‘Be Honest With Your Art’: Danny Ocean Reflects on Sudden Stardom and His Deeply Personal New Album

If you aren’t familiar with Danny Ocean’s music, it’s only a matter of time. The Venezuelan singer and producer is a veritable global phenomenon. His hit song “Me Rehúso” surpassed 50 million streams on Spotify in just two months and went on to reach an astounding 1 billion streams.

When “Me Rehúso” joined the Spotify Billions Club in 2020, it was the first time a song from a Latin solo artist had ever achieved that milestone. Danny was also the first independent artist to appear in the Top 10 in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Spain, and Argentina.

“Me Rehúso” broke a record by becoming the Latin song on Spotify’s Global Top 50 list for the most weeks, but Danny refused to rest on his laurels. The singer’s second album, @dannocean, includes hit singles “Fuera del Mercado,” “Tú No Me Conoces,” “Pronto,” and “Apartmento,” and his eagerly anticipated new album, REFLEXA, will be released on May 2.

For the Record caught up with Danny to talk about the new album and why he says Spotify changed his life.

Your new album is out May 2. What can fans expect? 

It’s an album made with a lot of love. We’ve flown everywhere to do this album, and it has been a journey. It is a very spiritual album for me; they are going to hear a very human Danny. It’s called REFLEXA, which comes from reflection and all the meaning of the word—that’s what the album is about. 

How does Spotify support your work as an artist? Are there any features—music videos, merch, tour dates—or tools on Spotify for Artists that are especially helpful?

I think that it’s great having the tour dates on the platform. We’ve been doing the pre-save of the album, which I think is really great. I think it gives people the chance to see the process of how we’ve been doing this album. To me, it’s just been an honor to be here, honestly. I’ve said it before: “Me Rehúso” is where it is because of Spotify. It’s crazy how a platform has changed the game. I think it’s amazing.

Are there any artists, producers, or songwriters whom you’d love to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Max Martin. I would love to sit down with Max Martin one day.

What advice do you have for other artists who are building their careers?

I would just say just keep it going, keep working, keep it real, keep it authentic. Be real to yourself. Be honest with your art. There is a difference between trying to be famous and trying to be an artist. Try to recognize those two words in your path. Keep on doing music, throw it out, let the world hear your music!

Check out Danny’s new album, REFLEXA, and experience the journey for yourself.

Photo: Napoleon Habeica