■ The singer and DJ, 37, talks to Andrew Williams about recording contact lenses, engaging with fans on social media and tips for taking a selfie
What equipment do you use the most in the studio?
Pro Tools when I’m recording and a lot of plug-ins. We’ve got a midi keyboard in there as well. It’s a simple set-up but we use a nice microphone like a Neumann U87.
What do you use when you’re DJing?
A Pioneer controller and the DDJ-Ergo controller with a laptop. All my music is on Serato. I use that rather than the latest CDJs because less is more.
Any tips for taking the perfect selfie?
Be honest. People can tell when a picture feels authentic. You can throw filters on and get the lighting right but now the Instagram pictures getting the most love feel a bit more on the fly and not so contrived. You can tell when someone’s taken 100 pictures to get the right shot.
How has social media changed your relationship with your fans?
It’s given me a closer connection than I’ve ever had before. If someone posts a video on Instagram and they’re about to go out and they’re playing my music and they’ve tagged me in I can leave a comment, say ‘Have a good night.’ I like to thank people who are supporting me.
Who are your favourite people to follow?
I enjoy following The Rock. He’s funny and he has a lot of empathy. Even if he’s just promoting one of his movies he still does it in a way that’s endearing. I love seeing what Michael Dapaah’s up to. He’s incredibly funny and I love seeing his new characters.
Many musicians complain that they make next to no money from streaming — how do you feel?
I embrace it and see the opportunities of how it reaches people. I came out of the last generation of physical sales, so streaming numbers and getting paid will hopefully balance itself out. I’m very grateful I can do shows and people buy physical tickets. The chart is a different place now. Statistics for streaming are incredible — it’s not about where you enter the chart but how many weeks you’re on it.
Have you always been into tech?
You have to evolve with technology. If you don’t, it runs so fast you’re left hanging as to what’s going on. In the world I’m in, it’s key to be digital savvy. You have to be aware of where trends are moving because if you’re late to the party it takes ages to catch up.
If you could invent a gadget what would it do?
It would be glasses or contact lenses that would let you record the whole show without having to put your phone up. I love it when people record my shows on their phones, it’s another way of them showing love, but it would be good for them to experience being in the moment.
■ David is appearing at Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall, August 8-12. His latest album, The Time Is Now, is out now