Dan Krikorian
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Dan Krikorian

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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"Artist Spotlight Feature"

Oxford Street' in O.C.
Singer-songwriter Dan Krikorian of Costa Mesa recently released his first effort online.
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With approachable acoustic sensibilities in the vein of Jack Johnson and Damien Rice, Costa Mesa artist Dan Krikorian may be onto something.
His debut record "Oxford Street" is available online and though he's only been at it for a year, he hopes this is the start of a career in music.
Q: When did you decide to become a musician?
A: I think that the first time I thought I could be a musician – write a song and perform in front of people – was honestly about a year ago.
I started writing songs, went to an open mike and got a really good response. I was having a lot of fun, I loved what I was doing and I just kind of kept at it. It spiraled into what I'm doing today.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: I draw from my relationships, past experiences and other people's past experiences.
I also find other art forms extremely inspiring like looking at somebody who's a great painter or poet.
Q: Where are you in your recording career?
A: I'm just in the middle of releasing my debut album. It's on iTunes and www.cdbaby.com right now.
I'm also in the studio working on my second album and I'm projected to be done later this year or early 2009.
Q: What does the debut's title mean and where was it recorded?
A: It's called "Oxford Street." I studied abroad in London for a semester in college and Oxford Street is one of the busiest streets in London. I would walk up and down it to school a million times; a couple of buddies told me I needed to play on Oxford Street so I set up a box and played on the corner. It's where it all started for me.
I started recording in February and finished in July at Chun King Studios in L.A.
Q: What is the writing process like for you?
A: These two albums are kind of different. The first one, I was writing songs for about a year and somebody recommended that I go see an engineer and producer in Los Angeles and we finished things pretty quick.
With the second one, it's fun because I know the recording process, I can do different things and I'm hoping the second album shows growth as an artist.
Q: What are the pros and cons of being an independent musician?
A: Any money you make, it's all yours. You see a return and you have the freedom to do whatever you want.
The con is that you don't have a major label backing you with financial support and touring support which can make things difficult. But it's kind of fun at the same time to come up with business and marketing plans.
I think that in the music industry today, it's a lot easier than it was years back for an independent artist to make it. You don't have to have a label to get your music to people.
Age: 23
City: Costa Mesa
Occupation: Musician, shareholder representative for the Capital Group
Favorite acts: Joe Purdy, Damien Rice, Bob Dylan, the Beatles
More info: Watch Dan Krikorian perform on "DayBreak OC" 10-11 a.m. Oct. 10, and listen to more of his music on www.myspace.com/dankrikorianmusic. - The Orange County Register

"Artist Interview"

Chapman business graduate turns musician

This time last year, 2007 Chapman alumnus Dan Krikorian wouldn't have called himself "good" at playing guitar.

Today, he has a full album on iTunes.

Krikorian, a singer-songwriter, released his first album, "Oxford Street," on iTunes in early October. He began writing songs and playing at open mics in his free time only a year ago. Now, after a positive response from audiences and the media, Krikorian hopes to make music a full time career.

"If somebody would have asked a couple years ago if I would ever be playing music, [the answer would have been] no," said Krikorian.

On Oct. 10, Krikorian appeared on "Daybreak OC" on KDOC-TV for an interview and live performance. In early October, The Orange County Register also published a Q & A on Krikorian, highlighting his upcoming career. He has played full shows at the Ugly Mug Café in Orange, and he traveled to San Francisco a few weeks ago for his first traveling gig.

Krikorian is currently working on a second album that will be released in early 2009. He played a preview track from the album called "Bobby Jones" at Chapman's Airbands event in Memorial Hall on Oct. 17.

Krikorian never expected to be doing any of this. Neither did his friends and family. Playing music and songwriting came out of nowhere and was something he ran with after being well received at open mics, he said.

"Dan has always been very quiet," said Krikorian's mother Joanne Krikorian. "[Him] standing up in front of people ... it never entered my mind."

Krikorian graduated from Chapman with a business-marketing degree and a psychology minor. The only music education he received was a 100-level guitar class he took his freshman year.

At Chapman, Krikorian was known for being on the basketball team. Former teammate, 2006 alumnus Zach Wheatley, witnessed Krikorian's transition from jock to musician.

"I knew he had an interest and passion for music, but I never knew he was writing his own stuff or that he could sing," said Wheatley.

Krikorian, who has been into sports his whole life, realized that his friends and family wouldn't expect him to "pour his heart out" on stage, he said.

"It's definitely sometimes weird to show my emotions in front of hundreds of people," said Krikorian. "Before, the only emotion I would show is [when] I would make a game-winning shot."

"Oxford Street" has a lot of emotion in it, he said. For this album he was inspired by past relationships and observing others' relationships. He considers himself an acoustic rock artist similar to Jack Johnson or Damien Rice, he said.

The CD's title references the street in London, England where Krikorian first played guitar in front of an audience while studying abroad.

Getting the album on iTunes was a slow process. It started on www.cdbaby.com and www.digstation.com in September but had to be approved by Apple for release on iTunes. Krikorian likes being an independent artist rather than being signed to a record label because he receives more money per CD sale, he said. But Krikorian would still consider a record deal if it was offered because a record company could help him go on tour, he said.

While Krikorian is making almost enough money to live through CD sales and live performances, he is not letting his business degree go to waste. He has a well-paying job at a mutual fund company, he said.

"If I dropped my other job, I wouldn't be able to buy my own house or anything, but I'm hoping eventually I can move into just doing music," said Krikorian.

For Krikorian, the past year has been a whirlwind. It surprises even him how quickly he taught himself guitar.

"I still have a lot to learn," said Krikorian. "But I can play enough to make a CD. - Chapman Magazine


"Colors and Chords" July/August 2009
"Oxford Street" 2008



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 RockBandSites.com 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.