Trust your crazy ideas. If it hasn’t been done before or it’s not following the current trends, that’s a good thing.
Asa part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Danny G.
Danny G coined the term “flow pop” to describe his pop/rap infused sonic landscape, reminiscent of acts like G-Eazy and early Mac Miller. In a world that craves a humanized approach to art, danny G is fearlessly himself. As a 22 year old who defies genre limits, he draws inspiration from top pop acts such as Charlie Puth while at the same time harnessing influence from rappers like Dave East and YBN Cordae. danny pushes authenticity and love as he aims to inspire those who come across his artistry to be themselves and embrace their imperfections. The recent college graduate garnered the attention of big acts in 2019, putting out records with Xuitcasecity, Cam Meekins, and even hitting the studio with Gym Class Heroes frontman, Travie McCoy. danny is poised for a huge 2020 with lots of fun surprises on the way that you won’t want to miss.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been passionate about music and particularly songwriting since I was a kid. One night when I was like 6, I got in trouble and my parents sent me outside to the back porch to think about what I had done and form an apology. While I was out there I wrote my first song called “The Wind”. It’s THE worst song ever written obviously but I still remember the lyrics and that was the moment I fell in love with songwriting and creating. Since then it’s just been honing the craft and studying people I admire.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
I had a little stint on American Idol, that was definitely interesting. Just crazy to see the things that happen behind the scenes on a show that you’ve been a fan of for your whole life. Having Katy Perry call you a “great songwriter” is definitely crazy (yes, I’m bragging about that because it means a lot to me lol). But yeah, super crazy experience.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Ahh so many things. I’m so motivated and just have so many different ideas I want to execute so I’m for sure working on a few projects at once right now. But this new stuff just feels like me. Sonically, conceptually, it’s just the stuff I feel I’m meant to be writing and creating.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I got to make a song with Travie McCoy called “long live” and he came out to the studio so it was super cool getting to interact with him. He’s a super cool down to earth guy who just radiates good vibes. He’s almost become a bit of a mentor and big bro to me and we still talk today. I was SO nervous that day he came into the studio but all that was instantly gone the second he walked in, so I think that says a lot about the kind of star that he is. Blessed to have made a record with him.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Man, so many people. Elvis, The Beatles, Sinatra, MLK, Biggie, Tupac. People that just shamelessly pushed their message and changed the world because of it. I believe that we all have something incredible in us, but it’s just about trusting that and staying true to it. So if you take someone like Elvis for example, he brought a sound to music that nobody had heard before but it was him and it was authentic which is why people fell in love with it. That and he worked super super hard. That’s the formula.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m certainly not where I would like to be yet, but with the platform I have I’ve just pushed my message of being yourself through love, faith and youth. You’ll hear these messages in any song I create, you’ll feel it at any show, and if you know me you know that I try and embody those things. I have no problem saying I want to get as big as possible because then I can push my messages but on a greater scale. Take for example this coronavirus situation, I’d love to donate a million dollars to a health fund but I simply don’t have that money yet haha.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could start a movement it would be a “Make Therapy More Accessible” movement. With everything I hope to do and the messages I push, mental health still has to always come at the forefront. I’ve struggled with my fair share of mental health issues and still do, and I feel that literally EVERYONE should go to therapy. Who wouldn’t let someone talk about their baggage once a week? I just think with all going on in the world we have so much tension built up in our heads and we NEED to let it out or it starts affecting us in ways we don’t even realize. So yeah that would be my movement, hopefully WILL be my movement someday.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I’d say it’s quality time spent over quantity. I’ve realized I can do the no sleep work 16 hours a day thing (which I still do that often haha) but sometimes two hours of quality time spent on music and a good night’s sleep is the move. You’ve gotta work your ass off but like I said health comes first so never overlook that. If you’re in music it’s because you love the art and it would be a shame to ever get burned out from that. So I’d just say give it all you have and put in your hours but that doesn’t mean you can’t care for yourself at the same time. I’m super guilty of that and still working on it so this is also just a bit of advice to myself haha.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Thing one: it’s not about singing perfectly, it’s about making people BELIEVE what you’re singing about. Wow that’s a cool quote I just came up with haha. But if you look at music that does well these days, it’s almost never the most perfect voice or instrumental track, it’s music that makes you FEEL something. And that can only come from you being authentically you. Some of the music I put out in 2019 was just me putting out songs that sounded good and while they’re solid records they’re missing that feeling.
Thing two: Trust your crazy ideas. If it hasn’t been done before or it’s not following the current trends, that’s a good thing. Charlie Puth is already Charlie Puth, we don’t need another person who sounds like Charlie Puth haha.
Thing three: Any attention is good attention, even haters. When I launched my career in 2019 I would get so hurt by criticism and it would just eat me up. What you need to realize though is that people hating on you are still talking about you. Justin Bieber is simultaneously the most loved and hated person in the world. So it’s like how they say any publicity is good publicity, hate is just a sign you’re on your way. If everybody loves your music that just means your audience is too small.
Thing four: Make a pre-show checklist of things you need to bring to the venue HAHA. This is obviously a lightertip but very necessary. On show day’s you’re gonna be nervous and anxious and forget literally everything if you don’t plan ahead. Every show I’ve had I’ve forgotten something and had someone speed back to my house and run into the green room before the show to make it on time haha. Trust me, make a checklist, you’ll thank me later.
Thing five: Be legacy driven. The concept of legacy has really become a driving force in my life. When you’re legacy driven, you’re not focused on how a piece of content you post performs in the moment, you’re focused on the impact it’ll have when you’re gone. So thinking about legacy pulls you from temporary glory and moves you toward eternal fulfillment.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@dannygofficial1 on all socials!!
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!