HE'S been crowned the ‘King of TikTok’ by BBC radio after teasers for his new single amassed more than 500,000 views.
KiD RAiN, who started writing music when he was a 12-year-old student at Ripon Grammar School, has played to adoring crowds all over the country, from sell-out headline tours to supporting bands such as The Vamps.
Now he has signed a global publishing deal with Peermusic - the largest independent music publisher in the world - and recently released his new single, Half.
Dan, from Harrogate, has already made an impressive mark on the UK music scene, having clocked up 250 million video views and 30 million streams, with songs which have been shared by media personalities like Khloe Kardashian.
Half, which he wrote and produced, was released in May and delves into the delicate balance between childhood and adulthood: “I often find myself questioning whether I’m truly a kid or a grown-up,” he explains. “Half is a heartfelt anthem for those who find themselves caught in life’s limbo.”
Known as Dan Reynard when he was at RGS, he also writes and produces for other artists, including pop singer Emily Roberts and viral TikTok star Liv Harland, and has worked with Little Mix, Years & Years, Lana Del Ray and Ed Sheeran songwriters.
When he first left RGS in 2014 after taking A-levels in history, economics, business studies and music technology, he was in a band, :PM, with some schoolmates and was enjoying touring all over the country.
He first went solo in 2020, going on to release I Hope You Never Fall In Love Again and Accidentally In Love, which gained strong chart positions at Spotify and Apple Music, and secured him a BBC Introducing Track of the Week.
The success of his first headline tour was encouraging: "I was so certain we wouldn’t sell enough tickets and the venues would be mostly empty, but I was so blown away by how many people showed up.
"To go to places like Glasgow and see your name above the venue door and hear people sing songs you wrote in your bedroom was amazing. Surely they all have better things to do than watch an idiot dance around on stage? Apparently not."
He was thrilled at how Accidentally In Love and I Hope You Never Fall In Love Again went down: "They have gone on to be the biggest songs I’ve put out, and seeing the reaction to them was a feeling that is difficult to describe."
In addition to BBC radio presenter and DJ Jericho Keys declaring him 'King of TikTok', he has enjoyed lots of positive press, with tmrw magazine saying he is the “rising star you need to know” while Nickelodeon announced: “KiD RAiN is on his way up".
And now music industry insiders are predicting Half may just be the song which catapults him into the big time.
Q: Where has life taken you since leaving RGS?
A: It’s been a challenging and often frustrating road since then. PM, the band I was in along with a few RGS schoolmates, was great whilst it lasted. We toured the UK with The Vamps, which was amazing, however afterwards we all agreed it was time to come to an end. I then built my own studio and began making my own records as well as writing/producing for other artists. In 2020 I released my first ever solo project under the name “KiD RAiN” and in 2021 I signed my first global publishing deal for my songs. I went on my first headline tour in 2022 and a few months ago I signed a global distribution deal for my upcoming EP and new single, Half, which I’m very excited about.
Q: Outline a typical day
A: I’m sorry to not give more of a rock and roll answer but I’m almost always in my studio at home or in London editing/mixing songs. In a lot of ways writing the song is the easy part, it can sometimes only take 30 minutes. It’s the days, sometimes weeks, of editing and producing that take up most of my time.
If I’m not working on music I’ll be making videos for Tiktok and Instagram, you are looking at a Z-list Tiktok celebrity in the making right here.
Q: What have been the highlights of your career to date?
A: Every day is a highlight when you do what you love! (Haha just kidding, can you imagine if that was my answer? Vomit emoji, no but seriously chase your dreams kids)
I think it has to be my first headline tour in 2022. I was so certain we wouldn’t sell enough tickets and the venues would be mostly empty, but I was so blown away by how many people showed up. Surely they all have better things to do than watch an idiot dance around on stage? Apparently not.
I also released two songs called Accidentally In Love and I Hope You Never Fall In Love Again which have gone on to be the biggest songs I’ve put out, and seeing the reaction to them was a feeling that is difficult to describe. Well not that difficult really, happiness, there.
Q: What’s the best bit about your job?
A: The moment where you know you have a good song on your hands, it could last for an hour or a couple of days before it wears off a bit, but all you want to do is listen to that song, and for that moment, it’s the best song in existence. That’s a feeling I genuinely find difficult to describe.
Q: And the worst?
A: When that song (the best song in existence) gets released and it’s not received as well as you’d have liked (the kids call it a flop). It makes you question your own judgment and whether you’ll be able do better in the future, but I guess if it was easy, everyone would do it, so on we go.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
A: Early on I signed a deal that I shouldn’t have signed, and getting out of it was a 12-month legal nightmare. There were times where I genuinely believed I wouldn’t be allowed to make music again. It was a huge lesson learned. Everyone always says failures are the best lessons, and that’s a beautiful sentiment, but it’s hard to see it as a lesson when it’s happening and not just get bogged down with it. Of course, in hindsight they always are, but fighting your way through it and keeping going is difficult, I guess that’s why so many people stop chasing whatever their chasing.
Q: What was the most important thing you learnt at RGS?
A: I know you probably can’t tell from by beautifully articulate answers so far but I wasn’t the most academic student, however I tried my best (that’s a lie).
At the risk of sounding clichéd I do think the staff and pupils at RGS moulded me into being a genuinely decent person (I hope). So as much as I’d like to say Pythagoras's theorem, I’ll stick with my answer.
Q: What extra-curricular activities were you involved in while at RGS and how valuable were they?
A: My first few years at RGS I was in the brass band, big band and cricket team (I did also try my hand at rugby, however one look at my physique and we can all guess how that turned out). The main one for me however was the Battle of the Bands competition, and then the AMP awards, which was a Battle of the Bands for all the northern schools. If it wasn’t for those music concerts, I don’t think we’d have taken the band seriously, and I don’t think I’d be here right now, I’d probably be doing a proper job making a lot more money, damn.
Q: What do you wish you’d known back then?
A: I wish I’d have trusted my own instincts more and I wish I trusted my own ears more.
If 17-year-old me thought something sounded good, it was good. If 17-year-old me thought something sounded bad, it was bad. That’s the point of subjectivity, It doesn’t matter if someone older, more experienced or smarter disagrees with you, if you like it, you’re right.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you’d give students interested in following a similar career path?
A: Try not to rely on anyone for something that you could learn yourself. Don’t rely on someone to write your songs for you (unless it’s me of course), don’t rely on someone to produce your songs for you (unless it’s me of course), and don’t rely on a record label to make you successful, you need to do the work, I’ve said it already but it’s important, if it was easy, everyone would do it.
Q: Who was your favourite teacher and why?
A: Although I probably drove him mad in his lessons, Mr Demir was my favourite teacher. He gave me advice that’s stayed with me since school and he was the one teacher I could (and did) talk to about things that were happening in my life and he genuinely cared. I don’t remember half the things he talked about on his whiteboard (don’t tell him) but I remember all the things he told me when I’d go speak to him.
Q: Who or what inspired you when you were at school?
A: Mr Lancaster was head of music when I first started, and he had an obvious passion for music, that definitely rubbed off on me at an early age. Also meeting the guys in the band at 11 years old at school and being able to practise at lunchtime and after school for seven years, surrounded by your bandmates every day, was a huge inspiration for me, if wasn’t for that, I definitely wouldn’t be here now.
Q: What would you say has been your greatest success?
A: I think my first headline tour last year was the greatest success for me personally, to go to places like Glasgow and see your name above the venue door and hear people sing songs you wrote in your bedroom, especially when you were convinced no one would show up, was amazing.
Q: And biggest disaster?
A: Probably shouting “Good evening, Nottingham” to 15,000 people at Liverpool Arena, and getting booed, thank you for making me relive that.
Q: What do you miss most about Yorkshire/Ripon?
A: Because of what I do, I often go days without seeing/speaking to people, if I’m holed up in my studio working, that’s the way I like it, but I do miss seeing friends every day, always making and having plans with them - don’t tell them I said that though. Also the Matrix(RIP).
Q: What are your hopes for the future?
A: I’d like to write and produce a song that breaks into the UK top 40, whether that’s for me or another artist, and I’d like to keep touring and hopefully make the venues bigger each time! We’re still a long way from Wembley Stadium, but baby steps.
*Listen to KiD RAiN’s new single ‘Half’ here: https://venice.lnk.to/half
**Ripon’s former nightclub
Follow KiD RAiN
TikTok(403k followers, 8m likes)
Photo captions, from top:
Dan pictured in front of the crowd at his debut headline sell-out show, at Dingwalls, Camden, London
Dan signing his publishing deal with Peermusic, the largest independent music publisher in the world, in 2021
Performing at the O2 Arena, where he supported The Vamps
Promotional shot for his new single, Half
At The Grace, London, during his = 2022 sell-out headline tour
The cover of his new single