Everything that Daniel Allan has achieved in his career so far has been defined by an obsession with music production and one of the most ferociously dedicated work ethics you will ever come across: something Daniel contributes to being the son of immigrant parents who came from nothing and had to strive for everything.
Last year Daniel Allan became a celebrated Web3 pioneer when he took an innovative route to fund his latest release, taking his career into his own hands by establishing himself as one of the leaders in the music NFT landscape. Daniel created waves with his 2021 EP “Overstimulated” which caught the attention of publications such as TIME Magazine, where he was dubbed as creative for working on a new lifeline for independent musicians.
Now Daniel is back with a fresh single, Chasing Paradise, a collaboration with celebrated indie-electronic pop duo slenderbodies.
Connect with Daniel Allan on Instagram | Soundcloud
Thanks for talking to us today – how has the first half of 2022 been for you?
Happy to be here!! It’s definitely been the craziest and busiest year of my life but at the same time the most exciting one. Pretty sure I’ve made the best music of my life this year which feels great.
First of all, we want to get to know you “from the beginning”. How did your history with music begin?
I grew up in Louisville, KY with Ukrainian immigrant parents. They did their fair share of music growing up, but I don’t really consider myself as someone who grew up in a musical household – even though I took piano lessons as a kid it was definitely more of a regimented educational/athletic upbringing. In second grade though, my brother gave me his iPod classic and from that point on I started to explore my own musical rabbit holes.
For you, what is the magic of music? The thing that makes it such a big part of your life?
I think, for me, it’s just the versatility of situations you can play music or work on that makes it so cool. If I’m feeling bad, I listen to/work on music. If I’m feeling great I listen to/work on music. There really is a unique song for every feeling and that’s always been the magical part of it to me.
Your new single Chasing Paradise dips into a few different genres – r&b, electronica, even pop – do you think about genre when you’re producing?
For this entire EP in particular I just wanted to create whatever came to mind kinda disregarding genres: I definitely wanted Chasing Paradise to feel a bit electronic so I could play it shows but really wanted to preserve some of the organic textures of some of the other genres I’m into like indie and pop.
The video is stunning! Where did you shoot this? Was it a challenge to get everyone together in such a spectacular location?
The video was shot at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego. Max from Slenderbodies lives there and yes – it was definitely a logistical nightmare to get all of us in the same place. We got super lucky that the beach wasn’t busy on Labor Day weekend AND Benji (the other half of Slenderbodies) happened to be in San Diego too. They were on their last day of rehearsals before the tour and I’m super thankful I could borrow them for a few hours.
Chasing Paradise is the first single from your new EP… is this the vibe we can expect from the rest of the tracks on there?
Not entirely – when we first sent this EP out to a bunch of friends they all had different favourites on the project. And in a lot of ways, that’s really cool to me! I love that each song occupies its own sonic pallet and hope listeners can appreciate that too.
We have to ask you about NFT’s as they have been a big part of your career… do you see them as the future in terms of artists being properly remunerated for their creations?
I think we are moving in the right direction. I’d say that right now we are in a very experimental state – people are running a bunch of projects and learning publicly. The tech is there and waiting to be unlocked and by virtue of experimentation we’re getting closer every day.
What does your current studio setup look like? Lots of hardware, or are you a mainly ‘out of the box’ type guy?
It’s funny – for a while, I was really into synths and got a few for myself. But after getting the OP-1, the Prophet, and the Moog Sub37, I’ve ironically come all the way back around to being back in the box primarily. Where I’ve been needing out recently is the recording hardware set up – I just got a BAE 1073 and a Distressor and it has entirely changed the nature of my recordings.
What is the best advice you ever got as an artist?
Oof this is tough because I’ve gotten a lot of great (and awful) advice in my career.
One that stands out is one I got when I first moved to LA. I tracked down a really big writer in the IG DMS and got on a phone call with him. He was writing for some of the biggest artists in the world and I asked him what he did to get in rooms with them and he told me that instead of focusing on trying to get big cuts, I should just focus on the people around me and build with them. Eventually one of them will be a huge artist and you never have to force that kind of a working relationship at that point.
What does the rest of 2022 look like for Daniel Allan?
I’m dropping music for the rest of the year. I’ve been sitting on so much and couldn’t be more excited to keep sharing the different sides of my musical taste!!
Chasing Paradise is out now on Too Future