Who is Danny Seth? In short, Britain’s modern-day rap ambassador. Danny is a member of the lofty Last Night in Paris collective, who has built a cult following and caught the attention of respected players for his undeniable lyricism, and a commanding method of attack over his impeccably trapped-out production.
Every time Danny’s been covered, it’s been prefaced by this aside that he happens to be a Jewish white boy—but he’s about to change that. Danny has spent the last two years laboring away at his forthcoming Perception album, ready to stake his formidable claim in the US rap world, not as a British rapper, but as a rapper, period. That said, Danny never once tries to discard his origins, or be something he’s not, because he proudly represents his British roots. The point is: just listen, to the content and quality of the music, and then try to tell me you don’t fuck with Danny Seth.
While Danny was in LA, he invited me to hang in the studio, and before we had the casual convo that follows, he gave me an exclusive sneak peek at Perception. I was completely blown away. Danny constructed such an impressive narrative, so aware of himself and the times that I dubbed it as, “the most relevantly innovative body of work.” It’s like if the best aspects of Drake, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Kanye, A$AP Rocky, and Travis Scott all came together with a UK edge. If you’re finding this hard to fathom, then you can understand the profundity of what Danny’s accomplished here.
EARMILK: So, I’m just going to ask you a few questions about your career and music, but I really just want to get to know you…You’ve already done numerous interviews, and it seems that they all just ask you the same, generic things…
Danny Seth: It’s so true. Thank you, I’m glad you want to be different.
EM: Let’s start with the basics, though. When did you first start writing and recording? Did you always feel hip-hop was your calling?
DS: Well, I was a DJ from when I was about 16-17…I was always writing, but I never really told anyone about it…I really got into it when I was about 19, that’s when I took it seriously. And the rest is kind of history, I suppose.
EM: PreSpliffs Vol. 1 and Vol.II pay tribute to Lil Wayne and Clipse. Are there particular artists that inspired you for this new project?
DS: Um, I think I was looking too much into things then, and for this one, I’m taking influences from everyone…shit I like to listen to, shit I respect in the cut…I want to bring back real music that I like…old Kanye, real strings and real songs. Anyone can make a one-hit wonder nowadays; I want to show that I’m here to stick around.
EM: That leads to my next question…What values are important to you as an artist and as a person?
DS: I think just stay true to yourself, and don’t lie. The Internet will find out everything. I’ve never chatted about gangster shit, moving dope, and strutting guns…I think just being myself and being real has got me to where I am…Please god, get me further.
EM: What is the concept or message behind the soon-to-be released Perception album?
DS: Everyone has their own perception. I don’t want you to make a certain perception because of what I look like and where I’m from. I want you to base it on the music. I didn’t want to force this upon people like, “This is the greatest thing I’ve done,” but it’s more like, “Yo, what do you think?” The Internet has so many ways to get at people, and spread your perception…and views. I want to let people choose.
EM: The rap world is currently infatuated with this type of ATL, stoner, ratchet rap…do you think this will grow or fizzle? Where do you see the hip-hop scene in the coming decade?
DS: That’s a very good question. I mean, I have an Achilles heel for the ignorant, ATL rap scene…I lived there for 2-3 months, worked with some dope people like Curtis, Two-9…and I fuck with that…it all has a place in my heart. I think there’s always going to be space for bangers and shit…people wanna let loose and do what they want.
EM: Exactly, everyone likes to hate on ignorant music, but you need ignorant music…
DS: You can hate on it, but at the end of the day you need it…to keep shit fresh…I love J. Cole, but I don’t want to hear J. Cole in the club. Do you know what I mean? So, the Internet’s opened up so much…there’s so many of these one-hit wonders, I can’t even keep up. I think in a decade…there’s going to be way more variety than there is now. I’m fucking white and English, I don’t know how much variable it can get. Look at Lean, for instance.
EM: Your music has already garnered quite some accolades, namely in the US. You’ve had a stellar year, collaborating with producers like JGramm and Eric Dingus, putting out a hit with G-Eazy and Ferg, and landing on the radar of one of your idols, Pharrell…What are your goals for the future and for 2015?
DS: Wow, that’s another great question, thank you. Well, I guess just make a name for myself…You mentioned so many other names in there, it’s like, I don’t want no comparison…I just want it to be like, look, there’s Danny Seth, not Danny Seth who was on this and that. I’d love to work with Ye…you know, the main guys haha. Right now, I’m just leaving all options open, putting my head down and keep making music.
EM: Last one about your career/music, and then we’ll talk a bit about who you are. Do you have any pre-show or after-party rituals?
DS: Nah, I don’t drink or smoke before a show actually, cause I might get a bit nervous. After, anything goes. That’s my motto. But before, I kinda keep chill, take it serious.
EM: Alright, so, when you’re not making music, what are you usually doing? Playing FIFA, popping bottles…What would be the perfect day to you?
DS: Hahaha, when I’m not making music…you know, if I had a day off, I’d probably go to a spa, get a nice massage. I’d chill out, really like to take care of myself. I’d be with my boys, play a bit of FIFA, smoke a couple doobs…but, making music is my favorite thing. I enjoy that the most, but if I’m not doing that, yea FIFA…Oh, and I do like to go out too, I do like to turn up for sure.
EM: There’s always a place for that.
DS: Haha, always…especially in LA.
EM: What would you say are some of your virtues and vices?
DS: My flaws in music…well, I’m way too picky, like I don’t rap over anything.
DS: Yea, unless I’m hands-on with it or curating it…
EM: I think you have to be hands on now…I recently just had my first Ableton lesson, and it took a lot of the magic away…I feel very “sus” about how much is ripped and sampled vs. actually created.
DS: Yea, It’s crazy. Other flaws…I shop too much.
EM: What about strengths?
DS: Putting my city on the map, being taken seriously in the rap world and the US…other strengths…I mean, I’m not strong at all, I’m pretty weak hahaha…as a person, not on the inside. I just don’t pump weight…Haha. Hm, idk, that’s a difficult question.
EM: I noticed that your birthday was a couple weeks ago. What did you do to celebrate?
DS: Haha…I can’t really say what I did to celebrate…hahaha
On Danny's birthday, he was the one who gave the gifts. To hold us over until Perception comes out, he dropped $$$. Danny raps over Kanye's "Devil In A New Dress" and Wiz Khalifa's "Gang Bang," in remixes, "Act 1" and "Act 2," respectively.
EM: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
DS: Oh, well, I can’t bend my right thumb…I haven’t been able to bend it since I was 13.
EM: Ah, look, so I’m double-jointed…but one drunk night at Taco Bell, I fell on my thumb, and now I can’t bend it all the way back…it actually “fixed” it and made it normal haha.
DS: What? Hahaha. That’s crazy. I shut mine in a car door, and now I can’t bend it at all.
EM: What is the most memorable experience you’ve had this year? Any particular moment of catharsis?
DS: Hm…I was on set yesterday…Omg, I gotta show you the footage of this…so the whole thing is, I’m sitting in the car, and it’s rolling, so I have to take my foot off, and I have to hang out the side…and my foot caught underneath, and I fell out…I hit my head, I was this close to getting my head run over by the wheel…and it’s all on the drone…like the drone flew in next to me, as I’m next to the floor. Haha.
EM: Whaat?! This was all recorded?
DS: Yea, so this might come out…maybe, in the exclusive…You know, funny shit happens in my life everyday. I live my life by laughing, I think it’s really good…You live life longer.
EM: If there were a movie about your life, what would it be called?
DS: Perception, for sure…or Prostitutes.
EM: Or both? Haha. Alright, are you familiar with that viral “Starter Kit” meme?
DS: Haha yea.
EM: So, what is in the Danny Seth starter kit?
DS: Haha, um, the earring…the haircut…that I can say? Hm, I like vodka…
EM: Last question: Weed, women, or wifi?
DS: Wowww, fuck…Well, ok, weed I can live without, I stopped for two years…Women, I definitely can’t live without…but wifi…then, I can have porn haha. Definitely, wifi, then.
Danny Seth's highly anticipated Perception album is expected to release early 2015.
To close, there are only four more words left to be said: “The British Are Coming.”