^ Words + photos by Antonio.
DanVHefner is a South Florida-born and North Virginia-bred rapper eager to make a name for himself in the bubbling DMV music scene. To date, Hefner has released a handful of mixtapes, hosted by the likes of Slim K and Gianni Lee. Many of his music videos are often mash-ups of obscure anime clips and performance scenes, often shaded with purple (literally and figuratively).
With a catalog of dozens of songs under his belt, including frequent collaborations with Slim D under The Blurry Boys moniker, DanVHefner is ready to get personal on his next release. Brushes with death, relationships, and infidelity are on the menu, and will give listeners a glimpse into parts of his life that he rarely shares, even with the people closest to him.
DanVHefner discusses origins, making a name for himself in the DMV and beyond, and opens up on his new project slated to drop this month.
Q: What’s the concept behind your aesthetic and the use of anime in your videos?
DANVHEFNER: Sometimes when I’m not really doing an official video, I would go and do random anime videos with the homie, Tobi. He’s from Cali, the Bay Area. There’s no deeper meaning to it, but I love anime a lot. I’ve fucked with anime since I was a young kid, [using] anime on some nostalgic shit.
Q: What type of shows were you into it?
DANVHEFNER: When I first started [getting into it], it was nothing but Yu Yu Hakusho, Inuyasha, and of course Dragonball Z. As I got older, I discovered shit like Elfen Lied, and I fucked with this really weird anime called Pupa and Initial D.
Q: How did you first start working with Gianni Lee? That’s how I first discovered your music, when he tweeted out Nocturnal.
DANVHEFNER: First of all, shout out to Gianni for looking out. That’s my second project with him, my first one was called Genesis and Nemesis. Honestly, it started out with me bugging the shit out of him. I don’t think he remembers, but the first time he threw the Ratchet Pussy Party, I hollered at him around that time, and he told me just to hit his e-mail. So I did that, and lucky for me, his manager fucked with me, so the rest is history.
Q: Why did you pick Gianni Lee? He’s known for doing his club remixes and
DANVHEFNER: I think I just fucked with his steelo. I think even with his fashion sense, I could relate to it. He would be a different person to have someone host a project, and he suited my shit the most.
“Every time I put something out, as soon as it’s out online for the first three days, I automatically hate it because I feel like I could something better”
Q: What do you think your last couple of projects
DANVHEFNER: Every time I put something out, as soon as it’s out online for the first three days, I automatically hate it because I feel like I could something better. With all my projects I put out, there wasn’t as much thought behind it because I got simply too excited that it was finally done.
With my next project coming out, around Halloween, it’s completely not what my other shit sounds like. I made it much more personal. This is probably the first time it’s going to have unspoken words, some shit that a lot of people don’t [usually] hear from artists, and they’re going to hear it from me.
“I’m going to talk about some personal shit, like when my mom almost got murdered when I was in Bolivia [and] when I cheated on my ex”
Q: What kinds of things do you want tell people on this project? Will your upbringing have any part in it?
DANVHEFNER: A lot of my music has inspiration from Virginia. Not just the DMV area, but also Richmond, Virginia Beach, and just the people I hang out. The good, the bad, the shit that I did. I’m going to talk about some personal shit, like when my mom almost got murdered when I was in Bolivia [and] when I cheated on my ex, crazy shit that people are afraid to speak about, but that’s definitely relatable.
Q: Do a lot of people in your life know about these things?
DANVHEFNER: Nobody knows. (Laughs) I think what inspired me was my last relationship. low-key, and I’m not going to lie, Future. He was with Ciara, and then after that, they broke up, and then all of a sudden he dropped Monster, 56 Nights, Beast Mode, and then DS2. At that point, he didn’t give a fuck and let all hit shit out. That’s how I’m treating it. No fucks given.
Q: Will you still have that dark, downtempo sound? Will you be working with the same people?
DANVHEFNER: It’s still going to be dark. There’s going to be one or two songs you can get buck to, but everything else is on some vibe shit. The south definitely inspired me, so I’m still going to have that rhythm to it.
“Musically, South Florida hasn’t inspired me, but it’s more of a lifestyle and how people carry themselves and live life: playing dominoes in front of this house, drinking 32s – because they don’t have 40s”
Q: Are you more influenced by artists in Florida or Virginia?
DANVHEFNER: Musically, South Florida hasn’t inspired me, but it’s more of a lifestyle and how people carry themselves and live life: playing dominoes in front of this house, drinking 32s – because they don’t have 40’s [there]. Just recently, my homie is going to jail for 25-to-life, which is something I’m inspired to talk about. In Virginia, off rip we have the Clipse, Pharrell, Fam-Lay, Nickelus F, there’s a lot of people.
“It’s very clique-heavy. The DMV is a little weird, because you have to get to know somebody to be a part of some shit.”
Q: How has your experience been here trying to make a name for yourself in an area that’s very small, that’s been criticized as being clique-heavy?
DANVHEFNER: When I first started, and just like anybody else, I felt very discouraged. It’s very clique-heavy. The DMV is a little weird, because you have to get to know somebody to be a part of some shit. You have to low-key suck dick, and I’m not a part of that.
Somehow I ended up [connecting with] these people from the internet, that are from South Florida. Slowly but surely, people are now starting to fuck with me, in places like Richmond, which is not “The DMV.” I haven’t done anything in the DMV, but hopefully soon, and people will wake up a little bit.
“Richmond, especially, is more open-minded to new music, whether you have 1,000 plays or a 100,000 plays”
Q: How would you describe the difference between the scenes up here and farther out in Virginia?
DANVHEFNER: There are a lot of bills and line-ups in the DMV have the same people over and over again, with the same people that make the events. Eventually you get a little tired of it. In Richmond at least, they will kind of do that, but if they know you’re hungry, they’ll put you in and give you a chance. Richmond, especially, is more open-minded to new music, whether you have 1,000 plays or a 100,000 plays.
“I’m low-key nervous, but that’s a good nervous; that’s the passion behind it”
Q: What else do you have your sights on and are working on?
DANVHEFNER: I’ll be dropping two new videos at the beginning of October. I’m going to drop a small project, called “From Me To You Vol. 666,” and that’s going to come out in October as well. A3C is coming, and we have a show there, and that will be my first time being part of something that big. I’m low-key nervous, but that’s a good nervous; that’s the passion behind it.
Q: Are you worried about your image or anything with the “Satan’s Son” moniker and usage of “666”?
DANVHEFNER: Nah, I don’t give a fuck. The reason why I call that specific project 666, [is because] it’s about a girl; not a specific one, I just took the characteristics and made it into a “supergirl,” so she has all these perfect imperfections. I grew up listening to rock, so that’s why I’m down with all that weird, evil shit. I’m not a satan-worshipper.
Q: Where will you be in 5 days, 5 months and 5 years?
DANVHEFNER: In five days, I’ll be probably drinking a 40. In five months, I have no idea. In five years, I expect to be doing some music with the higher-ups like Kanye.
Thanks DanVHefner for the dope interview! Follow him on Twitter for latest news and upcoming shows, as well as on the Blurry Boys Soundcloud page. Catch DanVHefner at the Atlanta Music Festival & Conference October (A3C) this week.
Edit: Article originally stated that he was raised in South Florida. He was born there, was but moved to Virginia when he was very young. “Elfen Lied” was originally mispelled as “Elfie Lied.”