Comprised (from left to right) of William Forsyth (electric guitar), Matt Trower (drums), Deni Smith (vocals and guitar) and George Francis (bass), DENI intertwine elements of colourful folk pop and neo soul. The band began playing together in January 2019 and since the beginning have spent time in the studio writing and developing their sound.
DENI emerged from the singer-songwriter roots of their frontwoman, Deni Smith. Smith began writing aged 14 after being gifted her grandfather’s first guitar. Before making the move to Glasgow aged 18, she gained a great base of support in her hometown. Upon the release of her debut single, Smith won the Dunfermline Press Live Music Award in 2017 and was also named Scotsmans’ Artist of the Week. After settling in Glasgow, Smith also developed a support network in the west, finding herself performing at 2019’s TRNSMT Festival, 2017 and 2018’s Celtic Connections and selling out shows at King Tut’s. Smith had a great desire to find like-minded musicians to join her before releasing new music, leading her to the band, and working on a rebrand which would show off their new identity.
George Francis officially began his musical journey at the age of 8 with musical tuition in the cello. However, his upbringing had him immersed in music of both commercial and traditional origin. During his teenage years, Francis pursued Music in the form of both amateur and professional ceilidh bands as well as writing for a garage rock band with whom his passion for the bass guitar bloomed. Francis has since graduated with a BA(hons) in Commercial Music, during which he cut his teeth in the local scene and entered the industry playing in Glasgow funk-pop group Easy - who have since disbanded. Performing with DENI has since lead to writing and collaboration between the two with Francis’s neo-soul, funk and jazz influences taking affect on future releases.
William Forsyth, from Glasgow, first started playing guitar at the age of 12. As a child, Forsyth had a strong interest in rock and blues music which influenced him in learning guitar. Forsyth started getting involved with bands and the Glasgow music scene through the music education programme, Behind the Noise, in which he participated in consecutively for three years. Behind the Noise influenced Forsyth to then pursue further education in music, going on to study Commercial Music at the University of the West of Scotland, whilst at the same time working in several bands. He started playing guitar for Deni on her solo project in March 2019, before helping the development of the band’s relaunch as DENI.
Matt Trower began drumming at the age of 16 and spent most of his time in school practicing in the music department. From a family with a number of keen drummers, Trower started out playing with funk collective, Easy with Francis, which formed during their time at the University of the West of Scotland. As well as playing drums, Trower also songwrites and cites his influences as varying from rock, punk, folk, alternative and funk. Aside from drumming for DENI, Trower also drums in Glasgow band Weatherston.