St. Louis-based rapper Daemon presents “Credit Check”, his new single produced by Trackstar The DJ of Run The Jewels and Adrians Beats. “Cutting-edge throwback” is how he describes his style, routinely weaving genres as disparate as EDM, trap and grunge into the mix. “Credit Check” continues his recent run of singles which also includes “Elevation” (watch the official video on Youtube) and “Vader” (watch the official lyric video on Youtube).
Daemon has collaborated with artists like Killer Mike and DJ Shadow, and his work has been featured on Netflix (“Inventing Anna,” “Daybreak,” and “Work It”), FOX (“Ghosted”), Starz (“Power”), ads for Mini Cooper and Sephora, and TBS (on the Jordan Peele produced “The Last O.G.”). His track “Turn the World Around” was featured in Xbox exclusive Forza Horizon 5. Asked about his new single, Daemon simply says “rap ain’t shit without me”. “Credit Check” is out now on BLK BREAKFAST.
You’ve been in the game now for a while, previously as Feekee but now as Daemon. Can you take us through the evolution?
There was a time when I would say ANYTHING if I thought it was dope. That sort of freedom is fun at first, but over time, you end up with a lot of music that doesn’t always reflect who you are – it’s just a bunch of bars. Some good, some great, some you wish you could take back. At some point, I just wanted to be me, strip away all of the “shock rap” or lyrical miracle expectations, and speak from my heart. What better way to signify that change as an artist than to go by your real name?
You have a very complex and precise rhyme style, with a lot of internal rhyme schemes. Who was your inspiration and how do you think you built upon that inspiration and took it to your own unique place?
It’s cool because, for the longest time, I felt like the rappers who inspired me would take turns dominating that influence. One minute, I sound too much like Biggie or Pac; the next, I’m practically doing a Nas impersonation. I’m a Big Pun wanna-be on one song and a Jay-Z clone on the next. It wasn’t until a few years back, when I made the name change from Feekee to Daemon, that the pieces all started to fit into something all my own. The internal rhyme scheme thing became a personal challenge. Could I clearly articulate an idea and make an entire two-bars rhyme? Then how far could I take that and still keep it cohesive? Keep it a buck, sometimes it just feels good connecting the words through rhyme with no kind of reason. Whatever I’m doing, it finally feels like it’s my own voice and not something I lifted off of Eminem.
What’s the independent artist grind like in St. Louis?
It has its moments. St. Louis is a city bursting with talent. I’m sure many places feel that way, but trust me, come and see for yourself. The difference between what you’d expect and what you’re going to witness is wild. There are at least 4 or 5 artists who deserve international acclaim. Grammys and gold records. On God. Unfortunately, a combination of lack of funds – we broke, bruh – and the current state of the music business makes it tough, like planting roses in the concrete. The good news is most of my successes have come from focusing on other markets. I love my hometown, but St. Louis isn’t even in my top 50 Spotify cities. I get more plays in Perth, Australia. Speaking of which, it’s past time to get up on this passport.
You’ve been releasing a slew of singles recently. Is an album in the works? What can you tell us about it?
I have an album. Euphonic. It’s about 90% complete, but LORD HAVE ALL THE MERCY is that last 10% hard af to finish! The singles I’ve been releasing and plan on releasing (much, much more on the way) are not on the LP, but the vibe is similar. Throwback from the future type-ish, you feel me? Things that remind me of the artists I admire but feel like me. Personal stories, crazy bars, rhyme schemes, even a musical plot twist that you have to hear to believe. BUT nobody is getting that until the time is right—hopefully, sometime next year.
What’s a day in the life of Daemon like?
A Dae in the life? Ugh, I know I’m a terrible person…I’m up at 7AM: vitamins and a protein shake. Then I try and steal an hour or two either sleeping or reading whatever silly sword and sorcery book I’m on at the moment (right now, I’m about nine books into “The Wheel of Time”). If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I take a little time to work on some social media content. I only allow myself three days a week on the apps. That shhh ain’t good for you, fam. Then it’s off to the gym. Lunch, social media posting/commenting/liking/etc. Then, either studio or songwriting in my office until dinner. If I’m on one, I might write through dinner until it’s time for bed, but usually, I try to wrap things up so I can unwind by 10 or 11 PM. Then it’s reading, maybe a little PS5, or streaming a show until I’m asleep by 1 AM. Wake up and repeat. Everything I do is in service of the mission. If it doesn’t work to make me and those around me better, then I don’t have time for it.