Back in 2015, the emerging pop artist DENM was a bedroom producer, playing in a touring band full-time and producing songs on the side in his spare time. “My solo project basically started out as something to do when I was bored on tour,” DENM says in press notes. “We would all have our computers out, making our own music for fun on the road. I remember making this random dance song in the back row of a sprinter and thought it sounded pretty cool. I played it for a few friends and label people, and when they demanded to hear more, I took it to heart.”
That dance song eventually became his critically applauded and commercially successful debut single “Lit,” a single that Pop Crush called “a garage house-y ode to hedonism and the rush of infatuation.” Within a month of its release, “Lit” amassed over a million streams and landed on the Top 10 of Spotify‘s and Hype Machine‘s Viral and Hot New Electronic Charts respectively. “Honestly, I just got super lucky,” DENM admits. “I didn’t make the song with the intention of it getting the reaction that it did. I was blown away by how well it did, but it also became somewhat of a curse to me. The people around me at the time wanted to hear more songs just like ‘Lit.’ But that wasn’t who I was or wanted to be as an artist. I’m not really an EDM artist. And I wanted to make music I truly believed in. Unfortunately, not everyone around me understand that, which left me stuck in this tension of wanting to be myself as an artist, but also not wanting to let my team down.”
Since the release of “Lit,” DENM has been busy discovering who he is an artist, a lengthy process that at one point had him contemplating quitting music altogether. But instead of immediately quitting, he wrote “Life’s Too Short.” “When I wrote ‘Life’s Too Short,’ I had no money, nothing was working, and it seemed like I’d hit the final wall,” DENM shares. “So as a form of therapy, I wrote a song about how life is too short – how it all flies by so fast. I mean, I remember being a little kid like it was yesterday. And now I’m an adult. Just like that. I’d been so focused on trying to make it, that I wasn’t even enjoying my life. So I decided to try and change my mindset. I let go. I told myself that I was going to be alright. That whatever will be, will be.”
Shortly, after writing “Life’s Too Short,” DENM was in a one-off writing session at Rock Mafia with some of the music industry’s biggest hitmakers. And as the story goes. when he was asked what he had been recently working on, he played a demo of “Life’s Too Short.” The industry folks dug the song, praising his laid-back, yet honest take on life. “Meeting them was life-changing for me,” recalls DENM. “I was so burned out from making music I didn’t like for other people. I told Rock Mafia how hard it was to write and create music under that kind of pressure. They simply responded, ‘Well, what kind of music do you wanna make?’ That question shifted something in me. It gave me this spark of hope inside. The energy in that room felt magical as we listened to the demo of ‘Life’s Too Short.’ I guess that’s where it all started for us. That’s when everything in my life began to change.”
Last year, DENM signed to Rock Mafia as an artist, songwriter and producer. Shortly after signing to Rock Mafia, the production team and the up-and-coming indie artist began working on his recently released Endless Summer EP. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single, “Blow It Up” is a breezy summertime jam, centered by twinkling and reverb drenched keys, a sinuous bass line, a slick yet infectious hook and DENM’s laid back yet earnest delivery. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Sublime, the song is a subtly anthemic ode to hanging with your crew, getting high and escaping the shiftiness of your own life for a little while at least. Certainly, it’s a familiar theme for an uncertain and uneasy adulthood, which so many of us go through.
The recently released video is a trippy and fitting ode to all things Southern California as you see DENM and his crew getting stoned under purple skies, playing craps and drinking beer. Others start a barbecue while local kids skateboard nearby. It’s the perfect ode to summer, as yet another year rushes by.