THE RISE of singer-songwriter Dan Owen began with a kind gesture. A friend who felt Owen deserved wider exposure for his talent uploaded a video of him performing Bob Dylan's 'The Ballad of Hollis Brown' to Reddit.
It loitered around 700 views mark for a few months, then hit 25,000, then 40,000, before reaching 500,000 views. "It just kept going up and up," Owen recalls. "I remember looking at my phone and my hand was shaking. I actually asked my friends, who knew more about computers than I do, if YouTube had gone wrong or something."
The 24-year-old Shrewsbury singer-songwriter has not looked back since, releasing the EPs Bad For Me and Now And Then (both 2015 ) and a third, Open Hands and Enemies, in October, which contained the single, 'Made To Love You'. It has clocked up more than half a million streams on Spotify, topped the Viral Chart in Belgium, entering No 2 in the French charts, and was playlisted on the BBC.
The video for 'Made To Love You' has been described as "hard-hitting" and "an important piece of work" by Shortlist London, which went on to say that it was "written from the personal experience of Dan supporting a friend suffering in an abusive relationship.