Dirty Glove Bastard and Daniel Payne have a longstanding association. He performed at one of the site’s first big concerts and the mutual support has continued since then. In fact, we were down with him when he still went by the name of KD, one of the most successful artists to ever come from Alabama. About a year or so ago he underwent a mid-career metamorphosis and emerged as Daniel Payne. The music he’s released since then has shown his growth. Already a strong songwriter, he’s begun to incorporate more melody in his work. Combined with his strong voice, the net result has been a fuller sound.
When we had a chance to interview him we discussed his transformation, the Alabama music scene, what he’s been working on, and a lot more in Daniel Payne: The DGB Interview.
When you changed your artist name, why’d you choose Daniel Payne?
I haven’t been to Birmingham for a few years. I’ve been some of everywhere and my mind frame has changed along with my music. I wanted to pay homage to where my craft originated and keep Birmingham a part of me wherever I go. One of my favorite songs is Daniel Payne so that’s why I chose it.
How did all the KD fans respond to the change? Was anyone in your circle against it?
For the most part, they fw it and understood it, there were a few that didn’t fw. I’m sure they’ll understand once I start rolling the music out.
What’s the rap scene in Alabama like?
Even though I’m not living there anymore I still keep my ear to the street. I think everyone understands the industry a little more than when I first started, how everything works in terms of branding, marketing, etc… How to really push a product and to take advantage of the internet. After Doe B died I feel like shit slowed down a bit, but it’s a new crop of artists doing they thing and making a name. I support them all. It’s still behind because there was never an industry infrastructure like a New Orleans, Memphis or Atlanta. Or a big enough market to support artists organically like Texas.
Who are the new Alabama artists influenced by how you were influenced by UGK & Scarface?
I hear mostly the trap sound. A lot of underground street artists build their name up in Alabama, so the street artists in Alabama are heavily influenced by underground rap. Especially from Atlanta and Memphis. But now, with social media being such a heavy influence you can hear influences from everywhere, California, Mid-West, etc… The OGs where I’m from played UGK, Face, Ball & G, & OutKast. I’m an old soul so my music reflected those influences. The sonics and frequencies are changing now, so I like to keep those influences and bring them up to date with today’s sounds.
How do out-of-state artists respond to the state?
I can only speak for myself but I get respect and love around the world. However, everybody likes you in this industry if you spending money with them it doesn’t matter where you from. At the same time, they still look at Alabama like it’s backward and slow and country. I still don’t think they take us seriously. They respect us on some gangsta shit to a certain extent we know for that but everything else we just country.
What have you been working on?
I have so much unreleased music, so many unreleased videos. I have a series of EPs dropping. The 4Ep, 4.5 EP with DJay Cas, 5 Points EP with DJ Burn One & 5PMG, 6 N The Morning and Muses Inspire Music: After 7 EP
What’s your best verse?
It’ll have to be something from my Soul Inn album, that’s where my lyricism was most pure and not dumbed down to fit the record as a whole. “Love Me Back”, “For The Love”, “Thug Dreamin’”. I was so hungry then and wanted to prove I could really spit.
You’ve been incorporating more melody in your music, will you ever release a project where you’re only singing?
Hell yeah, I have a RnBish project dropping. Muses Inspire Music: The After 7 EP. They locked up R Kelly so I gotta bring that energy back.
What’re you listening too?
That Young Thug “So Much Fun” been in rotation heavy.
Outside of rap who have, you listened to the most in the past year?
I really like The Internet, Brent Faiyaz, Ari Lennox, Snoh Aalegra to name a few.
Name an artist you consider to be underrated?
Me, myself and I.
What’s something you regret buying with rap money?
No regrets. I try to reinvest most rap money. That’s the thing, you got to treat it like a business. Keep flipping. It’s just like any other hustle, any other business
What’s after rap for you?
I’m gonna rap and sing until I’m old and gray. I love creating, but I’m a businessman first and foremost. I’m always looking for new business opportunities, and what to invest in. I’m a futurist, I like to study what’s gonna be the next thing and either try to be a part of it or invest in it. I also want to widen my platform as much as possible to try to awaken people to things they may not know or see.
How would you advise a new artist to avoid fake people?
Just don’t be fake yourself. If you are real and solid, I find most in this industry (or anywhere else for that matter) will not try you with the bullshit. Real recognize real, but the fake does too, they know who not to fuck with. If you’re looking green they going to come at you like that. You gotta get out here get some experience, live and learn.