Exclusive Interview with Singer Songwriter Daniel Ahearn

Mindy Jones and Daniel Ahearn - Pretty Little Liars music artists

Photo Credit: Adam Bulger

Aria Montgomery and Ezra Fitz have experienced many hardships as a couple these past two seasons of Pretty Little Liars, and they have all the heartrending tunes to prove it. Ever since we found out that Ezra was considering accepting the New Orleans job and moving far away from Rosewood, we’ve been keeping hope alive by listening to music from the most swoon-worthy Ezria couple moments and one in particular makes us melt at the knees — “I Will Let You Go” by Daniel Ahearn!

Just to freshen your memory, this beautiful song played when Ezra’s student told him to “be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid,” and Ezra risked everything to meet Aria in the rain for a grand kiss. The romantic moment was beyond epic to say the least! In fact, we loved this Ezria musical moment so much, we interviewed Daniel Ahearn (the gifted artist who wrote this tender song) to ask him about its meaning, his thoughtful songwriting process and life on the road with Mindy Jones! 

Tune in for our exciting interview with Daniel Ahearn below!

PLL: How did you find out that your song was going to be featured on a Pretty Little Liars episode? How excited were you?
Daniel: I was called by my synch agent Secret Road – we were both so excited. Its a big show and they put a lot of care into the music they select. Everyone was overjoyed to be a part of it.

PLL:What was the inspiration behind “I Will Let You Go”?
Daniel: The song has a stranger story than any I have written. It was an unusually emotional day, some friends were going through a heavy time trying to figure out what to do next in life, you could tell they just felt confused and a bit lost, and then a dear friend of mine called me to say a few things she was reluctant to tell me in person – she explained all the things she saw me carrying around emotionally and then she said ‘Daniel, you just have to get out of the way, you are enough, just know, you are enough’. I sat down at the piano and wrote this song. I don’t really have much of a memory of writing it to clearly, it all kind of came at once. I was crying and, to be honest, it was all a little over the top, but sometimes songs come this way, I guess.

PLL: So you’ve gone from a solo artist to a duo. What’s the dynamic like between you and Mindy Jones? How did you first meet and decide that you made the perfect musical fit?
The dynamic between us is really magical. First of all, Mindy is the most talented person I have ever worked with. Its rather humbling. She sings unlike anyone I have ever met and she can play pretty much any instrument she touches. It has been a wonderfully challenging experience to begin to write together and especially to have the chance to write songs for her voice.  I have attached a song we just finished called ‘Love Lights the Way’  [Download it free here: “Love Lights The Way] – you can hear how beautifully she sings.We met through the by and by of living and working in music in Los Angeles. She started recording harmonies on my last record Long Way Home. From there it took its natural course and we began to work more and more. I would say we are just beginning to hit our stride.

PLL: You’re definitely an amazing songwriter!  How do you generate ideas – do you sit down with a notebook and jot down thoughts or do you patiently wait for an epiphany?
Daniel: That’s very generous of you to say, thank you. I try and write all the time. Always scribbling, always listening. My life is a series of torn pieces of papers and ragged journals thrown here and there. My phone is full of embarrassing ideas for lyrics or melodies. I try and leave the machine running all the time. I found that inspiration comes more often if you are constantly making yourself available to the opportunity – I do this by writing all the time.

PLL: Most fans would describe your sound as folk. But how would you describe the vibe of Long Way Home?
Daniel: Folk is a tough one, because its so broad. It seems in this day and age to be an expression of a mood rather than necessarily a sense of instrumentation or lyrically content. Folk seems to suggest an element of authenticity, of down-to-earth-ness. I often describe myself as an American songwriter. Simply because, this is were I’m from, I use the sounds and instruments I am privy to.  With Long Way Home we tried to make a record that could stand up this year, ten years ago and ten forward. It was decidedly acoustic and open. I think the next recording Mindy and I do will have a little more ‘edge’ too it, some more loops and beats perhaps.

PLL: What’s your favorite lyrical moment from any one of your songs?
Daniel: Goodness, I can’t say. I’m afraid all the other lyrics would resent me. I can say [though] that the song “I Will Let You Go’ has reached so many people who have been so generous in sharing with me what it means to them, that this experience is more powerful than I can explain. To be able to share in this and to perhaps in some way help facilitate an experience for people has been amazing.

PLL: You totally have an appreciation for words and sound. Would you consider yourself a poet at heart? Are there any poets (past or present) who inspire you?
Daniel: Maybe at heart but not at task. Poetry is something I have the utmost appreciation for. It is a real passion of mine, but I don’t consider myself a poet. There are many poets I admire greatly: from the present Franz Wright, Michael Dickman, Sharon Olds, Quinn Latimer, Defnis Johnson, it goes on and on.

PLL: You co-write a song with Mads Langer. What was that experience like?
Daniel: It was fantastic. A friend connected us when Mads was in town a few years past. He was staying in some small weird hotel on the west side of LA. He had just had his apartment broken into back home and he was a little bummed to say the least  at being half way around the world. We put all that into a song. It came out quite lovely.

PLL: What three new songs/artists would you wholeheartedly recommend to fans of your music?
Daniel: Truth be told, I listen to a lot of electronic music, but in keeping in the vein of singer/songwriters, I’ve been listening to the new single from Whispertown “Open the other eye”, also there is an artist named Tenlon’s Fort who has a song called “another part of you“  – absolutely devastating. Finally I just got turned on to the new Atlas Sound record ‘Parallax’ – completely gorgeous record.

PLL: What is it like performing live in different parts of the country? How would you describe the feeling?
Daniel: Its the best thing in the universe. Any traveling musician will be the first to tell you that people are inherently good – they will take you into their home, feed you, look out for you. People are so kind and caring when you are traveling – I always found it awe-inspiring.

The chance to drive across this beautiful and odd country, and perform really fills your heart with a joy .  Mindy and I are looking forward to doing some touring next month on our way to SXSW 2012.

PLL: What’s the funniest/best memory from life on the road?
Daniel: My favorite memory on the road was a few years back when we were passing through Murfreesboro, TN – a real nice lady lets us stay in her house.  She had a young son about 4 who was a genius.  The house was a little run down. A few big holes in the floor. It was raining hard. She was an accomplished violin player. We sat in that big house playing games with her son, listening to her play a Bach Suite on the Violin, drinking coffee and watching the rain come down through the beautiful trees of Tennessee.

Seriously, how wonderful are Daniel and Mindy? We’re thrilled that Ezra and Aria’s most unforgettable romantic moment this season was so brilliantly captured by one of their breathtaking songs! For more scoop on the Daniel Ahearn and The Jones visit their official site over at http://www.danielahearn.com/ and/or follow them on Twitter.com @DA&TheJones!

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