New artist Sultanov releases his debut single ‘Keep on Running‘ on 25 February – a feel-good slice of contemporary indie-pop. Co-written and produced by Andy Wright (Annie Lennox, Simply Red, Jeff Beck, Imelda May), ‘Keep on Running’ had its UK airplay premier this weekend on Graham Norton (BBC Radio 2)
Armed with a killer hook and a warm vintage 80s groove, ‘Keep On Running’ sits somewhere between David Byrne and Empire Of The Sun, and is what Dan calls his ‘nostalgic summer song.’ ‘It reminds me of the sea, sand, women wearing big sunglasses and open top cars,’ say Dan. ‘Like European movies of the 60s.’
And don’t miss the accompanying video, a stylised retro animation of a couple running through a labyrinth of the song’s lyrics. Made with Sultanov’s distinctive style and based on his actual own ink-pen drawings, the video manages to play on the song’s title, whilst combining both sides of Sultanov – the art and the music. ‘It was also important to reflect the energy and feeling of the track,’ says Dan. ‘The idea that when you fall in love it’s like being caught in a motion that you do everything to keep up with.’
The first single taken from his self-titled debut album, due out April 2013, ‘Keep On Running’ is just one of the tracks produced and co-written with Andy Wright, who’s produced everyone from Annie Lennox and Simply Red, to Jeff Beck and Imelda May. It’s a varied and diverse album, influenced by everyone from Tchaikovsky to Michael Jackson. No wonder then, that even Dan struggles to define the album’s sound. ‘It’s a combination of energy and romance, rhythm and melody,’ says Dan. ‘For me, melody is the key component to any song. So I’ve focused on this and worried less about what genre it fits into.’
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Sultanov comes from long line of acclaimed artists, who have single-handedly created some of the most distinguished art and art directions in former Soviet Union, today Russia, and Europe for generations. His grandfather Tahir Salakhov is an internationally celebrated Azerbaijani painter and draughtsman – a leading light in Russian art for the better part of 50 years. His mother and grandmother are also artists. His mother Alagez Salakhova, being a painter was also a dancer in Azerbaijani State folk ensemble and starred in Soviet Union. His aunt, Aidan Salakhova, is a world known gallerist who has her work exhibited across the globe, including at the 2011 Venice Bienniale, where two of her sculptures were controversially censored.
‘I have always been surrounded by art in its many different forms,’ says Dan. ‘All these sounds, rhythms, colours, canvases, paints, charcoals, everything, helped develop my vision of the world and made me the person and artist that I am today. I can’t wait to finally share my music.’