Damilleo began his music career as a singer/songwriter but quickly realized he was not receiving the feedback he had hoped for. That’s when he tried his hand at hip-hop. This artist’s music style would be described as playful, yet free flowing because he can tailor it to match any sound while keeping authenticity. As an artist, Damilleo wants to break stereotypes and challenge the status quo. His goal is to be the most complete entertainer he can be. Damilleo’s latest project “Fat & Handsome Vol. 1” is out now and available on all major streaming platforms.
“'Fat & Handsome Vol.1' is inspired by mental health awareness. The project was therapy for me in a sense. that's why I wanted to be as honest lyrically while bridging the gap between old school lyricists and new age artists.”
Damilleo manages to impressively walk the line between near-familiarity and freshness on this album. The whole album is centered around psychologist visits, beginning with “Week 1”. This segways into “Gordo” and flickers of recognizable musicality and a classically inspired approach to hip-hop walk hand-in-hand with a new sense of character and a series of contemporary bars, introducing the artist in an increasingly likeable way. The musical brightness and comforting traits of “Free Game” are mesmerizing. Damilleo hits the scene with a smooth style and unquestionable confidence. There’s a level of optimism and energy to the delivery, and indeed to the structure of the track. This project is as impressive musically as it is lyrically and performance-wise. Superb production allows each song to really reach out and grab you.
“Week 2” is the inner thoughts of an obviously terrible psychologist. It shows the listener a humorous side of Damilleo through the light-hearted delivery of this concept, but also focuses on heavy subject matter when he says “Does this guy even have money to pay for this?”. Professional help is sometimes only available to people that can afford it, and that’s part of the problem. Though there are a variety of issues and stories touched upon throughout, you do begin to gather a united sense of intention as each track pours through. “Principles” seems to officially kick this off, delving deep into the personal details and experiences that have made up Damilleo’s journey. The track leads with a quickly hypnotic hook and a classic backdrop that tips its hat to the legends of the genre. Damilleo’s lyrics and his emotional delivery really start to captivate here.
“Week 3” is this psychologist giving really cynical and awful advice to his patient including “Why don’t you throw a party?” and that takes us into the next hard-hitting track “Petty Party”. Conceptually, things continue to get all the more interesting and unique. Damilleo’s voice sounds powerful, smart and stylish yet also passionate and sincere enough to hold your attention. As the album continues, Damilleo makes sure to keep things musically and topically eclectic, allowing this to feel like a complex and consistently interesting playlist. “Tell Me” redirects things towards a dreamy soundscape and a level of optimism, another powerful story-line works hard to keep things real though. This track furthers the personal touch and the mellow vibe, drawing you in further and building upon that connection with the artist.
“Week 4” and we’re back with the psychologist, summarizing week 1-3, to almost boast the insincerity a little further, and lead the listener into the final track on the album “Acceptance”. Leading with a sense of melancholy and self-reflection, a poetic and deeply thoughtful song that seems perfectly well-suited to those late and sleepless nights spent lost in our own minds. A personal favourite for the mellow vibe and the honesty, “Acceptance” is a brilliant hit of escapism that offers a sense of togetherness, potentially helping you overcome feelings of isolation.
Damilleo keeps things unquestionably real, and that connects intensely on this record, especially during this final track. The piece acts as a reminder of the impressive lyricism and honesty that runs throughout his work. Superb production and a clear talent for the art-form stand tall at every step on this incredibly eclectic yet firmly rooted and heartfelt project.
Check out “Fat & Handsome Vol. 1” here and read more with Damilleo in our interview below!
Hey Damilleo! Welcome to BuzzMusic! What does the “Fat & Handsome Vol. 1” album mean to you, and what do you hope people take away from it?
FnH was a therapy session for me. It was me coming to terms with the fact that I am not the same person I was back in ’09. I am not the same artist that signed the major songwriting deal anymore. I have kids, businesses and an inside view on how the music business actually operates
I went through the 5 stages of grief for the old me during this project. I did that while bridging the gap between the old school and new school. Hip hop has evolved and not many are embracing the new artist the right way. I took the creative OG route. So what I want the listener to take away from FnH is you don’t have to be sick to go to therapy. Also you can be honest on raps and make it sound good.
How does this project differ from your previous releases?
This EP is different from the rest because I learned a lot about directing and intent musically while writing for others. My older work was mainly me being facetious, but that was my mind-state back then. FnH is my growth and my eagerness to share my experiences. Nobody wants to admit that they lost $1 million dollars and went from a car collection to walk everywhere. I just want to give the listener my story.
How do you come up with the story-lines and concepts for your songs?
My storylines and concepts always begin with personal experiences. Then the point I want to make in the song.
Which comes first, music or lyrics?
Lyrics. I’m always writing. I co produce most of my work. However sometimes I'll get inspired by an instrumental. Usually the beat dictates my direction.
What inspired the writing of “Fat & Handsome Vol. 1”?
The inspiration for FnH is my first time going to therapy, mental health awareness, as well as financial literacy.
Knowing how much heart has gone into it, how does it feel when you listen back?
I feel relieved. I feel confident. I feel ready to hit any live stage.
What are your hopes for your career?
I hope to keep making music at a high level and progressing. I hope to bring my style of HipHop to as many people as possible. I hope I can mentor the next generation of creators.
Be in the know with the latest on Damilleo and his music through his social media: