“Exceptionally soulful” and “seductive” are just a few of the phrases used to describe Dan Miz, the NYC based singer, songwriter, and producer. From early on, Dan was a self-taught drummer, using his musical inclinations as a springboard for mastering the piano, guitar, and the ukulele; by age 11, he already had “producer” on his resume. Being a NYC native afforded him exposure to some of the greatest musicians of all time, inspiring him to spend hours inside his home studio developing his own unique sound. The result was a sophisticated spin on pop music with endorphin-inducing tracks that reached 63k+ plays on SoundCloud and over 200,000 hits on You Tube.
In 2013, Dan released his first single, “Kiss You”, and amidst worldwide tweets, he began performing at various NYC venues. Dan has also played multiple outdoor events along the Jersey Shore captivating over 1,000 young adult fans with his magnetic vibe. Now at age 21, he has just completed his much anticipated first album.
With his unwavering vision, Dan uses music to share his life stories and express a deep understanding of human emotion. He is an artist who breaks boundaries by delivering his message through unconventional sounds. It is his uninhibited, natural abilities and his “feel-good” music that leave fans smiling long after Dan has exited the stage.
Hi Dan, thanks for releasing your new music for my birthday!
Well happy birthday! Guess it was meant to be. Wishing you all the best this coming up year.
Thanks Dan. You are self-taught in the instruments that you play, that is incredible, you play so many, did you start teaching yourself at an early age and how did you progress to where you are now as an artist?
I started off with a drum lesson at the age of 3 and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with music. The only formal lessons that I had were drum lessons. At the age of around 7 I picked up the guitar and piano on my own. The way I taught myself was by using my percussive knowledge to put together keys that made sense to my ear. I then figured out what each chord sounds like and after diligently working at it, I understood the complexities of all of these instruments. Once I figured the instrument side out, at the age of 12 I started writing music. I remember the moment and feeling of writing my first song, I felt relieved. That night, I wrote another 6 songs. Once that fell into place, I wanted to try to make music. So I took my piano and recorded it on a cassette player and I would then tap on the drums while singing; but something was missing, I needed to learn how to have that crisp professional sound. I then purchased a software which allowed me to produce music but it still didn’t sound right. I was so driven to make this work that I would stay up for hours and go into hibernation mode just to master this side of music. 10 years later, I’m here and able to say that I am finally ready to share the music that I’ve lived with to the world.
Your music is unique and fun to listen to. Would you classify yourself as in the pop genre with elements of electronic?
I would consider my music to be sophisticated pop. The reason for that is because on a production level, I am bringing in elements that are pretty unconventional for a pop song to have.
You do everything yourself, performing, recording and producing. How difficult is that for you, in the way that if that was me, I would keep changing my mind on what I thought was perfect.
It’s funny that you say that, I am the type of person who over thinks everything. I am such a perfectionist that if something is out of place it makes me go mad. But, music is different to me. I trust my natural ability to create and I know that music is art. I could spin my wheels for hours on one track, but there is a certain feeling when the song speaks to you and just says “Dan, I’m done”.
Are you open to working with others in the future or do you think that you will want to keep pouring you heart and soul into your music and doing it all yourself?
Of course, I would be open to work with people. We do have some great collaborations coming up in the near future and I’m excited to share more about those as they develop over time. Regardless of if I’m alone or with a fellow artist, I will always do my best to pour my heart and soul into the music that’s being created. Music happens to be one of the purest concepts and some times people forget how much love, care and devotion comes with making a song; which is totally cool because music is meant to be enjoyed.
Good Answer! I thought it was interesting that you don’t write your lyrics on paper, you record yourself singing and play it back. I can’t imagine that; I write everything I do on paper. Have you always written your lyrics like that? How long does it take for you to write a song generally in this way?
My brain happens to move faster than my hand for some odd reason. So I got used to writing music in my mind. I enjoy doing it that way as well because it seems a bit more open and free. Let’s say I’m cutting vocals for a track and in that moment I’m feeling something, I have the ability to say it because I’m not limited to a paper and pen. I would say it takes me 5 minutes to 100 hours to make a song, it’s really case by case. If a song doesn’t seem to be falling into place, I’ll let it breathe and revisit it in the future.
You hear chord progressions in things like the subway, that I cannot hear like you and you add them to a song that makes the song what it is. How do you do that?
The subway concept was a funny scenario. I was reading somewhere that when producing music you are supposed to create a space which allows the sound waves to flow. So, I took that concept and went to a station to record the sounds of life on the subway. I then implemented it into the song and positioned the key of that recording to match the key of the song. I hear keys and chords in everything and oddly enough I see them as well. When I make music it’s not just a sonic experience for me, it is a visual experience too.
The vision that you have for your music, for people to relate to your music and that your music can help people is admirable and worthy. Music is so formidable and I think that many people under estimate how it can influence state of mind and moods. Have you had fans contact you and share how your music has helped them? Can you share one with us?
Yes, people have told me that the music that I make hits a spot for them. Being that I am a new artist and don’t have so much out, it was great to see the results of how “Clouds” affected majority of the listeners. I am so excited to see what the rest of the music I release can make people feel. The songs always mean something to me but, when it’s time to put it out it is most definitely up for interpretation.
On your social media you have been teasing your fans with snippets of the album and released a single, ‘Clouds’ however this won’t be on the album. That is unusual, was there a particular reason for that decision?
The reason why “Clouds” isn’t on the album is because it was a song that was made after the whole album process was completed. It is also a part of a collection of singles which will be released this year. That being said, this track was made so spontaneously that the second I finished I said, “this must go out before anything else!” I was feeling something in that moment and little did I know, I got a positive response which made me ecstatic and thankful.
‘Clouds’ is an elegant song that uplifting but has a dark side, Can you explain this to us?
That is correct, I believe that in darkness comes light. If something is going wrong, one can easily open their eyes and see something that is going right. I was going through an internal struggle trying to succeed and I said, you know what their is something positive in that. The fact that I have something that is pushing me is a bonus in itself. So, I decided to make a song which had a gloomy meaning with a uplifting production element.
What are your plans after the release of your album?
Right now my main focus is releasing singles which will lead up to the album. “Let It Go” is coming out on February 17, 2017 and I’m looking forward to it. We should be releasing the album this coming summer. My plans after that would be to create more music, play shows and grow my relationships with the people who are supporting my music.
I wish you all the best for 2017 Dan.