For Autism Pride Day, we thought we’d share our Q&A with musician Daniel Wakeford – a Brighton based performer who appeared on the TV show Undateables. The uplifting and heartwarming dating show follows single people who have various conditions such learning disabilities or Tourette’s and proves that no matter who you are, love wins and nobody is really ‘undateable!’ Daniel appeared on the show in 2015 and after several more television appearances, DTL caught up with him to see what he’s been up to…
DTL: Hi Daniel, thanks for chatting with us! Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself in your own words…
Daniel: I’m a singer and songwriter, I’ve got 2 albums, ‘Daniel Wakeford’ and ‘The Songs of Gigs’. I’m 29 years old, I live in Brighton, and I’ve got autistic spectrum disorder.
DTL: What have you been up to since going on The Undateables?
Daniel: I’ve been doing really well and I’m really proud of that. My favourite bit of The Undateables was when they filmed last year in Todmorden.
DTL: Can you describe a day in the life of Daniel?
Daniel: I work in a book shop in Brighton and I go to the gym on Mondays. On Wednesdays I do tae kwon do. I work at the Cancer Research shop on Fridays. The other days I’m chilling, planning, doing chores or rehearsing.
DTL: When you’re on tour, what’s the best thing about performing?
Daniel: I love performing, I really do love my fans and everyone recognises me when we’re on tour and I really do love doing parties with my band.
DTL: You’re such a confident person, what’s your secret?!
Daniel: I would love to say to my fans when I’m on stage that it’s important to be yourself.
DTL: Can you name one person who has been an inspiration to you?
Daniel: Tom Cook as I have my singing lessons with him and we are the songwriting team like Benny & Bjorn from ABBA and he’s helped me make all my music.
DTL: What have you done recently and what’s up next?
Daniel: I performed again in Todmorden and we went to Islington Mill in Salford, I also played The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. I’ve also got some holidays coming up at Butlins and Ibiza!
DTL: What’s your proudest moment so far?
Daniel: When we played in Huddersfield at the Rhubarb cafe’s “Beat it club” where I performed to lots of other people with disabilities. It was a great night.
DTL: What do you struggle with:
Daniel: I struggle to find my words properly.
DTL: Words of advice to other people with autism:
Daniel: You must try and never give up!
DTL: Anything else you’d like to add?
Daniel: I’ve got some things for sale online and at gigs, like T-shirts, CDs and badges and stickers!
To keep up to date with what Daniel is up to, check out his Facebook or follow him on Twitter