Updated: Jan 10
The Rawkman, aka D, aka real name Daniel, is a musician from Fresno, CA who wears a lot of different hats. D is currently a producer for hire along with a musician collective called On Captain Recordings, a group of musicians that help each other create and release music. He’s also in a heavy metal band called Farooq.
No matter what music he creates it often has that west coast style, either that or Louisiana dirty south bounce style, even in the metal. He attributes this to his hometown and his top musical inspirations: Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Master P, Cash Money and many more.
D started learning music with the school band in third grade. As he grew, he and one of his cousins started to look up to their older cousin, who was rapping at shows, duplicating and selling tapes out of his trunk, even selling tapes on consignment at local shops. They wanted to be all about that and started rapping and learning to freestyle. Around age 15, D was invited by friends he freestyled with to a metal concert which opened up his musical world. “I loved how instead of dancing, they moshed, something about it got to me. The first time I crowd surfed I was like ‘I’m doing this now.’” He started simultaneously doing hip-hop and metal. Since D and his cousin had decided they wanted to make music, they had to be able to make beats so he scored a bootleg version of FL studio and quickly picked up skills at beat making. D was learning production way faster than his cousin, so he started doing most of the beat making while his cousin did most of the rapping. “That’s why I can’t decide on one genre, I’m doing both.”
Over time, D continued to hone all of his musical skills, make connections and enjoy the process. Now, D is a full-time musician working for hire as a producer, as well as within his musician collective One Captain Recordings, performs in a metal band, and most importantly, makes music he wants to make. “Unless someone sends me the deposit for a commission, I do what I want to do.”
Like gamers love to go through their favorite games and find “easter eggs,” D likes to go through his favorite songs and pick out individual sounds that bring the whole song together - his friend calls it ‘puppy ears.’ D commends the track “John Blaze” by Timbaland ft. Missy Elliot and Aaliyah for the many layers and elements hidden within that make it a phenomenal track. It’s this phonetic talent that allows D to work on so many different projects in different ways. He can create a beat for an artist based off of their previous music and any references, or even listen to an acapella vocal track and come up with a beat based on the lyrics and the artist’s style. Whatever piece of a song is given to him for reference, he’s able to fill in the rest.