DanDan: What Did You Do? - Single Review
It's always refreshing hearing a new artist who's artistic vision feels refreshing and unique. Take DanDan, a neo-soul artist based in Manchester. He doesn't hide his influences from greats including Yebba, NAO and MNEK, but his music never feels derivative - it's very distinctly his own, blending a distinctive baritone voice with muted, trip-hop esque electronic production. His previous singles have been fantastic songs in their own right - take his debut release All I Need as a brilliant display of his talent as a singer-songwriter - but its with his newest single, What Did You Do? that he has come into his own as an artist.
It is testament to DanDan's lyricism that the song is at once intensely personal but also relatable. Even if you haven't experienced the situation of a cheating lover as described in the song, the feelings of insecurity and anxiety hit very close to home. "I don't wanna give in to these demons, but I think something's going on," sings Dan, before flipping the situation around on his unfaithful man: "Put yourself in my shoes: would you stay?". It's a breathtaking moment in a beautiful song. The entrancing music video reinforces the themes of insecurity, with the traffic light-lit scene directed by Con Divers giving the song the suitably intense video it deserves.
Listening to the song, I was reminded of Sam Smith, one of my favourite songwriters, and his masterpiece I'm Not The Only One. Smith's influence is apparent on What Did You Do?, but they never eclipse DanDan's talent - the song stands tall as a mesmerising tale with hypnotic production and gripping lyrics. I can picture the song being at home both through headphones late at night and on sweaty dancefloors. If there's any justice, What Did You Do? will be a staple on nights out as clubs start to reopen.
FFO: Yebba, Sam Smith, MNEK
DanDan can be found at the following links: