The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

Chicago artist takes Orlando’s House of Blues by storm

“If no one ever tells you they love you, know that I love you.” Those words genuinely rolled off the tongue of a 20-year old man with an old soul, as he spoke to children at an orphanage in Chicago.

That young man, Daryon Simmons, is an American success story.

DLOW sat still long enough for us to do our interview but as soon as we were over he jumped up and starting dancing again. During the midst of his trials and tribulations during his childhood, DLOW danced. It’s what made him forget about the shuffling of schools, bouncing from home to home and shelter to shelter. DLOW told us, “The only thing I could think about was dancing. I made DLOW Shuffle part one and now DLOW Shuffle part two.”

You may not know him by his birth name but his stage name is easily recognizable by teenagers and a bit of the middle-aged generation alike. DLOW, is an acronym for Determined, Loyal, Optimistic and Willing to learn.

Brianna Harrison, Marketing Manager at Atlantic Records specifically handles the marketing for DLOW. Harrison told Hype Orlando, “DLOW is very special. He is a young kid but he possesses such a strong mentality.” That strong mentality pushed DLOW to dance his way out of poverty and homelessness from the west side of Chicago, to a YouTube sensation with over 10 million views on one video alone. The DLOW Shuffle went viral. Celebrities started doing it, teens and pre-teens learned the dance and started doing it as well.

Harrison said, DLOW feels the younger generation, especially from where he grew up, is often discouraged or believes there’s nothing really to look forward to and not many to look up to. But, he’s changing that with every beat and every shuffle. Harrison said, “he wants to be that one breath of fresh air for them.”

As for his now famous shuffle, well, that has landed him a deal with Atlantic Records.

Artists don’t just typically land a deal like this by happenstance.

Julius Small, Tour Manager for Scream Nation and Let’s Dance the Tour, which is a division of the national promotion company, Live Nation. Small said, “This is our first branded Let’s Dance the Tour and we’re working with the teens and the youth and giving back and creating something positive for them to do.”

Michael Mauldin is the CEO of Scream Nation, a Hip-Hop and Pop music tour franchise. Mauldin has been in the music industry upwards of 30 years and has put his mark of professional excellence on Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child, Bow Wow, Ciara and a host of others. Scream Nation is the brainchild of Mauldin and the tour is being put together all across the country catering and giving back to youth.

DLOW wasn’t just tapping into the teenage demographic. At his concert last Saturday at the House of Blues in Orlando at Disney Springs, DLOW and his team of dancers even had parents of those energetic, screaming teens, dancing to the beats of Bell, Biv, Devoe (BBD) and MC Hammer and a few other throwbacks. DLOW’s value soared not only when he scored millions of views but how he interacted with his fans and his message helped to secure his future in music. “We definitely were following DLOW for a long time and what he had going on was a perfect fit for this tour,” Small said. DLOW has been on NBC Nightly News and on the Steve Harvey show and attributes his faith to his success.

DLOW isn’t just a dancer. He’s a beat maker and songwriter who just signed a deal with Atlantic Records and will be releasing new music titled, I am DLOW, on the 18th of this month. This release is a 4-song introduction that is being released globally so those who don’t know him will get a better understanding and appreciation of his music, movement and passion for encouraging youth.

Small added, “It was just amazing the energy he gives off to the kids. I know when I see a star and the reaction a star gets and he definitely gets that across the board.”

Harrison told us, “DLOW wants everyone to understand their potential and to really go after it.”

DLOW and his siblings were raised by his grandparents who are now deceased. His mother is a drug addict and he never knew is father. DLOW said, “I’m very big when it comes to family, my brothers and sisters just because of the past experience we had, like not having a mother, father, both of our grandparents are now deceased, so we lived from shelter to shelter. I love being happy and making people happy.” DLOW said when most people get angry they turn to the negative things in life, but for him, he did the one thing that made him happy; he danced.

DLOW concluded, “Right now, I’m just striving to be a better man, a better artist and a better entrepreneur.”

Photo credit: Lesley Etherly

Photo credit: Lesley Etherly