Morecambe rapper D.A.N works towards musical dream

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MC and singer Dan Warrilow has been on a long and often dark journey to get to where he is today.

After spending much of his youth in local authority care, Dan’s life spiralled out of control in his teenage years as he grappled with drink and drugs.

He was jostled through six different local high schools, and by the time he was 20 he had spent four years in three different prisons for “fighting and drinking”.

But his love of music was ever present and now Dan, 23, says he has faced up to his problems and has “finally got there” in terms of looking forward to a positive future – paying tribute to a Morecambe charity which has helped set him back on track.

Dan was born in Kings Lynn and moved to Morecambe with his dad at an early age.

He describes “picking up a pen” and writing music from the age of 10.

Dan Warrilow performing in Lancaster's Market Square

Dan Warrilow performing in Lancaster's Market Square

He said: “What I wrote was pretty naff, and people laughed, but I thought no, and I just carried on.

“I was listening to rappers and MCs from Morecambe and the wider area.

“Then later I started MCing properly and I went to live in care in Blackpool. I was in care all my life. It sent me on one. It just spiralled, and started me off on a seven or eight-year drugs binge.

“Then I started doing clubs, doing parties at friends’ houses, and that pushed me on to people who are doing it in clubs in Blackpool.

“I moved back to Kings Lynn for a bit aged around 17-18, and met another group of people who rap.

“Then I got in trouble again and ended up spending a total of four years in jail, mainly for fighting and drinking.

“There was a lot of frustration, a lot of anger, and hatred towards the police.

“I went to Hindley, Lancaster Farms, and Peterborough and Norwich, and that was the breaking point for me and I thought I don’t want to do this anymore.

“It’s only over the last year and a half that I’ve really found myself.

“I’ve been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Once I found that out I could get some closure.”

Dan moved back to Morecambe five years ago to help look after his dad.

He said: “It just clicked when I was looking after my dad.

“And I thought do you know what I’m going to face my problems. I owed money out, people wanted to fight me, and I thought I don’t want any of this.

“I thought there was more of a problem than there really was. There was one person I was really concerned about, so I just walked up to him and shook his hand and it was a weight off my shoulders.

“I’m a different person now and I’ve worked hard to get where I am.

“Everyone knows me for my music now. I’m not an idiot causing chaos.”

Dan, AKA D A N, said it had been a “mad couple of years” in terms of his music production.

“For years I was putting out music and it was not getting seen. I was doing R&B tracks, rap, covers and videos.

“I do a mixture between darker and edgier stuff and commercial songs as well. 
I talk about truths, feelings. I’m a realist.”

Dan has been involved with More Music in Morecambe for many years.

He said the Devonshire Road charity “were the only people that have given me a chance.”

“Then I met Lancaster musician and producer Leroy Lupton, who is amazing, and Liam Treacy, who wants to be a music director,” he said.

“He looks at the videos as a movie.

“He’s very talented.

“I’ve sent my stuff to BBC Introducing, and they’ve now gone to Radio 1 Xtra.

“I would love this to be my job. I don’t care about money, I’d just love to put together some big shows.

“I’ll praise anyone that is putting their heart and soul into what they’re doing.”
Dan’s work can be found on YouTube, Facebook and Soundcloud.