|Birth name||Ian Alec Harvey Dench|
7 August 1964 |
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Ian Alec Harvey Dench (born 7 August 1964, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England) is an English songwriter and musician. Dench was the guitarist and principal songwriter for EMF, who scored a major international hit reaching number 1 in the United States with "Unbelievable" in 1991. It was voted one of BBC Radio 2's 'Greatest Guitar Riffs'.
Dench began his music career playing in a punk band called Die Young, Stay Pretty although his father, Harold Dench, taught Ian classical guitar; Dench soon wanted to explore the technical aspects of the instrument. He then formed the Gloucester based band Apple Mosaic with Laurence Carrington-Windo and Shane Young who were signed to Virgin Records and released two albums. The band split when Dench was aged 25.[self-published source]
Epsom Mad Funkers (EMF)
In 1989 Dench met the other members of EMF (band) and within a few months of playing together they were signed to a major label. Their debut hit, Unbelievable, was written by Dench although credited as EMF and rocketed to number three in the UK chart.[self-published source] Six months later, the song broke out in America, Their US success was short lived, as they did little promotion in the country and Dench refused to join the band for their tour of the States in the summer of 1991.
In an interview with Spin in September 1991, Dench commented on the dynamics within the band, stating that: "I'm the Musical Director, but I couldn't do it without them. They provide so much attitude. Derry's the least active in a musical sense, but he's so involved. I take a tune in and he says turn it up or make it more manic. They're simple observations but they're important because I get a bit wrapped up in the writing."
The band split in 1997 due to musical differences.
Post EMF and songwriting career
After leaving EMF, he found independent success with the band Whistler, signed to Wiiija Records. Whistler released two albums, Whistler and Faith in the Morning. He co-wrote the Sub Focus track "Endorphins", which reached No 10 in the UK Singles Chart; also "Bedroom Hymns" from Florence and the Machine's Ceremonials album, and her collaboration with ASAP Rocky, "I Come Apart".
In 2007, Dench wrote the duet "Beautiful Liar" for Beyoncé and "Shakira", and "Tattoo" for American Idol winner Jordin Sparks with Amanda Ghost with whom he had worked since 1995 when they wrote for Ghost's Ghost Stories album. Beyoncé's 2008 album I Am Sasha Fierce saw a further three Dench and Ghost collaborations: "Disappear", "Ave Maria", and "Satellites".
He co-wrote "Colours" on the Prodigy's 2009 album, Invaders Must Die, and "Red" a top 5 hit for Daniel Merriweather in the UK in May 2009. "Gypsy", another collaboration with Amanda Ghost, was the third single from the album, She Wolf by Shakira.
From March 2009 until November 2010, Dench was Vice President of A&R at Epic Records in New York, where he A&R'd albums by Alice Smith and Augustana and signed the acts Progress in Color and HeyHiHello.
In 2013 he collaborated on the Sub Focus track "Endorphins" reaching No 10 in the UK charts, "The Conversation" by Texas and "Astronaut" and "Run" for newcomer Joel Compass.
In 2015 he began playing with Sugar Ray on their latest '90s retrospective summer tour.
Dench won an Ivor Novello Award for "Beautiful Liar" in the Best Selling British Song Category in 2008. In 2009, he was nominated for a Golden Globe as co-writer of "Once in a Lifetime", sung by Beyonce for the film, Cadillac Records. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2010, one as co-producer of two tracks on Beyoncé's album I Am... Sasha Fierce, which was nominated as Album of the Year and the other for "Once in a Lifetime".
Dench lives in London and has a second home in Madrid with his partner Virginia with whom he has a son called Teo. He is a member of The London Old Cryptians Club, which offers past pupils of The Crypt School in Gloucester the chance to keep in touch with fellow old pupils and offer a network of support to existing ones.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: EMF". AMG. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- "BBC - Radio 2 - Charts - Radio 2's Greatest Guitar Riffs". Radio 2. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Kutner, Jon (1 March 2015). "Unbelievable (EMF)".
- "Unbelievable by EMF Songfacts". Songfacts.
- Quantick, David (September 1991). "The Unbelievable Truth". Spin (SpinMedia) 7 (6): 62.
- Petridis, Alexis (17 May 2011). "Write me a hit by teatime: the world of professional songwriters". The Guardian.
- "Ian Dench". The Song. Martin Sutton. 2013.
- "Ian Dench". The Official EMF Website.
- "The London Old Cryptians Club". The Crypt School.