Promotional photo in Melbourne, 2015
August 18, 1983 |
Killeen, Texas, United States
|Residence||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Home town||Columbia, South Carolina, United States|
Danny! is a former student of the Savannah College of Art & Design; he often wears a wool necktie and an Australian rounded crown boss-of-the-plains hat. Danny! rose to prominence shortly after becoming the flagship artist to The Roots' drummer Questlove's re-launched Okayplayer Records after years of being loosely affiliated with the parent company. Danny! was subsequently featured on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where he premiered his debut single "Evil" backed by The Roots, and began a side career in voice acting, narrating the ESPN series Hey Rookie, Welcome To The NFL.
After joining Okayplayer Records, Danny! released his album Payback, cited by Allmusic as one of the best hip-hop releases of the year. Ebony Magazine has listed Danny! among other rising artists in its "Leaders of the New School" piece, calling Danny! one of a handful of "innovators"; GQ would later reiterate the same regarding Danny!'s music production, which has since been placed in numerous television programs and radio advertisements.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Discography
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Danny!, the only son of military parents, was born in Killeen, Texas and moved to Columbia, South Carolina as a teenager. He attended Richland Northeast High School and began pursuing music as a hobby during his sophomore year. Danny! would later start penning his own lyrics and eventually recorded makeshift songs primarily as a showcase for his production.
2004–2006: Early beginnings, Charm and instrumental albums
After spending nearly a year networking with local artists, Danny! released his 2004 debut mixtape, now renamed The College Kicked-Out. The record received mixed to unfavorable reviews, which Danny! would allude to in much of his later work.
Shortly after Kicked-Out's release, Danny! was accepted to the Savannah College of Art & Design and accordingly relocated to Savannah, Georgia; it was here that he began to work on his second project, F.O.O.D. Then in 2006, Danny! officially released his third mixtape Charm, which was notable for featuring an underlying theme of escapism in its narrative of a musician who wants to achieve success through music and be reprieved of the day-to-day routine in his hometown. Charm went on to become Danny!'s biggest success at the time and, coincidentally, help make the entire premise of the record come true in real life.
During this time, Danny! compiled an instrumental album, Dream, Interrupted, in an effort to showcase his production prowess; within two years the sequels Dream, Fulfilled and Dream, Extinguished would also be released.
2007–2011: MTV, And I Love H.E.R. and Interscope era
After Charm, Danny! received his first big break when MTV played a role in securing him a recording contract with an underground hip-hop label, at the time helmed by El-P of Run the Jewels fame. The record deal allowed Danny! to record an album for the label and release a 12" single to be accompanied by a music video slated for an exclusive premiere on mtvU. Though the label's involvement would not amount to a released album—only the single "Just Friends", which managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009—the deal did establish an ongoing relationship between Danny! and MTV, which would begin using his music extensively in various programming for years to come.
Danny! would continue to gain acclaim, mostly on the merits of his production style, and eventually self-released his debut album, the faux-soundtrack And I Love H.E.R.. The album was cited at the time by publications such as Pitchfork, L.A. Weekly and ABC News as one of the best releases of 2008. And I Love H.E.R. was also notable for introducing yet another musical direction for Danny!, who was experimenting with hip house, downtempo and electronica during the record's inception to produce a sort of "lounge-hop" hybrid that has since become his definitive style, though Danny!'s output would become significantly more experimental and nuanced in subsequent releases.
Following And I Love H.E.R.'s success, Danny! completed the Relapse & Madvillainy-inspired Where Is Danny?. Interscope Records, through its short-lived digital distribution program with Tunecore, would quietly distribute a revamped version of the album on iTunes.
2012–present: Breakthrough, music licensing and The Book of Daniel
While developing his third studio album Payback—at one point scrapping an "all-star" version that featured appearances from Bruno Mars and Pharrell, among others—Danny! offered its predecessor Where Is Danny? as a free download on his Tumblr blog after it was revealed that Danny!'s distribution deal with Interscope had been terminated, making way for an eventual signing to Okayplayer Records where he would later release a modified version of Payback.
Danny! made his national television debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on the week prior to Payback's scheduled release date, premiering his song "Evil" with The Roots. On September 25, 2012, Payback was made available in many digital outlets, peaking at #9 on the iTunes hip-hop charts.
As Danny!'s notoriety increased, the title track for Where Is Danny? would eventually become featured in a commercial for Sonos wireless speakers. Long fascinated with music licensing, Danny! subsequently signed on as a composer for Sony/ATV's Extreme Music production music library in a joint agreement with MTV's internal Hype Music label and slowly transitioned into a more prominent producer role during 2014, landing instrumental placements with various Viacom television programming as well as adverts for Nordstrom, McDonald's, and the FOX animated series Bob's Burgers. However, GQ Magazine revealed in early 2014 that Danny! was indeed working on his fourth studio album, initially titled "Deliverance" but later changed to The Book Of Daniel after the book in the Bible.
- Studio albums
- And I Love H.E.R.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2008)
- Where Is Danny? (2011)
- Payback (2012)
- The Book Of Daniel (2016)
- Instrumental albums
|Danny Brown||"Exotic", "The Nana Song"||The Hybrid||2010|
|Danny Brown||"Counterfeit", "Hey!"*||Detroit State of Mind 4||2010|
|Lil B||"The Game On Lock", "Illusions of G"||Illusions of Grandeur 2||2012|
|Wale||"Never Never Freestyle"||Folarin||2012|
|Cody ChesnuTT||"Scroll Call (Danny Swain's Okayplayer Remix)"||Landing On A Hundred: B-Sides & Remixes||2014|
Film & television credits
|"Intermission (interlude)"||Jersey Shore After Hours||MTV||2008|
|"Cafe Surreal"||aMTV promotional bumper||MTV||2009|
|"Ebony Flower"||Wainy Days||My Damn Channel||2009|
|"Check It Out"||Disaster Date||MTV||2011|
|"The Groove"||Dina's Party||HGTV||2011|
|"The Groove"||Love Lust||SundanceTV||2011|
|"The Groove"||2011 Comedy Awards||Comedy Central||2011|
|"Cafe Surreal", "The Groove"||Red Bull Signature Series: Supernatural||NBC||2012|
|"Cafe Surreal"||The Association||ESPN||2012|
|"Crasy Sound"||Elbow Room||HGTV||2012|
|"Evil"||live performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon with The Roots||NBC||2012|
|"God Bless The Child"||Breaking Amish||TLC||2012|
|"Loser"||Breaking Amish: Extended Episodes||TLC||2012|
|"Misery"||Rockstar Presents: XDurance Series (with Rob Adelberg)||YouTube||2012|
|"Pineapple Gumdrop"||LXTV 1st Look||NBC||2012|
|"Still Standing"||Life After: Karyn White||TV One||2012|
|"Where Is Danny", "I Ain't The Walrus"||Sonos television advert featuring Questlove||cable||2012|
|"Cafe Surreal"||Crown Royal: Best Of promotional clip during 2013 NBA Playoffs||TNT||2013|
|"Malice In Blunderland"||The Challenge: Rivals II||MTV||2013|
|"Man On The Moon"||Snooki & Jwoww||MTV||2013|
|"One Day It'll All Make Cents"||The Show with Vinny||MTV||2013|
|"Torture"||World of Jenks||MTV||2013|
|"Gibraltar (Danny!'s Pride And Vanity Remix)"||Just Blaze interview||Okayplayer||2014|
|"Check It Out"||Nordstrom anniversary sale summer promo||cable and radio||2014|
|"Take Me To The Muddy Grass"||"Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" episode of Bob's Burgers||FOX||2014|
- Alternative music
- List of former Interscope Records artists
- List of Sony/ATV Music Publishing artists
- Jeffries, David (2013-03-11). "Danny!: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Dean's List: Hosted by Danny!". mtvU. 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
- Stoehr, John (2007-01-28). "Local Student Wins MTV Award". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- Ramirez, Erika (2011-01-13). "Exclusive: ?uestlove Announces Okayplayer Records Re-Launch, New Albums By Danny!, Young Guru". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
- Martin, Andrew (2012-06-07). "Interview: Danny Swain, Jay-Z's New Favorite Rapper, Speaks On "Payback"". Complex. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- Houghton, Edwin (2012-04-26). "Questlove Speaks On Jay-Z & Danny!". Okayplayer. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- Obie, Brooke (2012-12-18). "Introducing...Danny!". EBONY. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- Martin, Andrew (2012-01-23). "Jay-Z's New Favorite Rapper Is Danny!?". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Blotnick, Emmy (2012-09-21). "Danny! Performs "Evil"". NBC. Archived from the original on November 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- Majal, Ahmad (2016-04-13). "'Hey Rookie, Welcome To The NFL' Has A New Narrator...Danny!". Danny! official website. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
- Staff, AMG (2012-12-20). "AllMusic's Favorite Hip-Hop/Rap Albums of 2012". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
- Carter, Kelley (2013-01-02). "Leaders Of The New School". Ebony Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
- Fashion, GQ (2013-12-20). "Get familiar with our man Danny! now. In 2014 he'll be contending for producer of the year.". Instagram. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- Phili, Stelios (2014-03-05). "The GQ+A". GQ. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
- Jackson, Deborah (2009-03-11). "Military People: Danny Swain". Military Hub. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Anto, Julio (2012-12-04). "Danny! Discusses New Album 'Payback', Co-signs From Jay-Z And Questlove, And The Evolution Of DIY In Hip-Hop". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
- Welte, Tim (2007-01-27). "Danny Swain Wins mtvU Contest". TV.com. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Howard, Jacinta (2009-04-28). "Don't Sleep On Danny!". Creative Loafing. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Loss-Eaton, Nicholas (2010-11-12). "Discovering New Music Artists in the Digital Age: Interscope Digital Distribution Reaches Beyond DIY". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
- "Danny! - 'Where Is Danny'". iTunes. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
- Swain, Daniel (2012-03-11). "Danny!: Where Is Danny?". Tumblr. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- Jones, Jeffrey (2013-04-10). "Hype Music: Roster". MTV. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- "Just Blaze Interview With Okayplayer TV". Okayplayer. 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "Nordstrom advert". Instagram. 2014-10-01. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
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