There’s never been a better time to check in on our friends, Pretty Birds. Life in the time of COVID-19 is full of uncertainty and stress, but no matter how we’re coping, we can all agree it’s a time to be grateful for the people in our lives who show up for us. Checking in With Friends is dedicated to touching base with our fabulous friends all over the world. Today we’re chatting with musician David Blank ahead of his new single,”Standing In Line”.
Checking in With Friends: David Blank
David Blank was born in music. Growing up a queer, black kid in a small Italian village, David could hardly find a sense of belonging. At the age of 15, struggling to cope with the small-town mentality, he moved to London, where he found a new, chosen family with other kids in the quest for freedom and fulfillment. He later moved to Milan for new experiences that led him to work for artists such as Laura Pausini.
Today, he is sharing a brand new project: an intimate EP, produced by ilromantico and FLUIDOSTUDIO, which is the first of a series of 4 singles that will make up an “extended” EP over time. Through the sounds of RnB, soul and afrobeat, David Blank explores universal feelings such as waiting and solitude, introspection, transformation, and evolution.
“Standing In Line” is a mantra repeated with your eyes closed, a longing to get out of one’s shell and make one’s voice heard. This track recalls how powerful self-sabotage dictated by fears, judgments, and insecurities is, but how much more powerful the discovery of being able to overcome all of this with your own strength is, reaching a higher level of self-awareness. Check it out while we check in with David Blank!
All The Pretty Birds: How are you? How are your loved ones?
David Blank: I’m great thanks! My loved ones are fine, everyone on lockdown and luckily my mother went to visit my sister in London days before they closed the borders, if not she would’ve been alone in our home in Marche.
ATPB: Where are you currently staying?
DB: I’m in my flat in Milan.
ATPB: Are you in lockdown/isolation? Describe your new circumstances.
DB: Personally I’m on week 10, as 2 weeks before the quarantine I had the most intense stomach flu, and then the week after I was recovering, I probably went out once that week to work (recording a new song) but I regretted it because I was super weak. Other than this unfortunate episode, isolation hasn’t been bad because I am a REAL homebody, I travel a lot for work so when I’m in Milan I tend to enjoy my time at home, I think I started having some sort of schedule after a couple of weeks at home because I basically turned into time-off-work mode, but I just came back from my break from work so I had to get myself together.
ATPB: How is it affecting your work and personal life?
DB: My work revolves around traveling and social gatherings, like in clubs, concert halls, etc… so all my events have been canceled till June. Because the government is not really taking us into consideration in their speeches so I have no idea when I’ll be getting back to work. I had a tour supporting a friend that was meant to start in March that got pushed to February, so work-wise it’s not the best time.
As for my personal life, my family and my best friend live in London, and during the first part of the year I go back to London quite often, but we’re used to living apart and talking a lot on FaceTime. Only thing is whenever I missed them, I would book a flight and now that’s not possible.
ATPB: What have you learned about yourself during this time?
DB: That even though I’m not a fan of physical touch (yes, I am not a fan of hugs and being touched in general lol), since I haven’t been forced into situations where I had to hug people, I actually miss hugs and I might be becoming a convert. Other than that I am seriously counting my blessings, and seeing the cup half full, I feel like I was falling into a spiral of negativity before this pandemic but this situation really put things into perspective.
ATPB: Can you tell us about a daily ritual that has been keeping you sane?
DB: Sound so cliche but: music. I have been listening to way more music than I was before (and I used to listen to a lot of music), also reading the Bible and watching a lot of online preachers, especially “Elevation Church”, always hits the spot with the Word and it’s very current, touching topics like White Privilege, Mental Health, etc… And also I’ve been dancing to let off any type of anxiety or stress.
ATPB: What’s something you hope to take from this experience?
DB: Time management and time appreciation. I don’t want to come out of this situation wasting my time on people that don’t deserve it or activities that don’t either. And also the true importance of community, how each one of us has a task, and how much our actions can affect the next person or a group of people, so I would say that it heightened my empathy.
ATPB: What are some things you’re grateful for?
DB: Family, a roof over my head and friends that hold me down. Despite the lockdown, I have never felt lonely one moment. My family and friends have always been around, with phone calls, messages, video calls. I am so grateful for them and most of all I’m grateful for good health, one thing we take for granted a lot.
ATPB: Is there an album or playlist that you’ve been feeling lately?
DB: I’m a very moody person so I’ve been navigating from extremely energetic music like Lizzo, Leikeli47 and Doja Cat to very soulful and chill music like Jhene Aiko, Summer Walker & Giveon to afrobeats solo parties to the sound of Burna Boy, Niniola, Yemi Alade & Wizkid.
ATPB: Do you have a poem, quote, article, and/or image that you’d like to share to inspire others?
DB: Don’t remember where I heard this but it basically answers all the questions of my new single “Standing In Line”: “Direction is more important than speed”.
See more from David Blank on Instagram @davidblankofficial