Thought I'd start by letting you know a little bit about me.
I was born in 1983 and I grew up in Cabeção, which is a very small town (only 1.000 people live there) in the extremely hot and dry region of Alentejo, in the south of Portugal. Life was really quiet there, especially in the summer, when we sometimes have over 40 degrees (over 100 degrees for fahrenheiters) and you can't really enjoy the sun without getting dizzy or sunburnt.
So when I was 11, in 1994, I started learning a few chords on my cousin's guitar, until my parents bought me a cheap classical guitar (which I still own, cherish and sometimes write and record with), then it became my job. I was no longer the best student in school, I started skipping some classes, looking at girls, all that adolescent crap. But mostly I played every day, at every single moment available. I also started listening to every music I could find.
I didn't have a CD or vynil player, just an old alarm clock with an incorporated cassette player, and so I got my hands on every tape I could borrow, buy or get friends and family to record. My father owns an electric appliances store, so I always had access to blank tapes. As a matter of fact, my father's store was the only place where you could get tapes and CD players and all that stuff, and I was quite upset that I didn't have them, though they were for sale at my father's store. I had to deserve it, he said, quite rightly so.
I started helping around at the store and with his other job as an electrician. We were installing electric systems in houses, pushing and pulling the wires into the walls. I did that till I was 16, on weekends and school holidays, and eventually I did get my first stereo, with CD player and 2 cassette tape decks.
Whenever I made a copy from an original CD or tape, I would type all the info from the artwork, fold the page and put it inside the case. I still have typewritten and handwritten copies of lyrics from whole albums.
I wrote my first song when I learnt the first two chords - A minor and E minor. It was called "Belt", and the lyrics read "when you make self your only belt". Yeah, my english was still developing at the time.
I also started playing in a group in a village near my hometown. It consisted mainly of kids who just started learning their instruments, backed by a couple of more experienced players.
When I was 13, I formed my first band - Blizzard. We played mostly covers, but me and my friend Alfredo wrote some tunes in the meantime, and we would play them occasionally on our (very) few gigs.
I used to plug my guitar to my stereo's auxiliary input and record a guitar demo, until someone lent me a 4-track Fostec recorder for a week. I swear I wrote around 30 songs that week alone, because I was on a mission and I didn't know when I could get my hands on a recorder again.
In new year's eve of 2000, my family moved into a new house - same village though - and we finally got our first computer. We put it in the attic, which became my studio. My sister used it from time to time, but she was never much into technological stuff. She still isn't.
At the time I was already studying in Évora, a city 56 km (35 miles) away from my hometown, so I would write songs the whole week and record them to my computer with one of those old skype microphones.
When I was 18, I enrolled in the University of Évora to get a degree in Portuguese and English Language and Culture, which I never finished. Instead, I spent most of my time writing songs - which I was becoming good at, and finding girlfriends - which I was terrible at.
I had a few bands for the next 7 years, but none of them did nothing, really. So in 2006, I started recording albums at home and releasing them for free on the internet. In 2008 I became a member of Uaninauei, which still carries on doing albums and shows, and I released my first album as Oceansea.
You see, most portuguese bands sing in English, usually with poor lyrics and even worst accent, so I decided early that I would forget all the songs I wrote in English. But then I thought - why? Why waste these good songs and my capability to write songs in English as well as in Portuguese? So I decided that all my stuff in Portuguese would be released under my name, Daniel Catarino, my songs in English would be released as Oceansea, and my instrumental pieces would be released as Long Desert Cowboy. I thought it would be less confusing than releasing everything under my own name - turns out I was wrong!
So from then on I became mostly a touring musician, performing 50 to 60 concerts each year with all of my projects and bands.
Now I'm more focused on Oceansea, since I feel it has the potential to reach a wider audience and I'm really proud of these songs.
My new album "Songs From The Shed" contains 10 of the best songs I ever wrote, and they're so catchy that sometimes I forget I wrote them - and that's the best part in writing songs, when they're so good you don't really care about the fact that you wrote them.
I hope you feel the same way and I'm looking forward to my first tour abroad, which will happen in October in Germany. I'm also planning tours on Ireland, Italy and France next year, but it all depends on what I can afford. I would tour the world if I could, my bag is always open for packing.
Hope to see you soon on the road!
Your new friend,