chord which was really scary because I couldn't sing properly at all. Notes weren't coming out and I had to get it cut off.

Daniel Merriweather
Daniel said his new album is a mixture of folk and R n B
I wasn't able to talk and I was completely mute for about three weeks. I had to type anything I wanted to say in my Blackberry.

It's amazing how much closer you become to your friends when you don't talk in the conversation.

After three weeks of not talking I had all this stuff in my head. I remember the first day I spoke and it was just verbal diahorrea for two or three hours straight.

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