Dan Whitlam’s New Lo-Fi Spoken Word Release, “Young Minds,” Reminds Us That Life is Worth Slowing Down
Life always has a tendency to move quickly, so much so that we need to remind ourselves to slow down every once in a while, but life in your 20s can seem particularly overwhelming because it’s a time during which you and those around you are going through so much change. Whether you’re finishing a degree, settling down to start a family, starting a new job, attempting to create your own business, or perhaps none of the above but your peers are doing those things, you can simultaneously feel both overwhelmed and underachieved. So much of your 20s can become wrapped up in obsessing over what you think you should be doing because you’ve been told you need to do certain things to succeed or because you see your friends doing those things, but Dan Whitlam reminds us that life, even in your 20s, is worth slowing down for.
Dan Whitlam is a poet and rapper hailing from South London. With a distinctive vocal tone and relaxed delivery, his style blends emotive lyrics with jazzy UK hip-hop beats, earning him features on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 1, and BBC Radio London. His first public release, “Exit Sign,” was added to New Music Friday on Spotify and led to him growing an organic fan base of hip-hop heads and lyrical lovers. In addition to releasing more music this year, Dan will be launching his very own podcast, “Collecting Conversations,” which will fuse his unique style of spoken word poetry and rap laid over relaxing instrumentals and loops, with each episode focusing on a different story.
“Young Minds” is his second-ever release and packs quite a punch, evidenced by its virality on TikTok with over 1 million views. Produced by Frederick James, “Young Minds” focuses heavily on life in your 20s, dealing with many of the “false thoughts” that we have come to know: feeling like life is passing us by or that we’re running out of time. Dan’s deeply-toned vocals pair nicely against the heavy-handed piano keys that create the opening segment for the track, during which Dan considers the things he wishes he had learned sooner – the same things he is now passing along to his listeners as a cautionary message. As the track breaks into the main beat and first chorus, the production transitions to chill hip-hop instrumentals with ethereal vocalizations, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and softness. We hear more of the thoughts that plague not only Dan’s mind but also the minds of others in their 20s and the irony that Dan finds in these false thoughts: “being in your 20s and feeling like you’re running out of time.”
To know that we’re not alone in these anxious moments is comforting, but it is even more comforting to be reminded that we still have so much time and that it’s important to live in the moment to actually enjoy what is right in front of us.