As a child, Dave never liked to fall asleep with his own thoughts. He always needed some sort of sound to color the dark silence of his bedroom. He’d drift off to scores by Hans Zimmer (which he’d discovered via the Christopher Nolan–directed Batman movies) or songs from his favorite video game, Kingdom Hearts—a Disney-flavored role-playing game about a cheery teenager fighting the forces of darkness.
When he turned 14, his mother bought him an 88-key digital keyboard. It occupied prime space in his bedroom. He told his friend, a kid called Kyle, and asked him to learn too. Kyle was skeptical—it wasn’t normal for kids around his part of Streatham, an area of southeast London, to become aspiring pianists. But Dave convinced him.
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