words Hugo Fernandes - images courtesy of WMA
Seventeen year old Daniel Briskin is someone in the music realms you should most definitely know. With a candid approach to songwriting and a dreamy soulful voice, Daniel is one of those emerging artists whose charisma and uniqueness make him stand out in the crowd. His latest single ‘Come With Me’, is a charming, hazy track that exudes the perfect chilled-summer vibe. Born and bred in London, Briskin has been hailed a “low-key R&B prodigy” by Hunger TV, Daniel is someone to watch closely as the young creative soars into new heights.
We had the chance to catch up with Daniel between his Summer break and a vacation to find out a bit more about this young and undoubtedly talented singer songwriter whose heart is poured into what he creates. His music is approachable, honest, and captivating and once you press play, you cannot stop listening to it.
Hugo Fernandes: Let's start at the beginning; when did you fully realize that music was your calling? Daniel Briskin: So, from a young age I always loved music. I think it was being brought up in a household where music was such a constant that really drove me to start pursuing learning different instruments and working on my voice. I feel like when I was around 15 years old I started writing a lot and from that, I really started to realize that I wanted music to be my career.
H.F: Being a London-boy; how is it growing up in such a manic and multicultural city? What is the best and worst thing about it? D.B: I don’t really see a downside to living in a multi-cultural environment. Learning about its diversity and appreciating new and different cultures is a part of growing as a person. Though I do find that the fast-paced nature of the city can be somewhat exhausting, but I guess that by living in such a big city you have to learn to deal with it.
H.F: Does the city influence your creative process at all? D.B: Yeah maybe, I suppose that art is a reflection on life.
H.F: How do you think it influences you? D.B: I feel like without even realizing there are so many environmental factors that can affect you. So maybe subconsciously there’s an element of what London life is like that just gets printed in my subconscious.
H.F: What do you feel most inspired to write about? D.B: Real events. I like what I write about to be a reflection of myself cause that’s what draws me to the artists I love. When I listen to music, I wanna hear honesty. I don’t think it’s my place to tell anyone else’s story but mine.
H.F: On that note, besides the incomparable Frank Ocean; who would you say has influenced or inspired you the most as a young artist? D.B: When I was a bit younger I used to listen to a lot of Raury, but as I’ve grown in the last year or two I’ve really started to love a whole host of older artists. I feel like Childish Gambino harbors the same kind of soul as an artist from 30-40 years ago and has set a precedent for the detail that should be going into the making of a song.
H.F: Your latest single “Come With Me” has become our Summer Tune already. Everything about it sounds just right. Can you tell us what you were thinking/feeling when you created this one? D.B: I was listening to a lot of darkish retro sounding songs, and it just came together. I won’t say too much about the lyrics though cause I feel like that’s up to the listener to interpret, but I’ll just say that it’s real. Like I said before, I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell anyone else’s story.
H.F: What do your mates think about you being an artist and your music? D.B: From what I can gather they really like my music. I feel like from my mates and everyone who is close to me there has been generally a strong positive reaction.
H.F: If we press play on your playlist right now, what are we gonna listen to? D.B: I like to treat playlists like albums. With my playlists, I wanna be taken on a journey cause that’s what I feel like music should strive to achieve. The artists on my playlists are a ridiculously big range. I’d say a lot of the new Kanye, Joji and I really have a soft spot for Elliot Smith. I love him so much, he was just so expressive and he used his music to create a narrative.
H.F: Hunger TV has called you a “low-key R&B prodigy”. What are your thoughts on that? D.B: I mean, when I read it I was a bit overwhelmed. I personally wouldn’t refer to myself like that, but it’s so great to get such a good reaction. Especially from something that I put so much of myself into. It was so cool to be recognized by them in the first place, let alone receive praise like that.
H.F: This is a generation of quick feeds and instant fame, and that can be quite challenging to young – and older – artist; what would you say is the key thing to stay grounded and not lose yourself under the social media pressure? D.B: I feel like personally, I have a great team who is looking out for me which is definitely important. I feel like you also see the rise and fall of not even social media stars but people in the spotlight of mainstream media all the time. Checking yourself, knowing that you’re doing good and understanding that the decisions you make will not only affect you is all you can really do. It’s easy to get lost, but you have to remember that life isn’t about numbers.
H.F: What is your favorite social media at the moment? D.B: Instagram. I just like seeing stuff. It’s cool.
H.F: If you could create a Snapchat or Insta Stories filter; what would that look like? D.B: Not really sure. I don’t use Snapchat that much, and I’m not gonna lie I really don’t even know how to do filters on Instagram.
H.F: If you could sit down for a chat with three music icons (dead or alive); who would they be? D.B: Gustav Mahler although the language barrier would be a problem, might have to brush up on my German. John Lennon and Frank Ocean.
H.F: If you could visit one place in the whole world; what would that be? D.B: I’m not sure, I really like Vienna and central Europe is pretty cool, but I’m not really sure, to be honest. I don’t think I’ve been to enough places, and I’ve always wanted to go to Brazil.
H.F: Someone to take on a trip to Mars? D.B: I feel like me and my mum would have a laugh. I feel like I got my crazy side from her, to be honest.
H.F: One thing you cannot live without: D.B: I probably could not live without my phone. It’s really sad but it’s true. I feel like the millennial life revolves around technology and having the freedom to connect with other millennials from different cultures. I really wish it wasn’t the case but I mean, it’s pretty cool what you can do with a phone nowadays.
H.F: The one thing you could live without: D.B: I’ve never really thought about it. There are so many things which are more luxury than a necessity. I could probably live without half of my house, to be honest. As long as I could carry on making music I’d be fine.
H.F: How do you see this growing movement of young creatives coming out and making their talents known in the music, film, arts, and fashion industries? D.B: I think it’s so great. I feel like youth empowerment is so important. Allowing not even young creatives but just young people, in general, to pursue what they love is such a positive thing. It’s so great to see these people promoting a message of hope, it’s genuinely so inspiring.
H.F: Are you into fashion at all? We know you love your Raf Simons Ozweego 3s; besides that; how would you describe your style? D.B: I’m really into fashion. I see it as an extension of yourself, almost like an expression. What you wear is the first thing that someone else is gonna see, and based on that they can get a sense of what you’re like. I wouldn’t say that I have a set style though, I genuinely just love fashion. I like to have an eclectic style because it’s more interesting. A lot of brands nowadays present their clothes and garments as pieces of art and I feel like that’s somewhat true. Being able to showcase different pieces in cool and new ways is something that I personally love doing.
H.F: What is the best thing to do on a Sunday evening? D.B: Weekends are the only times I can really go out and do things, so I try to keep everything going till Monday morning if I’m being honest.
H.F: Favorite f-word: D.B: Freedom.
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Special thanks to WM