Storytelling As A Songwriter: The Creative Process of Dan Patrick Fulton
Bluesy and soulful, Dan Patrick Fulton pours his heart into his music with everything he writes, including the original songs he crafts with Songfinch for customers to share as the most unique gifts.
Songwriters craft their music and lyrics from a variety of sources, finding inspiration from intimate points in their own lives as well as fictional scenarios borne from their imagination. An old soul whose lyrics teeter between love and heartbreak, Dan Patrick Fulton’s creative process for bringing stories to life with his music has evolved into an artful curation of story.
A Minnesota transplant, Dan Patrick Fulton is swooning the hearts and lives of audiences in Los Angeles and beyond during his tours across the country, as well as working on other projects like bringing others’ stories to life with Songfinch.
“I started writing songs in high school, some cheesy love ballads for a girl I had a crush on or something. I played a lot with my friends who played drums and guitar, but it never got to be anything serious. It was just fun to jam out in the basement.”
“I started my first band in college and kept that going until a couple years after graduation. We had a bluesy rock, bar band kind of sound and mostly played originals. We traded songwriting duties between the three of us in the band, so it was kind of a mess with no cohesive sound or voice. After the band kind of just fell apart, I started doing a lot of songwriting on my own and released an album of music under my own name.”
A 12-track record of songs that stir the soul, Dan’s 2014 album Brave The Light is a sincere exploration of love, heartache and the human condition. His songs imbue a strong sense of introspection and self-discovery through his characteristic Americana sound, which Dan cultivated through years of influence and growth.
“When I was younger, I was into grunge ’90s rock stuff, but I grew up on oldies. My mom was a big oldies fan. She listened to Motown, Elvis, and I got into The Beatles on my own. My older brother was really into country, so I ended up listening to that a lot for a while until I got sick of it. So, I had a bit of an eclectic taste throughout my life. When I was in that heavy grunge phase in college, we all wanted to play heavy guitar, make big noise, but things changed once I had an acoustic guitar that I liked.”
With his acoustic guitar in tow, Dan’s varied influences were able to shine through in a different light. With a style that he described as an “Americana stew,” Dan’s blend of country, oldies and grunge defined a new sound that became his bedrock for emotive songwriting.
“I’ve got to admit that a lot of the songs that I’ve written until recently have been inspired by a girl. A lot of Brave The Light was about tough relationship drama that I’ve gone through. I’m trying to push myself as a songwriter to write outside of my own experiences a little bit and try to tell other stories, too.”
“I know that some of my favorite songwriters are writing stories that are not necessarily things that they’ve lived. They combine real experiences with experiences of other people or just completely imagined stories, so it’s kind of liberating to write outside your own experiences. You’re not limited to your actual lived experiences, so it’s like you’re sitting down to write a novella. It’s not necessarily a story that’s happened to you, but it’s something you may relate to. You can put yourself in the mind of another person or a character and write about their experience.”
As storytellers, songwriters cull their inspiration from a diverse wellspring of sources in order to best connect with their audiences.
“I think as long as you can connect to the person or character whose story you’re telling, people will engage with the story because it’s authentic. People write movies and novels about completely made up situations that audiences still relate to as long as there’s a bit of human truth at the center of it. In some ways, I think it’s easier to engage a listener when I’m not limited to my own experience, because I feel like I can make it more universal by choosing to not tell a very specific story about myself.”
The songs Dan has created for Songfinch are testament to his growth as a songwriter and storyteller. With his emotional music and lyrics, Dan breathes new life into others’ stories for them to share with their loved ones as unique and meaningful gifts through Songfinch.
“It’s been a really interesting challenge to try and get into someone’s biography of specific details and craft an authentic song from it all. You have to imagine the person who is asking for the song, which gives you some guidance to what you’re trying to accomplish. There’s a sense of responsibility too. If you’re writing a song just for yourself, it could be good, it could be bad, it could be mediocre, whatever – in the end you’re just trying something. But with Songfinch, you feel this responsibility to really do something special. So it’s a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge to try and rise to.”