Music

d4vd Is Focused On The Process Of Evolution Rather Than What Might Come From It

todaySeptember 8, 2023

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d4vd’s rise to fame happened at the speed of light. This hyperbole accurately describes how the 18-year-old Houston native went from an active video gamer who uploaded clips of himself playing Fortnite to YouTube (where he tallied 15 million views in total) to a touring musical act who is set to hit the road with SZA for her second leg of the SOS Tour. It’s all happened in the blink of an eye, but don’t be mistaken, d4vd is extremely talented as his debut EP Petals To Thorns proves.

The nine-track project is one that d4vd used to excellently capture a rise and fall in love. The petals — the first half — represent the good moments, while the thorns and final half of the project capture the bad and the eventual end of the relationship. Just three months after releasing Petals To Thorns, d4vd is back with another project: The Lost Petals. This new body of work contains just five songs and lives as the aftermath of the events on Petals To Thorns.

Together with the arrival of The Lost Petals, Uproxx caught up with d4vd to talk about his rise in the music world, The Lost Petals, touring with SZA, and his future plans for both music and gaming.

You’ve had a quick rise to fame, which can be a bit rattling for anyone. How have you adjusted and does it feel a bit normal now?

Yeah, it’s always been normal. I feel like I’ve acclimated well. I was home-schooled for four years so being outside was like a need for me. I was inside the house for way too long. So as soon as the time came for me to start going on tour, things like that, going on press runs, [and] traveling to different countries, it was like boom, this is what I needed to get out of the house. So I ran with it.

If you had to take all your influences, what qualities would you take from each one to make the artist you are? Like who most inspired your writing? Singing style? Artistic direction?

My biggest writing inspiration isn’t even in music. It’s an author from Japan named Hajime Isayama who wrote Shingeki no Kyojin, most famously known as Attack On Titan. Yeah, so Hajime Isayama for my writing, sonically it’d be Chet Baker and Michael Jackson. My stage presence? Michael Jackson and maybe XXXTentacion.

You’re a couple of months removed from your Petals To Thorns project. What would you say you’re most proud of about it?

The theme. I feel like sonically, it made sense, and the theme was very clear. I tried my best to tell the story with it. Having all the songs made already, without even having the intention of making a project that had to be cohesive, is mind-blowing to me. Everything was already done before I even had an idea of making an EP. But just being me and being a storyteller, it kind of just worked anyway. So I’m very proud of storytelling. Looking at the rose, having the thorns all representing love, just the theme of going through a relationship from top to bottom. It was just cohesive.

Now we have your The Lost Petals project, which fits into the world of Petals To Thorns. Do they fall in line with the original project or would you say this is more of a different perspective?

If we’re talking experience-wise, Petals To Thorns is the concert, you’ve been at the show, and “The Bridge” is leaving the show and now, The Lost Petals is that post-show depression. So it’s very sad, there’s not one single happy song. The way “The Bridge” left off, this [The Lost Petals] picks up and then it’s kind of like the conclusion. It’s like a closing of the book, two chapters being Petals To Thorns and The Lost Petals]. We’re closing that book and we’re moving on after that.

What would you credit most to your success?

My faith in God bro because God did amazing things early on. The way it kind of worked instrumentally with the gaming and everything. It’s like all the full circle moments of me wanting to be a professional esports player so bad that I was like tunnel vision into that one goal. But then, as soon as the copyright strikes hit, the gaming kind of pushed the music and the music started to push the gaming and they kind of worked together and they both went up at the same time. I don’t know, it would not have happened if it weren’t for those copyright strikes.

You’ve had a couple of tours already in your career, and now, you’ll be joining SZA on her SOS North American Tour. What experience do you hope to take from that may be different from the others?

The audience, of course. Playing in front of 10,000-15,000 people, that’s gonna be insane. I feel like getting used to not being so close to the crowd because it gives you a chance to really be a performer. When you’re that close to the crowd, really feeding off of them, but [at arenas], sometimes you can’t see everybody especially when you’re on that big stage and it feels like it’s just you up there. I feel like the nerves kind of go away when you can’t see. I feel like I’ve had the most nerve-wracking experience when I’m playing in front of maybe three people doing a little acoustic performance or even doing a music video shoot. But when it’s that many people it kind of becomes you and I’m just excited to see myself progress in that stage.

Stepping off music for a second, you said that music and gaming have worked hand-in-hand for you. What are some plans you have for the gaming world next?

I want to leak too much, but I literally just left a meeting about gaming. I’m working a lot on Fortnite stuff, the new Fortnite season is dropping, and everybody’s on the game again. Gaming is going back on the radar, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is dropping. I’m working hand in hand and being more in the gaming space and telling a story because that’s where I came from. I’m more of a gamer than a musician, it’s telling that story even more. I’m working on scoring and a lot of soundtracking, too. The thing is with the Fortnite montages, I would make a Fortnite little montage and then make a song for it. So I was really doing scoring before I was even thinking about actually scoring. So having the opportunity to go back into my roots, and just be able to make music for the game that I’m such a fan of is insane to me. Maybe a concert in a Fortnite. A lot of stuff is coming gaming-wise, and 2024 is about to be lit on the controllers.

You’ve achieved a lot in such a short period of time, what are some goals you have for yourself going forward?

I want to make the best music possible. I feel like this past week I made my best music. I feel like I’m finding what I want to do. In terms of the artistry. I produced on a song for the first time two days ago. I’m getting used to being back on the keys playing piano again and finding myself instrumentally. So just becoming a greater artist. I’m not very sentimental, but I really do enjoy the evolution of self rather than the fruits that come from it. I feel like the best goal for me is just to be a better me. So, 2024 is all about evolution. I feel like it’s gonna be very evident in the music, the visuals, and the creative surrounding everything. It’s going to be next level.

The Lost Petals is out now via Darkroom/Interscope Records. Find out more information here.

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