MizFitz Radio February Featured Artist: Dan 64
Written by Kayra Perez on Mon Feb, 2019
For February, I had to be on the lookout for an artist that could represent the essence of Black History Month. I needed a trailblazer with liberating talents and an adverse past. We are in celebration of African American tribulation turned into success and greatness. Allow me to highlight an artist that showcases an original yet official sound. This independent artist is on the rise with a new genre of music, “trip-hop”. Introducing Dan 64:
“I’m from Fayetteville, NC but I’m a military brat. I moved from Texas to Arizona and back to North Carolina.” Dan provided insight on his family’s background with his dad serving 25 years in the military. “I dreaded moving around.” Dan was open to talking about his personal background especially when we shifted the conversation towards his early exposure to music. Like many artists, Dan’s influence first began in church. “My family was very church going and I was in kid’s choir. There was a church band. I played scales and took piano classes”. Dan reminisced on producing at the tender age of 11, playing melodies on keys and diving deeper into music because of a high school class, music appreciation. He also dipped into creating and mastering beats for three years. “Senior year came around and I thought to myself what am I going to do”? Dan disclosed on the turning point in which he realized that music was what he wanted to do and that he was good at it.
“ I started producing first and then turned to the artistry of rap”. Dan continued to speak about his band at the time and the future hopes of starting a music label further down the road. However, the band was reduced to two people and Dan ultimately decided to zero in on himself. “My name is Daniel Benjamin and I wanted to be like Kendrick Lamar with the government name. What’s a name I can call myself but still be 100% me?” This soon shifted into how the name Dan 64 came into fruition. Dan explained that he played Nintendo 64 every day. He also described his younger self as a nerd and a gamer. When asking about his genre and style of music, Dan defined his spacey and psychedelic sound as “trip-hop”. “My story, hard work, and infatuation with studying emcees like Biggie, Nas or Chance the Rapper sets me apart along with my subject matter. I’m bridging the past to the present”. As is pertains to the past, Dan described his younger self as a nerdy outcast with messed up teeth who was more reserved and content with playing video games.
“I was falling in love with music and finding myself. I was always dolo and felt like I was different”. This is clearly prevalent in one of Dan’s song entitled “Power On”, “Welcome to the world of a misfit” is one line that promotes individuality. Dan elaborated on his infatuation with space which carries into his music. Even the trippy album art meshes with the theme of space. “ My friend’s dad designed the album cover but would only do it under two conditions. One, I had to buy him a 40(malt liquor). Two, I had to stay up with him all night while he designed it.” Dan’s creative process isn’t present in just the album art or lyrics. It is displayed in the music video concepts. “The music video for Mushroom was supposed to be shot in California at an abandoned zoo with a psychedelic theme”. Dan added that he decided to instead film locally with himself and a “hobo” friend starring in the video.
With more music, performances and a clothing line on the way, Dan 64 wishes to bring back 2000s vibes. When asking Dan about any advice he’d like to give to his audience or upcoming artists he stressed that “ networking, building and nurturing is all a part of working on your craft”. Make sure you check out more of Dan 64’s music on Spotify, Instagram, Google Play, Twitter, Youtube, and all music streaming platforms.
“ Creativity is within all of us.” – Dan 64
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