London based artist Dan D'Lion has become quite the artist through his electric, future pop sound.
Growing up in Reading and born to a jazz drummer dad and music-obsessed family in general, Dan took those influences alongside his love for Rage Against the Machine and N.E.R.D to create music that stands out from others.
Since emerging onto the scene, Dan has released two EP's and a mixtape that confirms his uniqueness as a singer, producer and songwriter. With hit singles 'Superwoman' and 'Lay Next 2 U', Dan D'Lion creates a light yet dark sound and at times claustrophobic music that emphasises the name of Dan D'Lion itself - twisting between the strength of a lion and the fragility of a flower.
With a handful of music out, Dan D'Lion is becoming a true one-off with his enticing alt-pop.
Firstly, how have you been and what has been the weirdest thing that has happened to you throughout lockdown?
Hey, I’ve been pretty good actually! I've kept myself busy. I realised I'm damn good at making American-style fluffy pancakes
Whilst growing up, what were your influences and who did you aspire to be?
My first idol was Bill Murray. I thought his smoothness and don’t-give-a-fuck attitude in the roles he played were incredible. Then as soon as I started playing music, bands like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Rage against The Machine took over my life. After my rock teenage years (which still haven’t left my system!!) I started listening to the music of Stevie Wonder, Prince, N.E.R.D and my lyrics and melodies took on more soulful tendencies.
For someone who hasn't heard of you how would you describe your sound and creative process?
I’m trying, and forever will try, to push the boundaries and bend the stereotypical ways of my “genre". My experimental process allows me to push the boat out in terms of what my pocket is. It’s hard for me to nail what / who I sound like… but know that you’re in for a ride for sure!
Over lockdown, you released 'When One Thing Leads To Another - what is your favourite song from the project and what's the story behind it?
My favourite track from the project is 'Lay Next 2 U’. I wrote it in like half an hour very late at night in my studio just before heading home. I barely remember writing it and kept almost everything the same from the moment I heard it back the next morning. It was pure, natural feeling flooding out. The video I shot in lockdown too. It’s all one take. It’s one of my favourites.
Throughout your music journey, what is the main key thing you've learnt?
Allowing the right amount of time for everything. Whether that’s preparation, patience or knowing when to move on…! A lot of my best work has come pretty effortlessly without too much thought. But some of my best has come through sitting on it for months, changing bits here and there until it gets to a point at which I'm ready to put the brush down and release it to the world. Giving something the time, it needs to grow.
At what time in your life did you realise you wanted to pursue music and what has been the favourite thing you've created?
I wanted to be a movie star when I was a kid. Then a friend told me about their mates' band who were looking for a guitarist (I had only started learning guitar that year) so I jumped at the opportunity. I’m also 10 years old at this point so was jumping on everything!! As soon as I met this band of rocker kids and came home, I picked up my guitar and didn’t stop playing. That was the moment I knew music was my life… And whatever I'm working on right now is always my favourite!
Originally from Reading and now based in London, who are your favourite rising stars in the industry?
I’m really into Rei Ami, Dijon, Remi Wolf, Oliver Malcolm… this list goes on. There’s a lot of sick stuff happening in up and coming music right now.
If you could name one collaboration, who would it be and why?
Steve Lacy. He is an innovator of our generation.
Out of your whole music career, what has been your number one accomplishment and most challenging?
Getting my head into the right space to put out a project of my own. I love collaborating and working on other artists projects and it’s the most important thing for me to find the people to challenge my process, even if that’s been behind the scenes. However, putting out something so personal has been the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to do it and I would class the moment in which I decided to as my biggest accomplishment. Now for that Grammy...!
Finally, where do you wish to see yourself in a year?
I want this world to be in a better place first. Then I see myself taking my music across the world and playing to all the beautiful people who listen to it. Changing each other's lives forever.