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Dan Krikorian

Dan Krikorian

When Orange County-based musician Dan Krikorian released his first album in 2008, it was with an eye toward a future that still remained elusively out of focus. A lifelong athlete and business graduate, Dan had previously spent more time on the court and in an office than in any recording studio.

Only a year later, the release of his second record “Colors and Chords” now finds Dan at a time when the picture of his future is developing sharp and clear.

“The first album was a raw outpouring of emotion,” Dan says. “With ‘Colors and Chords,’ we were really trying to portray a more crafted and mature musical perspective.”

“Colors and Chords” is the latest representation of the lyrical and vocal growth Dan has achieved over the last year. The second album — a sure sign that music is exactly where Dan’s future lies — is a collection of talent from multiple artists on many levels, and was recorded and produced by Dan and I See Hawks in L.A. drummer and producer Shawn Nourse at Chun King Studios in Los Angeles. In addition to Nourse’s drumming, the skills of guitarist Bob Boulding of the Young Dubliners, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, and keyboard player Carl Byron are featured on the album. Matt Forger, who worked on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” also mastered the record.

After two years, Dan has an established fan base in Southern California and has performed in distinguished venues such as The Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest, the Dakota Lounge and Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles, and LeStat’s in San Diego. His shows in O.C. and L.A. venues have laid the foundation for his first West Coast tour, which includes stops in nearly every major city from California through Washington and features key shows in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Calif., San Francisco Portland, Ore., Seattle, and Idaho State University.

Whether it’s a venue that houses 1,000 or a coffee shop that seats 10, Dan — aided by natural folk rhythms and honest, poetic lyrics in the vein of musicians Joe Purdy and Josh Ritter — always manages to connect with the crowd. From the catchier, lighthearted tunes like “Fixed on You” or “Somethin’ Good,” to the more poignant and vulnerable tracks such as “Waste” and “Sidewalks/Mary Jones,” “Colors and Chords” covers all realms of a musical mood.

Dan’s strength as a songwriter lies especially in the uniqueness of his words, most prevalent in songs like “Tangerine Eyes” and “Bobby Jones.” Lyrics such as “there’s such a thin line between a miracle and a mistake” (“Bobby Jones”) and “if my eyes don’t recognize/ your big city smile and your tangerine eyes/ let the road take you in/ cause there’s got to be a home for me tonight” (“Tangerine Eyes”) offer listeners a mix of honesty and literary talent that is the driving forces behind “Colors and Chords’ ” success.

In the past two years, he has garnered the attention of many and created a buzz in Southern California music circles. Dan and his five-piece band have been featured in publications such as The Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times, and both “Oxford Street” and “Colors and Chords” have earned airplay on college radio stations across the U.S.

For Dan, music is anything but static as he continues to hone in on where his career is headed. He is currently working on songs for the third album and is planning an eventual East Coast tour. Dan’s work ethic is a testament to his respect for and belief in music and the never-ending lessons it offers, and a guarantee to his fans that there is no shortage of material to look forward to in the near future.

At the heart of Dan Krikorian’s music is the intrinsic need to connect with the world around him. In less than a year, Dan went from writing songs in his garage, to a live performer and published singer and songwriter. Growing up in Costa Mesa, Calif., Dan kept busy at Costa Mesa High playing basketball, football, volleyball and track. As a business and psychology major at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., Dan continued to focus heavily on basketball, playing 4 years in college, but music was always brewing in the back of his mind. It was that need to connect with others and his ever-present passion for songwriting that led Dan to play in public for the first time while studying abroad in London on a small corner of Oxford Street in the City of Westminster. Once Dan returned to Orange County, he continued to pen unique and honest lyrics in the comfort of his garage studio, and he quickly advanced to playing weekly at local coffee shops’ open-mike nights. In October 2007, Dan played to his first audience at The Ugly Mug, a small coffee shop near his college alma mater. He later put on headlining concerts, where his infectious blend of catchy tunes and spot-on comedic entertainment drew hundreds of fans. Dan decided he wasn’t done there, and began recording in L.A. with former Dwight Yoakim and current I See Hawks in L.A. drummer Shawn Nourse with plans to release his first CD. Less than a year after his debut, Dan had written, recorded and released 11 original songs. “At some point I’m sure I might be complacent to stop, but right now there is so much to say,” Dan says. “How can you not be excited about music? When I’m not, that’s when I know to stop.” From his upbeat, catchy tunes like “Kick Away the Blues” and “In My World,” to the vulnerable and passionate “Burn” and “Forgiven,” every song on Dan’s “Oxford Street” is well-crafted, relatable and heartfelt. He’s been called one of O.C.’s best up-and-coming songwriters and performers by open-mike organizers and fellow musicians alike, and continues to do nothing less than impress fans with his new material. Most recently, “In My World” was featured as a top-three finalist on song contest. He’s been featured and performed on TV programs such as KDOC, CMTV, and Chapman University’s “Nightcap”. His album “Oxford Street” has been receiving radio airplay on college campuses around the nation as he continues to grow a steady and loyal fan base. Dan is currently in the studio recording his second CD, “Colors and Chords”, which is due out in the summer of 2009.

Dan Krikorian’s website