Dante: Before Way Out West

R’n’B artist Dante Kinnunens interpretation of Clarence Carters song Next to you got huge attention in 2011, although it was only something he did for fun. Now, 3 years later after an echoing gap and patient waiting, he finally releases his first debut album and is preforming at Way Out West tonight where we can expect awesome surprises plus fresh and old material. 

On Mornington hotel’s outdoor dining on the avenue in Gothenburg I meet Dante standing sipping on a beer. It is sizzling hot and all of the outdoor dining’s are full of people, despite that we find a table further out were we can have a bit of privacy. I have a chat with him about his awesome tribute song to Whitney Houston, which I’ve been listening to all morning. But also about what we can expect from his new album and gig at Way Out West tonight.

It took 3 years for you to release new material, definitely worth waiting for but what have you done meanwhile?
– When I worked with my debut single Next to you I only did it for fun actually. It happened to be send away and suddenly people got interested and they called and told me that they wanted to make something from it and…, says Dante who suddenly get distracted by someone on the street. It is Naomi Pilgrim who has just got to Gothenburg ”Hey! What’s up?” He asks and a loaded Naomi happily responds”It’s freaking awesome!” Then she leaves us alone and Dante keeps on talking from where he got distracted.

Everything happened so quickly, it got released only after one month. I thought; Oh shit! I just hadn’t really thought it through at all. I also had never written songs before and it was a cover. I mean, suddenly I had to learn to write songs and for me it was totally foreign. It wasn’t something I could do, I learned slowly but surely and did a couple of more songs. After a while I got a bit stuck and got performance anxiety. Then ”Next to you” reached quite far abroad and I got it going again.

Are you very self-critical?
– Yes or you know when you create stuff you sort of are a perfectionist, you ought to be self-critical. I’ve learned that you need to just let it go when you’re working or are writing, then you just need to do it. In that case you can be self-critical afterwards.

Every song has a function and I’ve got an idea with everything

I’ve listened to “Whitney” all morning, a very nice tribute to Whitney Houston. What does she mean to you?
– I love all of her power ballads, I get that feeling from when you were younger and cheek-to-cheek danced at some disco. I’ve been through a lot of abuse in my life so personally I can relate to that side of her life.

So you can say that she has been a sort of an role model for you?
– Yeah sort of actually. It just felt totally right to make a song to her.

How is it going with your debut album?
– It is finished and will be released in october. People maybe will think that I’ve changed in another direction with my music, but every song has a function and I’ve got an idea with everything.

You have your gig at “Trädgår’n Lilla scen” tonight 01:45(new time), what can we expect from that?
– I’m going to play some new songs from my upcoming album and some old songs. It has been a bit messy, I were going to bring the singer Adiam Dymott who has been working together with me on my new single Champagne problems and we were going to perform it but she’s in Berlin and that part is a bit unclear right now. I really hope she will manage to make it! I also have brought awesome Noomi Isaksson who’s a Dj and there will be some more guest artists performing. It’s going to be a fantastic party and I really look forward with doing this gig.

What will you do after it?
– I’m going to drink champagne with Lorentz, he plays after me so it will be perfect.


Photography by Saga Berlin

Dante will have his gig tonight at 01:45 at Way Out West. For more info go to his facebook page here.