Artist Spotlight – David Oakes

David Oakes is an exceptionally talented musician and composer of electronic alternative rock instrumental music.  He was born in England and spent part of his early childhood in Dubai, and currently resides in Wales. David says his musical skills – which are quite impressive – were self-taught, though he earned a degree in 2012 from the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, England. Through his intricate compositions, David compels his listeners to envision the beauty of a sunrise or the fury of an approaching storm or menacing dinosaur.

In the early 2000’s, David was a member of the British rock band Kotow, with whom he played drums. For his own classically-oriented-rock instrumental music, he plays some pretty amazing guitar, and the rest of his music is synthesized. In just the past three years, he has produced a tremendous output of music, and his discography is quite extensive. I’ll highlight a few different compositions to provide a glimpse of the breadth of David’s music talent and styles, which range from gentle guitar-driven melodies to aggressive hard rock.

Two of David’s albums I especially like are The Calm and the Storm and The Dawn and the Dusk. Although very different in sound and music style, both are like Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite in that their songs tell a story in a complete cycle from beginning to end. “The Flood” from The Calm and the Storm, released in 2014, has a decidedly more synthesized sound. Scratchy guitars and multi-layered riffs provide strong imagery that evokes the coming flood from a storm-produced cloudburst.

“Don’t Let Go,” the most upbeat and rock-oriented track on the album, has some really formidable guitar work.

The album ends with the lushly beautiful “The Calm After the Storm.”

“The Dawn”, from The Dawn and the Dusk is a gorgeous tract that coaxes your mind’s eye to envision the glory and hopeful optimism of a new day.

David’s style also has a darker side, most evident in “The Drop,” an intense song with an equally intense, horror film-like video, the only live-action video that David has starred in. The song has a strong repeating bass line, with staccato guitar and unrelenting drumbeat that propels the mysterious chase scene forward in the video. The video was produced by Dark Fable Media.

A recent effort, and one of my personal favorites, is “Fire Up The Centrifuge!,” a real tour de force done in three movements like a mini rock symphony. From the album More Primitive Weapons, the track begins with a simple and rather somber guitar riff and drumbeat. At 1:15 minutes, the pace abruptly quickens, with rapid, more aggressive and complicated guitar riffs, backed by pounding drums. At approximately 6:10 minutes, the song slows down with a repeat of the opening riff, only this time with more emphatic guitar and percussion.

David’s music is available on iTunes or

4 thoughts on “Artist Spotlight – David Oakes

  1. chuck jung

    Very cool music! Really enjoyed your article. Well written but more importantly to me was your thorough understanding of his music and the details of what and why you liked him. I really enjoy these articles as they keep me in touch with today’s music .

    Keep them coming!


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