What does the ES-335 Mean to New Star Denai Moore?
The U.K.’s Denai Moore is turning ears around the world with her soulful vocals and killer guitar chops. In fact, she’s already collaborated with the likes of Bon Iver and SBTRKT and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.
Moore checked in with Gibson.com to discuss her switch from acoustic to electric guitar, her album Elsewhere and the one guitar she relies on more than any other.
Are you from a musical family?
There are loads of musicians on my dad’s side of the family! My grandmother crushes it on piano. I'd say my siblings and I are more musical just based on the fact that making music has become so much more accessible. We all write songs now, which is cool!
What are your first memories of playing guitar?
My first real memory of playing guitar was in church, really. I'd also mess up the chords!
Congratulations on your debut album, Elsewhere. What was your approach to guitars for this release?
I bought an electric guitar halfway through making this record. Previously, before I started making Elsewhere, I had only really played acoustic guitar. Elsewhere forced me to expand my musical ability, because I was pushed into playing everything. Now, I mainly only write on electric guitar.
You were recently at Abbey Road Studios as part of the Converse Rubber Tracks project. What did you do there?
I recorded a new song at Abbey Road, which is a weird sentence to be able to say. It's always been a dream of mine to record there. Never really thought it would happen. You're essentially in recording heaven.
Let’s talk guitars! What are you go-to Gibson guitars?
My dream Gibson has always been an ES-335! I used to make my dad take me to go in vintage guitar shops in London so I could try them out. Melody Makers are a strong second best!
What makes Gibson guitars the right fit for you?
I think Gibson guitars just have a rich lush sound to them!
If you could only have one Gibson guitar the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would definitely be an ES-335. They're so versatile!
What makes a better guitar player: skill or feel?
I think when I first started playing, I wanted to be the best guitarist ever. I suddenly realized that having these crazy skills means nothing without feel and emotion. Then, I started teaching myself and exploring the guitar on my own.
What’s next for you?
I'm currently working on my second album, which I'm having a lot of fun writing at the moment. I'm very excited about things right now.