September 27, 2017
Danny Ocean already has had a long journey to make it where he is today. The rising Latin singer left his home in Venezuela because of “the lack of a future.” The South American country is in the midst of a political and economic crisis. In the U.S., Ocean used the distance separating him from his girlfriend back home as motivation for a song. He released “Me Rehúso” in September 2016. The song’s success on streaming services led to a contract with Warner Music Group this year. With new music from Ocean likely not far behind, the journey continues.
Ocean: Two things: a girl I had to leave behind in Venezuela because of the bad situation my country is going through and all those couples who have gone through the same situation. Actually, it was a gift to her for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t have enough money to send her something, so I just wrote a song.
SoundExchange: The song’s popularity is astounding. It debuted at No. 41 on the Billboard Latin Airplay chart in late August and has amassed hundreds of millions of streams on digital music services since its release. How important is streaming to you and your career?
Ocean: It’s a deep connection that artists have with fans when it comes to streaming. Streaming makes music accessible for everyone; we’re able to choose what, when and where we want to listen—it’s very powerful and important for all musicians.
SoundExchange: You have an interesting background. You’re from Venezuela, which is in complete turmoil right now. How hard was it to leave? And do you think you’ll ever be able to return?
Ocean: It’s pretty bad when a country forces you to leave because of the lack of future you can have in it. Returning is not in my plans for now.
SoundExchange: You released two EPs while you still lived in Venezuela. Has your music changed since you came to the U.S.? Or do you feel like you’re still the same musician you were when you lived in Venezuela?
Ocean: Music never changes, it evolves. While you grow as a person, your music grows with you.
SoundExchange: You signed with Warner Music Group in June. How has that relationship helped your career?
Ocean: Well, it’s only been two months since I signed—the adventure is just beginning. Warner has “muscle” and an amazing vision for my project.
SoundExchange: When do you expect to release new material? And do you think your next release will be in Spanish or English?
Ocean: Hopefully, soon! And my new material will be a little of both Spanish and English.
SoundExchange: It’s currently National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), a time dedicated to celebrating the cultural contributions of Hispanic people to the world-at-large. While the many genres of Latin music have always been well received around the globe, Latin music has recently experienced a major surge in popularity among non-Spanish-speaking audiences. Tell us your thoughts about the influence or impact of Hispanic culture – particularly, Latin music – on the global population.
Ocean: Music is a universal language. And streaming is making it so the world can get a taste of the richness and sexiness that is Latin music!