(AllHipHop Breeding Ground)
danny G has created his own lane as a flow-pop artist, combining his love for hip-hop and pop and adding his own flair. Originally from Colorado but currently based in Nashville, the rising artist creates meaningful records that the masses can relate to.
The 23-year-old is the second oldest in a tight-knit family of 4, whom he spent a lot of time and was very close with. With everyone extremely active, doing sports and outdoor activities, danny was the only musical child in the bunch — in his own words, a “special thing he did.”
Mainly occupied by playing baseball, basketball, and soccer in high school and seen as “the jock guy,” it wasn’t until the choir that he realized music was his biggest passion.
Come 2019, danny decided to pursue music professionally once and for all. With his own niche following on TikTok, he releases his newest single “lose my cell phone,” pairing it with a challenge to his fans to put their cell phone down, even for a day. The goal is to celebrate mindfulness by reconnecting with yourself, without the accompaniment of modern technology.
AllHipHop: Who were you listening to growing up?
danny G: Growing up, it was Andy Grammer, Jack Johnson, Gavin Degraw, The Fray, those guys. Things that were on in my house. Now, it’s definitely changed a lot now. More Russ, Surfaces, and Kid Laroi.
AllHipHop: You’re from Colorado, when did you go to Nashville?
danny G: Nashville was college, I went to Belmont. That’s when I did songwriting at Belmont which was really cool, songwriting was my major which is super unique. I also played soccer there. Moved to Nashville was about 4 years ago, I’ve loved it a lot.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize you could do music for a living?
danny G: I’ve always loved it. I’ve always known it’s what I want to do. January 2019 is when I really started to lock in, putting all my time into music. I wasn’t playing soccer anymore at that point, and I realized if I put all my focus and had that athlete’s mentality that I had on the soccer field into music I could really make it work. So since 2019 I’ve been all out, working hard every single day. That’s allowed me to grow and continue to learn every day.
AllHipHop: Can you describe flow-pop for us?
danny G: Flow-pop is that thing genre in between pop and hip-hop music. I was a singer first. I wasn’t really rapping until college. Flow-pop will usually have more of a melodic hook, then the verses will be very rhythmic. The production’s more hip-hop leaning. So yeah just that fusion of pop and hip-hop because I’ve always fallen right in the middle of those 2. I’ve definitely started to find my own sound within flow-pop, but as a general definition flow-pop is that middle ground between the two genres.
AllHipHop: What does a song like “lose my cell phone” mean during this time?
danny G: “lose my cell phone” was super special for me, it addresses mental health and the impact technology can have on that. It’s very timely since a lot of people are going through their different things during quarantine. This song is me stepping out of my comfort zone because I’ve always been an optimistic person. Typically my songs are very uplifting, and positive. This was a very honest, raw, real song for me, which is definitely a step I’ve been wanting to take. Mental health is super important to me. I’ve had my share of things I’ve gone through and I want to help other people and putting out a song like this opens up that dialogue and conversation.
AllHipHop: How’d it feel recording this record and being able to use that as a coping mechanism?
danny G: It felt great, music’s definitely been my best coping mechanism. There’s healthy and unhealthy ways to cope with anxiety. I found with music and writing it out, expressing it through melodies and words is one of those healthy ways. It felt like me. Sometimes you write songs to write songs, I was writing this from my heart.
AllHipHop: How often are you on your phone?
danny G: Quite a bit, I’m trying to limit it more. I try to limit myself to a few hours. It’s hard with marketing yourself as an artist because it’s work sometimes when you’re on Instagram. But I can definitely still limit that time and cut it down. I’ve always found when I’m away from my phone, I’m feeling the best.
AllHipHop: How much of a role does TikTok play in your career?
danny G: TikTok’s been really cool, it’s newer for me. I hopped into it during quarantine. Back in March is when I started grinding on TikTok. It’s a platform for me that I’m able to be my full, unedited version of myself. That’s translated into some real fan connection and some real followers that would come out to shows who I’ve gotten to know and would really ride for me. Instagram feels a little more polished, a little more network-y. Tik Tok feels very raw. Right now we’re at 60K and it’s climbing pretty quickly. Really cool to have real growth and real connection with people.
AllHipHop: Talk about the challenge you did with fans to put their phone down.
danny G: On TikTok, we’re trying to get it trending. It’s going well, there’s over a thousand videos. Someone shares their screen time, then you duet the person that shared it, and share your screen time. Everyone can open up and be honest about how much time they’re spending on their phone, compare it to others. A fun little thing. Being honest about how long you’re on your phone and posting it on Tik Tok for everyone to see is a cool thing to do. On Instagram, we’re launching a similar thing, sharing how much time you’re on Instagram, TikTok every day. Spreading awareness, it all ties into the mental health so it’s opening that conversation.
AllHipHop: All your other records are more positive, how’s it feel to step outside your comfort zone?
danny G: It definitely feels nerve-racking, that in itself gave me a little bit of anxiety. But it feels like what I’m supposed to be doing because ultimately, I want to share my message and help people. Putting out this song was definitely a step in that direction. You put out songs because they’re good, catchy songs, but this song I put out because it was a part of me. It feels different. it feels special. It’s what I’ve wanted to be doing for the world.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
danny G: I need water to stay hydrated. I need snacks because I get really hungry. When I get too hungry, I’m thinking about food instead of making a song. I need a guitar, that’s a good one because guitar’s my main instrument. A lot of times, I’ll lay out the chords before we do anything. So yeah water guitar and snacks.
AllHipHop: Talk about your recent collaboration with Travie McCoy from Gym Class Heroes.
danny G: We made a song called “Long Live,” which was super cool. Travie’s really inspiring because he came down to Nashville and got in the studio with me. That was the beginning of this year so I had a lot less going on, he was so humble. Asking me if I liked what he’s doing, a really cool experience to learn from him. No matter what stage you’re at, be humble and respectful to anyone no matter who they are.
I like that song because youth is a big thing I push: being young, free, innocent. Travie’s definitely older than me. It’s really cool for him and I to come together on the hook: “long live the youth of me.” It’s cool for 2 people in 2 completely different points to sing that message, a powerful one for sure.
AllHipHop: Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
danny G: I want to ultimately have the largest platform I can have. I know what I want to contribute and offer, and how I want to help people. I want to continue to grow a following that’s really connected to me and my vision, a following that knows I’m there for them. I’ll be putting out a whole bunch of music. I want to grow not for the sake of growing, more for the sake of helping people and being there for my fans. So yeah I’m looking to just keep getting bigger, and keep having this message be on a bigger scale so that something like “lose my cell phone” could help even more people.