If you’re someone who is looking for a local artist to get behind and support, look no further than Dan Mansion.
Good music can find you in multiple ways. Your friend can recommend it to you in earnest, swearing that “it’s the best thing that I’ve ever heard”. Or you can by chance come across it on any of the numerous streaming sites in their random discover playlists or related tracks streams. Sometimes, it can hit you in the face while you’re ordering a large hot chocolate with whip cream at Brody Cafe. If you’re thinking that the last example seemed kind of specific, that’s because it is to me. It wasn’t a situation that I think I would ever be in, but here we are now.
My eyes were opened to an eclectic mix of rap, hip hop, and electronic music by the artist himself. The artist in question is Dan Mansion, the Baltimore-based artist who I believe has the tools to make a lot of noise for himself in the industry.
When I was ordering my patented hot chocolate, the artist known as Dan, who works part-time at Brody Cafe at Johns Hopkins University, reached out to me and asked me to check out his music on Soundcloud. Now, like any rational person, when someone asks you to “Check out their Soundcloud”, you’re most likely going to be skeptical just because of the stigma and stereotype that comes from being a person who posts music on the app.
But I checked out the page anyway, because it would have been rude not to, I see this man all the time, and by that time we had built a sort of rapport based off of short interactions. What I found was an artist that is more attractive than a lot of the other Soundcloud artists that are more prone to sell-out. Dan Mansion, who has been putting stuff out on his page for about 2 years, makes all of his own stuff. When I mean all of his own stuff, I mean ALL of it. He mixes it all together, he produces it, and writes his own raps. It’s all him, and that’s refreshing. He’s not someone that is going to put out something because that’s what is popular. He want to do it his way, the way that’s genuine to him.
What I liked most about his music was his production. No single beat sounds the same, every work feels distinct and personal. They range from hard-hitting with drums and horns and full of bass with tracks like “FLAMEZ” and “ZOOM ZOOM”, to smooth and airy on a track like “Summatyme”, off of his latest EP, TRASH-FI. Throughout all of his work, he has shown an ability to switch up the pace and the mood in his production, displaying a versatility that is somewhat rare coming from Soundcloud.
He can deliver a high energy track to get a crowd going with the aforementioned “ZOOM ZOOM” or can slow the pace down for a more chill, low-fi mood with “Womp” (a personal favorite). He does best when combining different elements of music to create a unique sound that works well. His usage of electronic elements to create hip hop beats serves to form an interesting combination that grabs you in a way that other productions don’t.
HIs lyrics have a distinct fun, relaxed feeling that gives off the impression that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. At one time, he takes on the topic of eating nachos and the bad breath that comes with. He vibes along with his beats with playful wordplay that can even elicit a chuckle at times. On top of that, the lyrics on his eclectic production showcase his ability to switch up his flow between smooth and brash in an instant.
If you’re someone who is looking for a local artist to get behind and support, look no further than Dan Mansion. He is real, dedicated to doing things his way, and he is talented. A lot of y’all will latch on to people who are fake and aren’t really into music for the right reason. This man is a diamond in the rough who should be exposed to a wider audience. On top of that, he’s an easy going guy with a real unassuming aesthetic. He’s most likely to strike up a conversation with you as you’re buying coffee. He’s a genuine artist who isn’t afraid to put himself out there and share his work. He deserves a listen, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed.