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Rapper/Producer, 2007 MTV "Best Music On Campus" Award-winner
Danny! was a GI kid, born Danny Swain in the early eighties while both of his military parents were stationed in the U.S. Army.
During his childhood, Danny! developed a deep love for music; in his early teens he became transfixed by hip-hop culture, influenced by rap.
Danny! began producing at an early age, and by the time he was 16 years old he had developed a style all his using keyboards and sequencers. A hobby he had only intended to pursue "for fun", Danny! began to take producing music seriously when he sold his first beat at age 17. He started penning his own lyrics and eventually recorded makeshift songs first on his boombox (via cassette tape), then later on his personal computer. Early Danny! songs mimicked rapper Eminem's multi-syllabic shock lyrics.
After high school Danny! attended Claflin University, a liberal arts college 50 miles from his hometown of Columbia, and enrolled in the college's fledgling "Call Me Mister" program. While at Claflin, Danny! began to stray from the keyboard-crafted beats he was known for and started experimenting with sampling.
Danny! released his debut album, now renamed The College Kicked-Out, in late 2004. Danny! was later accepted to the Savannah College of Art & Design and relocated to Savannah, Georgia. Here he began to work on his second project, F.O.O.D. and began to develop a following of fans who knew him for his rich production, use of satire and humor that ranged from quirky to self-deprecating.
In March 2006 Danny! officially released his third and allegedly final LP Charm, a concept album in which he has credited The Miracles' City of Angels as his inspiration. The album narrated the story of a musician who wants to achieve success through music and be relieved of hometown routine life. The protagonist, believed to be Danny! himself, dreams that he actually becomes famous and wealthy, only to realize that perhaps fame wasn't meant for him. The album ends with the musician awakening from his dream, only to be approached by a label executive shortly afterwards.
Charm went on to become Danny's! biggest success and make the entire premise of the album come true in real life. Danny! is most noted for Charm, which is widely considered his best work to date. Charm would eventually go on to be listed in seven different categories on the 49th Annual Grammy Award short list, helping Danny! become South Carolina's most heralded hip-hop artist.
Danny! quietly released an instrumental album, Dream, Interrupted, abroad. A sequel, Dream, Fulfilled, was also released overseas in April of the following year. Both albums, which Danny! has jokingly referred to as "sensationalized beat tapes," are extremely rare; only a small number of copies exist stateside and are thus highly sought after in the US. Rumors of a third and final installment to complete the trilogy -- Dream, Extinguished -- swirled for months before Danny! actually confirmed its release in the wake of his upcoming album, And I Love H.E.R.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, being delayed. However, Dream, Extinguished was abruptly withdrawn the day before its release.
Despite his success, Danny! had long insisted that Charm will indeed be his final album as a solo artist. Citing such reasons as a desire to finish his education, he had mentioned that he had no plans to ever release another LP commercially. However, in January 2007 Danny! was declared the winner of the MTV Best Music On Campus Award.