The Daniel Price Interview: Part 1

Photo by: India Richert

I think people underestimate the power of conversation. The ability to exchange ideas, thoughts and perspectives is a superpower that can often fly under the radar as something that we just do…As I get older though, I have come to the realization that some of the most impactful moments in my life, areas where I experienced the most growth, came from conversations. Whether it was someone sharing some form of wisdom or passing the time laughing about something shown on TV, conversation not only changes us, but shapes us as well. For as long as I’m writing for Lyrical Lemonade, I am going to try and place an emphasis on the importance of conversation; because without it, we are robbing ourselves from experiencing all that this life has to offer.

Today, it is my pleasure to document for you all a conversation I had with one of my favorite artists. I’ve written about Daniel Price before, but never like this. The Los Angeles-based talent is coming off of a successful rollout for his most recent EP that culminated in a marvelous live performance on the historic, Love Street (attached below). In this first of its kind two-part Lyrical Lemonade interview, Daniel and I took a trip to the past and chatted about all of the little details that have made him the person and artist that he is today. From Boston, to family, to basketball to LSD, Part one of the Daniel Price Interview is an enlightening read that gives refreshing context to this talent who we’ve come to know and love. Enjoy!

Sam: Man, First Question of the day off top, HOW ARE YOU DOING? Even outside of the music stuff, how are you today?

Daniel: I’m doing great. I’m about to go back home tomorrow for about two weeks.

Sam: Tell me again bro, where is home for you?

Daniel: Boston

Sam: What was your upbringing like in Boston? Tell me about family life and what it was like growing up out there.

Daniel: Boston was great bro; I’m really happy I grew up out there. And I wasn’t exactly from Boston. I grew up in a suburb a little bit outside of it, but it was all good. One thing that was super interesting growing up early on though was being raised in a predominately white area, but I wasn’t necessarily “white”…because my parents felt very different from everyone. They were first generation. The earliest story of where I come from is my parents telling me that they had to escape a war and go to Germany and that’s where they met and got married. Then, they had the choice to go back after the war, but they ended up fleeing to America. That story stuck with me. I was like “okay, this is what they did to get me to where I’m at now.” That entire thing might’ve accounted for multiple things, including the way I think.

Sam: Man, that’s a story. I would never have known that before this conversation.

Daniel: Yeah, It’s interesting though, for some reason I don’t attach myself to Boston much. I feel like I could’ve grown up in any city and I would’ve been the exact same; which I give a lot of credit to my mom for. If I had the same mom, it wouldn’t matter where I grew up.

Sam: What kind of values did your mom instill in you? Honestly, whether it was your mom or dad, what did your parents teach you growing up that would stick with you forever?

Daniel: I had a pretty traditional family life where my mom stayed home and took care of me and my sister til we were 12 and my dad worked constantly. I’ll honestly start with my dad though…One thing I learned from him was accountability. Whatever you do, take responsibility for it. Even if something isn’t fully your fault, hold yourself accountable. It’s a much more free way to live, if you ask me.

Sam: I agree, because then you’re not relying on anyone. It’s all on you.

Daniel: Exactly. That’s the worst thing you can do is place the blame on someone. That was a very masculine trait from my dad that I’m very thankful for. As for my mom though, it’s funny. When I was a kid, her and I would have such long conversations for like hours. Just conversations about life. It’s fascinating to me the way my mom thinks, taking into consideration where she came from. She’s from a very traditional upbringing, but she’s super open-minded. She would tell me from the beginning, “You can do anything you set your mind to,” She instilled in me such a feeling of self belief. And love too. Pure unconditional love. It didn’t matter what I did. I did a lot of fucked up shit as a teenager, but she was like, “I will always love you…but if you do something wrong, learn from it.” The unconditional love is something I was super grateful to have, because not everyone has that.

Sam: That’s a blessing man. We live in a world where a lot of people don’t know how to give unconditional love, because they’ve never received it. This makes a lot of sense when it comes to the person you are and why you do what you do, so I love that…Were your parents musical at all? Did they influence your decision to pursue music? And if not, what did?

Daniel: So jus the idea of music, I naturally gravitated towards. I had an aunt, my mom’s sister, she was a pop star in Bosnia and I would hear stories and see videos and listen to her songs. I would see her when I visited and when you have someone that close who is doing this thing as a job, it makes it seem very attainable. That was the earliest memory. And she was proper pop star. She would get stopped in the street and all of that. There was that, but when it came to actual influences, there wasn’t much from my mom, but I do remember my dad, when I was 7 or 8 years old, he would listen to a lot of AC/DC. Then once I started learning about the internet, that’s when 50 Cent, Eminem, Chris Brown…those were the things I would find online…One more thing my dad put me on to though was when we took a family trip to Bosnia and we used my grandpa’s old Mercedes with no A/C. There was one Cassette tape in there and it was Queen’s Greatest Top Hits and that shifted everything. The sound of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I didn’t know why I loved it so much, but I just did.

Sam: Man, that song is one of the best if not the best song ever composed…

Daniel: EVER!

Sam: Nothing is touching that joint ever. Pyramids by Frank is a close second, but nothing is touching Bohemian Rhapsody any time soon.

Daniel: I was shocked too, because my dad was a very masculine man and this was very operatic music…but, he loved it. So, seeing my dad love this type of music, it felt like there was some magic in it.

Sam: When did you realize you had some from of musical ability? Were you singing along to a song and you hit a certain note? When was that moment?

Daniel: I think that goes back to my mom instilling self belief inside of me. It didn’t matter what it was, if I just liked it, I had to believe that I could be the best at it. But yeah, I probably sang and my mom heard and she probably told me that I was going to be the next big thing…and I believed her. There was a moment where my family from Bosnia came to visit and we had this piano and I remember I learned how to play one of my Aunt’s songs by ear. They all came in the room and were like “how did you learn to play that?”

Sam: Before music, were you interested in anything else? I feel like a lot of us had dreams and sub dreams growing up, so was there anything else in your life that you thought would be your career?

Daniel: Yeah, I’ll give you a quick rundown. For the most part, a lot of the things I really wanted to do were completely unrealistic, but there were also certain things I said I wanted to do because I knew they were things people wanted to hear. Earliest, it was singing. That was what I wanted to do. Then, when I turned 12, I learned about Kobe and AND1 and street ball. I would be in my parking lot just practicing all hours of the day learning how to do these dribbling moves. So from 12 all the way to 17, it was just basketball. In my mind, it was either NBA or playing Overseas. That was it, I would train hours and hors a day. All things I learned from Kobe. It was the Kobe mentality. So, yeah, it was basketball for a bulk of my middle school and high school time. It was a pure belief in my head that I was going to make it happen…up until I was 16. At that age, I played with the oldest age for AAU and I traveled for the first time. I was top of my league in school…AAU was different.

Sam: Man, I’m so weak…I was the same way. AAU is nuts!

Daniel: Man, it was a rude awakening. That shit woke me up and then it was getting closer to me becoming a senior. I was thinking about college. I had to pick a major…Shoot, that was one of the craziest things to me. We were expected to pick a career at 17 or 18.

Sam: Man, that’s facts…I at least now know what I like doing but I still don’t know what my career is going to be, so to ask a 17 year old to begin thinking about that is heinous.

Daniel: It’s truly crazy. There’s just such a heavy weight to it as kids. They feel like they really need to know and if they’re unsure, which 90% of the time, they’re going to be unsure. You haven experienced much…but they judge themselves for it… But yeah when senior year came around, I didn’t have any D1 offers, so I made a pretty spur of the moment decision and told myself that I wasn’t going to play basketball in college, because that was it for me. So then the question opened up in my head of, “what am I going to college for?”

Sam: So what happened?

Daniel: Well, it came time to graduate and in my mind, I always knew that when it came to drugs, I would try every drug that wouldn’t kill me. Weed, Psychedelics, those things, I always found super fascinating. People would tell me not to do them, but when you do your research, no one has died ever. One thing I will say though, if you’re not mentally stable, not a good idea. I had strong sense of self though to where I knew those were things I wanted to do.  And on top of that, I would study the people who I looked up to. Most of the role models in my life were people I had never met before. The Kanye West’s, the Kobe’s, the Steve Jobs’ of the world and there was a through line between all of them and they did these substances. So, during my senior year, I happened to hear that this one dude was selling LSD and I think this was around the time when I was listening to Acid Rap. It all came together and I ended up doing it for the first time and I got complete clarity from it. I saw my life at the end of it all. It was the end of my life in two possibilities…It could go this way or this way. It was a very simple concept that most people know. There was one path I could go down where it was me just listening to what everyone wants me to do, then there was the second path where you listen to yourself and intuition and you do what’s going to make you happy in the long term, but in the short term, it might be a struggle. What I realized at that point is that I had a lot of other voices in my head. I saw my voice getting quieter, because there were so many other noises. And at that point, I came back to when I was 4 or 5 years old and realized that I want to write songs and tell stories and share my perspective with the world…