Stratford’s Danny Lover back from “Boom Bap” hip hop music festival in Suffolk, England

New album “Career Suicide” a collaboration with St. Marys musician Wes Murray

By Dan Rankin

It’s been over a year since The Independent last checked in with Stratford hip hop artist Danny Lover, following the release of his debut album “My Best Friends Keep Dying” on the United Kingdom-based label Blah Records.

Since that time, the 26-year-old Festival City native has experienced a lot of change in his life – some exciting, some tragic.

Lover is freshly back from a nearly two-month trip to England. His European adventure included a whole lot of recording and promotion, as well as performances in cities from Liverpool and Leeds, to London and Suffolk, where he took the stage at the fifth Boom Bap Festival in July.

As a member of Blah Records, Lover said that travelling to England had long been on his ‘to do’ list.

“It was part of the plan since the beginning,” he said. “I have been with the label almost two years so we have had some anticipation.”

As for playing at Boom Bap, which bills itself as “The UK’s Largest Hip Hop Festival,” Lover said the possibility had been “buzzing around for a while.”

“The founder of the festival is a fan of mine, and he reached out” early this year, he said. “It was fun. The six weeks flew by. I went with a clear purpose… Music is what brought me there, so I focused on that.”

Lover said he was pleased with the reception he got from music fans at the festival who had travelled from as far away as Finland, Australia and Canada. “Anytime an artist can go out of country and have people shout the lyrics out at shows, it’s a good look,” he said. “A lot of people obviously knew I was heading over there so they made sure they came out.”

He described a scene full of mutual love and respect. “Also, money, good food, women and clothes. Always quite enjoyable.”

For all the music he’s written and produced over the years, both in album and music video form, Lover notes that prior to his trip to the UK he’d never performed outside of Canada. “I mean, I haven’t performed much in Canada either,” he admits, calling this recent experience “a step in the right direction.”

“I dream big,” he said.

Earlier this month saw the release of a new album by Lover, “Career Suicide,” on which he collaborated with St. Marys singer-songwriter Wes Murray, who also mixed and mastered the new collection. Lover has commented that the name of the album comes from what many might think when they hear its premise: introspective hip hop tied together by hooks from an artist known primarily for his work in the folk and indie rock genres. The resulting songs, however, have proven to be anything but career suicide for the artists. The blend of flavours creates a dark style of R&B that sounds both modern and timeless, and one of the songs, “Chunk,” has already been featured in a weekly new music showcase on Bandcamp.com.

They worked on the album last year, Lover said, recording it in a St. Marys apartment and finishing it by last Christmas. “The time spent on the details was crazy though, lots of hours went into this one,” he said. The physical album can be purchased at BlahRecords.com, or it can be bought digitally from BlahRecords.BandCamp.com, Apple Music, Spotify or other online music portals.

Videos for a few of the songs, including “Ghosts,” “Arizona,” and “Acid Lunch” can be found on YouTube.

Lyrically, many of Lover’s recent songs have dealt with the topic of his father’s death, which took place a year ago in September. “I think people consumed by their art tend to fall back on their talents in times of loss,” he said. “I’m not sure if that helps the grief. It might help the creative process. It might help you create something that lasts, and that people can relate to and feel the emotion. Give me a few years and I will be able to put it into a better perspective.”

Lover and Murray have no firm plans to perform any of their new music together live. “Wes is working with his band and I am working on a new solo project,” he said. “Anything is possible though.”

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