Perception is a double-edged sword. On one hand the right image can project an artist to listeners who relate to, or wish to emulate an aspirational lifestyle – but allow style to out balance substance and they won’t be sticking around too long. This is something that Danny Seth knows all too well. When he picks up our call he’s sat in a New York diner nursing a hangover. It’s New York fashion week and the globe-trotting Watford native has been out getting his face in the right places as he carefully wields the double-edged sword ahead of his debut project, Perception, dropping on Friday.
“Stop looking at me, and start listening!” says Danny, directed at those who follow his Instagram account but never hit play on a SoundCloud link. “I see a lot of artists who are popping up on [Instagram] and becoming worldwide famous, and people know who they are but nobody can recite their lyrics or know their name. They want to know what t-shirt they’re wearing! I feel like kids need to know what real music is and stop following because of fashion and shit like that.”
Listening to his long-awaited full-length, Perception, it’s clear that there is more than meets the eye. Of course there are the bangers that he put out in anticipation – “I know that’s what the kids want to hear,” he says – but the project tells the story of a young aspiring rapper trying to find his place in the world. “I was nervous to put out a song like ‘Danny Darling’,” he says of the deeply personal ode to a lost step-mother, which he admits was difficult to record. “That’s not what people are used to hearing from me and that’s the type of Danny that I want people to hear. I’ve put out bangers, but I need them to know that I’m deeper than that, and I’ve really got a story to tell about my journey. I wanted to be like ‘This is my story, don’t judge me until you hear my story.’ And this is one of the key moments of my life that’s happened over the last few years. I wanted to share that with the world.”