Simon Dumas, as part of American band King Calaway, will be releasing an EP of new music next week. The new band stepped on the country music scene just two weeks ago when they unveiled King Calaway – a project months in the making. The band have been busy promoting and gigging in America in a bid to build up a fan base in time for their EP launch date on January 25. The Chronicle spoke to local musician Simon Dumas about the bands progress.
Simon Dumas is well known in the local music scene, having performed across the Rock and even at the Gibraltar Music Festival.
He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in England and later after a stint the University of Southern California, he has joined as one sixth of the band King Calaway.
He is now one of King Calaway’s three frontmen as well as the band’s pianist.
No stranger to the music scene, Mr Dumas was once part of the Santo’s Productions Choir and performed regularly in Gibraltar as part of the band Frontiers with his two brothers.
During his time in the UK with Frontiers he opened shows for English pop rock band Lawson.
Mr Dumas also had the opportunity to become a catholic missionary which he declined to join King Calaway.
The past few months since finishing his studies have been a whirlwind with the band being kept under wraps until the big reveal.
King Calaway is already signed to a record label ‘Broken Bow Records’ promoting themselves as a “multi-national band”.
The band has some good connections with their music under the creative guidance of Grammy nominated producer Ross Copperman.
Mr Copperman has written several number one songs for artists including Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen.
“Me and the guys are really excited about the release of our EP,” Mr Dumas told the Chronicle.
“We’ve been keeping the band under wraps for a couple of months now so it’s just really amazing to see the support behind us and we can’t wait for the songs to be out for everyone to hear.”
The band members include Caleb Miller, Chris Deaton, Jordan Harvey, Chad Michael Jervis and Austin Luther.
Mr Deaton is the son of award-winning video director and music industry executive Robert Deaton. Robert Deaton was also the executive producer of the Country Music Association Awards.
Mr Dumas was introduced to the band after an opportunity arose in Nashville to work with some musicians and see what they could make together.
“There’s definitely hints to country music in its lyrical writing and feel good melodies but an anthemic feel to a few of the songs which I’m sure will be seen as more ‘pop’ than ‘country’,” Mr Dumas said.
“I’m still not sure how define the genre we are creating. The best thing about making this EP was the way in which we recorded it. We went old school, we were locked in to a studio in Franklin, Tennessee for four days tracking the songs live as a band – including vocals.”
“That’s not common nowadays but it’s brought something really special to our record. As a music lover it’s pretty easy to appreciate any kind of genre.”
Mr Dumas has enjoyed the change of scene and move to a more country/pop feel.
“As a music student it becomes part of your job to learn to adapt to any musical scenario you are thrown in to,” Mr Dumas said.
“The offer to move to Nashville came after I had spent four month as an exchange student in LA. There I was really introduced to country music and it became part of my daily listening right up until I was invited to Nashville so honestly the transition has felt pretty natural.”
King Calaway have already started performing in Los Angeles and are set to perform in New York on January 23 at the Bowery Electric.
Their biggest show is yet to come with King Calaway set to perform in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Opry is well known in the country music scene and is also known as the ‘home of American music’ and ‘country’s most famous stage’.
The venue hosts a country music night weekly and regulars include Carrie Underwood, Braid Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Martina Mc Bride.
The band has also been featured by Billboard, an American entertainment media brand, as a new band to look out for.
Billboard tweeted a snippet about the band to their seven million followers last week.