David Barnes (known also as Preston D Barnes) is a professional vocalist & musician who continues to make waves across the UK music scene.
In 2016 Preston appeared on ‘The Voice UK’ successfully making it through the Blind Auditions. Viewers learned that Preston had a successful career in the British Army as a highly qualified musician and became a firm favourite, securing a place on Ricky Wilson’s team. This journey took him to the final knock-out stages.
Since his appearance on the show, Preston has been asked to perform at events all across the nation & signed to the new Country Music record label Sonic Boom Records.
On September 16th, Preston will be releasing his fourth single, “Castles On Quicksand” was written by Paul Bliss, Steve Kipner, & Peter Beckett, which centres around someone that’s been hurt by a previous relationship & is finding it hard to move on.
Preston has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding the forthcoming release, along with the charity single “We Applaud You”, & his experience on The Voice UK. Check out the full interview below.
Hey Preston, thank you so much for this interview. Can you start by telling readers a little bit about yourself?
Preston: Sure I can… My name is Preston D Barnes and I am a UK Country Music Artist. I am also a 22-year British Army Veteran after serving straight from school in 1995 at the age of 16. I have been a musician for 25 years and am now finally doing what I love to do every single day!
I am relatively new in Country Music after releasing my last 3 singles since May this year. It’s taken me until now to start realising my dream of releasing original music that people actually love to listen to. The journey has just begun and I’m so excited to continue this crazy journey in music, something that’s so close to my heart!
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Preston: I first found a love for music when I was 15 years old after my mum bought me a keyboard for Christmas. I never left it alone and soon after started to take piano lessons. Little did I know at that stage that it would last until now, eeek!
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Preston: Well that is a good question!! I have a story behind this… I’ve always loved listening to Country but I’d never really tried singing it until I was approached by Sonic Boom Records shortly after The Voice UK. We spent a lot of time trying to find a sound that really fits my voice and it was only when my producer heard me practising a Christ Stapleton song from another room that he came in and said to me “sing that again”.. I did exactly that and he recorded it and played it back to me… that’s when the penny dropped!! I became a Country Artist right at that moment and the rest is history.
In 2016, you appeared on The Voice UK & gave an epic performance of “When A Man Loves A Woman”, which saw you land a place in Team Ricky. How did the idea to enter the show come together?
Preston: Oh well if I told you, you wouldn’t believe me… many of my friends told me that I should enter The X Factor back in the day! I didn’t want to enter a show like that unless it was all about The Voice so I then waited a few years and out of the blue, The Voice UK appeared on TV. A show where they can’t see you unless they turn round! That was the show for me because if they turned, then it was clear that they liked the sound instead of an image. I applied in 2016 and here we are after a successful journey through the show’s stages.
How would you describe your experience of appearing on the show?
Preston: I had an amazing time and the whole process was really interesting, albeit very long! It was really exciting to see how TV works behind the scenes and equally, how it turns out when it hits the screens.
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to enter a show such as The Voice?
Preston: I would definitely say to make sure you stay true to yourself and understand your visions really well before you enter. There are many stages where you are asked about musical style and image so I would make sure that you know exactly what you want the public to see you as.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, you dedicated your time to creating the charity single “We Applaud You”, which received huge support upon its release. How did the inspiration for this song come to light?
Preston: This was another spur-of-the-moment idea that we had following some health issues during the premature birth of our daughter back at the start of lockdown. We really wanted to do something for the NHS to thank them for everything they did to make sure she was fit and well again. These guys really are amazing people and so passionate about what they do so to release a song that became an NHS anthem during lockdown was ridiculously precious to us.
You are about to release the new single “Castles On Quicksand” on September 16th. How did the idea for this song come together?
Preston: We met a guy called Paul Bliss who was one of the original songwriters for this song back in 1992, a lovely guy who told us that this song was a huge success in an American Sitcom called California Dreams. Castles on Quicksand was actually sung on that show and soon became a really well-known song that clearly had some interest from the public. He then told us that we can Re-Release this if we wanted to but in a Country way… We sent him the final edit of the song and he absolutely loves it which made me feel amazing! He also said he couldn’t believe the difference some 30 years on.
How would you compare the creative process of this song to some of your previous releases?
Preston: The process for this song was very different to my other releases, simply because we had to change the sound of a 90’s rock song and make it sound Country. Not an easy process but with the help of my producer Mark Wickenden and my guitar player and musical director Ben Newton, we got it just right.
Did you always plan to release “Castles On Quicksand” as a single?
Preston: It wasn’t until last year (before we even started in country music) that we came across this song and because it wasn’t originally a Country song, it was never really on the list of songs to release. It certainly is now!
What does this song personally mean to you?
Preston: This song has a really good story to it and the way it can relate to so many people is the best thing about it for me.
If listeners could take anything away from this song, what would you like it to be?
Preston: I would love people to listen to the lyrics and try and imagine that feeling of moving on after a bad experience in a relationship, something I think everyone can relate to.
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Preston: Hard question!! I do believe in sticking to the person you want to be at all times. Never be pushed into doing something that you don’t want to do. If you’re happy in your musical journey then this will come across in your music so it’s so important to always do what you’re comfortable with.
Be kind to people, support other artists and always give back to the fans, after all, they are the ones that will support you through the highs and lows.
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Preston: I would love to say a big thank you to everyone who’s reading this interview and I really hope that you all like what you hear. It’s an amazing thing when you reach out to a new audience because their feedback is so valuable to musicians like myself. Big love to all of you x
You can pre-save “Castles On Quicksand” ahead of September 16th by clicking right here.