Born in New York, 22 year old singer/songwriter David Diaz is making his name known out of Florida. As an independent alternative R&B artist, his music is enigmatic and thought-provoking as it is heavily influenced by theories of existentialism, religion, spirituality, and human nature. Today, David is hard at work in the studio working on his debut EP, from which his debut single "Sinner" is taken.
“Sinner” features a mellow ambiance, a contrast between the layers and a leading melody that floats along in a sort of thoughtful R&B style. David Diaz is an artist working hard and fast to make a name for himself. His music has a partly nostalgic feel to it, it’s comforting, familiar, yet fresh. It also partly leans in a totally new and authentic direction. The beat on this single is a big part of what gives it so much character. It’s an up front force of rhythm that you really notice throughout the experience. In addition to the musical strengths of “Sinner”, the concept is of course a crucial part of what makes a song connect, regardless of genre. The lyrics during the verses appear in a recognizable way, feeling relatable, addressing experiences of love and realness. The idea is presented subtly but surely, so by the time the hook hits, you expect it, you’ve anticipated it, and it satisfies in the right kind of way. David Diaz’ vocal tone and performance style presents “Sinner” in a spectacular and mesmerizing fashion.
Check out “Sinner” here and read more below in our exclusive interview!
Welcome to BuzzMusic David Diaz! For those new to your work, how would you define your sound and your approach to making music?
Wow, thank you so much! I’m really glad to be here! This is so exciting! Well, to start off, the way I would define my sound is Alternative R&B. I really connect with this genre because it’s origins come from Hip-Hop, Soul Music, Neo Soul, and Electronic music, all of which are genres that I am influenced by and incorporate into my music. At first, I wasn’t sure how to identify my sound because I didn’t strictly identify with any specific genre, then I did some research and found Alternative R&B to be a beautiful combination of all my favorite types of music! I was born, and lived, in the Bronx for a couple of years before moving here to Florida. As a result, I was raised listening to a lot of classic R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Gospel singers and musicians in the late 90’s into the early 2000s. Especially, artists such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Micheal Jackson, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Lena Horne, and my late cousin, legendary jazz pianist, Billy Taylor.
As for my approach to making music, it really depends on what I’m feeling at the moment. Most artists say that they hear something randomly in their head and they come up with a hook or a verse. For me, it doesn’t happen that way.
What I do is, I schedule time in my day to sit down and get into a headspace where I feel creative and in tune with my thoughts and emotions. It’s at that point where I feel like I can start writing some really good music because it’s coming from the truest and most real place. Making music I always want to be as authentic as possible. One thing I learned early on, is to never do something when your heart and soul isn’t into it. That helped me so much once I started applying that, firstly, to my life and second to music.
What does the song “Sinner” represent for you?
“Sinner” is heavily inspired by my personal experience with religion. It’s about religious people who are living a double life and living by a double standard. These people are so comfortable in the illusions that they’ve created for themselves, and for other people, that they lose touch with reality and with the people that they truly are deep down. I wrote this song as a way of looking these people in the eye and saying, “I see you, and I’m calling you out on your bullshit!” To say the least, writing this song was extremely cathartic.
What has been one of your most memorable or life changing achievements as an artist so far?
Wow! I’ve had so many amazing things happen to me recently and I’ve has so many awesome experiences, but I’d probably have to say that buying my first microphone was the most memorable and life-changing thing that has happened to me so far. When I decided to start seriously pursuing a career in music, I knew that there were things that I needed in order to do that. So, with almost no money, I bought a used SingStar microphone at GameStop. This was a very big deal for me, as I finally had a way to start recording vocals. Then, every day after I got home from high-school, I would come home, take out my outdated windows laptop, open up Audacity, and start writing what I thought were the best songs ever!
After four or five years of doing this, my mother saw how passionate I was about music and saw my potential. She sat me down and told me she wanted to whatever she could to support me in my pursuit of music, and so, she purchased me my first real microphone. I remember how excited I was! It was one of the best feelings in the world; it was like every star in the sky was shining one thousand times brighter that night. I couldn’t wait to get home and start recording. Little did I know that day would change my life for the better. If it wasn’t for my mother's amazing heart and that microphone, I wouldn’t be here telling this story to you right now!
What are your thoughts on mainstream R&B at present, and your hopes for the genre going forward?
I actually don’t listen to most mainstream R&B. Here and there I will if the production is good, but I find that a lot of R&B songs are about relationships, sex, money, drugs, romance, among other topics that I don’t personally relate to. There is nothing empirically wrong with writing or singing about them; I just don’t find any personal meaning in those types of songs. My own music is centered around more abstract subjects, such as religion, philosophy, human emotion, human nature, and spirituality, just to name a few; all things that people can relate to or connect with whether they know it or not.
Going forward, I hope that the discrimination against people of mixed race (and non-colored) people in R&B comes to an end. As both an African-American and a Latino artist, I have been discriminated against for not being black enough, and I know of other R&B artists who aren’t black at all, and they are constantly told that they shouldn’t even be singing that style of music. Now, of course, a person of color might have different reasons as to why they relate to R&B than a non-colored person does, but I really hope that people mature in their way of thinking and realize that music is for people of all colors and ethnicities.
What’s next for you David?
I am happy to say that my debut EP is very close to being completed and should be released at some point soon this year. Also, live performances and concerts! There aren’t any official dates yet, but we’re planning some great stuff and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Keep up with David Diaz!