Los Angeles-based guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer Dan Sadin pairs his tender vocals and raw guitar to strike a chord reminiscent of the music we all grew up on. Don’t call it nostalgia though. His songs are an honest exploration of where the music we currently listen to comes from and an original take on where it can go. In fact, Dan Sadin does what very few artist are willing to do: disregard current music trends in an effort to stay true to his roots and openly connect with his most important musical inspirations.
But Sadin isn’t stuck in the past. He is currently known for lending his guitar talent to the music duo Frenship and can be heard playing on tracks ranging from rising R&B artist Sabrina Claudio, indie pop darling, Jessie Ware, and Tayla Parx to Danish pop artist MØ. He also produces out of his home studio, working closely with up and coming Los Angeles-based artists.
Sadin was born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco where he discovered the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, and his own love for the guitar. The combination of catchy melodies, emotional deliveries, and powerful guitar is what drew him further into the world of music. With a Studio/Jazz Guitar major and a minor in songwriting from the University of Southern California, Sadin has racked up some impressive achievements both in and out of the studio.
The sincerity emanating from his artistry results in a unique musical style seamlessly intertwined in vulnerability. The releases on his forthcoming EP are no exception. Heavily comprised of first takes and focused productions, Dan explores what it’s like to lose your shit in your mid 20’s and subsequently find yourself. And he sings about it all in the context of creating, sustaining and ending relationships.
In his leading single, “The Way That It Hurts,” Sadin examines the pain that inevitably follows severing ties with parts of yourself. “I had gone through a breakup with my girlfriend, a breakup with my band, joined another band and toured around the world. It was all swirling in my mind.” Dan has a way of impressively channeling his own, very personal experiences and finding a way to relate to a universal audience. “This song is about dealing with that [breakup], trying to plead with that person, that thing, to come closer and let you in. It’s about the way we all hurt in that situation. It’s both a bit desperate and positive. Feeling the pain yet embracing the strength and direction that comes from accepting and moving on from that pain.”
While much of his inspiration is rooted in his own lived experiences, he believes it’s important for musicians to use their voice to talk about bigger ideas; something that is evident throughout his work. In “Lost on Nothing,” written alongside his close friend and collaborator, Colyer, Dan reflects on the struggle of seeing the country divided and tearing itself apart, feeling powerless in coming up with a sustainable solution. “In this song, we tried to explore both sides of the story. It’s mind boggling that each side feels the same way about the other and yet there is no common ground to be found. The saddest part is, we all want the same things in the end. That’s why to us, it felt like this whole country has gotten lost on absolutely nothing—simple misunderstanding, an inability to see the bigger picture, unable to empathize with or be compassionate towards our neighbors.” As with even the most painful of his tunes, there is a sense of hope embedded throughout: “There is an overarching feeling that we’re not completely lost, that we can still right our course. But we have to acknowledge where we are right now— that we’re on the edge and that we have to pull ourselves back from it.”
In “Here Comes the Heartbreak” the same optimism is reflected in singing about the end of a pivotal relationship. Sadin processes the breakup after returning home from a 3 month-long tour, “I was sitting in my studio and it all caught up with me – but before all those feelings fully arrived, I could them coming. It was such a weird, delayed, out of body experience. Sitting there thinking, “this is really gonna hurt”, like staring down the train that’s about to hit you…[but] despite my sadness I had so much respect and gratitude for the life we had shared together. It’s more of an eulogy celebrating the relationship we had rather than a mourning of it.”
In forging his own artistic path, Dan knew from the start that he wanted to remain true to himself and his upbringing. Born from short breaks between long tours, he felt like his solo career was meant to be a fresh start with an opportunity to show the world his honest, most authentic form. Dan knew very quickly that he would adopt his maternal grandfather’s name: Sadin (pronounced “say-den”). His grandfather was an arranger for swing bands in the Chicago swing era and was asked to write music by Walt Disney. Dan has memories of the finger scratches his grandfather left behind on the family grand piano and has grandpa Sadin’s original sheet music from 1929 hanging above his bed. For Dan, taking on the name “Sadin” felt like a way to honor both his grandfather’s legacy and his own values. Of “The Way That It Hurts,” Dan says “This was the first song that came together as something I could grab onto as ‘Dan Sadin.’ In the past I had written songs I liked and thought could work, but this one didn’t take convincing or explaining. It just felt right.”
Dan’s music is produced with the same reverence for honest songwriting and performance that his heroes had before him. sAmong numerous other accomplishments, Dan has since built his own garage studio that has produced a number of cuts, including RIAA Platinum certified tracks. Reflecting on his achievements, Dan is quick to acknowledge the help he’s received from different people in his life: “I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
There’s a lot in the works for Dan Sadin this year. He is currently touring with and opening for Frenship, with releases of his music already underway. His full debut EP is expected this summer and Dan is lining up more shows and opportunities to connect with and grow his fans.