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Behind the Mic: The Enigmatic World of Dave Allen

Behind the Mic The Enigmatic World of Dave Allen
Photo Courtesy: Dave Allen

By: Michael L Miller 

Born and raised near Philadelphia in South Jersey, Dave Allen’s love affair with music began at a young age, as he found himself immersed in the soulful sounds of oldies and Motown classics. It was in those early years that his musical foundation was laid, instilling in him a deep appreciation for rhythm and melody.

At the age of 12, Dave discovered his true calling: hip-hop, and his biggest influences were 50 Cent and Tupac. “Tupac made me want to rap because he actually brought an emotional connection to the music,” says Dave. The release of Tupac’s iconic album “All Eyez on Me” solidified his passion. “It had me in a chokehold,” says Dave. 

As Dave’s musical journey progressed, so did his skills as a musician. From teaching himself to produce beats to mastering instruments like the piano, drums, and guitar, His dedication to his craft knew no bounds. At 16 years old, he wrote his first song,  and it laid the groundwork for what was to come.

After college Dave experienced a slight detour, when a chance encounter with an agent on Myspace led him to the world of modeling. “I didn’t know what modeling was, but I thought if it could help my music career – I’d do it,” says Dave. His first gig was for MAC cosmetics. At the event, he saw fashion and music mogul, Russell Simmons and gave him a copy of his album. Dave remarks, “I never heard from him again – but it made me think about the importance of proximity to industry people.” So shortly after, he moved to New York City. 

Dave went on to model for brands like Diesel, Armani, and Nike – and graced the pages of GQ, Elle, Forbes, and Esquire. He has been signed with Wilhelmenia and NEXT, and at one point shared the same acting manager as Halle Berry, Vincent Cirrincione. 

Behind the Mic The Enigmatic World of Dave Allen_2

Photo Courtesy: Dave Allen (@dave_allen)

Eventually Dave moved to Los Angeles and transitioned seamlessly into the acting world securing work as an extra on the daytime soap opera, “All My Children” and landing his first acting role in the movie, “When In Rome” with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Dave says, “for the theater release, my scene ended up on the cutting room floor – that’s the business, it happens – but they did include it on the DVD version.” 

Even as he walked the runways of the fashion world and secured roles in television and film, his musical passion continued. Dave never lost sight of his ultimate goal: to make music that resonated with people on a deeply personal level. 

Today, Dave’s music stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and the unyielding pursuit of one’s dreams. He has worked with artists like Arianny Celeste and Ariane Andrew and producers like Damon Elliot, Damon Sharpe, and Rich Harrison. 

When collaborating with artists and producers from different racial backgrounds, I see it as an opportunity to gain a new perspective. I grew up surrounded by a diverse group of friends; it was always about skill and talent. We all bring our own life experiences into the studio. Yet, through these collaborations, I’ve learned that music transcends boundaries, and everyone’s unique influence only enriches the creative process. 

Behind the Mic The Enigmatic World of Dave Allen_3

Photo Courtesy: Dave Allen

In 2018, Dave’s single “Body Up” produced by Sharpe – peaked at #29 on the Billboard Dance Club charts. It was remixed by Joe Gauthreaux, a niche American house music DJ and producer largely known in the gay circuit party scene. It was also remixed by Sted-E and Hybrid Heights, known to remix artists like Bad Bunny, Ricky Martin, Sia, and Sean Paul.

Dave’s album “No Way Out” was released in 2019, featuring deeply personal tracks. During that time, Dave faced tough challenges: a painful breakup and turbulent business dealings at his jazz club, The Parker Room in Hollywood, which led him to heavily rely on alcohol.

In addition, Dave’s anticipation of a deal with Columbia Records was dashed when the agreement fell through. Consequently, he found himself consumed with the question “what’s next?” In response, Dave gathered songs he had prepared, wrote a few more, and compiled them into an album titled “No Way Out,” reflecting how he felt during this period.

Dave’s latest single, “Energy,” radiates positivity and feels good vibes. Despite facing personal hardships, including the loss of his father and a hiatus from music, Dave found inspiration during the pandemic. Encountering a captivating sample sparked his creativity, reigniting his passion for creating music. With “Energy,” Dave sends a powerful message: persevere through life’s challenges, stay committed to your dreams, and never return to dark places of the past.

Recognizing the ever evolving landscape of the industry, Dave emphasizes the importance of consistency in releasing music. For the remainder of 2024, he plans to drop a new single every month, strategically timing releases for the 4th or 5th Friday. In today’s social media-driven world, he understands the necessity of sharing content and engaging with his audience.

When asked about his aspirations in rap music, Dave expresses contentment in simply pursuing his passion. Each song serves as a timeless snapshot of his life’s journey, a narrative he intends to continue documenting.

Beyond his own music, Dave envisions a future as a label owner and producer, eager to guide and collaborate with emerging artists and share their art with the world.

Dave’s music catalog consists of 3 albums, an EP, and several singles. He currently lives in Los Angeles. 

Stream Dave’s music on Spotify and Apple Music. Follow Dave on Instagram and  TikTok.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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