Why Don't We's Daniel Seavey Is Ready to Open Up

Why Don't We's Daniel Seavey Is Ready to Open Up

As one-fifth of the popular boy band Why Don't We, Daniel Seavey still found a way to shine.

The 23-year-old singer, songwriter and producer's fingerprints can be found all over the group's last record, The Good Times and the Bad Ones, prior to their hiatus announcement in July of this year. Armed with a lifetime's worth of experiences traveling the world as well as his keen ear for melodies spread across over 20 instruments, Seavey is ready to emancipate himself as he embarks on a solo career.

Seavey officially launched his solo endeavor with the bursting debut single, "Can We Pretend That We're Good?" with a powerful visual. As he scrubs himself clean of the expectations that come with being one of the faces of a new generation of boy bands, Seavey tackles his religious upbringing and the purity culture he grew up with. His voice hits euphoric highs as he steps closer to liberation with each breath, and he's finally ready to take his audience with him.

Below, watch the video for "Can We Pretend That We're Good" and keep reading for an op-ed written by Seavey about the song's creation.

When I’m writing for other artists, or just for the band in the past, I’ve had to think about all the people that a particular song needs to encompass. Now on my own, I’m not overthinking the process and have really been able to open up as a result. I’ve never really talked about my past and growing up in the Church, but when I’m creating my own art I just don’t know how not to make it personal. It’s fresh for me to be this honest… it’s exciting. I feel like it’s my job as an artist to lay out my life - good and bad.

The concept for the “Can We Pretend That We’re Good?” music video came to me one day in the shower. I literally jumped out, no clothes on, and made a note in my phone of exactly how it should go. I grew up a pastor’s kid, and church life was a bubble of purity that I existed in for a long time. I’m very thankful for the way I was raised, but at the same time, I didn’t have any real knowledge of what the world was like because of it. I mean, I didn’t know who Drake was until my junior year of high school. Then I heard his song “Jungle” and it completely blew my mind.

It was important for me to be more blunt and straightforward in this video because that sort of honesty is a luxury I didn’t have growing up as a pastor’s kid. I believe honesty is always the best path. I hope this video can be a help to others not be so ashamed of displaying whichever aspect of them they wish to display, regardless of how their peers may judge them for it. We’re all figuring it out, and I think there’s a massive difference between helping someone and judging them.

The scene where the church starts to crumble symbolizes judgement. Something I believe we’ll all face one day - not by man, but by God. Judgement is what bothered me the most about the Church… That blurry line between wanting to share your problems and find help from your peers, to feeling like you had to put on a face of perfection for those same people was just overbearing. Especially for me, the actual son of the pastor.

During the second verse, the light leaves the room, representing the aftermath of our sin. Even outside of the context of church, everyone at some point in their life has made a bad decision that took them to a dark place. Overall the video is really just about me growing up and figuring it out. We shot it in Portland where I grew up. I got to see my grandparents and go to Voodoo Donuts. I went to my old school and home. It was a very full-circle moment for me for a lot of reasons… I hadn’t been home since I left for tour four or five years ago, so it was pretty special being back.

I was very nervous to share the final cut when we finished. I ended up showing my mom first. She loved it, and her first question was “who else have you played it for?!” – I knew it would cause a stir for some people around us so I kept it close for the most part and didn’t really play it for anybody else. But the truth is important to me and I’m very happy to finally be telling it. I’m excited to continue this solo journey, every song I have coming is different from the one before it. I’m in this state of adventure musically, trying things I’ve always wanted to try and really opening up about topics I’ve never discussed publicly. I’m ready to show everyone who I truly am.

Photography courtesy of Nicole Deacon