DAMIAN isn’t just big on positive energy, he is positive energy. Since he was little, the Mission Viejo native has always loved creative arts.
Furthermore, he’s always wanted to take his art and use it to inspire other people — of course, while exuding that positive energy.
His lyrics stem from real-life experiences, showing audiences they are not alone in this thing called life.
Now signed to Treacherous Records, the West Coast recording artist unleashed his debut single “Closer,” with a fire visual to match.
AllHipHop: How far is Mission Viejo from LA?
DAMIAN: It’s only an hour and 40 minutes. Bad traffic, 2.5 hours. I was driving 2.5 hours every day to get to the studio when I first partnered with Treacherous Records.
After a while, Tico and Mickey told me “we want to partner and move forward on your music.” I just bailed on Mission Viejo, left my childhood home and came up here.
What’s crazy is I had a girlfriend at the time, she was going to school and living with me. I let her live rent-free for a long time.
She graduated and got her degree in Advertising, now she has a wonderful job out here for an advertising firm in downtown Los Angeles. She said “I’ma do the same for you now. Let’s move up here, quit your job. Let’s get a place. Now you’re in school.” Now I spend my time doing this.
AllHipHop: Talk about your mantra: “build, create, inspire.” Why is it important for you to promote positivity?
DAMIAN: For me, I’ve been in that dark place before. Before I got my head on straight and fell into the belief of God and positive energy, I was in a real dark place. Getting to where I’m at now and being able to help my siblings, my friends, my peers with the things they’re going through based off the events I’ve experienced, it just showed me everything happens for a reason.
If you look at it the right way, things that might feel like the worst thing in the world can actually be the biggest blessing. You don’t know if you’re going to save the life of someone else you cared for later on down the road, because of that experience. My grandfather was a big advocate for the Philippines. His thing out there was to build communities, create and inspire other young Phillipinos to do great things with their lives. I took the same thing and wanted to do it to a bigger scale. I want to show the world: positive energy is key. There’s a lot of bad and good in all of us but if you learn how to focus more on the good, you know how to focus more on feeling and spreading that energy. You get caught in this rotation that truly feels like heaven on earth almost.
AllHipHop: What or who inspired “Closer”?
DAMIAN: “Closer” was inspired through some events that happened in my life, in my love life really. Before we moved up to LA (in my relationship that I’m currently in), I kept trying to push away my girlfriend. Because I knew it was real, I knew I’d do anything I needed to be successful in music. I just felt being in a relationship wasn’t realistic at the time. It affected my music because I wanted to be with her. I tried to leave her, I couldn’t leave her. Every time I tried, it was almost a bluff like I was faking. Eventually, I looked at it and went “damn, what do I do? I love this chick, but I love my music.”
I ultimately felt I had to choose one or the other, but then I had an epiphany. What if I just try to bring her closer and just do it together? That’s the crazy part about her schooling, she was a child development major. When we sat down and had this talk, she made the decision to switch to advertising so she could become closer to my music. That’s what inspired that song. When I wrote it, I’m like wow. Sometimes, you’re self-sabotaging what you have and what you need to do. Just be a little bit more open-minded and bring that individual closer.
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
DAMIAN: Kendrick Lamar. Anderson .Paak for sure. Miguel, I’ve been listening to a lot of him. His songs really just get me on a vibe. Frank Ocean, 100%. Moving into another genre, Jason Mraz. He’s hasn’t been around for a little bit, but I listened to him a s##t ton growing up and still do now. Just vibes. He definitely accomplished what I’m trying to accomplish, I feel good listening to his music. Sometimes his songs feel therapeutic to me, so it’s tight.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
DAMIAN: I’m excited, we’ve been working really hard. “Closer” is my first single, the video just dropped today. So far, the response is amazing. I’m grateful for everybody who’s been part of the process, grateful for everybody who’s supporting me. Grateful to be sitting here and meeting you today, having this interview. I hope everyone hops on with me. Build, create, inspire!