There are not many artists who can successfully blend multiple sounds into one. Dayon and his team have found a way to create a seamless sound with elements of funk, rock, blues, and even gospel. His raps are so personal that sometimes it seems like he’s talking directly to the person listening to the song. His eclectic style and everchanging sound keeps fans interested as they never know what’s coming next.
Peep our interesting conversation below to learn about his album ME, his life growing up, and more!
Ahmad Davis: First things first, please introduce yourself to those who do not know who you are?
Dayon Greene: My name is Dayon Greene, and I’m an artist, producer, and songwriter from the DMV by way of Maryland.
AD: Storytelling is a big part of your music. Can you tell us how you became so strong in that area?
DG: Storytelling comes naturally to me. For as long as I could remember, I’ve always had a vivid memory and imagination. That plays a huge role in my ability to recall different situations. As a child, I was always drawn to records that reeled you in with their story. I’ve always been captivated by the authenticity of a musician’s individual narrative. A song that comes to mind is “Warning” by Biggie. I look back on the first time I heard it and was mind blown. Another record that paints such an intricate picture is “Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter’s Daughter” by Kendrick Lamar. Listening to records like those have helped sharpen my songwriting and storytelling abilities.
AD: “Big Steppa” shows that you can rap with the best of them. What were you looking to show in that new visual?
DG: Much love. Many people don’t know this, but I played soccer growing up. Even in college, I was very involved in the sport, so I was looking to draw parallels from my love for the game—soccer and rap—in the visual. “Big Steppa” was a track where I could talk my stuff while showing people just how multi-faceted I am as an artist.
AD: You have loved music since you were a toddler. Can you explain how growing up in the DMV inspired you musically?
DG: I’ve been around music my entire life, so being from the DMV inspires many of what I create. For anyone unfamiliar with the DMV, we have homegrown music called Go-Go here, a percussion-based derivative of funk. So in our area, all of the best musicians, MCs, and singers would get together and form Go-Go bands. I was blessed enough to experience it with my father, who played congas and timbales in multiple bands. He’s much of my musical muse.
Watching him growing up, I was naturally drawn to playing the drums, which fostered my love for music. My father also owns a barbershop in Walker Mill and installed FL Studio on the shop computer to keep us busy during the summer when I was younger. Not to mention my uncles who were part of a DMV-based rap group called “Section 8 Mob,” so music runs in my bloodline.
AD: Church is a big part of life for a lot of young black men. Speak to how this impacted you coming up?
DG: Growing up, my grandmother lived with my family and was heavily involved in church, so naturally, I followed suit. I remember getting there early in the mornings and leaving late at night. It was a huge part of my life—spiritually and musically. It’s safe to say, God has always been with me, and I’d like to think that it comes out in my music. For instance, songs like “Home,” for instance, have many of the church elements I grew up on. I can’t explain how much of a positive impact growing up in church was. From serving on the usher ministry to singing in the choir, I learned so much, not just about music but about cultivating community.
AD: If you had dinner and could only invite 5 people whose work you enjoy (DOA) who would those people be?
DG: Martin Luther King Jr, André 3000, Drake, Grandma Greene, and Bob Marley. All of these people have influenced me in one way or another. I would love to pick their brains. Plus, I’d do ANYTHING to have my Grandma Greene’s famous fried chicken again.
AD: Your music is extremely personal, does baring your soul like that scare you at all and explain your answer?
DG: Not at all. I’m a pretty transparent person. Not going to lie though, I did have nerves initially when I released Track 5, “Pride Suicide/FOE,” off my album Me. I get super personal on that record, from things that have affected me to my mental health. But despite the nerves, I’m happy I shared it because it reached and resonated with so many people. As an artist, I believe it’s our duty to make music authentic to who we are because if not, what’s the point. Getting vulnerable on records can literally save someone’s life. You never know. Plus, we all deserve community. I think back to the many songs that have comforted me and got me through rough times, so I’ll always repay it by speaking my truth with the music I make.
AD: Can you let us in on any upcoming projects you have coming up in 2021?
DG: A lot is coming down the pipeline real soon. I’ve been in the studio, day and night, working on some dope songs with a handful of my favorite producers, so stay tuned. I also have super fun visuals dropping, so a bunch of exciting things to come.
AD: If you had to use one song to introduce yourself to other artists, what song would it be?
DG: Hands down “Pride Suicide/FOE.”
Check out his latest album ME and stay up to date with all of Dayon’s plans for 21′ on socials!