Daphnie is no stranger to the Sydney music scene - originally starting as a producer, he has transformed into an artist who lends his musical abilities to his many friends and colleagues in the industry.
He is coming off the biggest year of his career to date, with a debut mixtape released, along with a plethora of features - including his duo 'youproblem' with Alana Patmore.
Daphnie spoke to Edge of the Crowd about how his trajectory in music has changed and taken him to his first mixtape and collaborations.
"I chose to play drums for ages, but I decided pretty quickly, I think I was in Year Two [in school], I was like 'I am gonna be a rockstar singer!," Daphnie recalled.
He did a jazz drumming degree at uni and was in a punk band, but it was in 2020 during the first lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that Daphnie started to produce music.
"I started producing properly and writing with some friends... that was where the 'Daphnie' project was born."
The name ‘Daphnie’ originated as a band name but he chose it as an artist name shortly after the idea came about.
“Daphnie was a flower, it is a colour, it is quite feminine and I think it summed me up, in a way.
“I was like ‘oh, that is cute and quirky’; I went through a billion names – some of them were terrible, but Daphnie was the one I kept coming back to.
“If you know anyone who is trying to pick a name, help them, because it is hard!”
Daphnie explained how he wanted to rebel against making jazz music and originally made rock music before falling into a place between rock and pop.
"You also find that a lot with people in the scene, like EGOISM and Chloe Dadd, they have all got that kind of stuff, too, but it was that specific order [of musical progression] that made it come out the version that it is."
The laundry list of artists Daphnie has produced for is long (with some taken out for time reasons) and is a testament to his work ethic in the industry.
"Lola Scott, Alexia, Anna Leworthy, April Darling, Awa Mbaye, Chelsea Warner, GAZAL, Hannah Breweer, Hattie Oates, Holly Hebe, ioakim, Ivaris, jnr., LORA."
Describing his musical style, Daphnie said it falls under the sweeping umbrella of alternative pop but wants to ensure his music is unique and distinguishable to his own sound.
"I was having a chat with my friend jnr. the other day, because we are shooting a music video for an upcoming song and we were trying to figure out what the difference between indie pop and alternative pop was.
"I identify with the alt-pop side of things... there is an element of trying to be edgy and make weirder sounds in the forefront of music that I want to make stuff that has not necessarily been heard before, in every aspect of it.
Daphnie cites 'COIN' as being a major influence on his music due to their tendency to push boundaries, but also listed a lot of his peers as influences.
"EGOISM; ioakim, who I had the pleasure of playing drums for, same with Lola Scott; LORA, Molly Millington.
"I think a lot of people who I play drums for influence me a lot because they are parts that I am listening and learning things from.
"They are all like in our little scene, when we go and see a gig and get to watch them, we are like 'oh, that is awesome, I want to do something like that in my music."
There is one artist that tops the list as an influence for Daphnie, however.
"MIRA MASA, he does exactly what I mean when I say pushing boundaries - I think he does everything right.
"He does that indie-pop rock thing, and then straight-up EDM, but everything he touches, he shapes beautifully."
Daphnie's debut mixtape, 'Confessions to an Ex', dropped on June 14th, 2023, and he explained how it was to have it out in the world.
"Exciting would be the one word I would use to describe it, but also a lot of work - so maybe also draining.
"The majority of those songs came together about the one person and as I started releasing, we got the order of how our relationship was going.
"That full circle thing of starting a relationship, having so much hope, and then connecting with them enough that you do not want to let them go, even though I can see there are obvious flaws in it.
"Then, they sort of progress more towards, well, obviously you broke up and they are living overseas living it up; you are like 'nah, screw you, I do not want to deal with this."
The EP progression in telling a complete story was important for Daphnie.
"Then, them coming back, you guys seeing each other again and trying to figure out that weird place you land.
"Then, one of the last songs I wrote was the intro track, which was about the partner I had before that; so, I wanted to start from the very end of a different relationship."
Daphnie wanted to show and reveal real emotions through his work and that made his mixtape very vulnerable.
"[My favourite lyric is] 'But I wanted you to want me, cos if you did, maybe I could want myself. I just needed you to know that you mean more to me than anybody else.
"I think that is probably the realest thing I have written - I do not think it is the cleverest or the smartest, but I think writing that took a very large emotional effort and I am proud of myself that I said that.
"This song [The Last Song I'll Ever Write For You [i Promise]] was also written in the morning that I met up with [my ex] for the first time since she had been overseas for six or seven months, and we broke so I had not seen her since."
Daphnie spoke about how powerful heartbreak is and its role in his music.
"If you are dating someone, they hopefully know you the best out of anyone in the world, so for them to not like you, I think that is a pretty huge feeling because then you are like, 'well, they know everything about me and they have chosen "nope, not it"'."
Daphnie spoke on his most recent collaboration, 'Red to be Blue', with fellow artist, Holly Hebe.
"We met on a Zoom session, so we have known each other [since] December 17 ... we wrote the song on Zoom.
"The second session, I said 'what do you think of me being on the song?', and she was like, 'yeah, let's do it, jump on it.'
"It is pretty sweet."
Daphnie has plans for his first headline show in Sydney sometime in 2024, but remained tight-lipped on details for now, as he joked around.
"I like the idea of having straight-up fireworks and shooting them into the crowd!
"But I feel like that may not be allowed.
"We will keep [our plans] a secret for the actual event."
Daphnie said out of all the shows he has played, one stands out as his favourite.
"Opening for MAY-A may be my favourite, as Daphnie... it was really fun playing with other awesome people on the lineup and especially because I had been touring around with her, playing drums with ioakim, so we did [MAY-A's] whole tour - getting to do one as Daphnie felt really nice.
"I was actually meant to be playing drums for GAZAL, who was supposed to be doing it, but she woke up the morning of with COVID.
"They were like 'jump on,' but my whole band was out of state, so I got onto Jack Roberts, but he had another gig that night.
"But, it turned out we were playing the same gig!
"Fantastic drummer, even better dude."
What is Daphnie's favourite part of playing live?
"Just having people enjoy your music when you are playing it - that is top tier."
There is one fan, in particular, who has shown faith and supported Daphnie in his work since the beginning.
"Kayleigh! Having someone with that level of faith in you, even just as a person... it is very surreal.
"It feels very like 'proof of concept' to me, like, if you reach the right audience, people will love it and you can be successful.
"When you face bad things, like bad mental health days... they bring you back to reality... I really appreciate them."
Daphnie said he has plenty of song titles, which is where songs usually start, and is excited to see where his musical journey takes him next.
“I am in my collaboration era right now – I have a song coming out with jnr. (on November 29)… I love that song, it is going to be sticking around for a while in my own eyes, I think."
Daphnie finished on one note to remember.
“Sydney and Australia has some awesome music coming out of it – try and listen to Australian music; there is so much cool stuff.”