Meet Duncan Daniels, Music Producer, Songwriter, Entrepreneur & Dad
Duncan Daniels is a singer, music producer and songwriter. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in England and Nigeria. Over the years he has perfected the art of bringing to life a diverse mix of afrobeat, pop, rock and RnB. He recently became a girl Dad too. Our reporter had a chance to chat with him about music, life and fatherhood, and below is what he had to say.
1. What is your full name?
Duncan Onyemuwa aka Duncan Daniels
2. Who is Duncan Daniels?
I’m a musician’s musician. A true creative in and out, I live, breathe, dream, eat music. I’ve been making music now for over 20 years, so you can say I’m a veteran.
3. Where are you from?
I am from Abia State, Nigeria by origin, and a US citizen by birth.
4. You have come a long way in the industry with your music. You are rated as one of the artistes to watch out for. How do you handle the pressure?
Working hard and never giving up, relishing the journey as part of the success.
5. Your latest album Afroeclectic dropped in February 2020 but due to the pandemic you couldn’t really tour and promote it, when are you planning to release another body of work?
I actually plan on revisiting the promotion of Afroeclectic, I also just released a follow up single titled “Fight for Your Love” it gained over 500,000 streams in its first 2 weeks and is really getting lots of traction with older and newer fanbase.
6. You recently became a Dad and also released a new song dedicated to your baby girl, can you talk briefly about the entire experience of being a father and how this will shape your music career moving forward?
Becoming a father is one of the best things that has happened to me. I have a renewed sense of purpose and now see life in a whole new way. ‘Taste of Heaven’ was recorded in my traditional rock/country format because that has always been the best way for me to express my feelings. The song speaks about fatherhood and how I am dedicated to the safe upbringing of my child. Before being a dad, I would make certain music moves easily. These days, I am more cautious about the impact my music moves and hustle have on my family.
7. Looking at how far you have come, and the success recorded, what comes to your mind now when you look at the rate the industry keeps churning out new artistes?
It’s always a good thing to see young up and coming acts break into this very saturated music industry, most especially the rise of Afrobeats has been quite marvelous to behold. I have been involved in music since the days of Plantation Boys and Style plus and it is really something, to see where the genre is in today’s music world. One thing I hope to see, is better control and distribution of royalties to music producers as well as collaborative musicians on these records. With the launch of the Spotify streaming platform in Nigeria recently, I hope this is something that becomes a focal point really soon.
8. Sometimes you appear as a Rock artist. Other times, you make commercial Afrobeats records. Which one do you find easier to do?
To be honest, making Rock or alternative Rock music comes more natural to me, however in the last 5 to 6 years, I realized the music I make is not just for me, so as a Nigerian I decided to start creating records that will cut across genres and people too, so that everyone who hears my music can relate.
9. Tell us about your greatest fear as an artiste and producer who has been in the game for a while?
I conquered that fear by becoming independent and owning all my masters. I always was afraid that I would need to rely on a major label to really make it big in music. That fear is no longer prevalent as I now control all aspects of my music as a business.
10. When you see some of the artistes who have ruled the airwaves but are no more relevant, how do you feel?
Well the fading away of fame is always going to be a constant in any occupation that is driven by popular demand. I always say, “Artists should always have a financial back up plan…..you can be as famous as Eminem, but every fame has its season. Once that’s over, it’s over….backup plan kicks in for those who have one”.
11. 2020 was a tough year for many artistes as there were no shows and events that could help them to be in a strong financial state. Some of them lamented badly. How did you handle 2020?
I will consider myself one of the lucky ones as very early on in my music career, I secured other various sources of income, so that I would not rely on only music revenue to make ends meet. I have always been a plan A.B.C.D.E.F.G.H type of person. I mean you must be, to survive these unpredictable times.
12. If you are asked to choose one which will you choose being a producer or just a singer/songwriter?
I will say Singer/Songwriter just because I can do this anywhere and do not need studio gear to write or sing a song hahaha. Sometimes I’ve written to other producer’s tracks. Production for me came as a necessity when I was young and could not afford to pay for studio sessions. I ended up learning to produce myself and then monetized that skill. I think I’ve done this for almost every need I’ve had. Learn how to do it myself then provide the service to others and get paid.
13. what should we look forward to from you this 2021?
I hit the year running with my single “Fight for Your Love” it’s out on all digital platforms. There is also a cool music video shot in Tanzania to the single. I am also working behind the scenes executive producing a few other Artist’s projects and really trying to scale up my Music PR company “Madison Ave Music Marketing”. Most importantly I am dedicated to being a very involved father to my daughter and husband to my dear wife. They are my most important priority.
Thank you Duncan, we wish you the best in all your endeavors.
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