One in 5,000: Rapper Daniel Cedeño

When most people think about what laptops are used for the first things that come to mind are school, work, and entertainment. However, there are some people that have taken advantage of the creative tools they come with and have started to create their own music. Francis Lewis senior Daniel Cedeño is a part of the new wave of artists that have delved into the art of creating music. Cedeño has found a passion for creating rap music and aspires to one day become a mainstream artist.

“The type of beats and songs that I would get from producers would usually be RnB drill, melodic type beats cause I like to sing better than rap, or sing in a rapping flow so I usually go for melodic type beats,” Cedeño said.

Cedeño started creating music during his freshman year and started releasing it at the end of his freshman year. At first, he only released his music on SoundCloud, but now he releases his music on all platforms. He first got inspired to make music because he wanted to get the attention of a girl he liked in freshman year.

“I thought it would impress her and make her say you know what I’ll be your girlfriend, but of course she turned me down, but the point is that inspired me to do more to impress other people besides this one girl you feel me, and that’s like the main inspiration that I got to do my music,” said Cedeño.

When it comes to the process of actually producing his music, Cedeño starts by looking for beats from various producers. If he likes the flow, he begins by writing lyrics in his notebook.

“I start with writing the hooks and the verses, that’s the most important part when you’re creating music, you gotta start with the lyrics,” Cedeño said. “And then once I get the money, I just spit it out on the mic in the studio and I gotta wait for the engineer to master the song, to make sure it sounds nice and clean.”

After these steps, he teases a portion of the song on his social media platforms. Then when the release date arrives, he drops it on all music platforms and notifies people about it once again through social media.

“I also show my music to important figures, like music managers, people that work with labels, cause I know people that work with those types of important figures. Said Cedeño. “I also am planning on starting marketing campaigns, which really help with my views and you know that requires bread (money), but you know that’s another way that I plan to promote my music in the future.”

A good amount of people also support Cedeño in his music ventures. This includes mostly his friends and family. However, he does also get support from other people on social media as well, which is due to his large following on TikTok

“They support me because some people do see that I have potential and, you know, I don’t really gas myself up that much when it comes to what I do, so when people tell me that, I get flattered very easily, and I’m like ‘oh wow really?’ Okay.” Cedeño said. “So they see my potential and they vibe to it, and they also repost my stuff too, so that’s who and why they support me.”

Unfortunately, the majority of the time, with popularity comes hate and negativity. Cedeño does receive negative criticism from his “haters” however, he tries his best not to let it get to him. Another difficulty that comes with pursuing his dream is creating music while keeping up with school.

“I’m having trouble balancing music and school, like of course I do my schoolwork, but I barely be getting my homework done cause I be writing all my lyrics and stuff,” Cedeño said. “I be getting my homework done like the day it’s due so I be turning them in late, so like I’m still in the process of trying to balance both my music and school, you feel me.”

Despite his setbacks, he strives to continue working and improving upon his music. Eventually, Cedeño would like to make this his career in the future and wants to keep it going as long as possible.

“If this becomes my career, I will definitely want that, but you know for a lot of artists it doesn’t work out for them, and I do realize that.” Said Cedeño. “I gotta keep that in my brain in case I really don’t make it, but if I don’t, I actually have two backup plans, one is simply a movie actor because that’s literally been my dream since I was five years old. I’ve always wanted to be on TV, and if not, then I would probably be like a news reporter or a journalist.”

In order for Cedeño’s first career choice to work out, he knows that he will have to start making money. At the moment, he does not get any profits from his music, but he has devised a plan involving marketing campaigns that he will execute in hopes to start earning money.

“Artists don’t really make money from the streams per se because with Spotify and stuff you make like cents per thousands of views,” Cedeño said. “I know it’s confusing, but they usually make money off of merch. That’s what I also plan to do because once I build a fan base, they’ll wanna buy my merch and stuff and that’s how artists make their income, so at the moment I’m not making money but that’s the plan you feel me.”

Along with obtaining an income, Cedeño aspires to encourage others to follow their dreams through his music. He even writes songs about going after your passions and achieving your goals.

“I hope people get my message in my songs that I plan to release and I hope they learn something from it too.” Said Cedeño “And of course I aspire to blow up and stuff you know, if not then it’s all good. I would also like to just bump it with my friends and family and stuff, that’s like one of my other aspirations you know, but if it means blowing up, then that is something I would like to achieve as well.”

Over 5000 people – including students, teachers, staff, and administrators – are part of the Francis Lewis High School community. One in 5000 is a series that delves into the individual stories of the people in our community.