In a few years’ time, journalists like myself will recall David Meulen in the following way: “When I first met Dave he was this fresh- faced boy with so much talent and eager potential.”
Right now, Meulen’s star is about to shine brightly.
This singer and songwriter has his debut single, Remember Me, playlisted on 94.7 Highveld Stereo, East Coast, Algoa and Good Hope FM. The single is off his debut album, @davidmeulen.
The Knysna musician has just released his debut solo album which was inspired by a road trip around the Western Cape. This came after his band, Dividable Grand, decided to call it a day. The band made an impression in Cape Town and he was able to meet important industry players like producers Theo Crous and Brendan Rossouw.
After the band broke up, Meulen took his guitar and his van and travelled for a year.
“I wrote a ton of songs during that time and then decided to move to Cape Town,” says the musician.
He was approached to record a solo album and he and Rossouw went to Knysna for the pre-production.
“We wrote with a pretty view in front of us,” grins Meulen.
They then returned to Cape Town and spent two months recording with musicians such as the legendary drummer, Barry van Zyl, as well as Dave Ferguson and Maurice Paliaga, the bassist from The Dirty Skirts.
“He is a virtuoso on the bass,” says Meulen.
The launch of the album took place in Woodstock on April 24 and now his first single is making waves. Meulen recently returned from a music course at Abbey Road in the UK.
“I began music because of The Beatles. The first album I bought was Abbey Road. I really wanted to be Paul McCartney at age six.”
Watching videos of Meulen, it is clear the camera loves him. He is handsome, strong and intense. Off camera he is wide-eyed and earnest with a weird obsession for nostalgia. This is reflected in the title of his first single – Remember Me. Surely nostalgia is reserved for the elderly?
Meulen disagrees: “I write about love, memories and experiences. I am observational so if I see something, I write about it.”
What is his earliest memory?
“It was when I was two. My parents took me to Ireland and we went to a church. I remember my dad pulling on these big bells and I was on his shoulders trying to pull on them, too.”
Perhaps David Meulen is an old soul. It is certainly reflected in his songwriting. There is a maturity to many of his tracks. Remember Me is just his acoustic guitar which he also uses as percussion. There is a catchy chorus, a great build-up and the lyrics are honest and come straight from the heart.
The album’s opening track, Debris, is emotional and dramatic with shades of early U2 and even our own Chris Letcher.
Many singer/songwriters can be rather twee and formulaic in their approach to music, but not Meulen.
“I don’t want to please anyone. I just write what’s in my head and record it.”
With this much honesty on his sleeve and in his music and this much talent, David Meulen has a huge future ahead of him. Oh, and a really cool debut album.