Beyond the Record: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you come from, and some insight about your music career this far.
Dan Tha Jeweler: Thanks for having me! I’m originally from Pearl River, NY but I live in Richmond, VA for now. I’m still just a guy who records in my bedroom and I’m happy to have people listening and actually enjoying the weird songs I make in the middle of the night.
BTR: There are a lot of artists out there that take their time coming into the music scene, or find out later in life that they have a love for music. Where would you fall on this spectrum? When did you start creating music?
DTJ: I discovered my love for music when I was around 9 years old, I believe. My voice was ungodly high pitched and I had a very noticeable speech impediment, so I couldn’t say my r’s or l’s. It was my brother’s friend, who was also a family friend, Luke’s birthday and I didn’t get him a present, so my brother and I decided it would be really funny if I sang horribly over all of his favorite songs to ruin them for him. It started becoming a thing so I did that for a few years, but then I started listening to Beck, Moby, Radiohead, etc. and wanted to start actually making music. I don’t think I got decent until like last year, but it’s been a really fun ride so far!
BtR: And aside from that, when was it that you really started pursuing a career in music?
DTJ: Once Kyle Thornton moved to Boston to go to Berklee. When he started making more connections, he started referring people to me for design work. I started building my clientele for designs and slowly building relationships so then I would throw it in like “oh by the way I am making an album, would you like to be a part of it?” and some people said yes and some people said no.
BtR: Over the years, you have cultivated a large dedicated following with a significant amount of listeners on Soundcloud. What is it like knowing that several thousands of people are tuning regularly to hear your craft?
DTJ: It’s incredibly bizarre, there are so many more talented artists who deserve that attention than I do. But I’m not complaining about it. Ever since I just started making music specifically for what I like, more people started to relate to it. Which doesn’t sound like it should make sense, but it’s how it worked for me.
BtR: How would you say you managed to accomplish such great success in your career? Can you give younger fans a few tips?
DTJ: Just be a nice person. Whether you want to get into the music industry or really any field, perfect your craft and work on it all the time you can, that way you find your unique style, and if you’re a generally nice person, people gravitate to you and then you can make things happen. It’s also important to know your value, but that comes after perfecting your craft.
BtR: Everyone has a story. My viewpoint is; all artists are businessmen. They create, produce, and then get out in the world and sell themselves. Take us to those lowest of low moments in your career and personal life.
DTJ: My lowest point in recent events was probably the end of 2015, I got fired from a job that I held for over 3 years, my parents moved out of state, and I was trying to find a place to live. I got a little too into forties and drinking in general and I was always in an awful mood because I was stressed out. I released one song at the time called “Levitate” and it was basically just me angrily voicing my frustrations, and some people found it dope, but most people didn’t. It’s a really selfdestructive cycle, but then I eventually found a place to live, got some new jobs, but more importantly focused on bettering myself as person. A lot of this upcoming album “Fijis & Forties” is from late 2015-today, as a reflection of overall.
BtR: On the flipside, take us to your greatest succeses. What is it that you overcame? What are some career/personal highlights?
DTJ: Honestly it’s probably been the past few months, I do a lot of design work for my friends and people I look up to. Like I designed the social media banners for Migos’ Culture release, which really isn’t that big of a deal, but I am super proud of it. And I know that as an artist, I am supposed to be like “oh, my new album is the best one yet,” but it really is. I partnered up with my friend Jason Dietz of Nor Cal Recordings and he mixed and mastered the whole project, and it really brought a whole new life and level of professionalism to the record. I think that allowing other people to help me on the project was one of the biggest things I overcame musically, because I am very self-conscious as a musician, so letting someone hear my raw vocals when they don’t sound good to have him make it sound so much better was a big step. I’m really glad I did it though.
BtR: Can you give us some insight on your new album? Give the readers all the little details and even about the recording process if you can.
DTJ: “Fijis & Forties” is kind of a weird concept. It tackles a lot of issues, like my battle with depression, losing a relationship I was in for a few years, weird stories about getting back into meeting new women, and materialism. Lately I’ve been growing an increasing disdain for capitalism and the materialistic culture it provides. I used to try to buy things to make myself feel better, so those concepts are in there too. I won’t give all the details, so y’all still have to listen to it, and hopefully enjoy iy.
BtR: Why did you burn rolex and yeezys on your latest promotional video?
DTJ: It has to do with the whole anti-capitalism, anti-consumerism motif. People say work hard so you can have nice things, but nice things don’t make you feel better. You can still be severely depressed with a Rolex on, you can still feel alone while wearing Yeezys. Material things aren’t bad, they just shouldn’t be the main focus of your life.
BtR: Why do you use the hibiscus emoji on social media?
DTJ: I started using it back in November, just because it’s a beautiful flower and I felt like it brightened up posts and it was wildly under used. But now Drake started using it for his More Life project, so just know I did it before him, he definitely got it from me haha.
BTR: One last question before you go. Where can we find your music?
DTJ: You can find me on Soundcloud, Youtube, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, etc. Fijis & Forties is coming out April 20 on all platforms. I have two versions of the album, one for Soundcloud and one for the rest of the streaming services. So be on the lookout for that!
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