Growing up in Brooklyn, raised by a mother who used to sing and play guitar, Denys was constantly surrounded by a variety of music in his household. From Ukrainian folk music to RnB and Rap, there was a lot for him to draw inspiration from. Rap music in particular, was on every corner and a huge part of the culture where he was growing up in. Before you know it, his notebook was getting filled up with lyrics and rhymes expressing everything he was going through growing up.
Denys has performed at venues such as the legendary SOB’s. He’s already released 5 new singles in 2023 and has no plans of stopping. Momentum is on his side, and he has every intention to keep it rolling.
Learn more on who is Denys as V-Henny interviews him and his Journey.
V-Henny: Can you tell us how you got started?
Denys: I’ve always loved music since I was a kid. Growing up with a mom who used to sing and play guitar, we always had music playing in the house. There are home videos of me with a mic in my hand at 10 years old just singing my heart out. When I got to high school, that was probably the first time I really started writing lyrics and rhymes in my notebook. I felt as though I really connected with music, and it allowed me a space to express my thoughts and feelings. After years of keeping it to myself, in 2019 I met a group of fellow creatives called Just Royalty, which included producers, engineers and artists. That was the first time I got to see how music and songs were made and being created and how to put it all together. Seeing how it worked and being around that group of guys was the last bit of motivation and inspiration I needed to get started. A few months later I released my first single and I haven’t looked back since.
V-Henny: What motivates you to create?
Denys: Music has helped me a lot throughout my life as a listener. Finding a song that you can relate to when you’re going through something can really go a long way, because it reminds you that you’re not alone. I definitely love creating music because it allows me to turn my thoughts and feelings into something sonically beautiful and it allows me to express myself. But I also love doing it, because hopefully me speaking about certain things and creating songs about certain topics can do for other people what it’s done for me. If even one person can listen to one of my songs and feel something, whether it’s happiness or motivation or any type of emotion, that makes me feel good. I love knowing that I can create something that didn’t exist before that can bring people happiness or enjoyment. Hopefully my music can help someone else express and understand their emotions.
V-Henny: What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
Denys: I believe that I’m a versatile artist in terms of the stuff I talk about the type of music I put out. I personally don’t really know how to define my sound, because it varies from song to song which I think is important. I never wanted to put myself in a box and be the guy that only makes a specific type of sound. As an artist, of any kind, you’re supposed to have fun with it. Experiment, try new things, get out of your comfort zone. That’s definitely something that I think I do well. I’ve also always been very open and authentic when it comes to my music. It’s not hard to tell if you’re being real and honest with them or not, sometimes it’s more than just about having a catchy hook, and I think people value and appreciate that. This industry is filled with an enormous number of artists trying to make it every single day, but I know there’s only one me, there’s only one Denys, and staying true to myself will always be the most important thing to me.
V-Henny: Have you ever felt discouraged by the industry and if so, how did you overcome the thought/feeling?
Denys: Being in this industry definitely comes with a lot of highs and lows. I think that it’s easy to get discouraged when you work your ass off to create something you’re extremely proud of and excited about and then you release it, and it seems like no one sees the vision like you do. Truthfully though, I believe that it’s really all about perspective. I came to a point where I remembered why I started making music in the first place and that’s simply because I love it and I enjoy it and it allows me to express myself. I started caring less about results and what people think, because at the end of the day, if I create something and I love it and I’m proud of it then that’s all that matters. If someone else happens to like it, amazing. I’ve been at it for 4 years and obviously I want to be able to make a career out of this and be able to make a living doing what I love so yes, the results do matter. But I realized that stressing over those things will only prevent you from overcoming those obstacles. Just have a clear mind, do it for the love of the game, and everything else will come.
V-Henny: Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Denys: Russ. I’ve been a huge fan of his for a very long time and I’ve even met him back in 2017 before I started making music. Meeting him now and actually being able to pick his brain about music would be extremely insightful. Aside from making incredible music, his work ethic is really unmatched. He’s one of the most successful independent artists out there. He’s also one of very few artists who can do everything on their own, writing, producing, mix and mastering, etc. He’s definitely given me a lot of inspiration and motivation over the years so I would love to meet him and work with him in the future.
Rick Rubin. One of the greatest producers of all time and just so knowledgeable of the music industry. I’ve recently bought his book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, and it’s honestly opened my mind to so many new concepts and ways to look at things. He’s created so many incredible songs and worked with the best artists in the industry. I think he’s nothing short of a genius when it comes to music and creativity, and I just think he would be an amazing teacher. Even working in the same room with him would be so insightful.
Drake. Arguably the G.O.A.T. rapper in a lot of people’s eyes. He has been on top of the industry for so long and it feels as if he’s never going to stop. His catalogue is so incredible and versatile and completely filled with hits. There’s so much to learn from someone who’s able to be so consistent song after song, album after album, year after year. People say being successful isn’t the hard part, staying successful and being able to maintain it is what’s difficult and Drake seems to have mastered it.
V-Henny: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Denys: This is probably the hardest question to answer. The music I make really varies based on what’s going on in my life at the time. I like to think that no matter what mood someone is in they can find a song from me that matches it. Authentic and versatile are two words I’d like to use. I have RnB songs where you listen to it, and you start missing somebody or thinking about that somebody. I have up-tempo pop rap songs where you can blast it while you’re driving with the windows down. I have deeper rap songs that you can play while you’re driving alone late at night, and it gets you thinking. I’m always growing and experiment and trying to broaden my skillset and my catalogue.
V-Henny: What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Denys: As much as I love music, sports were really my first love growing up. I’ve been playing sports my whole life, soccer, volleyball, basketball. Even now I always try to find time to play sports and just be active. It’s always been a calming and enjoyable experience for me that completely gets me zoned in and gets me to stop thinking about everything else. So, if I wasn’t doing music, I’d like to think I’d be playing, coaching, broadcasting, anything in the sports world really.
V-Henny: What were some of the steps you had to take to get to where you’re at in your career?
Denys: At this point in my life, I feel really good about where I’m at in my career. It’s been a very rewarding year for me. I’ve been releasing more consistently, I’ve been performing a lot, getting more recognition and just really feeling more confident and focused than ever. If you really want it, you have to invest in your craft. I bought all the right studio equipment that I needed so that I can make high quality music directly from my room. I’m constantly writing any chance I get. I made sure I invested in the team around me, my engineer, my videographer, my photographer, are all people that I work with consistently. Having the right circle around you, who’s supportive and believes in the vision and wants to help you, is huge. I help them, they help me, and we build success together. I’m always trying to expand my skillset and try to get on beats that are different from what I’m used to. I practice trying to hit different tones and pitches so that I can have different sounds. I’m just constantly trying to learn more and more. Never think that you’re too good to learn or ask for advice or that you’re too good for an opportunity. I put in the work. That’s why I’ve had the success that I’ve had so far and that’s why I’m confident that a lot more success is coming.
V-Henny: I know you released 5 songs. What are the titles to each song and out of the 5, which song took you out of your comfort zone?
Denys: The 5 songs I released so far this year are named “Elevate”, “5:30 Freestyle”, “That’s On Me”, “Talk No More”, and “Old Strings”. I genuinely love each of these songs. Elevate was the first one I released in January, and it was really all about growth and letting go of things that were holding me back. I think that it really set a standard for my life moving forward. It felt like that song started a new era for me and it really means a lot to me. The one that really took me out of my comfort zone was That’s On Me. In this song I was 100% the most vulnerable I’ve ever been. I have multiple songs that speak on the topic of love and past relationships, but this one was just different. It’s different because of the girl that it’s about and I said things that I needed to get off my chest, but I didn’t know if I’d ever get the chance to say it to her, so I put it in a song. It’s my longest song out of the 40 that I’ve released so I definitely had a lot to say. It’s also my mom’s favorite song so it’s special for multiple reasons.
V-Henny: What is one message you would give to your fans?
Denys: I genuinely want to say thank you to anyone that’s ever listened to any of music. If you support me in any way, it really means the world to me, and I promise that I’m going to give you guys everything I have. We’re going straight to the top and I will always make sure I show love and appreciation for those that are in my corner.
V-Henny: Does music help you in other areas of your life?
Denys: I’ve said it earlier and I really can’t emphasize it enough how much music is an escape and how freeing it is to me. Life gets stressful for everybody, and I think that everybody needs to find an outlet that brings them peace. Music is my outlet. Whether I’m listening to it or creating it, it calms me down, it gets me going, it makes me feel so many emotions which is so beautiful. Music is a universal language and it’s honestly amazing how powerful it can be. It’s helped me build confidence, it’s taken me out of my comfort zone, it’s allowed me to meet so many amazing people in my life. I honestly couldn’t live without it.
V-Henny: What’s next for you?
Denys: I have a lot of things planned for the rest of the year. I’ve been in a really great creative space lately and have written a lot of amazing songs that I’m super excited to release. We have singles lined up from now until the end of the year. The plan is to release at least one single a month and that includes a lot of exciting new content, music videos, visualizers, live performances, etc. It’s also been over a year since I released a project so me and my team have been actively talking about putting something together to release at the end of the year. We’ll see what happens.
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