Dan Smith (singer)

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Dan Smith
Bastille 2015-7.jpg
Smith performing with Bastille at Lollapalooza in 2015
Background information
Birth nameDaniel Campbell Smith
Born (1986-07-14) 14 July 1986 (age 33)[1]
London, United Kingdom
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Associated acts

Daniel Campbell Smith (born 14 July 1986) is a British singer, songwriter and record producer. He is the lead singer, primary songwriter and founder of the British rock band Bastille. The band formed in 2010 and gained mass popularity in 2013 when the song "Pompeii" was released with their album Bad Blood. The band then released their second album, Wild World in September 2016. In June 2019, the band released their third album Doom Days.


Smith attended King's College School and the University of Leeds in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where he gained a degree in English Language and Literature[2] while also writing about film and music for the Leeds student newspaper. A film obsessive from a young age, he originally wanted to be a director or editor until admitting he was "more of a fan than a filmmaker".[3]

At age fifteen, Smith started writing songs on the piano and his laptop in his bedroom, but kept his music secret from his friends and family until he was persuaded by a friend to enter the Leeds Bright Young Things competition in 2007, which he ultimately became a finalist in.[4] His early recordings included "Alchemy", "Words Are Words", "Irreverence", and "Dictator". Smith did not achieve mainstream success in his solo career but continued writing songs both alone and with his close friend and roommate Ralph Pelleymounter of the band To Kill a King. The two formed a side project called "Annie Oakley Hanging" which was described as "cowboy-like" by Pelleymounter.[5]

After finishing his studies, Smith returned to London, where he continued pursuing his solo career, and eventually formed Bastille with Chris "Woody" Wood, Kyle Simmons, and Will Farquarson.[6] Bastille has released three albums called Bad Blood, Wild World and Doom Days, the latest of which was released June 14 2019.

In 2014, Dan Smith took part in the Band Aid charity single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?".

BEST LAID PLANS is an independent record label based in South London which was founded in 2014 by Dan Smith, Mark Crew, and Dan Priddy to release music that they love.

In 2015, Smith featured as vocalist for the song "La Lune," produced and written by the French electronic musician Madeon for Madeon's 2015 album Adventure. In the same year, Smith co-wrote and provided vocals on "Better Love" with Foxes, which was released 4 September 2015.

In 2017, he participated in the Grenfell Tower charity song, "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

In August 2018, Bastille collaborated with American DJ, Marshmello and released a single entitled "Happier".[7]

On 14 June 2019, the band released their third album Doom Days.[8][9]

In November 2019, a cover of the REO Speedwagon song "Can't Fight This Feeling" sung by Smith was used in the John Lewis & Partners 2019 Christmas advert.[10]


Smith is a fan of the TV series Twin Peaks, and of one of its creators, David Lynch.[11] The show inspired one of his first recorded songs, "Laura Palmer" and Bastille's first Virgin Records single "Overjoyed". Smith has said that his earlier work was influenced by Regina Spektor.[12]

Personal life[edit]

He writes and arranges some of Bastille's songs, apart from remixes and covers, and worked with friend Mark Crew to produce Bad Blood and Wild World.[13] He plays the piano, keyboard, percussion, and melodica. His original, "Dan Smith Piano" was stolen in 2010.[14] Smith's parents are South African.[15]

Songwriting credits[edit]

Year Artist Album Song Co-written with
2010 Gabriella Cilmi Ten "Robots" Gabriella Cilmi, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave
"Sucker for Love" Gabriella Cilmi, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave
Olly Murs Olly Murs "Love Shine Down" (featuring Jessie J) Oliver Murs, Edward Christopher Sheeran, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave
2013 To Kill a King Cannibals with Cutlery "Choices" Ralph Pelleymounter
2014 Dan Croll Sweet Disarray "Wanna Know" Daniel Croll, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave
Rag'n'Bone Man Wolves EP "Lay My Body Down" Rory Graham, Mark Crew, Daniel Priddy
2015 Foxes All I Need "Better Love" Louise Rose Allen, Jonathan Harris
2016 Chris Stylez Who Is EP "Who Is" Christopher Allen
"Night Shift" Christopher Allen
Banners Non-album single "Half Light" Justin Parker
2017 Rag'n'Bone Man Human "Your Way or the Rope" Rory Graham, Jamie Lidderdale, Mark Crew, Lindsey Rome
Chris Stylez Non-album single "The Gospel" Christopher Allen, Michael Donaldson
Rationale Rationale "Into the Blue" Tinashe Fazakerley, Emily Schwartz, Mark Crew, Daniel Priddy
2018 Kara Marni Love Just Ain't Enough EP "Curve" Antonia Karamarni, Talay Riley, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave, Michael Shapiro, Harry Middlebrooks Jr., James Cobb Jr., Buddy Buie
James Arthur Non-album single "At My Weakest" James Arthur, Mark Crew
Kara Marni "Move" Antonia Karamarni, Jessica Karpov, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave
2019 Gryffin Gravity "Hurt People"
(with Aloe Blacc)
Daniel Griffith, Corey Saunders, Matthew Holmes, Philip Leigh
The Modern Strangers Visions EP "Visions" Maxwell Davenport, Archibald Davenport, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jonathan Shave
Moss Kena Non-album single "Begging" Moss Kena, Mark Crew, Daniel Priddy


  1. ^ McCormick, Neil (25 October 2013). "Bastille's storming success". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 June 2015. McCormick says in October 2013 that Smith is 27 years old, and that his birthday is July 14, Bastille Day.
  2. ^ "Bastille's Dan Smith: The quiet man who can't stop singing". independent.co.uk. 15 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Bastille's Dan Smith: The Movie Geek". thelineofbestfit.com.
  4. ^ BBC. "Bright Young Things 2007". bbc.co.uk.
  5. ^ "Sofar chat with Ralph, lead vocalist of To Kill A King". tumblr.com. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  6. ^ Earmilk.com, Earmilk Interview: BASTILLE
  7. ^ "Marshmello and Bastille Bounce Bright On 'Happier': Listen". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Bastille's 'Doom Days' reveals a band stuck on autopilot". The Chronicle.
  9. ^ "Bastille's Dan Smith Breaks Down Third Album 'Doom Days'". Billboard.
  10. ^ Aubrey, Elizabeth (14 November 2019). "Listen to Bastille's Dan Smith cover of 'Can't Fight This Feeling' for the John Lewis Christmas ad". NME. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  11. ^ Radio.com (6 February 2014). "Bastille Obsess on David Lynch, Explain They're Not Rock" – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "NEW NOISE: Bastille". Wonderland. 17 September 2012.
  13. ^ The Student Pocket Guide (20 March 2013). "Bastille Interview (Part One) - SPGtv" – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "BASTILLE on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  15. ^ amp.theguardian.com/music/2016/aug/25/dan-smith-bastille-i-sound-like-a-nervous-wreck-who-hates-doing-this