Daniel Sherman, a singer, songwriter, storyteller, percussionist, and rapper from Livermore, California, is constantly working to exceed his listeners’ expectations. Sherman describes his music as “genre-switching” and “genre-fusing,” and he won’t stay in one particular sonic environment for too long. He blurs distinctions and pushes them aside, and is most renowned for his intricate fictional plots and sincere, emotional lyricism.
Daniel Sherman entered a new chapter in 2021 when his solo career reached a new height. The genre-defying artist released a number of works, including his independent debut solo album UNCAGED, a story-driven, horror-inspired record aimed to confront and challenge predictability, and the experimental alternative hip-hop tune “What You What,” produced by Mike Shinoda. As 2022 approaches, Sherman has promised to give his fans his most varied year of music yet. He has already shared with his fans a hip-hop track created in collaboration with producer Giovanni Piazza, a new music video from his UNCAGED. storyline (with a second installment promised soon), and two remastered rock songs posted to his YouTube channel. Chronicles of a Calloused Heart, Part 2, a 4-song folk-inspired EP, is the latest addition to his record and continues to broaden the artist’s musical horizons. Fans of Imagine Dragons, Half Alive, Twenty One Pilots, Grandson, Missio, NF, K Flay, Dermot Kennedy, Matt Maeson, AJR, Judah and the Lion, etc. need look no further!
The first brand-new work by Daniel Sherman since joining Hendrickson Studios. In this EP, Sherman lamentsably reads from a collection of short stories in which he attempts to put his life back together following a traumatic event that made him shut off to the outside world.
Daniel makes sure that emotions are at the center of every step of his artistic approach. Every song starts in the iPhone’s notes app, where the emotions are broken down and metaphors and poetry are used to try to understand them better. The first places where the emotions are given voice are on the piano, the vocal chords, the ukulele, and the drums. The process of producing melodies allows the emotions to express themselves fully for the first time. Emotions are let loose on the stage and in the studio. Check out the latest lyric video & the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how it all got started?
DANIEL SHERMAN: I’m from Livermore, CA! I got my start as the lyricst, drummer, and co-vocalist for the band Crowned In Chains, then eventually branched into my own solo stuff.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
DANIEL SHERMAN: I went to drum lessons for a few years, but in most ways, I’m self-taught! I’m all about taking risks and messing it up so that I can get it right the next time.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘DANIEL SHERMAN’?
DANIEL SHERMAN: I grew up listening to my brother’s music and discovered Linkin Park and other bands in that genre, but as I grew older, I kept branching out. Today, in addition to Linkin Park, I’m inspired by Twenty One Pilots, Kendrick Lamar, AJR, NF, K Flay, Matt Maeson, Dermot Kennedy, and the full Kidz Bop 20.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
DANIEL SHERMAN: In terms of sound, my music is unpredictable. With every project, I tackle a new genre / soundscape. The common thread across everything is the emotion and storyline. Every project has its own fictional plotline behind it. For me, emotions are stories. I need characters and plot to fully work through the emotions I want to communicate.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
Music is the most powerful gift God has given humanity. That power lies in being able to make someone feel what you’re feeling. All that being said, as a creative, I have to be sensitive. That power cannot be taken lightly. Sometimes I need to inspire. Sometimes I need to challenge. Sometimes I just need to write what someone else needs to hear for comfort.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
I don’t need anything back. Maybe not what my label wants to hear me saying, but I could release to 1 person and be satisfied. As long as one person hears whatever they need to hear, and they’re changed as a result, I’ve done what I feel I was meant to do.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
It’s honestly different every time! Sometimes it’s a story, or a character. Maybe a phrase, or a melody. Maybe just a theme. I don’t like letting people into my development of concepts and stories, but when it comes to sound, I’m all about collaboration. I think it’s crucial.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
DANIEL SHERMAN: When my band broke up, I was so lost in what I was supposed to do. I knew what I wanted to do with music, but I genuinely didn’t actually know if I was capable of it. I just knew it’s what felt right. Without my brothers with me pushing me to keep going, I had to find some sort of self-confidence. It’s honestly still a struggle, but it’s one I’m working through.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
DANIEL SHERMAN: being able to work with Mike Shinoda, one of my musical heroes, will be my proudest accomplishment for a very long time. Literal dream come true. It’s honestly probably the reason I was able to be confident enough to move forward as a solo artist. He apparently saw or heard something in me worth investing in. I don’t always trust myself, but I definitely trust him.
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Photo credits: Christian Carranza