We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Oberman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, what principle do you value most?
My principles and my values are centered around honesty, integrity, and my connection with others. my music stands out a reflection of life, as I create and recreate myself. Every note and lyric gives strength to my integrity, reflects my emotional awareness, exposes my vulnerabilities, bears witness for and testifies to my willingness to be open. My relationship with music has always played a pivotal role in the development of my core values as a human being, and inspires me to let go and allow my intuition to inform me as I continue to develop my voice as an artist.
I am driven by my desires and need to heal and live fully, beyond old toxic family dynamics, verbal abuse, and the generational trauma’s I endured as a child. By doing so, I am breaking these cycles as an adult in order to show up for myself, my wife, and the family we are building together. I desire to connect to that very human place in each of us, those places where our unheard voices live and quietly scream, feeling out every loss and crying out for every joy along the way, as each of us longs to hear and yearns to tell our own stories.
My growing body of work represents my desire to connect with my audiences on a deeper level, provide an entertaining experience, and empower the listener to tell each of their stories out loud, with intention, raw and unapologetically. Personal or professional, whatever the project may be, my music speaks to the resilience of our human spirit and how deeply our hearts strive to connect as human beings.
Life is about rediscovering ourselves through the reflections of our relationships with ourselves and with others. We all deserve the space to center ourselves, as we open ourselves to the profound possibilities of life’s uncertainties, working together to inspire and to be inspired as individuals as well as a collective. I believe in the importance of cultivating this with my audiences, collaborators, peers, family and friends, and is also my approach to every stranger or foe I have yet to encounter as I wander down my own winding path branching and stretching out in front of me.
I believe in turning my pain into productivity, unraveling myself into my fullest potential. In my role as an artist I feel called upon to lead by example – to live, breath, and to tell my stories, open and honestly, as I utilize my gifts to reach my audiences and give a voice to those who have been silenced for far too long!
Art is not intended to imitate life, but to remind us all that we are meant to live wonderfully and curiously free, as we encourage one another to push the boundaries of our comfort zones, test the limits of our social norms and constructs, as we leave a living legacy for the generations to follow.
Writing music not only gives me the strength to endure, but fills me with the passion to reconcile my life’s most deeply painful moments, with empathy and honesty. Music acts as conduit, a bridge between myself and the child still crying out inside of me, and as light for anyone else who may feel misunderstood, unheard, lost, or forgotten. I am humbled by my past, as I reclaim my vulnerabilities as my strengths. I feel motivated and greatly moved to be present and live this artist’s life. My music bring purpose to my pain. As a platform, music is reinvigorating, lends a voice to my healing, and is giving me a second chance to live beyond my past. My art provides me with the opportunity to tell my life stories fully, completely, and compassionately, as I hold empathy for myself, extending it towards others, as I rediscover the courage along the way, giving me The opportunity to cultivate my inner strength and expand my hope in all directions, as I reach towards love, above all else!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up the youngest of four brothers in a suburb outside Chicago. I started teaching myself to play the piano at the age of 10, and I started composing music at the age of 13. Unlike my brothers, I was not neurotypical, but was misdiagnosed with ADHD as a child and heavily overmedicated. It was not until adulthood that I was diagnosed with autism.
I went on to graduate from the Berklee college of Music, with a bachelor’s in film scoring, and also graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music, graduate program called, Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television
As a child I struggled significantly because I grew up in a quite toxic family dynamic that did not understand me, and did not teach me to care for myself in the ways in which I needed to be cared for, and unfortunately because I was overmedicated, and treated for ADHD when I am autistic, I experienced some really extreme side effects pharmaceutical drugs they put in my body. Fundamentally I needed to come to myself on my own terms, and the unwillingness my caregivers to meet me where I was at is only one the first half of the story. During those years, there were others around me who were sexually abusing me, and sadly one of my abusers is a close relative.
As an adult, I recently turned to my family for support, but unfortunately this news was too much for them to bear, and we are now estranged from one a another, because they attempted to convince me that what happened to me did not happen, and did so in front of the person who hurt me.
In addition to having autism, I also have a condition called synesthesia which allows me to see colors and shapes when I hear sound, and makes this world only that much more curious to me.
Though it can be overwhelming to experience so much input, it allows me to connect on a deeper level to myself, which I hope comes out in my music.
If there is one thing I wish people to take away from my brand is that we cannot change what was done to us, But each of us gets to choose what we become and how we become either despite what we’ve lived through or because of what we’ve lived through. As well intentioned as someone might be, we need to allow our inner voices to guide us supremely, regardless of the ways those around us might act. I’d like to add that it’s never about what we know, but about how deeply we care to show up for those who come to us seeking comfort because establishing trust is fundamental for any healthy relationship, and without trust it matters very little who is right or who is wrong.
The way I look at it is sometimes the mind must break apart in order for our hearts to break wide open, and that this growth is a constant in life. We must make room for all that we are not in order to hold space for all that we are becoming.
I have been interested in philosophy my whole life and I have also been torn between my head and my heart my entire life.
What I am learning through my own process of creation is that when I look at the world through a lens of fear, I see evil, but when I look at the world through my lens of compassion and empathy, I see the brokenness in the world and realize we are looking for a cure where we should be investing in our own healing and the healing of others.
Human beings have the power to transform our darkness into light, Not despite all that we hate, but because of all that we love. After all, it is one thing to stand against that which we hate, and quite another to stand up for that which we love!
This is the atmosphere I work to create for my listeners. In addition to my live performances, I am also starting a custom songwriting business, collaborating with those who are not in the creative field to tap to create a song for any and all occasions. I have collaborated with a doctor who wanted to write a love song for his wife for their 50th anniversary, a mother who wanted to write a song for her daughter’s 18th birthday, and I am looking to expand my services to also include veterans suffering from PTSD, children or adults who are looking for a positive outlet to deal and face their own traumas in order to move beyond them.
Though I could be inspired to hate my family, instead I have chosen to live my life inspired to love them more deeply, because those who are hurt in the ways in which my family struggles, do not need condemnation, they need love, and so do I.
I am writing a musical, based on my experiences with the hopes of depicting how we bend and break, how we mend and heal, and how we find our way to genuinely love ourselves and others along the way.
There is an extra bonus for the audience, but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what that is. I promise you won’t want to miss it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friend were visiting I would take him to McCloud’s ale House in Sherman Oaks to start. It has a really great atmosphere where they serve appetizers, You can order pizza, and have a cold beer. They even have life-size Jenga for people to play.
I would also take him on a hike to Fryman canyon, one of my favorite places to go hiking with my wife.
It has picturesque views and allows you to get out of the city and in touch with nature without having to go too far.
Finally, I would show my friend an all around good time, because beyond anything we may see or do, it’s the company that we keep that makes it all worthwhile.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to recognize the organization I belong to called, Artist Coaching. I’m happy to give you the founders information, and give you more details of course as well.