Daynel Artiles is not your average singer or Uber driver. Instead, he combines both activities in a unique way. Artiles pairs his musical talent with bright, flashing lights in his car, creating an experience for riders that falls somewhere between “Cash Cab” and a nightclub.
Since The Miami Hurricane last spoke with the singer dubbed “The Singing Uber Driver,” Artiles has kept busy honing his music career. He adopted the stage name Artdayn and has been promoting his dark R&B single, “OXD,” released in December.
Emotion plays a big part in Artiles’ art. “I plan to be an influence in people’s life due to the deep and meaningful messages in my songs. I write about what goes on around me and about what I have lived through in the past,” Artiles said.
From having struggled in poverty in Cuba and his mother’s inability to work due to mental illness once moving to the United States, there’s no shortage of personal experiences from which to draw. Regardless, Artiles’ outlook is still positive.
“‘OXD’ is a smiley face that describes me, because I am always smiling,” Artiles said. “The song is saying that no matter what happens in the world, I’ll keep on smiling and being myself, like I’ve always done all these years.”
Artiles credits his father with guiding him into the world of music as early as when Artiles was five years old. Artiles would sing Gospel music at his church and study clarinet in school. His influences range widely, from pop-superstars like The Weeknd and Lorde to metal bands such as Disciple as Under Oath.
Artiles admits his songwriting process is “really unconventional.” He said that the melody comes first, followed by the lyrics and, finally, the instrumentals.
Artiles collaborates with Producer Armando Doval at EpicDigital for the recording, mixing and mastering of his tracks.
“[Armando] likes what is known as Epic Sound [an online audio production company used in TV and film],” Artiles said about his signature sound. “That’s the type of sound that I love to use in my music, because it’s immersive. I’m glad I found someone with the same taste.”
While many up-and-coming artists lack self-confidence, Artiles shoots for the stars.
“I do hope for fame and recognition in the future,” he said. “If more people listen to my music, more people will be influenced and touched by it. More people will feel connected and related to it.”
As for his future plans, Artiles has much in store.
“I plan to keep promoting myself through the platforms that I have available,” Artiles said. “I will go back to school and study something related to music and sound. I feel that this is just the first step and there’s more to come.”
Perhaps there’s even an underlying career in film here.
“Daynel starred in one of my films for school, and brought his charismatic, outgoing personality, [shining] a light onto my film,” said Danny Urkov, a junior psychology and motion pictures major.
Check out the official Artdayn YouTube channel to hear the music Artiles has released thus far, and keep up with his Facebook page, Artdayn, for updates on his upcoming projects.