Rising Star Daniel J. Dunn Unveils the Heart and Soul Behind 'I Don't Need U': From Toxic Relationships to Triumph, His Musical Journey with Rock Veteran Mark Haze Lights the Way!
By Underground Press
Published Tuesday, 06 February 2024 08:00
Embark on a musical odyssey with Cape Town's dynamic 17-year-old sensation, Daniel J Dunn. In this interview, Daniel unveils the inspiration behind his debut single 'I Don't Need U,' a powerful anthem of self-love and independence, featuring renowned South African Rock Musician Mark Haze. Dive into the depths of Daniel's musical journey, from childhood influences to the exhilarating collaboration with Mark Haze, promising insights that resonate with both young and seasoned music enthusiasts. Join us as we unravel the story behind the beats and explore the transformative impact of 'I Don't Need U' in this compelling interview."
Stream ‘I Don’t Need U’ by Daniel J Dunn featuring Mark Haze from Friday 9 February on all platforms
Q: Daniel, could you share how your early exposure to music through your father shaped your passion for it and when you realized that music was your true calling?
"My dad has always been passionate about music, and he's always kept us around music, including my mom. They've always exposed us to different music and genres, and in school, I was in all the choirs and eventually joined a professional children's choir, ‘The Tygerberg Children's Choir.’ I think I've always dreamed of music and singing being my thing."
Q: Your music is described as a blend of Pop, R&B, and Trap. Can you elaborate on how artists like Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly, and Melanie Martinez influence your unique sound, and how do you weave these influences into your musical style?
"My music is a fusion of different artist styles. Ariana's Pop and Trap influence caught my attention, particularly her catchy pop tunes with lively trap beats. Learning from Tori Kelly, Ariana, and others has shaped my skills in vocal runs and riffs, an ongoing journey. Melanie's unique style in singing, fashion, and distinct music creation stands out. Maybe in the future, I'll find more inspiration from her for my music."
Q: 'I Don't Need U' is a compelling anthem about breaking free from toxic relationships. What inspired you to write this song, and how did the collaboration with Mark Haze come about? Could you share the story behind the song and its personal significance to you?
"Self-love definitely inspired the song because I had to learn to love myself, and now it's such an important thing to me, and I want to send my future fans and listeners that message of self-love. Our paths crossed on New Year's Eve during Mark's performance. Fast forward a year, I got in touch, shared the demo for 'I Don't Need U,' and that marked the beginning of our collaboration. Mark isn't just an excellent producer and musician; he's also become a good friend. Grateful for the opportunity to work alongside him."
Q: What attracted you to collaborate with seasoned musician and producer Mark Haze on 'I Don't Need U'? How did you approach working with such an established artist, and what did you find most enriching about the collaboration?
"Before I met Mark, I had always been conscious of who Mark is and his music and career. I adore his mad vocal range and amazing guitar solos and instrumentals, and when I met him, I just knew he was the guy I wanted to work with, and from then, he's been such an inspiration and has helped me so much in this music journey."
Q: You mentioned seeking advice on songwriting and experimenting until you found the right melody. Can you delve deeper into your creative process for 'I Don't Need U'? Were there challenges, and how did you overcome them in your inaugural venture into songwriting?
"One night in 2022, as I sat in bed attempting to write, I felt stuck and unsure where to begin. I reached out to my close friend GIOSUÈ, a fellow singer/songwriter, seeking advice on starting the songwriting process. Following his suggestion, I picked a direction, and within 15 minutes, I had crafted a verse and chorus. Huge shoutout to my friend; I'm truly grateful for him."
Q: Considering it was your first time using professional equipment, Daniel, what aspects of the recording experience stood out to you? Were there moments that solidified your passion for music and songwriting during the process?
"It was my first time recording in an actual studio space, and the whole process was really cool, and I definitely enjoyed every moment of it. At one point, I really thought to myself, ‘yip, this is what I want to do for my life.’"
Q: The song emphasizes themes of self-love and independence. What message do you hope listeners, especially young audiences facing challenges in toxic relationships, take away from 'I Don't Need U'?
"Self-love! Self-love is the number one thing I want listeners to take from this song. Coming out of a toxic relationship can feel awful, but one thing we should learn after overcoming that is to love ourselves and tell yourself “I don’t need them to feel happy or to feel loved.”
Q: Looking ahead, Daniel, what can your audience expect from your future collaborations? Are there specific themes or genres you're eager to explore, either with Mark or in solo projects?
"I can't wait to meet new people and new artists and make some friends in the industry. I look up to a lot of South African artists, and maybe someday I'll get to work with them. But for now, I'm going to keep working and growing."
Q: As you embark on this musical journey, Daniel, how do you envision your sound evolving in the future? Are there particular genres or styles you're eager to explore and incorporate into your artistry?
"In my musical journeys, you can anticipate a variety of sounds and stories. I'm dedicated to crafting music that resonates with different facets of life, and I'm eager to unveil more for you. There is still so much room to grow."
Q: In conclusion, Daniel, what final words do you have for your growing fan base and those discovering your music for the first time? Any messages of inspiration or anticipation for what's to come in your musical journey?
"I've been dreaming about this moment since I was a child, and I want to say, if you have a dream, don't let go of it. I know this is only a release, but it's already a milestone for me. So, keep dreaming until it becomes a reality."
Thank you, Daniel J Dunn, for sharing your story and music with us. To our readers, dive into the musical world of Daniel J Dunn and Mark Haze – a journey that promises inspiration, strength, and an unforgettable sonic experience. Stream 'I Don't Need U' and let the music speak to your soul."