London-based rapper Dan Josiah unveiled his new single “Weathering The Storm” on January 9th.
Produced by Kolja Dominiak and Dan Josiah, the hip-hop record delivers an inspiring message about overcoming depression.
After the release of his heartfelt single “Shadows” released in August, the 24 year old rapper focused on writing and producing new music as well as developing his own independent label GMG Records with the support of collaborators and artists DC De Angelo and Kolja Dominiak.
His new single “Weathering The Storm” is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself. What’s your story?
Well, I just turned 24 which was a landmark in my life really, a lot of the dust from my life has naturally settled and I just feel more grown up, it’s weird, I felt it happening around 3 months before my birthday. A lot of what my dad used to say to me about getting older is sinking in, and I’m just enjoying growing and maturing as man. Music has always been a part of my life, I’ve been creating since 7 years old, I’ve developed skills to rap, produce and engineer. I rely on my ear for music to really guide me through whatever I’m working on, but DC inspired me tune into the rap a bit more, he pulls the lyricist in me out on the tracks we work on. But overall I just like creating so sometimes making a beat, or rapping on a random beat or my own thing, whatever I feel at the time.
When did you start feeling connected to music?
To be honest, it’s the only truth I could rely on for a long time, I knew what I was hearing from an early age and would listen and write music to make sense of life as I found everything else confusing. I’ve recently opened the door to the spiritual path which is a bit weird, because I know the lengths you have to go to really make the journey are a lot, I don’t feel I can do that and music at the same time so I’ve kinda pulled back from that a bit.
Growing up, was there an artist or any particular song/album that had a huge impact on your life? Why?
I’m a massive Jigga fan, I like The Black Album and The Blueprint especially, those albums spoke to me when I was young, just the colours of the beats and the way he told his truth is sick. Same for Kanye’s first few albums, he’s got great taste. Nowadays I more so listen to 70’s and 60’s soul and blues, like Bill Withers, Otis, Stevie etc. I like to flip those songs and sample them sometimes too. But overall I love music man, all good and honest music from a place of true creativity I can appreciate.
When did you write your first song? What was it about?
Haa I was 7 and I wrote a 16 bar about Pokemon.
Tell us about the first beat you’ve ever made. When was it? How did it sound like? What did you learn since then?
I don’t remember when it was but it was definitely wack, I must have been in my early teens. I’ve just learned how to execute what I think my beats sound like a bit more, they definitely sound closer to my intentions nowadays. I take hella long to finish beats sometimes though, I just like to leave it open for something great, if I got a dope loop I’ll sometimes just leave it until I hear something else to drive the direction of the track. Then again, sometimes I’ll finish a beat in 20 minutes, it depends to be honest.
Could you tell us about your latest single “Weathering The Storm”? What’s the message behind this record?
Me and Kolja did this track in 2015, I went to his house in Worms, Germany and we did some sessions, this is one of the best songs that came out of those 2 weeks. He had the beat prior to me coming out there, I just re-arranged it a bit, added the female vocal sample and wrote the bars. I think he made me re-write my first verse, so the verse you hear is different to what I initially done. That guy is a genius man, he hears where the track is supposed to go. I’ve been holding it for a while, as it’s definitely a sentimental one for me, it really helped me through depression at the time so I kind of kept it to myself. Fast forward to late 2017, after releasing “Shadows”, it felt like a good song to follow it. YOUSEF (Video Director) did the lyric video for it, and really brought it life, he gave it the right visual colours and design.
Describe us your creative process. How do you usually work? Do you start with the lyrics or the music?
I start with the beat 98% of the time. Occasionally, I’ll have pre-written bars to start an idea but usually the beat drives the song for me.
You already released a couple of songs. Which song are you the most proud of so far?
Definitely “Weathering The Storm”, but I like them all.
You are mainly working with DC De Angelo and Kolja Dominiak. What are the things you are looking for when collaborating with artists?
Well, these guys know what they are doing, they both produce and DC is a rapper too, Kolja has also started rapping now in German. They’re just dope man, they both have good taste and a deep profound perspective on how they create, so we all share that in common.
You rap, write, produce and also work on your label. How do you balance all that?
I’ve had to do a lot of stuff myself, not by choice but just by lack of other options. But you just gotta go in the direction that you want to manifest, on whatever scale that may be. I’m open to collaborating with the right people for sure, but you can’t force it so I just do my own thing regardless.
What message would you give to your younger self?
I don’t know man, just stay true I guess.
What keeps you motivated?
Just growth overall, whether that be music, money, health or whatever, I just want to keep growing.
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