Our seasonal Hot List is usually packed full of all the things you should get…
Have you ever read about, or been lucky enough to try, a ‘sound and taste’ menu from legendary chef Heston Blumenthal?
You know, where he pairs a seafood dish for example, with the sound of the sea for a well-rounded experience—well, minus being immersed in salty water, though he should have considered that.
No? Well I have a similar experience for you and, unlike Heston’s, mine will cost you nothing and you’ll come out dry.
Daniel featured in one of my songs released last year called ‘Clarity’, which I produced under my stage name; Magnifik. If you head over to Spotify and tune into that song before you read the rest of the story and look at Cass’s photos, you’ll have a true ‘theatre of the mind’ experience.
Now, Daniel is a hip-hop artist and I stepped out of my usual genre to produce this song, but Clarity gives a good insight into his character.
Daniel lives in his Holder home by himself and looks after it as his own. However, if you looked at the first set of pictures and thought that the décor does not exactly match the stereotypical styling of a younger hip hop musician, then you are right.
The home belongs to Daniel’s grandfather (who you can see in the painted portrait) and Daniel is looking after it for him. His grandfather emigrated from Serbia after fighting in WWII, worked on the Snowy Mountains scheme and then made Canberra his home.
Daniel has many fond memories of spending lots of time in his granddad’s home when he was younger and says not much has changed in those 20 years.
Similar to a lot of Europeans from that time, the home is a collection of memories and treasures. Every wall is taken up with paintings, photos and drawings from overseas trips, or gifts they have received.
The furniture is made from dark heavier wood, strongly ornate and creates this strong intimate experience placed against silk patterned or wood straw wallpaper. It’s a look that I remember well from my early years in Europe too.
Daniel lives in the side section of the house next to the pool, which also doubles as his studio, where he lets his sound waves float and his creative ideas flow. Can you see what I did there? Pool, waves, float, flow … all in one sentence too. Impressive huh?
Daniel’s room is filled with his favourite movie posters, a super comfy chair that he calls ‘the throne’ and, of course, the recording space.
A lot of Daniel’s past music had a lot of power behind it. He had strong ideas and words. It still does now, but these days his music has mellowed and become more genre-bending to reach a wider audience, such as his current release ‘The Love Divide’ trilogy.
Spending time with him and Cass while we chatted about his grandfather, debated films and discussed upbringing and music made me realise that Daniel’s passion for hip hop comes from a real place of depth.
Just like his grandfather’s home has depth in history and presents decades of experiences, Daniel too makes music to capture emotional experiences and put them up on display.
Even though his grandfather’s home may not be truly ‘his’, Daniel’s music is. By listening to his tracks, you’ll hear old elements fused with new, traditional sounds mixed with contemporary—a reflection of where he has been brought up, how that has influenced him and where he one day would like to be.
By now the Clarity song has probably ended, so it’s time to also end this multisensory experience. Thanks for dining at Home Stories.
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Photography: Cass Atkinson