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Getting To Know: Unxqly Dan

Introducing Unxqly Dan, the rising star in Afro R&B, hailing from Manchester and poised to revolutionize the genre. Drawing inspiration from icons like Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Don Jazzy, and Lagbaja, Unxqly Dan brings a fresh perspective and innovative sound to the Afrobeat scene.

Immersed in the music of Afrobeat pioneers since childhood, Unxqly Dan pays homage to the genre's rich tapestry while pushing its boundaries. With infectious rhythms from Wizkid, soulful melodies from Davido, Afro-fusion brilliance from Burna Boy, and production genius from Don Jazzy, Unxqly Dan's music embodies authenticity and cultural pride.

Incorporating a mystique reminiscent of Lagbaja, Unxqly Dan creates a captivating sonic experience that sets him apart. His fusion of traditional Afrobeat elements with contemporary R&B influences showcases a dedication to innovation.

As a singer-songwriter, Unxqly Dan weaves narratives that resonate deeply with his roots, captivating audiences with his live performances that honor Afrobeat tradition while infusing a modern flair. With support from BBC 1Xtra, Unxqly Dan's journey is reaching new heights, with his latest single "Waste No Time" set to make waves as the BBC 1Xtra Track of the Week on March 22nd.

Join Unxqly Dan on his rhythmic journey as he continues to push boundaries and make his mark on the Afro R&B scene, supported every step of the way by BBC 1Xtra.

1. Growing up with the music of Afrobeat legends like Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy, how do you feel these icons have shaped your approach to music, and in what ways do you aim to both honor and differentiate your sound from theirs?

One of the most significant ways these artists have influenced me is in their ability to seamlessly blend various musical genres, including Afrobeats, hip-hop, R&B, and reggae, to create a distinct and internationally appealing sound. Their innovative approach to music production, coupled with their ability to craft catchy melodies and infectious rhythms, has taught me the importance of experimentation and pushing creative boundaries in my own music.


At the same time, I am acutely aware of the need to honor the legacy of Afrobeat music while also striving to differentiate my sound. While drawing inspiration from the rhythmic patterns, melodic structures, and lyrical themes present in Afrobeat music, I aim to infuse my own unique perspective and experiences into my songs.


In doing so, I seek to carve out a distinct musical identity that reflects my personal journey, cultural background, and artistic vision. Whether it's through exploring new sonic landscapes, incorporating elements of traditional African music, or experimenting with innovative production techniques, I aspire to create music that resonates with listeners on a deep and meaningful level while also pushing the boundaries of what Afrobeat music can be.


Ultimately, my goal is not only to pay homage to the Afrobeat legends who have paved the way for artists like myself but also to contribute to the continued evolution and global appreciation of this vibrant and dynamic genre.

2. The name Unxqly Dan itself stands out. Can you share the story behind your stage name and how it reflects your music and personal journey?

Growing up I was always told my voice was quite unique and the choice of "Unxqly" represents my commitment to embracing individuality and originality in my artistry. I believe that true creativity lies in embracing one's unique perspective and voice, rather than conforming to conventional norms or trends. Through my music, I strive to offer a fresh and distinctive perspective that resonates with listeners on a deeper level. The addition of Dan is just short for my name which is "Daniel"

Overall, the name Unxqly Dan encapsulates my journey as an artist striving to create music that is both authentic to myself and relevant to the world around me. It serves as a constant reminder to stay true to my vision, embrace my uniqueness, and continue evolving as an artist. Through my music, I hope to inspire others to embrace their own individuality and celebrate the diversity of voices within the music industry.

3. Your sound is a captivating blend of Afrobeat and R&B, infused with elements inspired by Lagbaja’s mystique. What challenges and opportunities does this fusion present in your creative process?

Challenges are things like Balancing Traditions: Striking a balance between honoring the traditions of Afrobeat and R&B while also infusing them with elements inspired by Lagbaja's mystique. It requires careful consideration to ensure that each genre's essence is preserved while still allowing room for experimentation and innovation.

Maintaining Cohesion: Integrating diverse musical influences into a cohesive sound can be challenging. It requires meticulous attention to detail in terms of songwriting, arrangement, and production to ensure that each element complements the others harmoniously without feeling disjointed.

Navigating Authenticity: There's a risk of coming across as inauthentic if the fusion feels forced or contrived. It's essential to approach the creative process with sincerity and authenticity, drawing inspiration from personal experiences and cultural influences to create music that feels genuine and heartfelt.

Opportunities areCreative Exploration: The fusion of Afrobeat, R&B, and Lagbaja's mystique opens up a world of creative possibilities. It allows for experimentation with different musical textures, rhythms, and instrumentation, enabling the creation of a truly unique and innovative sound that sets me apart from others in the industry.

Cultural Fusion: Embracing diverse musical influences provides an opportunity to celebrate cultural heritage and promote cultural exchange. It allows for the integration of traditional African elements alongside contemporary R&B sensibilities, creating music that resonates with audiences across cultural boundaries.

Artistic Expression: The fusion of multiple genres and influences provides a platform for artistic expression and self-discovery. It allows for the exploration of themes, emotions, and narratives in a way that transcends traditional genre boundaries, offering a rich and multifaceted sonic experience for both myself and the audience.

4. Your songs are known to weave narratives that resonate with cultural pride and authenticity. Can you discuss your songwriting process and how you decide on the themes and stories your music will tell?

It's truly a reflection of life experiences, emotions, and relationships that shape my music. Life itself serves as my greatest muse, with its moments of joy, pain, and everything in between inspiring the stories I tell through my songs.


Cultural pride is at the core of my music, as I draw from my heritage and upbringing to celebrate the traditions and resilience of my people. These themes of identity and belonging infuse every lyric and melody, creating a deep connection with listeners who share similar backgrounds.


And of course, love—particularly the love I share with my girlfriend—plays a central role in my songwriting. She's not only my muse but also my confidante, inspiring songs that capture the essence of our journey together. Whether it's the exhilaration of new love or the bittersweet moments of reflection, she's always there, guiding the emotions that flow into my music.


Sometimes, the songwriting process feels almost magical, as if the music itself is leading the way. Ideas come to me in moments of inspiration, and before I know it, a song has taken shape, revealing layers of meaning and emotion that I may not have fully realized until the very end.


In the end, my goal is to create music that speaks to the heart and soul of the listener, drawing them into a world of storytelling and emotion that reflects the beauty and complexity of life itself.

5. "With your latest single 'Waste No Time' being featured as BBC 1Xtra’s Track of the Week, what are your aspirations for the future? How do you see your music evolving, and what impact do you hope to have on the Afro R&B scene?"

My aspirations for the future are deeply rooted in both personal growth and contributing to the evolution of the Afro R&B scene. Looking ahead, I envision my music continuing to evolve in exciting ways, pushing boundaries and exploring new sonic territories while staying true to the core elements that define my sound. I see myself collaborating with other talented artists, producers, and songwriters to create music that is not only innovative and captivating but also deeply resonant with listeners.


In terms of impact, I hope to play a significant role in shaping the Afro R&B scene and elevating it to new heights on the global stage. Through my music, I aim to inspire and uplift audiences, celebrating the richness and diversity of African culture while bridging cultural divides and fostering unity through the universal language of music.


Moreover, I aspire to be a voice for authenticity and representation within the industry, championing diverse narratives and perspectives that reflect the multifaceted experiences of the African diaspora. By amplifying underrepresented voices and shining a spotlight on emerging talent, I hope to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable music industry where artists from all backgrounds can thrive and succeed.


Ultimately, my goal is to leave a legacy through my music—one that inspires future generations of artists to fearlessly pursue their dreams, embrace their uniqueness, and make a positive impact on the world through their artistry. With determination, passion, and a commitment to excellence, I believe that anything is possible, and I look forward to the journey ahead with great anticipation and excitement.


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