D4vd and its glorious imagination: “Now I have a vision, I feel that I am becoming an artist” | Interview

Already, d4vd feels an affinity with certain sounds more than others – and none of them would appear on your bingo card. He is passionate about jazz and Steven Universe soundtrack: “I could play this all day, every day,” but also went through a Jersey club phase after coming across his particular corner of TikTok. But above all, he loves the classic pop of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. “I promise you,” he says, “if this music was still important today, that’s all I’d be doing – I’m telling you.”

Only three weeks ago he discovered Deftones after posting a rock snippet and someone compared him to frontman Chino Moreno. “I was like, ‘Who in the world is Chino?'” he laughs. “People compare me to things I’ve never heard myself. It’s a sound that I’m looking for, rather than an artist or a person.

As the gospel community laid the foundation for her love of music, her first distinctive memory as a child being the sound of a woman’s voice echoing over the organ. “It just triggered something,” he recalls. “It made me realize that music is an all-encompassing, universal feeling, and it has stuck with me ever since. I didn’t know I wanted to do it, but I knew I loved the music itself. Even now he is an active member of the church choir.

The caliber of musicality within the church, however, meant that its perception of what qualified as an artist was highly prescriptive. “I probably would have tried making music earlier if I had been exposed to a wider range of sounds,” he says, “because I thought you had to be able to sing, do vocal runs, have voice and breath control – all these different techniques. And if you tried to do anything else, you would be laughed at. Even still, d4vd doesn’t feel like it can ‘sing’: “I feel like to be more of a singer than a singer – more of a songwriter. I know how things should sound. His parents encouraged him to take piano lessons as a child, but he soon gave up. “I didn’t like being told what to do with the instrument,” he says. At the moment, he’s trying to learn both piano and guitar on YouTube to expand his abilities, according to his own terms.