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Danny Swain Headshot.jpg
Promotional photo for untitled video game
Born August 18
Killeen, Texas, United States
Residence Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Other names
  • D. Swain
  • D-Swizzy
  • $WAIN
  • Brawl McCartney
Years active 2004–present
Website www.dannyswain.com
Musical career
Genres Hip hop
  • Drum machine
  • keyboards
  • sampler
  • synthesizer
  • vocals
  • StarTower Music, Ltd.
Associated acts

Danny Swain, better known by his mononymous stage name Danny! (/ˈdæniˈ/, or dan-EE), is an American music composer, recording artist, singer/songwriter and voiceover talent.[1]

Danny! rose to prominence shortly after his debut performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,[2] where he premiered his single "Evil"; he subsequently began a side career in voice acting, narrating the fifteenth season of ESPN's Hey Rookie, Welcome To The NFL. Danny! would later make his first appearance on Sesame Street that same year.

Ebony Magazine has listed Danny! among other rising artists in its "Leaders of the New School" piece, calling Danny! one of a handful of "innovators".[3] GQ would later reiterate the same[4][5] about Danny!'s music production, regarding it as "brilliantly savvy". Danny! has composed background music that has since been placed in numerous motion pictures and television programs; most notably, FOX's animated series Bob's Burgers for which Danny! was awarded an Emmy plaque for his contributions to an episode that won in the Outstanding Animated Program category at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2017.[6]

Early life[edit]

Danny!, the only son of military parents,[7] was born in Killeen, Texas and moved to Columbia, South Carolina as a teenager. He attended Richland Northeast High School and began pursuing music as a hobby during his sophomore year.[1] Danny! would later start penning his own lyrics and eventually recorded makeshift songs primarily as a showcase for his production.[8]


2004–2006: Early beginnings, Charm and instrumental albums[edit]

After spending nearly a year networking with local artists Danny! released his debut mixtape The College Kicked-Out.[1][9] The record received mixed to unfavorable reviews—an up-and-coming Charlamagne tha God was among Kicked-Out's critics, panning the mixtape on air while working as a local radio station personality—which Danny! would allude to in much of his later work.

Shortly after Kicked-Out's release Danny! was accepted to the Savannah College of Art & Design and accordingly relocated to Savannah, Georgia.[1] It was here that he began to work on his second project, F.O.O.D.[9] The following year Danny! officially released his third mixtape Charm,[9] which was notable for featuring an underlying theme of escapism in its narrative of a musician who wants to achieve success through music and be reprieved of the day-to-day routine in his hometown. Charm went on to become Danny!'s biggest success at the time and, coincidentally, help make the entire premise of the record come true in real life.

During this time Danny! compiled an instrumental album, Dream, Interrupted, in an effort to promote his production; within two years the sequels Dream, Fulfilled and Dream, Extinguished would also be released.[9]

It's all people telling you to do this and that…[but] when you do what they say and it still doesn't work in your favor, it's like, 'well, I was fine the way I was'. You just got to keep moving. There's no guarantee for anything.

Danny!, on instinct and perseverance
(GQ, 2014)[5]

2007–2011: MTV, And I Love H.E.R. and Interscope era[edit]

After Charm Danny! received his first big break when MTV played a role in securing him a recording contract with an independent music label, at the time helmed by El-P of Run the Jewels fame.[10][11] The record deal allowed Danny! to release an album through the label, promoting it with a 12" single and accompanying music video slated for an exclusive premiere on mtvU. Though the label's involvement would not amount to a released album—only the single "Just Friends", which managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100[12]—the deal did establish an ongoing relationship between Danny! and MTV, which would begin using his music extensively in various programming for years to come.

Danny! would continue to gain acclaim, mostly on the merits of his production style, and eventually self-released his debut album, the faux-soundtrack And I Love H.E.R.[9] The album was cited at the time by publications such as Pitchfork[13], L.A. Weekly[14] and ABC News[15] as one of the best releases of the year. And I Love H.E.R. was also notable for introducing yet another musical direction for Danny!, who was experimenting with hip house, downtempo and electronica during the record's inception to produce a sort of "lounge-hop" hybrid that has since become his definitive style, though Danny!'s output would become significantly more experimental and nuanced in subsequent releases. Following And I Love H.E.R.'s success, Danny! completed the Relapse & Madvillainy-inspired Where Is Danny?.[9] Interscope Records, through its short-lived digital distribution program,[16] would quietly distribute a revamped version of the album on iTunes.[17]

2012–present: Breakthrough, music licensing and The Book of Daniel[edit]

After the release of his third studio LP Payback,[9] the title track of Danny!'s previous album was featured in a commercial for Sonos wireless speakers. Long fascinated with music licensing Danny! subsequently signed on as a composer for MTV's internal Hype Music label[18] (later absorbed into Sony/ATV's Extreme Music production music library) and slowly transitioned into a more prominent producer role, landing instrumental placements with various Viacom television programming as well as commercials for Nordstrom, McDonald's, and incidental music for Bob's Burgers and its soundtrack, The Bob's Burgers Music Album.

However, GQ Magazine revealed that Danny! was indeed working on a follow-up to Payback,[5] initially titled "Deliverance" but later changed to The Book Of Daniel after the book in the Bible. During the album's development Danny! appeared in Sesame Street's "Party Bus" video, which featured an original remix of "The Wheels On The Bus" composed by Swain. He also began working as a voiceover artist, narrating the entire season of Hey Rookie, Welcome To The NFL in 2016 for ESPN, the following year Danny! was awarded an Emmy plaque from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for his musical contributions to the Bob's Burgers episode "Bob Actually" (Outstanding Animated Program, 2017[6]), composing music for three scenes.[19]


Studio albums[edit]

Instrumental albums[edit]

Production credits[edit]

Artist Song(s) Album Year
Danny Brown "Exotic", "The Nana Song" The Hybrid 2010
Danny Brown "Counterfeit", "Hey!"* Detroit State of Mind 4 2010
Lil B "The Game On Lock", "Illusions of G" Illusions of Grandeur 2 2012
Wale "Never Never Freestyle" Folarin 2012
Cody ChesnuTT "Scroll Call (Danny Swain Remix)" Landing On A Hundred: B-Sides & Remixes 2014

Film & television placements/credits[edit]

Song(s) Where Featured Network Year
"Intermission (interlude)" Jersey Shore After Hours MTV 2008
"Cafe Surreal" aMTV promotional bumper MTV 2009
"Ebony Flower" Wainy Days My Damn Channel 2009
"Check It Out" Disaster Date MTV 2011
"The Groove" Dina's Party HGTV 2011
"The Groove" Love Lust SundanceTV 2011
"The Groove" 2011 Comedy Awards Comedy Central 2011
"Cafe Surreal", "The Groove" Red Bull Signature Series: Supernatural NBC 2012
"Cafe Surreal" The Association ESPN 2012
"Crasy Sound" Elbow Room HGTV 2012
"Evil" live performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC 2012
"God Bless The Child" Breaking Amish TLC 2012
"Loser" Breaking Amish: Extended Episodes TLC 2012
"Misery" Rockstar Presents: XDurance Series (with Rob Adelberg) YouTube 2012
"Pineapple Gumdrop" LXTV 1st Look NBC 2012
"Still Standing" Life After: Karyn White TV One 2012
"Where Is Danny", "I Ain't The Walrus" Sonos television advert cable 2012
"Cafe Surreal" Crown Royal: Best Of promotional clip during 2013 NBA Playoffs TNT 2013
"Malice In Blunderland" The Challenge: Rivals II MTV 2013
"Man On The Moon" Snooki & Jwoww MTV 2013
"One Day It'll All Make Cents" The Show with Vinny MTV 2013
"Torture" World of Jenks MTV 2013
"Gibraltar (Danny!'s Pride And Vanity Remix)" Just Blaze interview[20] Okayplayer 2014
"Check It Out" Nordstrom anniversary sale summer promo cable and radio 2014
"Take Me To The Muddy Grass" "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" episode of Bob's Burgers FOX 2014
"The Wheels On The Bus" "Party Bus" segment on Sesame Street PBS, HBO, YouTube 2016
"Gangsta's Pair o' Dice", "Breakdance Bugaloo", "Walk Like This, No No Like This" "Bob Actually" episode of Bob's Burgers FOX 2017

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Jeffries, David (2013-03-11). "Danny!: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  2. ^ Blotnick, Emmy (2012-09-21). "Danny! Performs "Evil"". NBC. Archived from the original on November 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  3. ^ Carter, Kelley (2013-01-02). "Leaders Of The New School". Ebony Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Get familiar with our man Danny! now. In 2014 he'll be contending for producer of the year". Instagram. 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  5. ^ a b c Stelios, Phili (2014-03-05). "The GQ+A". GQ. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Bob's Burgers: Awards & Nominations". Emmys.com. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 2018-01-12. 
  7. ^ Jackson, Deborah (2009-03-11). "Military People: Danny Swain". Military Hub. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  8. ^ Anto, Julio (2012-12-04). "Danny! Discusses New Album Payback, Co-signs From Jay-Z And Blank, And The Evolution Of DIY In Hip-Hop". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Swain, Daniel (2018-01-02). "Danny!: Discography". DannySwain.com. Retrieved 2018-01-04. 
  10. ^ Welte, Tim (2007-01-27). "Danny Swain Wins mtvU Contest". TV.com. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  11. ^ Stoehr, John (2007-01-28). "Local Student Wins MTV Award". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  12. ^ Howard, Jacinta (2009-04-28). "Don't Sleep On Danny!". Creative Loafing. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  13. ^ Love, Joshua (2008-10-18). "Danny!: And I Love H.E.R. (Album Review)". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  14. ^ Weiss, Jeff (2008-08-01). "The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums Of The Half-Year". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  15. ^ Raible, Allan (2009-01-02). "The 50 Best Albums of 2008: Nos. 25 to 1". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  16. ^ Loss-Eaton, Nicholas (2010-11-12). "Discovering New Music Artists in the Digital Age: Interscope Digital Distribution Reaches Beyond DIY". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  17. ^ "Danny! - 'Where Is Danny'". iTunes. 2011-05-17. Archived from the original on 2011-05-28. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  18. ^ Jones, Jeffrey (2013-09-10). "Hype Music: Roster". MTV. Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  19. ^ "Internet Movie Database: Danny Swain". IMDb. 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  20. ^ "Just Blaze Interview". 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 

External links[edit]