Changing the face and sound of what we thought a violin was capable of Daniel Davis, professionally known as Daniel D, is no stranger to the strings, manipulating melodies that sheet music would only dream to dare capture. Playing to packed houses around the world, among the greats from all genres, finding inspiration in the unique normalities of music we hear, but he feels. Daniel D makes us feel as he does, so now it’s our turn to “strike a chord” with him. Showing us there’s more than one way to take a bow and receive a standing “O.”
WBM/AUTR: How old were you when you started getting involved in music? What song started it?
I started playing the violin when I was 12 years old, I never had a specific song per say but gravitated toward what was on the radio in the early 2000s.
WBM/AUTR: How did you find your way to the violin? Was it your first choice?
I actually took it up as a side class while in middle school, a friend and I immaturely took the class thinking there would be a lot of girls, which there were.
WBM/AUTR: Is there a message in your art that you’re trying to convey? How do you use the violin as your voice?
Yes, there sure is. I want people to see more than my talent, the passion I have for what I do. I want others to be inspired by the pursuit of my gift I think “well if he can do that, I can do what I’ve always dreamed of doing”.
WBM/AUTR: When did you decide you wanted music to be your career?
It was something I kind of fell into by the time I graduated from high school I was booked up working full time with my gift.
WBM/AUTR: Have you always enjoyed the art of music?
Before the age of 12, music wasn’t really something I thought much about. I listened to whatever all the other kids were listening to. At this point, I can’t even imagine going a day without it.
WBM/AUTR: How has social media impacted your career? Would you have achieved as much without it?
Would I have been this far without social media? I’m sure I would have found another way, but I won’t lie, it has nearly built my entire career from the very first, YouTube video all the way to the following I have across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The internet has changed the music industry a lot, while labels are suffering the independent artist now has a level playing field to achieve their dreams upon.
WBM/AUTR: Any loves, other than music?
I love to swim, the beach, traveling which kind of goes hand and hand with music, I try to stay fit (keyword try!) and other forms of art (going to museums).
WBM/AUTR: Any celeb crushes? Musically or otherwise.
Ha-ha, well that’s a tough one I admire the lengthy careers of many; but I can’t tell them by name.
WBM/AUTR: What’s the best advice you’ve ever given?
Given and received “Always stay hungry and humble”
WBM/AUTR: What kind of music do you listen to that fuels your creativity?
Many different types I love R&B, Jazz and some hip hop, but I have rock, funk, and folk in vinyl.
WBM/AUTR: What guilty pleasures (embarrassing) songs might I find on your MP3 player?
I don’t see them as guilty pleasures because somebody likes them, but I listen to some Justin Bieber and Madonna from time to time.
WBM/AUTR: Where would you most like to perform?
Honestly no specific venue, where there are those that love what I do.
WBM/AUTR: If you weren’t a violinist, what would you be doing?
Probably a pilot, I love to fly and still would love to learn one day.
WBM/AUTR: Do you play any other instruments aside from the violin?
I used to play the guitar but, now mainly violin and I can play enough piano to produce my own music.
WBM/AUTR: As a violinist you transcend stereotypical genre restraints that say a singer faces (from jazz, R&B, Contemporary, to inspirational), how does that help connect you to different audiences?
Being an instrumentalist is great because now a day so many artists are offending people through their lyrics, being that my music is most of the time without them it allows audiences of all types to connect with me/the music in their own personal way.
WBM/AUTR: Do you compose pieces or play by feeling? What does expressing yourself like that do for you?
I do, I sometimes struggle with playing songs I don’t feel connected to in some type of way, be it the lyrics, melody, or chords.
WBM/AUTR: Who are your inspirations? (as in other artists) out of them who do people most compare you to (if anyone)?
Boney James, Grover Washington Jr, Kirk Whalum, Usher, Trey Songz, Darius Rucker are a few of my inspirations. Each one has had an influence on me in a different way Grover Washington was an innovator of R&B music for an instrument, I admire Usher’s long career and the ability to reach the masses, Kirk was been able to keep his Faith in God while giving the world some great music. Darius Rucker is clearly breaking stereotype and records with country/folk music.
WBM/AUTR: What do you think about when you’re performing?
Honestly, when I perform I’m thinking the least I love to be on the stage because that’s when all the worries of my life go away for a short period of time, I’m in my own world.
WBM/AUTR: Are you open to more collaborations with other artists/ Who are some you’ve collaborated with?
While I’ve shared the stage with many different artists I haven’t been able to collaborate with as many as I’ve wanted to, I will say I would love to share the stage with Boney James again or create a project with an R&B artist such as August Alsina or Usher.
WBM/AUTR: What would you want to be brought to the forefront of social consciousness through your music?
While I don’t like dwelling on all these race relation problems we are having, I would like to have people see that not all young black males are popping up in people’s Facebook timelines holding guns and robbing people. We have talents and some of us use them for good.
WBM/AUTR: What else can we expect from you in the future?
I’m going to keep pushing through social media, more recorded music and projects will be released on iTunes, as well as more destinations to perform across the globe.
WBM/AUTR: Thanks, for speaking with us anything you’d like to say?
Thank you for the support and for reaching out.
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