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Danny Swain Headshot.jpg
Promotional photo for untitled NES game, circa 2014-15
Born August 18
Killeen, Texas, United States
Residence Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Other names
  • D. Swain
  • D-Swizzy
  • $WAIN
  • Brawl McCartney
Years active 2004–present
Website www.dannyswain.com
Musical career
  • Drum machine
  • keyboards
  • sampler
  • synthesizer
  • vocals
  • StarTower Music, Ltd.
Associated acts

Danny Swain, better known by his mononymous stage name Danny! (/ˈdæniˈ/ dan-EE), is an American recording artist and record producer.[1]

Danny! rose to prominence shortly after his debut performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,[2] where he premiered his debut single "Evil"; he subsequently began a side career in voice acting, narrating the fifteenth season of ESPN's Hey Rookie, Welcome To The NFL.[3] Danny! would later make his first appearance on Sesame Street that same year.[4]

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";[5] GQ would later reiterate the same[6][7] regarding Danny!'s music production, which has since been placed in numerous television programs and radio advertisements.

Early life[edit]

Danny!, the only son of military parents,[8] 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.[1] Danny! would later start penning his own lyrics and eventually recorded makeshift songs primarily as a showcase for his production.[9]


2004–2006: Early beginnings, Charm and instrumental albums[edit]

After spending nearly a year networking with local artists, Danny! released his 2004 debut mixtape, now renamed The College Kicked-Out.[1] 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;[1] it was here that he began to work on his second project, F.O.O.D. The following year, 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 promote his production; within two years the sequels Dream, Fulfilled and Dream, Extinguished would also be released.

It's all people telling you to do this and that…[but] when you do what they say and it still doesn't work in your favor, it's like, 'well, I was fine the way I was'. You just got to keep moving. There's no guarantee for anything.
Danny!, on instinct and perseverance
(GQ, 2014)[7]

2007–2011: MTV, And I Love H.E.R. and Interscope era[edit]

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.[10][11][12] 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[13]—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 the year. 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,[14] would quietly distribute a revamped version of the album on iTunes.[15]

2012–present: Breakthrough, music licensing and The Book of Daniel[edit]

After the release of his third studio album Payback, the title track for Danny!'s previous record was featured in a commercial for Sonos wireless speakers. Long fascinated with music licensing Danny! subsequently signed on as a composer for MTV's internal Hype Music label[16] (later absorbed into Sony/ATV's Extreme Music label) and slowly transitioned into a more prominent producer role, 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 that Danny! was indeed working on a follow-up to Payback,[7] initially titled "Deliverance" but later changed to The Book Of Daniel after the book in the Bible. During the album's development Danny! appeared in Sesame Street's "Party Bus" video,[4] which featured an original remix of "The Wheels On The Bus" composed by Swain.


Studio albums[edit]

Instrumental albums[edit]

Production credits[edit]

Artist Song(s) Album Year
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 Remix)" Landing On A Hundred: B-Sides & Remixes 2014

Film & television placements/credits[edit]

Song(s) Where Featured Network Year
"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[17] 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[17] 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[18] Okayplayer 2014
"Check It Out" Nordstrom anniversary sale summer promo[19] cable and radio 2014
"Take Me To The Muddy Grass" "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" episode of Bob's Burgers[20] FOX 2014
"The Wheels On The Bus" "Party Bus" segment on Sesame Street[4] PBS, HBO, YouTube 2016

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Jeffries, David (2013-03-11). "Danny!: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  2. ^ Blotnick, Emmy (2012-09-21). "Danny! Performs "Evil"". NBC. Archived from the original on November 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  3. ^ Majal, Ahmad (2016-04-13). "'Hey Rookie, Welcome To The NFL' Has A New Narrator...Danny!". Danny! official website. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  4. ^ a b c Zimmerman, Sarah (2016-04-13). "'Danny! Joins The Sesame Street Party Bus". Danny! Official Website. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  5. ^ Carter, Kelley (2013-01-02). "Leaders Of The New School". Ebony Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b c Phili, Stelios (2014-03-05). "The GQ+A". GQ. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  8. ^ Jackson, Deborah (2009-03-11). "Military People: Danny Swain". Military Hub. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Dean's List: Hosted by Danny!". mtvU. 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  11. ^ Welte, Tim (2007-01-27). "Danny Swain Wins mtvU Contest". TV.com. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  12. ^ Stoehr, John (2007-01-28). "Local Student Wins MTV Award". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  13. ^ Howard, Jacinta (2009-04-28). "Don't Sleep On Danny!". Creative Loafing. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Danny! - 'Where Is Danny'". iTunes. 2011-05-17. Archived from the original on 2011-05-28. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  16. ^ Jones, Jeffrey (2013-04-10). "Hype Music: Roster". MTV. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  17. ^ a b "Where Is Danny? Featured In SONOS Television Advert". Danny!. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-07-11. 
  18. ^ "Just Blaze Interview". 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  19. ^ "Danny! Swain In Nordstrom Radio Commercial". Danny!. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-07-11. 
  20. ^ "Bob's Burgers Taps Danny! For Episode Soundtrack". Danny!. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-07-11. 

External links[edit]