John DeNicola has spent the last few decades traveling a particularly complicated and winding road. His career as a celebrated songsmith has taken him from the atmospheres of the Grammys and Oscars to, more recently (pre-Covid), countless smaller venues where he offers songs bathed in the gracefulness of his perfect pop impulses. A musician better known for the hits he’s written and co-written for other artists, namely “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life“, than for his own recordings, DeNicola has too long spent time in the shadows of more well-known singers.
But after many years of working through innumerable original songs, he finally released his debut album, The Why Because, late last year on his own imprint Omad Records. The songs were a mash of different genre excursions and found him digging deep into the interconnected roots of his influences. Instead of writing with someone else in mind, DeNicola tuned these tracks to his own specific creativities, allowing the sounds to reflect a more deeply personal side that’s really been addressed in his previous works.
Recently, the new version of “Hungry Eyes” from The Why Because debuted on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at #29, and in honor of this milestone, DeNicola decided to record a quarantine-style video for the song. He explains the idea behind the video:
“We wanted to show how we all can convey feelings and emotions through our eyes while keeping ourselves and others safe. From newborn to 93. We asked friends, family, musicians and front line workers to send a video of themselves with their face mask on. We are all hungry for connection and hopefully this is expressed through the video as our eyes can say so much.”
Filled with swirling synths and sparkling guitars, the track is of course recognizable but is also structured slightly different than the original, making it perfect for people who only associate it with Dirty Dancing to maybe take another listen and hear its curious complexities in a whole new light.
Follow John DeNicola on Facebook, Twitter, and through his website. His recent record, The Why Because, was released in October of last year on Omad Records.