Posted On 10 Aug 2017
Born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Danny Padilla is a big-hearted teddy bear of a human who doubles as a musician and YouTube personality. Stemming from the world of covers, one of his greatest successes came when he and a friend decided to cover popular songs live whilst performing impersonations on the spot that the other was feeding them. This concept, which combined comedy and musical talent, gained tons of notoriety on sites like Reddit, Buzzfeed, and Facebook.
Danny has since expanded into original music (which is where his main passion lies) and original vlog (video blog) content. Though relatively new to songwriting, Danny wrote and co-produced three singles in 2016, all of which garnered recognition and praise from fans as well as industry professionals. His love for people and desire to make a difference in anyone’s life who’s willing to listen to him and his music is what keeps him (and will continue to keep him) going every single day. With an endless future ahead, he looks to change as many lives as possible in the best way possible.
“”Too Bad” is a song about realizing that after multiple years of being broken up with this person, you’re still hung up on them. Though this relationship was so unbelievably bad for both parties involved and I wholeheartedly recognize I’m better without it, I still can’t help but fall back into wanting it. I find myself choosing heart over brain like so many times before. Even worse, I’m mad at myself for still feeling so attached to the physical aspect of my ex-girlfriend more than anything else. She’s unbelievably beautiful, and after two years, I still haven’t been able to take her off of that golden chariot she’s on in my head.”
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Learn more about Danny Padilla in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
Thanks for having me! 2017’s been challenging, but in a good way! This is the first year where I’m financially on my own and away from my parents. I’d say that I’ve also started taking more risks musically while also really making sure to create only art that is real to my experiences and feelings. I used to censor myself a little bit and shy away from writing about the stuff that might’ve been a little more risque, but now I embrace it as a part of how life’s stories are supposed to be told.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
I’m in my apartment bedroom at my computer, and I was actually going through my summer Spotify playlist while filling this out! Right now, it’s Sabrina Carpenter’s new song “Why”, but I just finished listening to “Your Shirt” by Chelsea Cutler. I’m just shuffling through the music I’ve discovered within the last two months basically. While I’m working on anything that requires me to focus extra hard, I’ll listen to some film score or classical music because I don’t want anything with lyrics to distract me. If it’s less strenuous, then I’ll usually go through my “Discover Weekly” playlist on Spotify or one of my friends’ playlists in hopes of discovering new music.
Weirdly enough, I listen to sad songs when I’m sad, and it’s very cathartic. I guess knowing that other people share in a similar struggle with you is very comforting.
Growing up, have you always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I’d say so, yes! However, it went from one instrument to another for quite a while. In middle school, I was all about being the guitarist, while in high school I wanted to be in the back and play drums for a band. It wasn’t until college that I realized that I had the most fun being my own artist in which I sing and play almost everything.
The first musical memory I can think of was when my best friend of many years taught me “Smoke On the Water” on bass (which is super simple), and I proceeded to be so happy about learning something on bass/guitar that I played it for 4 hours straight.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I’ve thought about this quite a bit actually! I’d either get into the world of Talent Management of A&R, because I definitely think I have the skillset and passion to discover and manage other artists. Either that, or I can totally see myself getting into sports analytics or sports writing.
Can you remember the first cover that you posted to YouTube with your friend? What gave you both the idea to start doing that? Are you continuing to create these videos now or are you more focused on your original material?
We posted a cover of Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle” back in 2014, which gained a ton of traction on sites like Reddit and Buzzfeed. I think the idea came from wanting to really try something different in a YouTube sphere where so many people are trying the same thing. I knew Mason (my friend) was good at impersonations, and I thought we could create a good improvised concept in which we splice music and comedy together in a way that was unique. We still do those videos from time to time, but we’ve definitely focused more on varying up what we put out, and I personally have focused more on my original music career.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your home of Los Angeles as affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
Well I grew up so close to where it all happens for people. With LA being the center of the music industry for the most part, I was very lucky to not have to move anywhere to benefit from the connections and vibrant music scene the city has to offer. More specifically, I felt like I “grew up” in Manhattan Beach (a beautiful beach suburb in LA) and Isla Vista (my college town in Santa Barbara). The contrast of those environments really led me to discover what made my life experiences unique yet relatable.
What was the inspiration for your single, “Too Bad”? How did it go from being an idea in your head to a full blown song?
I woke up one day from a horrible dream in which I was desperately trying to convince my ex-girlfriend to get back together with me. This had happened multiple times in the last few weeks, so I sat down and wrote about what it might mean. The whole thing didn’t quite come together into a full-blown song until I matched the theme with the melody I had written a few nights before, which is the main melody of the song’s chorus. I had a basic recording of the main melody that I had sent to some friends to get their thoughts, but I had no real idea of what to use it for until I sat down and wrote about the fact that I wasn’t over certain parts of my relationship with my ex-girlfriend, despite breaking up two years ago.
When do you hope to release more new music and even a full-length album of new songs? Are you feeling particularly inspired right now to write new songs?
I plan on releasing music the moment it becomes ready for the world to hear rather than wait for an album for the most part. With that being said, I’ve got a song or two coming out this summer as well as maybe an EP coming out in September or October. This EP will most likely contain 5 or 6 of my songs I’ve already released as well as 1 or 2 new ones.
With regards to inspiration, I definitely feel inspired on the whole, but it comes in waves. I do make sure to capitalize on inspiration whenever it comes, though!
What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Do you have any tour dates currently lined up?
I’m planning on really working on my YouTube channel and upping my workflow by a lot. If I’m going to make strides in the music/YouTube world, I really need to work hard. I also really want to spend quality time with friends under the sun. We definitely want to utilize the beautiful weather!
I don’t have any tour dates planned, but once I get a few more songs out, I’ll definitely book shows in California, and maybe more around the country if things go well!
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Right now, I’ve been really inspired by some artists who really create sounds and feelings that feel different, yet so catchy. For example, some of my current favorites are The 1975, Jon Bellion, Ed Sheeran, Astrid S, Halsey, Dua Lipa, Chelsea Cutler, Flume, Chet Faker, and a ton more.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
While the overall message varies from song to song, I really want people to listen to my music and feel like there’s someone out there (me) who can relate to their problems and feelings. I really just want to make people happy in any way possible, which can come from writing relatable music that covers all emotions on the emotional spectrum.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
Any time during the songwriting process in which you have an opportunity to make something you’ve never heard before, do it. If you like it but feel like there’s nothing out there that quite sounds like it, embrace that uniqueness. One of the best ways to make yourself visible in a very saturated music industry is to ensure your music’s unique in one way or another. Everyone has that potential, but not everyone’s willing to take the risks. For any new musicians, I’d really recommend listening to as much music as possible. It’ll help you figure out what’s good about those songs, and you’ll be able to put that knowledge toward your own music.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Make sure to go check out my other recent singles including “Ally”, “Innocent”, and “Intoxication”. They’re all good in my biased opinion. I’ve also been producing an improv show on my YouTube channel called “Script Not Found” and it’s freaking hilarious! If you like laughing even a little, you’ll definitely enjoy the show. It features a bunch of incredibly talented improviser friends of mine as well as YouTube star special guests! Go and watch, you’ll thank me later.