Musician, producer, dancer, writer, actor, and host Damon Sharpe has released a new music video for his song “15 minutes“. The song and music video touch upon universal and relatable concepts, from personal, business and other relationships. Inspired by iconic artist Andy Warhol, and teaming up with different Dj’s, producers, musicians, and other creative’s across the board, Damons Video takes viewers on a movie like journey in only three minutes. The multi-talented, iconic, Damon Sharpe sat down with HOLR to discuss his process, and inspiration for the video.
Tell us about your journey, how long it was in the making of “15 minutes”
It’s funny, 15 minutes started as a title in my phone, and it was just kind of a loose concept. I always loved that concept that Andy Warhol said which is, “in the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”, which is basically kind of pointing towards where we’re at now with social media. In your own little microcosm, you can be, “famous right now “.I was in a session with a buddy of mine, Cimo Fränkel and it’s threw out the concept idea, and he was like “oh that’s great! it’s amazing I love the idea of it”, and immediately Rick started playing really cool chord progression on the guitar and people, and starts throwing out some melodies and it just kind of came together really fast and you know we decided to kind of make the concept of the song at least a little more relationship based, a little more of a universal concept, one of those things where you can apply it to everything. “Give me just give me 15 minutes, I’m going to finish this” whether it’s, in business, in life, a workout, whatever that is, it’s like, oh, just give me 15 minutes and I’m going to get it, get a handle.
How do you feel like to remix your music and collaborate with people of different styles and different genres who share your vision?
I love it. My whole career I’ve been a producer and a writer for other people. I’ve worked with everybody from Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Alesso, people all over the map. I’ve always been of a collaborative nature, and now it’s just for me in this new reinvention chapter as a DJ and an artist, now I get the luxury of being an artist, as well as a professional writer. So for me it’s the dream scenario and I love collaborating with people, whether it’s two people or 10 people, and as long as everybody is of a collaborative nature, it just makes it such a fun process.
You know this firsthand, everything is based on digital marketing now, especially with TikTok and Instagram. You showed that in your music video and as a writer, producer, artist, DJ you have to know that firsthand on so many different levels. Did you include these concepts in your music video because you saw that happening?
No, Ironically, that was kind of always the vision I had for that song. I have a friend of mine; He likes Socan, an amazing directory and stuff for David Guetta and Locke and Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike and tons of people. I just went in and said, “look, this is kind of what I’m seeing,” and he’s like, “brother, text it to me in whatever form you have, and I’ll tweak it out.” So I sent it to him, and he’s like, “Dude, I love it already.” He made a couple of tweaks to it. He said, let’s bring this vision to life. And I think, honestly, for me, it even turned out better than I expected. It ended up becoming a labor of love. So we did one day of shooting, and then I felt like we still were missing some necessary elements. So then I flew to Vegas and shot some footage with the disco fries, and we kept editing, and I still felt like some of the elements were missing. And then we did another day of shooting, so it ended up being a three-day shoot to get to the point. I don’t want to give away too much as I want people to watch it, but the music video, it’s like a two-hour movie, and it’s three minutes long. Yeah, I wanted to kind of lay out the way it is as if you’re watching a movie, there’s an intro, there’s what you think it is the beginning. Then, some more, and then becoming famous, and all of a sudden, everything shifts, and it’s kind of like chapters in a book but in a video.
How long was this in the making?
We wrote the song around February maybe and then we went through different incarnations of the song.
I started kind of tweaking the production out, and then I sent it to Disco Fries, and they were like, “oh my God, we love this!”, and we jump on with it. They took that production up a notch to make it so much stronger. And then we just played the label, so here we are now.
It’s great that you’re able to have such good relationships with people that you know can really build on these creative concepts and ideas with you.
I really pride myself on getting and keeping really great people in my circle. I think that goes a long way. I think people discount, how important it is to have a loyal circle of people that you collaborate with, who believe in you, and that you believe in. I think it goes a long way in this business and it’s hard to find. Apart from finding it, it’s also hard to keep.
What is something that you’ve found is good at maintaining these relationships like what are something you guys do to keep these relationships strong and genuine.
I think communication like this in any relationship, whether it’s a love relationship business relationship, friendships, I think communication is key. I think also like I said in this business, you have got to be transparent with people, you have to be upfront, you have to be honest, and also you have to have a good time, if you’re having fun with the people that you’re working with, you’re gonna continue to do business with them.
That leads us into the next question which goes back to your entire journey from where you were to where you are now?
I started as, first and foremost, a dancer. I was a breakdancer and a street dancer. That kind of ingrained the love of music in me, and I still utilize those techniques when I’m creating music because everything for me starts from the rhythm section. Hence, it’s the drums and the bass, which obviously stems from me being a dancer, if we’re not starting from a title or chords, or you know, just the emotive idea. Like sometimes, I’ll just have a journaling that I have written out, and sometimes that will spark into the song. But yeah, that dance background transitioned me into music. It also got me into acting, so I always tell people that I was a jack of all trades, master of none. At some point, I think that also has kept me here because it’s also allowed me to be open to other doors. I always tell people that I almost look at it like Hot Wheels tracks – when you’re a kid with the cars and all the lanes are running like this. Most people choose to look only at that middle lane, and I think I’ve always had a little bit of a gift to, kind of, see the peripheral lanes. Like, you know what? Let me see, let me try this one on the right, let me try this one on the left and the irony is, they all end up merging back together at some point. And then when I kind of let go of that and said, you know what, I put it out in the universe. I will pursue a behind the scenes and be more of a writer than it all came full circle. So yes, I started, I started super young.
When I was a teenager, I was in a hilarious boy band that was kinda like a knockoff of the New Kids on the Block at the time, and we had our own TV show on NBC. We had dolls, board games, pajamas buttons, posters, the whole deal, right. I went from being at home with my parents to being a star on a television show, being on teen magazines. Fast forward a year and a half later, the show got canceled, and the record deals were repealed. I’m back on unemployment. I spent every penny I made. I literally went from taking pictures of Will Smith to serving him a Pepsi two years later as a waiter. So it was an insane humbling life lesson that I needed to go through. And then I kind of went through a few dark years where I lost the belief in myself and got insecure. I let a lot of the things that people were saying get to me. I don’t know what it was, I just had the epiphany one day, and told myself to shake this off. I got myself up and started taking acting lessons, vocal lessons, and writing with people again. I got a new agent. I went back to school for music. I was doing everything I could humanly possible do to just get to a better place. Sure enough, the hard work manifested. I met my mentor and got into another boy band, you know, one of many, many boy bands.
I was in that for almost three years and went to three different record deals. The beautiful thing was I got to hone my craft as a producer, songwriter. At the point those three years were up, all the record deals dissipated. There was another deal on the table from Warner Brothers Records, and I remember, at the time, I needed the money really bad. Still, I just didn’t feel like it was in my heart anymore, so I remember being on a conference call, and I was like, “Hey guys, I think I know this Warner Brothers deal sounds great, but you know what, I don’t think this is for me anymore. I’m gonna have to go my own way.” And then again, all these years later, I was broke again on unemployment trying to pay my bills. At that point, I didn’t let it break me at that point in my life. A few months later, I got a call from my mentor, and he’s like, “Hey, you know I got something of yours. I found a CD of songs on my desk, and there are some really great songs on here. Did you write these?” and I’m like, “Yeah. For years I’ve been wanting to produce, but you kind of looked at me as the boy, bad guy.” He said, “I’m sorry about that. I want you to come work for me as a writer.” and I responded, “I don’t know if this is really for me.” and we left it at him getting back to me. So again, I hang up the phone, go back to my business, trying to pay my bills, surviving. A month or two later, I get a call from him, and he had placed two of the songs. One of them was Love Don’t Cost A Thing that Jennifer Lopez ended up cutting, and another international artist who went on to sell 40 million records in every stage of who I still work with to this day. And that’s when, I guess my second life, kind of reopened, and I haven’t looked back.
Since then, I’ve been working on producing and writing with all sorts of artists, developing artists, and then these past two to three years, I really got embedded in the world of media. They showed me a lot of love and worked with everybody from Alesso to Loud Luxury to Morgan Paige, to you name it – tons of great young people. And then I started DJing again, and that got me my new deal with Armada, where I’m signed as a DJ and an artist, and now they’ve been putting out my music, and I am still continuing to produce for people. It’s been a journey. I mean, it’s like five lifetimes crammed into one, and it’s a really cool feeling.
You have another song ‘paint the sky’ coming out September 3rd, tell us a bit about that and any other projects you have in the making.
Yes, so that actually was pretty cool. I’ve got a vocalist, ironically from Canada, she’s from Vancouver, Polina Grace, sick new vocalist. She started to really get a lot of traction. Put her on there, I wrote that record and also weirdly enough with another Canadian named Charles Lamb – he’s a co writer on it – and a girl named Sophie Simmons and yeah. It’s just a very authentic, euphoric or festival feeling than a lot of the stuff that I’ve been doing.
But I’m super excited about that one. I produced and wrote the New Loud Luxury single with the boys and my friends also keep on rig, and that comes out on Friday called Safe With Me. So I’m super excited about that. I’m also going to be doing the exclusive readings for that, so that reading will probably drop in another month or two after the official single has actually had time to kind of build some legs
Watch the new video here
Published on Holr Magazine