Artists In Conversation: Deadnakedparty! VS. 10Daniel16
Behind every great musician, there’s a great artist. Whether it’s Cole Bennett directing music videos that have been the product of some of the biggest hits in recent years or Gunner Stahl’s signature style capturing stills of Atlanta’s trap scene. Both Cole and Gunner have gone onto worldwide success, renowned for their aesthetic that has been so prevalent in many musicians careers.
New Zealand music is as healthy as ever, rising musicians receiving co-signs from the OGs and kiwi’s being recruited by music royalty overseas. While the musicians are rising, there are two creatives merging their style into the wave.
Deadnakedparty! and 10Daniel16 are two of the driving creative forces within the music scene. Deadnakedparty! is the man behind covers from Church & AP, KOME, Jinzo and more. His incorporation of photography and drawing has led his style to recognised throughout the scene, more recently having a song named after him by Jinzo and humbleboy. While 10Daniel16’s countless hours on editing suites has produced videos for the likes of Lukas and humbleboy. It’s clear his style has been taken notice of with SWIDT enlisting Daniel for their latest track, ‘Who Run It’.
Last month we saw Deadnakedparty! and 10Daniel16 sit down for their separate interviews, now Nah Zone lets you inside the minds of the two as they sit down to interview each other.
Deadnakedparty!: So we should introduce ourselves, right? I’m Deadnakedparty!, and this is 10Daniel16.
10Daniel16: So the first question I have for you - it might be personal - what’s the meaning behind your name?
DNP: This is the one thing I wanted someone to ask! So Deadnakedparty! is pretty much an accumulation of my style at the time. Dead naked party, those word associations - dead is sort of the dark, grunge aesthetic, naked is the vulnerability, and party is like the trippy euphoric aesthetic, all just accumulated into one. I didn’t make it on the fly, it was all impulse. As soon as I made it, there was this Pablo Picasso painting, and it was all these naked girls. I think that was another muse for the name, and it just stuck with me. It’s quite childish, I might abandon that name soon but right now for me being a young fucking artist making shit I think that’s fitting aye. To appeal to the youth, I think.
Daniel: And if you were to abandon that name, what would be next?
DNP: I don’t know! I guess we’ll just have to see. Its a super easy question, but I was wondering what’s your favourite movie?
Daniel: The Pursuit of Happiness. It just brings a tear to my eye watching it. What’s yours?
DNP: I have heaps, but have you heard of the movie Taxi Driver? It’s this movie with Robert De Niro, they’re this iconic mirror scene where he’s like “you talking to me?!”. Do you know that?
Daniel: Nah. To be honest I’m not much of a movie dude, like I can’t sit still when I’m watching shit. But The Pursuit of Happiness, I can watch that shit over and over again. I was wondering how does being from South Auckland, specifically Manurewa, impact you as a person and an artist?
DNP: It gave me my foundation first and foremost, and it gave me a lot of inspiration to draw back from. Right now with a lot of my shit I try to draw from little motifs I get from growing up in Manurewa, just anything to do with the aesthetic of Manurewa. And the fact that I went to an a majority brown school. It really just helps your diversity and open mindedness, being receptive to a whole lot of cultures. It goes a long way, especially when you make shit, because you have so many different cultures to draw from.
Daniel: What are you doing now? Are you at uni, are you working or are you doing this full time?
DNP: Nah, I still need to find a job right now. I just got let go, right before this DNP shit started popping off, I got let go of and then everything else just started taking off. I’m still doing this lowkey, like part time. When I do this at home it’s whether I want to, it’s something I work on in my own time. What is your favourite piece of work of mine? And I’ll tell you mine of yours.
Daniel: ...Two things. One wouldn’t be my favourite but it really surprised me. The promo video you did for Nah Zone. I was tripping out when you did that, because I never expected it, I didn’t know you came from a video type background.
DNP: Yeah, I’m hard out into video. No one really knows this but I’m video first and photography second.
Daniel: That’s fire. It inspired me too because when I saw the comments everyone was giving you mad props, I was like “shit, I need to up my game!”. How’d you go about creating that?
DNP: After Effects, the 3D cameras, bouncing back with illustrator and exporting it.
Daniel: That’s so much harder than it looks. And the other piece! I like the one you did with Kome around the TV.
DNP: Shot! That was for the Kome EP 2 cover originally, but I think they lowkey scrapped the idea because everyone in Kome isn’t in the photo. They wanted to reshoot the photo with everyone in it, but there was scheduling conflicts so we couldn’t make it happen. So I asked if I could upload the photo because it was too hard, and it took me a while to crack that specific shot. My favourite work from you is the SWIDT ‘Who Run It’ music video. You get better and better, but ‘Who Run It’, the cut to the beat was so solid. As far as the colour and the visual, because I’m a trippy dude I liked the ‘Holy Smoke’ music video, like the colour gradient you did. It suited it aye, cause it’s like a stoney song.
Daniel: Thank you man. The SWIDT one, that came about when they came to me about the song. When I first heard the song I asked them what kind of visuals they were messing with at the time, and they were really big fans of the A$AP videos. In the group chat they would link it when they dropped, like ‘Praise the Lord’ and ‘A$AP Forever’. I made a trailer, made up of A$AP Ferg’s Plain Jane and a couple other tracks. They were really happy with the Plain Jane video, so we kinda shot everything using that inspiration. It’s funny because in the comments everyone was saying “this is too much like Dexter Navy”, and I’m just thinking, well, that was the inspiration.
DNP: You were using the inspirations that were given to you, it’s kinda like a brief you were following. There’s another dude no one knows you work with closely - well, I think if you know you know. Jordy Fed, is that your close bro?
Daniel: Yeah, I’ve known him since high school. It's funny because I know him personally, so I’ve seen him grow in his life and all the changes he’s made. That’s his story to tell, but he approached me through Facebook as we were working with another mate of mine Jay, otherwise known as Arch One. He’s new into videography and stuff and he handles a lot of cinematography type stuff. He had a bunch of equipment and what not, and when we got working together he really added another perspective, bouncing ideas off each other and all that. In your interview with Max you touched on your desire to be truly validated as an artist. Can you tell me what being an artist means to you, and how do you know when you’ve reached this point?
DNP: I think an artist is someone who expresses, regardless of what his or her expression is, it just shines through. You can just tell. I feel like artists have to be prominent and stand out and pushed to the forefront. That’s what their responsibility is. They can’t just be in the background or behind the scenes, the artists should be the pop stars. Being an artist is just being unashamed and unafraid to push yourself out there. You’re not in front of the camera all the time, but everybody knows who 10Daniel16 is. Deadnakedparty isn’t in the photos often because he’s taking them.
Daniel: But there’s songs with ‘Deadnakedparty!'
DNP: Yeah, the impact that we have! I feel like that’s what being an artist is. You don’t literally have to be in a photo, but your style can be seen and you can tell that’s your shit. It’s like you’re there, but in spirit. Like, you’re there in spirit in your Swidt music video. They know10Daniel16 had this big contribution to them, it’s not like they pushed you to the back.
10Daniel16: That’s the thing with content creators and artists like us, without us there’s no content. And with no content, they’re no fan base, no money, nothing.
DNP: And there’s no aesthetic, no brand. We give the brands to these people. Without us contributing our creative genius they wouldn’t have a way to stand out as an artist. Who’s your favourite music artists in New Zealand right now?
Daniel: I’ll always be a huge fan of SWIDT, because they’re local to me. Lukas has great potential. Jinzo is great live, and KOME is fire. Church & AP got a lot of potential as well. JessB in ‘Off The Top’. She might be my favourite right now. What about you?
DNP: Probably most of the people you named aye. But I have to add Dharmarat, he’s the man. When they put on shows in his area they go off. Jinzo, Dera and Spycc from SWIDT. I love SWIDT, but I love SWIDT because of him. He brings his Tongan culture into it.
Daniel: He really does incorporate the Tongan language into his verses as well, it’s fire. We know that you’ve dabbled in film and now specialise in photography. Is there anything else you want to try in the future?
DNP: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind running a label. I see you doing your own thing, running a lowkey empire with One Track, and that got me thinking... of like a record label. I see all these artists, and I feel like I could curate them onto a label where we could all collaborate and make similar things that works towards the bigger picture, which is empowering the brown artists in New Zealand.
Daniel: There’s so much potential and talent in these dudes around here.
DNP: I lowkey already started something with Bryson (@naik2g), we both started an art collective for brown artists called RARO BOYS. It’s got all the mean brown artists right now. Besides Bryson and myself there's SouthSides, SouthAucklandTrash and NVRYH, we’re still in the beginning stages but we’re thinking of doing a zine. We were thinking about having you in it! We didn’t know if we would add a video aspect, but I was like fuck yeah. Our conflict was that you already have your own thing going on with One Track but just being a part of it or to be affiliated would be solid.
Daniel: I’d be keen man.
DNP: Because we’re all just brown artists trying to strive. We’re trying to make a presence. It’s to do with coming from these urban areas. It’s the brown artists who are always open minded.
Daniel: From these walks of life, when you leave the house you meet people from all different backgrounds who speak different languages. It takes you into the world with a way more open mind then you would have if you’re in an area where everyone’s the same.
DNP: As a videographer, do you ever feel marginalised or mistreated by artists?
Daniel: Oh yeah, big time. There was this one dude, I was working with him because we had formed a relationship when I was really new to music videos. I was working on his recent one, and the way he was communicating with me was really disrespectful, treating me like the dude who just walks around with the camera and does whatever he asks. So I explained to him the whole point of me doing what I do is because it allows for me to have creative freedom.
DNP: That’s kinda why I try to push myself as an entity. You should be getting paid heaps. We should be getting paid a lot and getting respected. It goes back to what an artist really means. I remember always doing stuff for people for free. I lowkey still do, but I pick and choose. Is that the same for you?
Daniel: I started off free, basically. My first paid thing was this lyrics video for this guy who messaged me on Instagram. He paid me $50 and I made his little lyrics video. Ever since then I’ve pretty much been charging, with each project increasing as I do it. I’ve noticed you have a lot of confidence in your work, and you like to really push that and make statements - but you have a lot of assurance behind it. Like when you said ‘don’t ask me to take a photo of you.’
DNP: Yeah! I’ve taken photos at events forever, and it fucks me off. It’s lowkey one of the reasons why I don’t wanna shoot events anymore. Plain and simple, I don’t like people asking me to take a photo of them. If I really find you interesting enough to take a photo of you or I feel like it’s important to take a photo of you, I’ll do it. There’s always people who nag me or tap me on the shoulder like “can you take a photo of me and my friends?”, and they’ve all lined up already and I’m like “fuck, really?”. Like at the Friends + Enemies show, there were a lot of 16 year old girls asking me to take photos of them, I was looking at them and shaking my head and just avoided them. I take whatever I want, it kinda goes back to being seen as an object as an artist. I didn’t even get paid, so like at least let me keep my creative integrity. Shoutout to Friends + Enemies, there’s no bad blood, we did have a working relationship but I always choose loyalty. I’m not with that whole getting paid with exposure thing.
Daniel: Nah, it’s trash.
DNP: It’s demeaning. There’s no reason to work with someone if they disrespected my friends. Shoutout to them though, they’re still doing their thing.
Daniel: Integrity is everything at the end of the day. You gotta have respect for not only yourself but everyone around you. So how did your relationship with Nah Zone come about?
DNP: I knew Joni was the founder so I just added/followed her and she always liked my stuff. One day she messaged me and we met up and that was the start of a beautiful relationship.
Daniel: Yeah, she does a lot for people.
DNP: She’s for the culture. Everyone in the Nah Zone team is right now. Do you feel like we have to put more work as an artist in New Zealand to be recognised in the industry and put on the map?
Daniel: I think just being out here in the world, no one really pays attention to us. So our only option is to force peoples attention. It makes us better as artists, having that adversity that makes us work so much harder. You’ve worked with a bunch of major artists on the come up. Is there anyone else local you want to work with?
Daniel: I think the one dude I wanna do a music video for is Tom Scott. Just because he was my childhood hero, I would listen to him all through high school. That’s one of my goals.
DNP: Have you had many potential collaborations that were meant to happen but they just fizzle out? Can you speak on that?
Daniel: Heaps, man. I was meant to do a music video for Jinzo and that didn’t come about because it was a communication thing. I shot that Church & AP ‘Flex on Myself’ remix and it never came out.
DNP: If you weren’t in videography, what would you be doing right now?
Daniel: I’d probably still be in uni studying business. But as far as passions go, I get really passionate about things. I used to be really heavily into health and gym and fitness, and the deeper I got into that industry I realised the people weren’t what you expected them to be. So I dipped outta that, and started focusing on my other hobby at the time, which was videos. But if I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably be doing something creative. Maybe music, I’ve always wanted to get into music. So that’s still on the cards for the future.
DNP: And you have all these people to network with now!
Daniel: Hard. What’s next for DNP in the next year?
DNP: Investing more in my equipment and keep pushing what I’m doing right now, because I know it’ll eventually lead to something bigger. Hopefully unifying the brown scene. I wanna be some sort of like A$AP Yams of the music industry.
Daniel: Like orchestrating everything.
DNP: Yeah, like curating everything. I’m not just some photographer, I’m not just one dimensional. What about you?
Daniel: A lifetime goal would to eventually start up a radio station or something similar. Something modern that everyone can access.