We had the good fortune of connecting with Daryl Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daryl, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a necessary evil lined with blessings. Taking risks has been one of the most important parts of my life and career. I’ve always been known to dance to the beat of my own drum, sing my own whimsical harmonies, and swim mysterious seas. I can honestly say I would not have accomplished what I have, gone where I’ve been, and seen what I’ve witnessed without the courage to do something different. As a firm believer in the statement, “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,” I understand the importance of taking chances. When you have a thought long enough, it becomes a dream. Dreams become goals, but goals will never come to fruition without work and dedication. You have to be tenacious in creating and building what you are passionate about. With this, you also have to be gentle with yourself, understanding that some risks won’t work out. But those that do, are astronomically rewarding. I came from a place with little to nothing yet I always knew there was more out there. More than the typical, more than the paths family, community, and society laid out for me. When I packed up and moved to Atlanta alone, I took a risk. When I packed up again and drove across the nation to Los Angeles, I took a risk. I didn’t know what was there for me, all I knew was that there had to be something different awaiting me. Purchasing my first set of studio equipment and software without any prior knowledge of what to do, that was a risk. Picking up the camera, then teaching myself editing techniques was also a risk. I’ve invested a lot in myself, financially, mentally, physically, and emotionally, all of which are very precarious endeavors. I never knew any of this would work out, but I tried and tried and tried again. Each time doing what may seem unconventional to some, to get a different and hopefully a better result. I’m thankful for all of the risks I’ve taken in my life. Those that didn’t work out, were lessons well learned. Those that did, were also lessons well learned. Everything is a learning experience, what works, what doesn’t work, and what may not work right now. To understand the importance of taking risks, is to understand dedication, and if you’re truly passionate about something, you have to be willing to try something new. One thing I always say regarding myself is that my need for adventure surpasses any fear. I will never shy away from taking a chance at growing, maturing, and building, and I encourage every person with a goal to do the same. Trust me, if you are fervent in your endeavors, it will always be worth the risk. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Everything I do artistically stems from my love of architecture. My perspective of excellent architectural design is enhancing a landscape by creating a harmonious bridge between construction and nature. Good architecture is in the details. It’s the nuances that really bring the entire project together. As a photographer, my editing is what separates me from the pack. My technique enhances reality without distorting it. I focus on color palettes and ensuring the subject of my images stand out from its background while simultaneously becoming one with it. Musically, I am inspired by so many sounds that I use to create unity in opposing melodies. I’m most proud of my songwriting ability. I find great joy in telling stories with metaphors in a melodic structure. It has not been an easy journey for me professionally. While I did obtain a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication that taught me the basics of film and motion picture story-telling and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration where I learned the functionalities of developing and running an organization in arts, most of my specialty skills are self taught. I enjoy learning and developing my craft and I tend to spend a lot of time doing so. Along with being a creative, I fund all of my own endeavors so there’s always a financial risk attached to it. Being the creative, the businessman, the funder, and the marketing team gets hectic at times however to be able to learn about the entire process is truly rewarding. Fortunately, I’ve met some great people along the way who’ve been there to give support in various ways. The two most important things I’ve learned are: 1. a great team will help you go a long way and 2. viewing every win and loss as a learning experience will help you grow professionally. Never be afraid to fail, take advice, and take risks. If nothing else, I hope the world takes from my story that perseverance and dedication even through the toughest times will not go in vain. My brand stands for freedom of artistic expression, independence, and harmony. We’re all different notes on a scale but who says we can’t sound good together?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Los Angeles, my favorite thing to show people is how to relax. Everyone knows the hustle and bustle of LA and are automatically drawn to the history and landmarks, but I would take my friends on the journey to see LA’s beauty. I love the water so I’d take them to explore beauty of Abalone Cove, experience the liveliness of Venice Beach, and have fun at the Aquarium of the Pacific. We’d climb to see the cityscape at Runyon Canyon or Kenneth Hahn. And of course dive into the culture of Leimert Park. My go-to eateries in the city are Simply Wholesome in Inglewood, LA Cafe in DTLA, Mykonos Greek Grill in Culver City, Ackee Bamboo in Leimert Park, My Two Cents off Pico, and course my cousin’s amazing pizzeria, Cordaro’s based in Inglewood.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I dedicated my success to all of my true friends and family. They have been a foundation for me, helping me in ways that they may not even know helped. It is their support and acceptance of the real me that has allowed me to flourish and strengthen my passions to strive for all of my goals. Aside from them, I want to dedicate my shoutout to Mariah Carey’s memoir, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey.” I’ve always looked up to her in a way that I knew I connected to her deeper than just a fan to an artist. Reading her memoir and gaining a deeper understanding of her story, her struggles, her trials, and her triumphs allowed me to look inward and discover things about myself that I needed to set free. With all of my success in life, some of the roadblocks I experienced were self-sabotage that stemmed from dysfunctional beginnings. To learn that one of my greatest artistic and songwriting inspirations had to learn how to free herself, helped me understand that I have the strength as well to overcome any adversity, even if the adverse energy is coming from my own insecurities. Her story reminded me there is no greater freedom than to be myself in everything I do. She has given me the courage to tell my own story, in my own artistic way.

Instagram: allenthearchitect
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allengregory/
Twitter: allenthemusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thearchitectent
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC75yKFnfdEJXWyjoa7EbeWg
Other: Artist Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allenthemusic

Image Credits
Aaron Hernandez Harmony Thomas Will Moore

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