Daniel Mills, better known as FarangDan, is a multi-genre producer, song writer and engineer from Huddersfield. Specialising in Hip Hop, he has worked with a number of both local and international talents, spanning from the UK to America. He consistently works to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in music production. Whether it be executive producing an album in his own studio, engineering an artist's work whilst travelling or song writing sessions for a variety of artists; Dan puts his all into every project whilst building his reputation within the industry. The various works he has contributed to and produced have amassed millions of streams across a number of platforms, but this is only the beginning... and at 24 years old, he has nowhere near reached his full potential just yet.

Dan says:

Music was always my anchor in life - the thing that kept me grounded - and I spoke through it as a release for my emotions. Growing up, I was obsessed with music from as far back as I can remember, dissecting my favourite songs as I played them on repeat. I never left the house without my CD player and headphones in my back pack.

My granddad ran a local karaoke and entertainment business, so we were always around microphones, amps and similar equipment. My granddad was one of my first big inspirations and he definitely played a huge role in supporting my musical passion before he passed away. We would sit in his office, which he had converted into a mini recording studio in his house and jam on guitars and record vocals together. There was no better feeling in the world, capturing a live performance and hearing it back. The emotion and cadence could change the energy in a room.

After leaving school, I tried different careers and 9 to 5s, but always felt I was just pleasing everyone else and not myself; my heart came back to music every time. This was around the time I had begun to teach myself music production; how to bring a track to life from the beginning of the process. Any time I wasn’t at work, I was making beats on my laptop or going to friends' houses to record their vocals and see what we could create. Otherwise, I was scrolling the net for tips and tricks on production, spending hours watching videos or reading articles. I am definitely a prime example of a self-taught musician. I've never had a formal education in music - I didn’t even study it at college or university, as I suspected that they didn’t cater towards the type of music that I loved.

Eventually, I saved up enough money to open my first recording unit. This was a major turning point in my career. I left my job and said to myself "I have to make this work now - it's music or nothing, no plan B!".  Throwing myself in at the deep end taught me valuable life lessons about relationships and business that I wouldn’t have gained otherwise, as well as allowing me the space to develop my own, unique ways of producing and engineering. I would say I am definitely a perfectionist when it comes to both my own and my clients' projects, especially when it comes to sound quality.

"Music was always my anchor in life - the thing that kept me grounded - and I spoke through it as a release for my emotions."

Production is one of the truest forms of expression. An idea starting in your head has the power to become a piece of music that can move the listener and change their emotions... For me, I achieve this mainly ‘in the box’ (digitally) by programming my instruments, drums, and synthesisers before laying down vocals and then finally getting into all the details of the mixing process.

Because I grew up surrounded by different musical influences, I knew in my heart that my goal was always to build a better life for myself, my people and my family through music. I grew up in a place without a lot of opportunity, where you're pressured to fit in and follow the norms or fall victim to the system or the streets. I was surrounded by people with voices that weren't getting heard, talents that were not getting a spotlight and I knew we could be the ones to steer the ship and change this. I want to show the next generation (or anyone struggling to chase their dreams) that it’s a marathon and you never give up. There will be endless trials and tribulations, but all that matters is that tunnel-visioned mindset focusing on what you want. In my case, that's music.

I love the journey so far and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love how we are competing with the industry sound from a small studio in Huddersfield. You don’t need a million pound, Hollywood recording studio to make great ideas... It's all about energy and connecting with the people you work with to bring the vision to life.

That’s why working with YYM was a perfect opportunity for me to give back to communities like the one I grew up in; teaching young people who are growing up with less, surrounded by gang violence or other daily struggles. The music delivery sessions offer these young people a creative outlet to channel their feelings and pursue opportunities that they didn’t even realise were possible. It's never too late to make a change. To know I can play a part in any young person's life, by utilising my experiences and knowledge, makes me happy. I was once that same kid who had no idea where to start or who to go to for advice. Now I'm the one offering that advice. Music is the universal language; it brings us together regardless of colour, creed, race or religion - that's why it's so powerful.