Dayton: One day I'll have my own star on the Walk of Fame
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
I met Dayton at an art community in Los Angeles. He shared with me his passion for music, stories of his tattoos, and his love for his family.
"Have you ever been to a music festival?"
"The place where everyone goes crazy for the DJ, forgetting all the outside problems, fully enjoying the moment. That's how I felt when I first went to a music festival."
"I was in an EDM festival in Utah, and I was totally amazed by the vibe. I was like damn this is so cool, I want to be on the stage one day and make people forget all their problems for a moment through my music. That's basically how my art is named 'Free Me.'
It was then that I knew I wanted to do music."
"Actually, my exposure to music started early.
I was always being around music engineering because my dad was an engineer. When I was little, whenever he went to record in his studio, I'd always be there. But I didn’t know what it was. All I did, as a little kid, was playing with the piano, just watching him recording, and seeing all the other artists coming to record."
"I didn’t want to get into what he was doing, I thought it was boring. But the music festival changed everything."
"I ended up looking for school in Salt Lake City, taking a 6-month course to learn this program. I wanted to further my knowledge of sound, so I found the school in Arizona that I went to and just graduated from.
I came to LA three months ago, and I got this job at a studio."
"The reason I left Utah partly was because I wanted to do music, and there wasn't much going on in Utah. Another reason was that place was too conservative. It's a Mormon state. There's a Mormon mall in downtown that I couldn't go because they wouldn't let you in the mall if you had visible tattoos. They wouldn’t believe in a lot of things. And old people were so strict. You couldn't really talk to them sometimes."
"I got judged a lot for this tattoo. But you can't judge a book by its cover. You don’t know what that person has been through. But especially in Utah, people have tattoos are thought to be a thug, or a part of some gangs.
But it's not always like that. I got my tattoos because they all have meaning to me. I want to have my stories where I can see them, and have my life stories on my body."
"I got this anime character's tattoo on my chest because I was really into anime. This character really made an impact on my life, pushed me to work out more.
Before, I was so skinny, like 152 pounds, but now I became much bigger because that character really motivated me to be stronger not just physically but as a human as well."
"The tattoo on my arm says, 'what a life without a wife.' That's my grandma's mantra. She always says that when she's stressed out because she's married."
"My grandma has always been a big inspiration for me. She moved to America at 21, straight from Peru. She first went to New York and met my grandpa, and they ended up getting married. They were struggling so much. I heard stories about how my dad was born in a box outside a hotel, and my grandparents just picked up every job opportunity. When they moved to Utah, they started a business there. Before my grandpa passed, they made a big name with their business.
It's incredible to think someone comes from nothing and makes something out of it."
"The tattoo on my neck represents where I am from -- Rose Park. It always reminds me of my family. A lot of people asked me why I go the tattoo on my neck, because people tend to look down on the tattoos on the neck. But what I want is whenever I look into the mirror, I can see my families are there with me. I see them all the time.
By seeing the tattoo, I know they are there, looking at me, proud of what I'm doing."
"Now I'm working at three studios and making music for many famous musicians.
I love what I'm doing, and I have my own goals in mind that I'm working toward them."
"Have you been to Hollywood Blvd? You know, the Walk of Fame?
I want to get a star on that walk for engineering, or some other song I produced. That's my dream. "
"That's what I want to accomplish to make my family proud. "
Photographer & Editor: Nox