Danny Ocean’s New Album “@Dannocean” Breathes an Unwavering Expression of Vulnerability and Creativity
Danny Ocean is an artist that should be on everyone’s radar. His eclectic music range, brings many worlds to his listeners. His story begins in Caracas, in more ways than one. Born in Venezuela to a music producer father and a cultural diplomat mother, he soon found himself far from the country of his birth. He spent the first four years of his life in the Caribbean, specifically in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the next six in the African country Namibia. The winds of political change ultimately brought him back to his homeland, but the natural influence of his youth abroad, characterized by constant international exchange experienced firsthand, would help shape the young man who’d become one of the most unique talents in Latin music today.
It was the return to Caracas that set off Ocean’s second beginning, his musical awakening to be specific. Hanging out with his father in the studio, he absorbed a great deal at this crucial stage of adolescence, building further on the multicultural arts immersion. Seeing the interest, his father gifted him a guitar and lessons, yet it became immediately clear that the burgeoning young creative’s passion could not be contained in formal study nor in any one instrument. “I hated like trying to learn music,” he says. “I was more into practice; I hated theory–so I just began experimenting.” That free-spirited approach, one that would guide him well in his future career, put him onto making electronic music and hip-hop beats, as well as to eventually study graphic design in college. But most notably, it was a move to a bedroom in his aunt’s house in Miami that prompted him to truly discover his voice.
He is innovative with his concepts, drawing from his many influences and experiences to be able to bring forth a myriad of sounds. His diverse background growing up in Venezuela and living in countries like Japan, Saint Vincent and Namibia influence his worldly view. Danny Ocean blends Reggaeton, dance-pop and Latin pop sounds to be futuristic. We all get to benefit from the multi-hyphenate artist who has been in the music production industry since 2009 in his latest single Istanbul. The single from his upcoming album @Dannocean is a dark and introspective alt-trap song about heartbreak. Inspired by his love for music and authentic self-expression, his new album @Dannocean breathes an unwavering expression of vulnerability and creativity.
Faced with the prospect of his second album, an opportunity Ocean did not take likely, he looked inward as well as outward. “The toughest question to answer is who you are and where do you want to go,” he says about the thought process behind his creative process approaching @dannocean by Danny Ocean. “It’s about what you want to say to the world.” And with @dannocean by Danny Ocean, he speaks volumes through song, evidenced by the ethereal and heartfelt reggaetón of “Apartamento” and “Tú No Me Conoce.” Though he’s long flirted with the genre, here he embellishes upon and adorns it with his signature touches and genuine vibes, delivering soaring moments like “Reinas” and “Besarnos De Cero.” His way of blending balladic sentiments with irresistible rhythms is on full display. It feels altogether like yet another beginning for Danny Ocean, fresh and exciting with plenty for fans old and new alike to bask in.
- Your single Istanbul from your upcoming album @Dannocean is a dark and introspective alt-trap song about heartbreak. Your new track serves a slower, darker twist from your upbeat smash hits “Rehuso” and “Dembow” from your 2019 Caribbean-infused album 54+1. Can you tell us what your song writing process was like?
My songwriting process was just hanging with some friends. A friend of mine, producer called Mag and another songwriter, one of my best girlfriends is called Elena Rose. And we just went to the studio together and “Istanbul” came just like that. We heard the beat. Mag had this beat and we just went with the melodies and after that we just wrote the top line on top of it. Yeah, I remember we were talking about, like, when you do all these things in this relationship and the other person just suddenly leaves, you know, it’s just like you feel like it was like everything was a joke.
- This is our opportunity as an audience to see more of you. What was it like to film the visualizer for your single Istanbul?
It was cool. It’s a concept that we have been building for the whole album. It’s this black background and just a little light on top of us. It’s a concept that we’ve been building for the whole album. So yeah, everything is attached, it’s not like “Istanbul” had something different. The only difference was that it’s my style and the motorcycle in the visualizer.It was my girlfriend that came up with that idea.
- Your new album @Dannocean released on Feb 17, could you tell the Galore audience what your creative process was like and what we can expect from it.
I spent a lot of time writing this album. It’s been three years almost three years. There’s a song that has been with me for 7 years called “Pronto”. The creative process, I basically like to travel a lot, change the conversations, change realities and the creative process was just that. Me renting some Air bnb’s and making music with friends. This is an album that’s been more collaborative than the first one. The first one was produced and everything was written by me. This one has been a mix with friends, with me and producers and songwriters, artists and visual artists too. It’s been a combination and overall collaborative album.
- Are there any secret collaborations on the album you can share with us?
I have a collaboration with Guaynaa and Dread Mar – I.
- What influence did your childhood play in your current career?
Coldplay was a big influence. I like Alejandro Sanz who was a big influence and Daft Punk.
- Do you see yourself expanding from Reggaeton, dance-pop and Latin pop to other genres?
To be honest with you I never know what I’m doing. I never know if it’s Latin or if it’s pop or if it’s urban or if it’s I don’t know, hip-hop or if it’s bachata or merengue. I never know I just go with the groove you know I go with the groove and and just whatever feels right I guess. I think the most important thing is the song no matter what genre.
- You have been in the music career for over ten years. How would you describe your growth and evolution?
Time just gives you knowledge and a lot of failures you know and you learn from failures. That’s the coolest thing of the process is that you have to enjoy the failure you know but everything has been smooth you know. You just get more mature when you have a feeling you know how to develop that feeling, that idea you know it’s gonna take time. Usually at the beginning you always want everything fast but I guess time shows you just to have patience and things will come to you.
Interviewed & Edited by: Shirley Reynozo
Photography & Creative Direction: Prince Chenoa
Special Thanks to @reserva.shop