Coming out of an area that’s known for producing some of the hottest rappers and producers out right now, Atlanta is home to a very diverse and budding music scene. I found out about Daylan Gideon right around the time he was getting ready to release his debut album 4 My Dawgs. Since then, he’s continued to keep his foot on the gas and apply pressure. Fast forward a couple years later, and now he’s making some of the best music of his career.
About a week ago, I reached out and told him we should set up an interview. Being open to the idea, we spent the better half of a whole day exchanging messages and finding out more about growing up in Marietta, his work ethic, his sophomore LP and his shopping habits. Check out the full interview down below.
So I guess we should begin with introductions. Let the people know where you’re from?
I’m from Marietta GA, born and raised. Been here my whole life.
Talk a little bit about your childhood, how was it like growing up in Marietta GA?
My childhood was cool. I grew up in a 2 parent household with 1 brother and we were both athletes. Baseball was my sport of choice. Growing up for 17 years I lived in one of the worst parts of Marietta. But at 17 we moved to one of the wealthiest parts of Marietta, so I’ve seen both sides. I’ve seen what it’s like to see people struggle and I’ve seen what it’s like when you got money. The high school I went to was mad diverse , so I got to learn how to blend in with every race , which I feel like helps me out a lot now as an adult.
Would you say those early childhood lessons and experiences helped shape you into the musician you are today?
Definitely did. Like I grew up around music too. My dad was in a band that used to tour and open for famous artist. So from a young age I was around music but the area I grew up in was diverse , so the kids I grew up with were into all different shit. I was listening to all kinds of music. Like I said the area I grew up in wasn’t the best, so I didn’t have many friends in the neighborhood. A lot of my time was spent watching MTV Jams or music videos on YouTube if I wasn’t at baseball practice.
Can you think back to the exact moment you fell in love with music?
I would say the 50 cent era. Like 2002/2003. I wanted to be just like 50. Used to rap his songs word for word in the mirror. My dad bought me the album. I remember begging my mom for some G-Unit clothes as a kid. The Wayne era continued that love more. Wayne was everything to me in middle school.
After the love comes preparation. When did you actually start making music and at that time were you trying to re-create the music you were listening to?
So I had a cousin named Phlow that was rapping when I was in 12th grade and inspired me to want to rap. I recorded my first song the day good kid mad city came out. First beat I recorded on was swimming pools. I took the song to school and people liked it , so kept going. But I started writing raps at 13. I remember my mom finding my raps in 9th grade and being pissed.
Was she pissed because at the moment she thought you were going to pursue a music career, or because the content of the lyrics?
The content of the lyrics. I was tryna rap like Wayne, so I was rapping about all type of crazy shit. She’s always been super supportive of me being a musician.
At what point did you tell yourself — okay this is something I want to do for a living?
I was all in from the first song. Around that time there wasn’t a lot of people I knew rapping. So I was like I’m going to be the first, I’m going to be the best and I’m going to make this my life.
Fast forward to where you’re at now. It seems like you’ve found your stride as an artist and releasing some of the best music of your career. As an artist, how do you challenge yourself?
I just wanna be the best at my craft. I’m in competition with myself. I’m always trying to outdo what I did last. My peers inspire me and my homies. Watching swavay work on his next album really inspired me. I learned a lot in those sessions and applied them to my project.
Let’s talk about your new project for a bit. Conceptually, how did the idea come together?
So I originally started record for it December of 2018 and thought it was done in last October but I felt the music didn’t represent where I was at in life. So I went back to the drawing board. I locked in with my homie E rich and we made an album based of my 23rd year of life, I talk about everything from my cousin dying that inspired me to rap , to relationships , my family and more. So it’s my story. 100% me. It’s the deepest and most honest I’ve ever been.
Through the creation of the project, you did a good job of documenting your process. What do you hope people take way from the project?
I hope people feel closer to me and I want to inspire kids to make the music they wanna make. Don’t feel pressured to make what’s popular, just tell your story and perfect your craft. The rest will fall into place.
It seems like you gain a lot of inspiration from the people around you. How do you guys push each other?
Man those guys just push me to be the best me and they give honest criticism. I have no yes men around me , which is amazing. I really feel like I’m around some of the best artist and producers and I just study and learn from them.
How important has it been to you to have a group of people around you that not only inspire you, but also make sure you’re the best version of yourself?
I feel like without a team I am nothing. I try to keep like minded people around me. People that study and really understand music and people with great energy. Even outside of music , my inner circle helps me get through life.
What do you like to get into outside of work? Whether it be with your team or solo?
A whole lot of 2K and I literally watch all 82 lakers games. My friends will vouch for me, I don’t miss a game. But I also watch a lot of documentaries and a lot of old movies. We play a lot of uno too. Shit I’m a simple guy. Definitely online searching for clothes heavy too. Fashion is definitely a huge part of my life.
Your shoe game is also something serious. How’d you get into that?
Man to be honest bro , my childhood friend Corey tucker put me on to all the cool shit growing up. Well him and his older cousin nick. They showed me Bape, Supreme and all the shoe sites in like middle school. In HS we had all the kicks. So many shoes I wish I kept. As I got older and now that I have the money, I hunt down a lot of kicks I used to want or had but sold over the years.
I think your image and the music you put out goes hand-in-hand. How do you keep that balance and remind yourself that the music comes first?
The music has to be first idc how fly you are or how popping you are outside the music.. the music creates longevity. So the music is always my main focus. Sometimes I have to slow down on the clothes and remind myself that I gotta invest in the music. It’s easy to get caught up in a flashy lifestyle cus we all want nice things but the music brings the Money in. So if I fall off I can’t even get the shit I want anyways.
Any big updates you want to share about the album that you haven’t yet?
It’s titled 250 to Paradise. I got swavay on there and a few of my other homies that are dope and it’s all raps. No auto tune and no singing from me. And it’s definitely my best and most thought out work to date. We’re looking at a March release date right now.
To all the young artists coming up, what’s one piece of advice you’d give them?
Make the music you wanna make and that this is a journey, so you can’t rush the process. Everyone’s time is different. All of my homies that kept rapping got on. The ones that stopped didn’t. It’s a marathon. Trust your instincts and perfect your craft.
Any last thoughts you want to share?
It’s gonna be a hell of a year for me. My foots on the gas and I’m ready to share all this amazing music I made. First single next month.