Danny G is a musician based out of Nashville, Tennessee.
For Danny, he originally spent the majority of his life playing sports, but he also was routinely exercising his creative energies by dabbling in music.
“I always had a creative side that I wanted to tap into,” says the rapper, who lists Jack Harlow and Andy Grammar as a few of the artists who have influenced his style of music.
As a former NCAA D-1 soccer player, Danny then explains that there are a lot of parallels between sports and music, specifically in the rap genre.
“I approach music with a certain competitiveness,” he notes.
“In rap, more than in any other genre, it is a competition against other artists. That’s what pushed me towards hip-hop because it is similar to a sports game. It is friendly competition, but that is why I love the rap space so much.”
As someone who identified as both a jock and artist growing up, Danny says having those two traits not only has fueled his competitiveness and desire to be a great artist, but it also makes him more empathetic and allows him to create music that speaks to an eclectic audience.
“The jocks and the musicians are very different types of people, so it was unique that I was a part of both fields,” he says.
“Being a musician now, it exposes me to different types of people. I like that because then my music can appeal to many different types of audiences.”
Since graduating college, Danny has spent the last few years ingratiating himself to the vibrant and evolving rap scene in Nashville.
While the endless grind of getting his name out there has given him a new perspective on the music business, Danny also admits that the experiences have forced him to reexamine the way he perceives himself.
“For a long time, I was always able to lean on the fact that I was a soccer player who did music, but when I stopped playing soccer it hit me that I was now a musician and that I was pursuing my dream,” he explains.
“That pushed me to work even harder, to the point that now I am always writing, studying, and trying to be the best that I can be.”
Throughout this transformation process, Danny has endured a litany of painful moments, times that he acknowledges initially had him questioning the trajectory his life was taking.
At the same time, with some of those stomach-wrenching feelings now banished to the history books, Danny has a different take on what it means to be fearful of the unknown.
“When you encounter those moments of fear, it’s a reminder that you are doing the right thing because you should be out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself,” he says.
“I took a leap and it’s been going well. I’m learning more as I go through this experience because I’m still a relatively new artist.”
In just a few short years, Danny has already accomplished a lot.
To date, he has amassed over 11,000 followers on Instagram, been interviewed by Forbes, plus he recently released a track that he collaborated on with acclaimed artist Travie McCoy.
These small victories are all part of the aforementioned whirlwind journey that The Volunteer State-native has been on, but Danny understands that for his career to progress to the next level, he also must be mindful of the impact that all these achievements have had on him.
He then cites his desire to remain forever faithful to the person he has always been, no matter which direction the music industry may try to pull him.
“People crave authenticity from an artist because they want to make a genuine connection with a creative person. I’ve learned that being an artist is about more than just creating content that looks cool or saying cool things in my lyrics,” he explains.
“The best artists don’t follow trends. Everybody possesses something unique, so the key for an artist is to find out what that is and play to that, as opposed to trying to ride with the trends.”
With so many artists willing to compromise their authenticity for a blue check mark or a record deal, it is understandable why some creatives feel tempted to mortgage the future and focus on the ephemeral present.
But ask Danny what he believes is the right decision, and he will make it abundantly clear that sacrificing who he is in order to earn a few more followers online is simply bad practice.
“I don’t want to throw shade at the people who are fake, but you can tell when someone is being real versus when someone is just trying to follow the crowd,” he says.
“The worst part is that the fans and the consumers can feel that too. For example, I look at a lot of artists who pop off on TikTok and it is clear which ones are producing a genuine sound, and who is merely trying to cater to an audience.”
Of course, to succeed in the music industry, it takes persistency and a stroke of good fortune.
Recently, Danny caught a major break when he was awarded the coveted blue check mark on Instagram.
“My manager has some connections, so he was able to put a pitch together and get me the check,” Danny explains.
After acquiring the hallowed blue icon, Danny has since been able to better market his brand and connect with more renowned artists.
Consequently, he hopes the relationships that he has been able to cultivate will one day help him reach the upper echelons of the music industry.
“The thing about the blue check is that it does help you. I’ve been able to reach out to people who are more popular than me and interact with them. I would not have been able to do that without the blue check,” he reasons.
“That superficial reality of having a blue check makes you more notable when you are DM-ing people. It’s a funny little clout thing, but it has helped me move further in my career.”
As for the immediate future, with venues reopening across the United States, Danny will now be able to go on tour and spread his message to a larger number of fans.
Danny also hopes that going on tour later this year will attract more listeners who are not yet familiar with his music.
“I’m also rolling out an album this year, which is a huge step because I have never put out a full body of work like that,” he adds.
Beyond 2021, Danny also is looking into the far-off distance and beginning to plan for a future that won’t include headlining sold-out shows or sitting down with The Breakfast Club.
“Twenty to thirty years from now I would love to be doing other things. With music, I would love to be successful in the early part of my career so that it gives me a platform to help others and do different things as I get older,” he says.
“Plus, the reality is that the lifespan of a rapper is about ten years, if you are lucky. Even for a guy like Kanye, he is not going to still be blowing up when he is forty-five years old. That’s just not how the music business works.”
Right now, it is impossible to predict how Danny’s career will continue to unfold.
Yet, one thing remains certain:
The music industry has yet to see the best of Danny G. QS
To listen to Danny G’s music, check out his Spotify page!
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