After spending his whole life balancing school, athletics, and his personal life, singer dnny has turned his focus to his music career. In his second single, “way wrong”, dnny worked with Xuitcasecity, a hip-hop duo from Tampa, FL, to tell the friend zone story, but with an upbeat twist. The pop song’s melody is infectious and will have you humming along in no time.
As a young and emerging artist, dnny has many upcoming projects and singles scheduled for the upcoming year that will guarantee to impress. I got the opportunity to chat with dnny about “way wrong” and his decision to turn his attention to music after performing a balancing act for so long.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration behind your single, “way wrong!”
dnny: The song stems from a real experience I had with a girl who’s a super close friend of mine. It’s all about trying to figure out where she’s at and whether I’m way off with all the signs I feel like I’m getting from her. A good old friend zone-or-not-friend zone kind of song.
What was it like working with the duo, Xuitcasecity?
It was so amazing. I think their verse perfectly encapsulates the idea of the song, which is not easy to do. I’ve looked up to them for so long, so to work with them now is just unreal. But yeah had a fantastic experience working with them.
Was it easy to mix your pop music style in with the hip-hop that Xuitcasecity brought?
I definitely have a lot of hip-hop influence in my sound as well, so it wasn’t very difficult to merge our two styles. I think we’re actually similar in the sense that we both would qualify as “pop” but have lots of hip-hop elements in our records. It really felt like the perfect fit.
How is “way wrong” different from your first single, “villain?”
I think “way wrong” is the next step, the next building block on top of “villain”. It’s a bit more vulnerable conceptually, and we took more risks with the production than we did with “villain”. As I grow with my audience, I hope to evolve and try different things, which is what we did with way wrong.
You attend Belmont University and played D1 soccer, how did music factor into your education? At what moment did you realize you wanted to become a singer?
Playing D1 soccer while being a songwriting major was pretty crazy. I think I was (and still am) the busiest person on the planet. My whole life, I’ve always had this dual identity, but I’ve always known that my true passion lies in music. So I quit soccer my senior year to launch my brand as an artist, and it gave me a lot more clarity.
Tell me about balancing school, soccer, making music, and your personal life. If you could do it over, would you change anything?
I’ve really learned time management skills. I literally schedule out all of my days just to make sure I get around to all the things I know I need to do. I definitely wouldn’t change a thing. I think all of it has shaped me into who I am now. So yes, I could’ve done some things better or been smarter, but I don’t really think that’s the point of growing up.
Have you ever doubted your choice to pursue music? If so, what’s kept you going? Who’s been your biggest support system?
I’ve never doubted it because it’s so clear to me that this is what I need to be doing. My family is my biggest support system and I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. Any accomplishment I achieve or goal I reach is a direct reflection of them and all they do for me.
You’ve spoken about your closeness to your family. How has your childhood and upbringing impacted your music?
My family has instilled in me all the values that I carry with me today. So, everything I write about in my records, everything I represent as an artist, and all that I aspire to do is because of them. I understand how lucky I am to have my family, and I never take them for granted.
If you weren’t pursuing music, what would you be doing?
I’d be in the sports field, probably a personal trainer or something like that. I actually work at Orangetheory Fitness right now and am hoping to eventually become a coach. I’m super passionate about athletics and healthy living, so if I didn’t do music, I’d just pour all my energy into that.
Do you have any exciting forthcoming projects that you can tease? Any music videos in the works?
I’ve got lots of new music coming out this year; lots of singles that I’m super excited about. Definitely some video content too, so be on the lookout!
If you could give young aspiring artists one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be you and don’t doubt all that you’re capable of.
Any last thoughts?
Check out “way wrong” and come see me live at Exit/In on 5/24!
Feature image courtesy of dnny