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Introducing: d4vd on trying everything + his song 'Here With Me'.

Introducing: d4vd on trying everything + his song 'Here With Me'.

Without the process of perpetually developing and evolving, d4vd would've never found himself. The Houston native spent early days making music in his sister's wardrobe finding out both what he liked and what he didn't. Planting the seedlings of what was to come, he began with a piano track 'Run Away', and soon after, creating drill music. While d4vd still doesn't believe he has found his sound, he's insistent on never ruling anything out when it comes to his music. On giving aspiring musicians advice, he shares: "You really just have to try everything and just let the instrumentals... just let the ideas speak to you. Don't form it to a specific lane... just try everything." 

He assigns characters to each of his songs both visually and sonically, and perceives music as a safety blanket for experiences he will endure in the future. With heart-wrenching songs like 'Romantic Homicide' and 'Here With Me' in his catalogue, d4vd is not unfamiliar with preparing for the hard parts of life - he explains: "I've never been through a heartbreak before so most of these heartbreak songs I'm writing are in preparation. I overthink a lot so I write most of these as like, 'This is going to happen soon so why not just express it now?'"

We spoke with d4vd about learning about yourself through the process, writing mental life stories for strangers, trying everything and more... 

COUP DE MAIN: I'm super interested in the way you got started with teasing music in Fortnite montages? How did they gain traction from that? Were your viewers asking, "What is this song?" And you were like, "It's mine!" 
D4VD: I just put it at the end of the video, like there was this black screen and I was like, "I made this song, happy face emoji, link in description." It was nine months ago - November 2021. I didn't put my song in a montage until January though because I was trying to hone in on my sound, I went through a lot of trial and error those first two months in November and December. I made 'Run Away' which was a slower kind of piano indie track, and then after that, I started doing drill music - I devolved and evolved in the span of a couple months. And then I found myself.

CDM: Someone in the comment section of your video for 'Romantic Homicide' very aptly said: "When you’re happy, you enjoy the song. When you’re sad, you understand the song." 
D4VD: The lyrics, yeah! 
CDM:  You've seen this comment? 
D4VD: Oh yeah! I read them all! 
CDM: Is the music always understood best when you're feeling the same emotions of the song itself?
D4VD: Yes! I mean, you can understand any emotion, but I feel like when you resonate and connect with the song the most is when you really start to delve into the song itself and take out your own interpretation of it. With a song like 'Romantic Homicide' where it really just is the lyrics, it's very easy to understand them.

CDM: Do you always feel like you learn something about yourself once you finish a song? 
D4VD: Yeah, I do. I've never been through a heartbreak before so most of these heartbreak songs I'm writing are in preparation. I overthink a lot, so I write most of these as like, "This is going to happen soon so why not just express it now?" Whenever I'm making love songs etc, I try to think of the other side. There's two sides to everything so I try to cover the entire thing. If I have a story like 'Here With Me', it's a love story - I'm like, 'What if that never happened? And what if the outcome was this?' So I make sure there's two song opportunities and I'm not just writing around one side of it.

COUP DE MAIN: With the world at our fingertips today, and the ability to connect with people instantly - is boredom dead?
D4VD: Oh, definitely not. I'm homeschooled so I definitely know boredom. I think it's pushed creativity forward in a way that you just sit with yourself and your thoughts are just going. I can only speak for myself, but you just sit with yourself and your thoughts are moving but you're not physically. That allows for so many ideas to be articulated in a way I feel like if I was constantly doing something, I wouldn't have time. Especially when I was in public school, I had so many things to do that when I was able to sit down, that's when I was most active mentally and idea-wise.

CDM: Do you have a lyric that you've written that you feel most proud of? 
D4VD: "I'm locked inside your chest / I'm trying to kill you slowly," I love that lyric so much. I don't know why but I do. So many layers in that. 

CDM: In 'Here With Me' you sing, "I wish I could live through every memory again / Just one more time before we float off in the wind" - is it ever possible for two people to remember an event or conversation the exact same way? Or do we each have our interpretations of how something happened?  
D4VD: Everybody has their different interpretations of how something happened for sure. There's no way two people can remember the same event the same way because you're two different people looking at it with two different eyes and two different mindsets. Even if you were there at the same time, same place, each person will take something different from the situation. 

CDM: You've discussed how you grew up strictly listening to gospel music for majority of your life - how do you think that has affected the music you create now?
D4VD: I don't think it's affected it idealistically as much as vocally because I always looked up to my choir members. Especially when I was in church choir, I was just looking up to them and vocalIy I was like, 'I need to sing like that!' And then when I started listening to other music, I was like, 'You don't even have to know how to sing to build songs.' But now I'm using the vocal runs and using the techniques that I stole from them. <laughs>
CDM: Do you think they will have listened to your songs?
D4VD: I hope! Maybe! 

CDM:  In terms of your songwriting style, do you find it easier to write from your own experience? Or write from something other than yourself? 
: Both just as easily. I write poetry a lot. I remember I was in London this past week, I was just seeing people while we were driving past, and I'll complete somebody's life. I'll see a guy walking to work with a briefcase and I'll describe his walk to work, I'll describe his getting home from work, I'll describe his commute back home - I'll just describe somebody's entire life not even knowing the person. But I feel like it's easy to write both ways because you have to have multiple perspectives to be a writer. You can't just have one specific bias towards art - writing is essentially art so I feel like it's easy to write both.

CDM: Do you feel confines when being labelled to a certain genre? 
D4VD: I try not to box myself in. I want the entire d4vd brand as a whole to be like the d4vd genre. People say, "Did you find your sound?" I'm like, "Nah!" I try new things every day so it's just interesting to see where I can take my voice, or even the production next.

CDM: In 'You and I' you sing, "I dream about you and I / But why do I even try?" - do our dreams always have a deeper meaning? Or are they just our brain simply processing information? 
D4VD: I definitely do think dreams have multiple different meanings. I think I need to start writing mine down, to be honest. It's so weird and it's euphoric in a way, but they definitely do. I'm not sure how or what they are, but definitely.

CDM: You once said that every song to you is a different character - do you see these characters more visually or sonically? 
D4VD: Both actually! I see it as different people singing those songs, different people making the music videos - just separating myself in the songs as if it was a different artist. I told my mum a couple of months ago, when I was just listening to my music by myself before I would put it out, I will listen to it as if I didn't even make it. So I can grasp a new perspective and a new way of thinking whenever I would go to make another one. 

CDM: What does a perfect day look like to you?
D4VD: A perfect day would be inside my sister's closet recording for 24 hours straight. I've yet to be able to record for 24 hours straight.
CDM: No eating no drinking, just recording! 
D4VD: Maybe water! I just want to see what it's like because I've played video games for 24 hours straight. I've streamed on YouTube for 24 hours straight, but I've yet to record for 24 hours straight.
CDM: That's your next mission.
D4VD: Yes, that's bucket-list!

CDM: You also work a lot on Bandlab and were self-taught on that platform - is there a piece of advice you could give to up-and-coming artists navigating music production today? 
D4VD: I would say: try everything. There were some times where I would look at a specific instrumental and I would try to go about making a song in a way that I think would fit whatever I was thinking, but you really just have to try everything and just let the instrumentals... just let the ideas speak to you. Don't form it to a specific lane because everything is so subjective that you can merge different sounds, so just try everything. 

CDM: What can you tell us about upcoming music?
D4VD: There's gonna be a lot of it, but a specific thing I could tell you about upcoming music... It sounds really good. A lot of different stuff. A lot of new sounds.

Watch the video for 'Here With Me' below...

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