We're back in action and this week we bring the upcoming Atlanta-based rapper, Daylan Gideon! He recently released a new project, "Lnem". We got to discuss all of it and learn more about him, from his influences to his upbringing in Atlanta and Bermuda. Check out a snippet of the interview on our IGTV / Youtube (above). Read all about him below and don't forget to listen to Daylan's new project!
To start off... Who are you? What do you do? For those who know?
I'm Daylan Gideon. Some people call me DG, whatever you want to call me. But, you know, I rap. I feel like I do it very well. Been doing it for some time now. That's pretty much the backdrop.
Before I continue, how has everything been? I've been asking artists that especially during this time.
Right now, everything is pretty cool. With everything going on in the world, you just got to be smart, be safe, protect yourself, but I feel as long as you're doing that, you pretty much good. I've been in the house taking my vitamins just being as safe as I can. I don't want it to stop me from doing what I got to do but I'll be good.
Ah good to hear, well, I'm going to dive right into the project, but first and foremost, how do you say the project name?
It's an abbreviation for "Late Nights Early Mornings". I was gonna put that in like on Apple and everything, but I feel like it's such a long title to so I just abbreviated it and I put it on the back cover too. I thought most people would have seen it but I have been having a lot of people ask me the same questions but that is what it stands.
So, what inspired you to name it that?
This was supposed to be the project name for my first project I was supposed to ever come out with but at the time, just being at the beginning of my career and just being human, you change every day you grow every day. So the title would continue to change and I ended up getting away from that title, but during quarantine, the first month was when I made this project. And I felt like I was spending a lot of time being up super late but then waking up early. And I feel like "late nights, early mornings" is pretty much to say you might have to be up all night and barely get any sleep and better your life, but it's gonna make your next day better. That's my whole thinking behind the titles like sometimes you have to have those late nights to make your next day better and it is what it is.
Were all of these songs created during this year?
The single "Big Raps", I made that song either late last year or the beginning of this year. I was supposed to put out an album. A lot of people think that this is my album. This is not my album. This is just a mixtape with songs that I felt like the world needed to hear right now. Then the rest of the songs I made during the first month of quarantine, I literally made the project in two weeks. We sat down for two weeks. I was with my engineer, my homie Joe was sending me a bunch of beats. He lives in Arizona, and he was sending me stuff back and forth. The first song we made was "Big Raps" but then we came back and started working again. I was like, 'yo, this sounds like really good. Let's keep doing what we're doing and keep this momentum'. Within two weeks, I had it. And I just sat and I was like, 'man, this music is really, really good'. And I felt confident and I never regretted it. Sometimes I'll make music and I'll be like, 'man, do I love this song?' But all of these songs I loved and I felt the world needs to hear these because of these all sound perfect to me. So that's when I knew.
I was actually really interested in learning about certain songs, especially "Blame Game" because I enjoyed the switch up nearing the ending. So how did it go about?
"Blame Game" is me just talking about relationships. I'm also talking about being your source of inspiration, being the person that you want to be. Sometimes you got to do stuff yourself. At the beginning of the song, I'm talking about "I inspire myself, I never needed no help." I'm pretty much talking about how now I got to this point, trusting my instincts but then through the verse, I talk about "women pointing fingers at me, tryna play a blame game. I know the truth hurts, we try to maintain. Deep down I know we all want the same things. I want money and woman. I want power and love. Man, this life ain't enough". I'm pretty much saying that women and men in general, sometimes we try to blame other people for certain things that happen in our life. But at the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We all want to be in love, we all want money, we all want power, we all want certain things. And maybe I made a mistake or a person made a mistake, that doesn't make them any different to me. And then the switch up was pretty much me talking about being by myself, my mindstate when I'm by myself and reflecting on some of the mistakes I made in my relationships or the mistakes I made in my life and it's me having a real intimate moment.
I like that a lot and I totally appreciate actually diving into the fact that we essentially all want similar things. So how about "None of My Business"?
"None of My Business" is me uplifting the women. "I see you getting money, ain't none of my business." Sometimes in life people always want to judge women about how they get money. I'm seeing all this stuff like OnlyFans and people talking about women stripping. It ain't none of your business. Whatever she has to do to get her money like we got to support it. I want my songs about women to uplift women. We have so many men in the industry that just be talking playing the heartbroken role or talking about this, and like let's lift the women so "None of My Business" was just me making a song like 'hey, shorty I see hustling. gets your money, but it was also me talking about certain things throughout the verses, just having fun. That was on a project I freestyled. I was in a studio, Astro Studios here in Atlanta. And I was just working and did a couple of songs. And that was the last song I made that day and my homie Nico, he made the beat and it just sounded so elegant. And I was like, 'man, let me just say the most ratchet, fun, uplifting thing I can on such an elegant beat'. And I just went in there, freestyled it and was literally laughing the whole time I'm making the song. And I played it back and I was like, 'bro, this is crazy, this is fire'.
I like that a lot, that you're uplifting women. Not a lot of artists that, whether they're upcoming or whether they're already like up, do that. So up big props to you for doing that, especially in the hip hop industry. So how was it being raised in Atlanta because I feel like it's a great place in relation to Hip Hop?
Growing up in Atlanta is crazy. I grew up in one of the worst parts of my county. Then I went to one of the richer parts of my county so I have literally gone from seeing crazy stuff to being around people with money so for me growing up in Atlanta, my experience was very different because I've seen everything. I went to a private school when I was younger. I've also been to some of the worst public schools. I've been to some of the best public schools. So I've seen so many different stuff growing up and, also, with my family, we're Bermudian. So I will go to school out here, and then my summers were spent in Bermuda. So not only am I going to school, out here, and I'm seeing everything out here, but then my whole summer is in Bermuda so now I'm experiencing a whole different culture than I am before and a lot of people would never see. If anything, it just made me who I am today because I got to experience so much at a young age.
Wow, so how were the music influences from Bermuda?
It's crazy just like a lot of reggae, a lot of dancehall. My mom was always playing that growing up in a house too. Bermuda is probably the best place in the world. If I'm keeping in a buck, it's the best place in the world. I go there and my energy's good. The family had to worry about nothing. I'm good. Everything is paid for. Everybody's real family-oriented versus out here it's a very dog eat dog world. Everybody's competing for something out here. Out there, everything is family-oriented, the music is just good, just summertimes and listening to reggae, dancehall or just having fun, being put onto different things I would have never heard. So would I say it influenced my music? I'm not going to go that far. But it definitely allowed me to hear different sounds that I would have never heard if I'm out there all the time. I would have heard some of them because my mom and I got put on a lot of stuff out there.
And it's very important to get that stuff. So, when did you first start making music, whether it's rapping in general or actually being in a studio?
I'm gonna just say the first thing that put me on music was my dad and my uncle. They were in a band called "Urban Grind". They were very big at the time and growing up, I'm seeing my dad and my uncle on stage. I'm usually Midtown and they opened up for OutKast, Beastie Boys, Kid Rock, like all these people. So I'm growing up seeing this all the time. And dressing up in my dad's outfits that he wore on stage, performing around the house, and stuff like that. As I got older, I'll be outside and people will be outside in the summertime but, the neighborhood I lived in, my parents they weren't really letting us be outside like that because it was just a lot of stuff going on so a lot of time I was just in a house watching Birdman, watching Diddy, all these people on TV and wanting to be like him. 50 Cent was another big person. As I got older, my mom found some raps. My mom was just talking about this the other day. She found some raps in my room and in the ninth grade I was saying the most out of pocket stuff. And she read them and was super concerned like the stuff I was talking about as a 13-year-old but I was just trying to copy Lil Wayne. As I got even older, I had a cousin named Flo, he was doing music and has some labels wanting to mess with him and his group called Buds. And I saw him doing it and I'm like, 'Bro, I could do this too' and I always wanted to rap. I just never knew it. My senior year, Kendrick Lamar put out "Swimming Pools" and I made a freestyle to it and nobody at the time was rapping so I took this to school. Everyone was like, 'bro, you sound like Tyga, you fire'. From then, I just kept going and here we are now like six years later.
Now, since you mentioned some influences, what are some artists that, whether you were raised listening to them or whether you're listening to them right now, that influence you?
My favorite rapper of all time is Dom Kennedy so if you listen to that project you could definitely hear the influence. Drake. I listen to a lot a Lil Dirk. Listen to a lot of Lucky right now, J Cole, Jay Z, of course, Lil Wayne. I feel like I'm forgetting people but I could tell you Earl Sweatshirt like I've been listening to a lot. I love underground stuff, like Earl. I feel like he does a great job but just giving me MF DOOM type feel. The mixes aren't too great but he's rapping and the production is just out of this world. But Dom Kennedy, Nipsey Hussle too, but Dom and Nip, I'll probably say inspired this last project but Dom specifically. I listen to a lot of Dom, probably my biggest inspiration honestly.
What about in a fashion sense as well because I see that you have a lot of vintage pieces. I'd like to know your inspirations in regards to that?
I'm one of the people that is always on the internet. I spend a lot of time searching. People who know me will tell you I have a problem. I literally am on Grailed all day, all night. I'm on websites looking at clothes all day. For me, growing up, there was a lot of stuff that I wanted but when I was younger, and my parents can get me whatever. It was just super expensive, you get what I'm saying. So now I have the money to do it. I just go back and try to find stuff from when I was a child. And it's a lot of new stuff too, but I'm just always on a hunt, on the search looking for new brands just trying to see what's gonna be next and be the first one to pull it out in a video or whatever. But as far as inspirations, my friends are the ones who I'll look at and I'm like 'bro, you're fly like, where'd you get this from'? We all play off each other and we just get fly.
As it should be when you think about it. To have that energy and uplift each other, is so necessary. So back to the project, "Lnem"... I wanted to learn more about the creative process in general, especially during this time.
Crazy. I feel like I'm making my best music during the quarantine because I had time to sit down. I've never had time to sit down and record every day. My life is hectic. I'm always on the go. I'm coming home, dropping stuff off, and going to the next place where I need to go. And before this, I was traveling a lot. So now I had time to sit down. It was beautiful because I got to write again. My first two projects, "Thanks for Waiting" and "4 my Dawgs", was freestyle. I freestyle everything. I didn't write a single thing. I went in there, freestyled every single bar. This last project, I wrote everything out. My album is coming out. I wrote everything so it allowed me to get more intricate and allowed me to get more in-depth and more personal because I had time to sit and process my emotions and my thoughts and really get my points across. Before, I was going in there having fun because it was I knew I only can record a couple of times a week so I have to make songs as fast as I can. This time, I could record every single day so I got to literally sit down and lock-in. Then, my homie Nico, the producer for the whole project he was sending me beats every single day cuz he had time to sit and work on beats. So it was perfect. I got to sit be still without distractions. And I'll say another thing. This is the first time that I've been working on music that I've been single. So a lot of times I'm not gonna say relationships distract you. I don't want to say that because if you find somebody that you want to be with, be with that person by any means. But when you have a relationship, you try to go on dates, you're spending money on a relationship, you are emotionally attached to another person. This time, I really got to go into it with a clear state of mind. I didn't have anything really stressing me out. I was just at ease, but I still got to talk about stuff that was bothering me in my past because I'm back to writing again. It was perfect. A lot of people have been complaining about being in a house. I love being in house before this. I was only leaving the house to link the homies, record, and travel. I wasn't in a club person or a party person. So this was perfect for me.
I love that, especially finally having time to actually process everything. But in regards to your album now, since you just mentioned that, how's that going? Is there a time or?
To be honest, the album is coming out soon. I'm going back to back. I don't want to give a date because I feel like when giving dates, you put pressure, but it's done. It's 100% done. Ready to drop. I had this done before I had my other project done. I just didn't want to put it out right now in this climate because I knew I needed different types of eyes and it was a lot of going on with the police brutality and everything. I was like, let me hold off on an album for now. So it's done and produced by my homie, EG. His Instagram is @nogutznoglory and he produced the whole thing and it's just me getting even more in-depth talking about my life, my family, religion, all types of things and it's ready to go.
Love to hear that. Definitely take your time on that. That's very important. So anything current?
Right now, I'm good we just shot "None of Your Business" video and that's about to drop this week. I got some radio stations stuff coming up soon within the next week so just more praise, more media. I'm just trying to keep it going. That's pretty much it. Just more music, more constant and I'm not gonna stop so another thing will come out. Just did a contest over the weekend and gave away $100 to a fan which was super dope. A lot of people tapped into that. I'm doing more giveaways, more merch on the way so a lot more content coming in. I feel like we got everybody sitting still and sitting in the house and I want to continue to put out content. I don't want to be one of the people who put out something, gets some momentum and attraction and you don't see them for two years. I already did that. So now that I got hundreds of thousands of songs ready to go, I'm letting the clip out.
Good, you may as well take advantage of it. Lastly, a question from the audience: "What music inspires you, or if not anything, what medium inspires you?"
New Music that inspires me... There's this new rapper named Mike. He just dropped a project. I'm listening to that heavy. Navy Blue, his album inspires me. Lil Dirk's new album inspires me. It's a lot of music coming out and I like listening to people who are telling real stories. That's what's inspiring me. Other than that, I'm so inspired by life, inspired by the doubt, inspired by the hate, inspired by the support, inspired by my friends. I got a great support system. So that's what inspires me.
Don't forget to check out Daylan Gideon on Instagram!
Listen to his new project "Lnem" here.