Updated: Feb 16
Welcome back to another spotlight feature by the Rooted Minds Blog, where we connect with Artists and Entrepreneurs to learn about their journey and shed some light on the moves that they are making in their communities.
I personally love being able to connect with other emerging artists and learn about their journey to music. So many of us have very unique stories and approaches, so I think it’s important to highlight those moments and bring that content to our readers.
In this article we will learn a little more about Daniel Kobayashi. We talk about his latest releases and get some inside scoop on what he has planned for the upcoming release. We hope you learn something new and we hope to put you on to your new favorite artist.
Born in Phoenix Arizona March 2nd 1997, producer/singer song writer Danny Kobayashi has been performing since age 13. He is best known for his ambient-dark pop meets rock style. Many note him for his sleek cyberpunk inspired look.
His music often touches on topics such as identity, heartbreak, and mental health, all topics he endorses openly and feels particularly passionate about.
"I'm mostly inspired by the people around me and the events they caused as a result of their emotions. After my dad took his own life, I really began to look at emotions and people differently. Its important to address these things openly, especially for me." - Danny , 2018
In early 2017 Danny cultivated his Arizona based following when he released the ambient R&B record 'situation' - followed by a second darker record titled 'Russian', released in 2018.
Danny is also known for expressing an immense attachment to all things neon, anime related, and 90s cyber-punk esque. Visual ques and references from films such as 'The Matrix' and 'GHOST IN THE SHELL' can be spotted on his merchandise and Instagram.
"Few people know that I'm part Japanese, the art that I was exposed to when I was young from Japan had a huge effect on my creativity." - Danny Kobayashi 2017
Danny Kobayashi - Blue (Official Video)
1,873 views • Feb 12, 2021
Blue can be heard on spotify:
RM: Rooted Minds
DK: Danny Kobayashi
RM: Hey, tell us a little about your journey to music and how you managed to get to where you are today?
DK: I grew up in a musical household, when I was just in elementary school I learned all about music composition as a result of practicing the violin. All through high school I became obsessed with producing, recording, etc. As I got older, my obsession and love for production, pop culture, and music in general just never stopped, and now here I am !
RM: Who are some of your musical influences? Who did you grow up listening to
DK: Growing up, I got a mixed basket of music. My father was always into rock acts like black sabbath, pink floyd, the killers,Korn, and panic at the disco. On the flip side, my mother was always listening to Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, and even Jazz/Classical music. I actually ended up liking all of it, just as long as I could relate some how, but my personal favorites became pop music and hip hop. If I was having a hard day at school, or if I was feeling misunderstood, or even if I was just trying to vibe, I'd switch the radio on. I used to sneak my USB .mp3 player into class and bump Avril Lavigne while the teacher would drone on about fractions or something. Good times!
RM: Did you manage to stay creative during the madness of 2020? If so, what tips would you give other creatives looking to find their creative spark?
DK: Being creative in 2020 really became my 'anchor' so to speak. I didn't have much else to do, and performing was totally out of the question, so I started listening to all types of music, and revisiting old favorites of mine. I was very inspired, there's so much content out there! To creatives of all types: I guarantee you haven't seen all there is to see yet, get online, or go outside, get moving PHYSICALLY - find something that draws your attention, or makes you feel something, and just chase that feeling!
RM: Where do you typically pull inspiration from? What are your favorite topics or narratives to write about?
DK: Most of, if not all of my songs are about specific people or events that have happened. Very rarely will I make something up or let someone help me write a song. People often underestimate their own power and influence, and as a result dont realize all of the events they inspire. Each person is very unique in the way they move, talk, and express themselves in general. So typically, I'll write about my relationship with them.
RM: AFTERDARK came together very well (both the music and the writing) and so as you move forward to your upcoming project, in what ways is this one going to be different?
DK: Thank you! Afterdark was actually just a precursor of what my album 'INSOMNIA' will sound like. Truthfully, there will be a noticeable energy shift. I'll be working with the same producer, however there will be more deep cuts, and thoughtful lyrics. There will be a dismal amount of 'SLAPPERS'.
RM: What is the inspiration behind the title BETTER OFF and what are you hoping that listeners take away from your project?
DK: Better off is a nod to the original group of people who supported my music in early 2017-2019. I was in a band that played pop-punk inspired music, and garnered a small following of kiddos that really like that type of music.It's inspired by them, for them!
RM: What are your favorite things to do outside of music?
DK: I do all sorts of stuff - music is a large part of my life, but not all of it! I like taking walks, hiking, and as of recently, reading.
RM: What has been the most valuable piece of advice that you have received along the way AND what has been the best advice that you have given to someone (in your opinion)?
DK: Someone once told me to build a team, and stick to those same people. This honestly has changed my life! I once told someone to work on their craft without on looking eyes. That way, when you're finished, everyone will wonder how you did it!
RM: Think back to your best live performance, what made it so great?
DK: I used to perform at the monarch consistently. I rehearsed SO much - I even rehearsed that same day. I was also very well rested that day! Don't underestimate the power of 6 to 8 hours!
RM: In this new year 2021, what things are you hoping to manifest and build on?
DK: In 2021 I'll be hoping to release some of my best work thus far, and create immersive imagery that'll really leave an impression on people.
Danny Kobayashi - Blue (Official Video)
Feb 12, 2021
tik tok: dannykobayashii
Directed by Louie Cohen of Epidemic Media
Blog Notes from listening to AFTERDARK:
Alone - The initial reaction is that it gives us old school Weeknd vibes, which is a good and familiar sound. I enjoyed how he’s implementing his own flavor.
No One Can Judge Us - Some of the things that jumped out were that it gives us lofi, chill vibes, and catchy melodies.
Blue - Some of the thing that jumped out for me while listening to this song, the guitar sound was nice, gritty subby bass, Trippie Redd vibes, and the trap switch up.
Say Less - This song has a really nice groove and tempo. It‘s a fun beat, but it has real lyrics and something for the listener to really connect to.
Overall project thoughts, pretty cool, a nice vibe and great branding. Sonically the beats were really dope, I think his vocals have a nice tone and I definitely like the direction of the music and look forward to seeing how it evolves. The branding around the project is really clean and the website is constructed really well also. The YouTube videos for each song is consistent with his website and everything looks really well polished.
Art Work - http://dannykobayashi.com/gallery
Thanks for reading our latest feature on Danny Kobayashi, be sure to check out his upcoming release and pre-save it on Spotify, so that you are the first to listen. It's so dope being able to connect new artists to our readers and we really appreciate your support.
If you or someone that you know, deserves to be featured tap over to www.iamrootco.com/submissions and leave us some links and information. Again, we love connecting with up and coming artists and we'd love to cover your success story.
Check out more features at www.iamrootco.com/features
Subscribe to the I Am Root® Youtube Channel www.youtube.com/c/iamrootco1
More about I Am Root®
I Am Root® LLC is a Lifestyle Brand that specializes in events and productions for Local, Underground, and Emerging creative arts. The I Am Root® Collective is made up of 7 independent artists and a blog team whose mission is to inspire and be inspired.
We [typically] curate monthly and quarterly live music showcases, concerts, open-mics, special release events, and various specialty shows across Arizona. We have curated over 150 events here in Phoenix Metro Area. We work with local, emerging, and underground artists, the Maricopa Community College School District, Arizona State University Organizations, Non-Profit organizations and others to help push the culture and create a community for artists and art appreciators.
We are here to inspire and be inspired.
Peep our last feature with N.M.E Academy
More about Dom Root
I am from Inglewood, California, currently working in Phoenix, Arizona as a Sound Engineer (Live, Recording, and Mixing). I am a Music Producer and Creative Artist looking to build portfolio and for live performance opportunities. I graduated from Arizona State University studying Creative Writing and Philosophy. I later studied audio production technologies at Mesa Community College, before taking on more freelance work.
www.YouTube.com/dannykobayashi I Am Root®