Award winning South African R&B/Soul/Pop artist Danny K recently stopped by our TRACE offices in Johannesburg, South Africa for an exclusive interview regarding his new album “Good Look” on which he’s partnered with Samsung Mobile in order to reach more of his fans.
A charming Danny walked into our offices looking as good as always. He might be known for his fancy suits that always leave him looking dapper but this time around he opted for a refreshing casual look which we still loved.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what Danny K thinks about the “Robin Thicke comparisons”, scroll down to read his interesting comment!
Check out our Q&A with Danny K Below
TRACE Urban: How long did it take you to complete this new album?
Danny K: I started working on the album in late 2012, around November. Initially the ideas behind this album were a lot different to what you hear today. I had written and recorded about 40 songs before I even got to the lead single “Brown Eyes”. After “Brown Eyes” I scrapped the old material and started all over again because I wanted to deliver something better than what I had planned out to do. So in total I think it took me 11 months to complete “Good Look”.
TU: How did you choose the artists you collaborated with on this album?
DK: I worked with Donald, Da Les, Reason, HHP, Brickz and Kabelo on this album. With Donald I wanted an artist who I thought would be challenging to work with. I mean we’re both two great male artists and we had fun in studio working on the collab. It was all good competition! Da Les joined me on a track titled “So Fresh”. This one was kind of easy because Da Les is known as “Mr Fresh to def”. The other guys joined me on the “Brown Eyes” remix and we worked incredibly well together.
TU: How different is “Good Look” from all your previous albums?
DK: Musically this album is very different. I went for a sound that I had never really done before and it worked for me. There was no pressure, it was pure fun and it’s a feel good album. Another different thing is the cover… I’m not on it! Well my body is but I used my dogs face just to be different.
TU: What inspired the “Jay-Z” Samsung partnership?
DK: I’m very proud of this deal with Samsung because I’m the first artist in Africa that they chose to try something they first did with Jay-Z and it’s doing wonders for the album, my fans and Samsung. Samsung smartphone users can download my app for free and also download one of the 20 000 digital “Good Look” albums up for grabs. The first 20 000 get it for free.
TU: How do you think technology and social media have influenced the music industry over the past decade?
DK: Man, things are so different now! It’s hard for artists and record labels to sell physical albums now. Everyone, especially the youth have all gone digital. They want an album on their phone, iPod etc. It’s less clutter and it’s easily accessible. It’s funny you ask that because not too long ago I was with my young nephews and I asked if they wanted a copy of my album and to my surprise they said NO! They’d rather have it on their digital devices. They don’t even own a CD player! [LAUGHS]. But times change and technology is a good thing, we just have to learn how to keep up with it in innovative ways.
TU: Are brands endorsing artists in the right way? Are they paying them well?
DK: Absolutely not! Local artists are still being ripped off because they sell themselves too short and make it harder for the next artist who knows their worth to get what they deserve from endorsement deals. We obviously can’t compare ourselves to international big name artist because it’s all relative and comes down to how influential you are but I believe we can do a lot better.
TU: You have a few product placements in your “Brown Eyes” video… Are you being paid well?
DK: Yes! Luckily for me, I know what I’m worth and I’ve worked with most of these brand s for many years and they understand my potential and the kind of market I attract.
TU: Now let’s talk about the “Brown Eyes” video. People say you deliberately copied Robin Thicke’s “Burred Lines”… Did you?
DK: [LAUGHS] Here’s the thing with that video… I wasn’t really involved in the conceptualisation of the video. I trusted the video director and his team and when they told me their concept I loved it. I hadn’t seen Robin’s video yet until after we had shot the video. I then called the director and asked him if he knew about the “Blurred Lines” video and he said yes and admitted that it was used an inspiration for the concept they sold me. Nonetheless, I love the video and it’s got everyone talking. I don’t think it would have been a big deal if any other artist did it but because Robin and I have certain similarities, it was easy to label me as a “copycat”.
TU: Define your sound…
DK: A lot of people know me as an R&B singer but because of the industry we are in, South Africa isn’t really warming up to R&B music so in order to survive I had to evolve and try other genres. Now I label myself as an R&B, Soul & Pop artist.
TU: You are forever looking dapper and styled well, who’s your style icon?
DK: Thanks to my sponsors “Tiger of Sweden” I’m always looking good in fitted suits. My style icon is David Beckham.
TU: How important do you think image is for an entertainer?
DK: Your style needs to reflect what you are selling. Image is very important and you need to stay consistent with it. That’s how your fans will remember you and love you as. E.g. Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga… You might think they are a bit crazy and extreme but they stay true to what they are selling and their image is always consistent to their brand.
TU: What are your thoughts on the current state of local music?
DK: I think we’re doing well. There’s always room for improvement but we’re definitely better than we were a decade ago. The industry is very competitive, the quality of music is improving and our artists are making waves in the rest of Africa and internationally.
TU: Who are some of the artists you would like to work with?
DK: Muzart, Reason (again but not on a remix) and producer Timbaland.
TU: What’s the one thing you wish you knew before you entered the music industry that you now know?
DK: You need to have a thick skin to survive. Self-love and self-motivation because there are so many people that will try to knock you down for no reason.
TU: And finally, what message would you like to send out to your fans, especially those who have been around since day 1?
DK: I am very grateful to each and every single one of them. They have become part of my family and I’ll forever be grateful for their support over the past 13 years. I hope they continue to support me. (Download my app and get my album for free… LOL)
Writer: Allegro Dinkwanyane
We are giving away FIVE copies of Danny K’s new “Good Look” album. To stand a chance of winning, answer this easy question below:
Question: What is the name of the track that Danny K and Da Les collaborated on?
Send your answer along with your details (name, surname, phone number, city, postal/physical address) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition closes Wednesday Dec 18th!