Don “Destin” Daws was born in Canada to a black mother of Caribbean descent and a white father of Canadian-British background. From a young age, Don began to become classically trained both music theory and the violin. Along the way he picked up several additional instruments as well, with the keyboards becoming a prominent element of his artistic repertoire.
Don’s fascination with orchestral music was obvious to his parents at the age of three, which prompted them to begin his classical training. As a young violinist, he was exposed to the world renowned ‘Suzuki’ method conceived in the mid-20th century by Shin’ichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist who believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of a high level of musical achievement.
Don excelled under the Suzuki String School and his teacher noted that his abilities were well beyond the levels of any of the other students. Not only did he learn the basics of the instrument, he also played with a remarkable feeling. He excelled on the violin performing in concert halls as a soloist as well as in string ensembles and full orchestras.
By the time he was thirteen, a master mentor was sought out and he was granted an audition by the famous violinist Myron Moskalyk, a Juilliard prodigy who immediately recognized the exceptional talent of Don. As an apprentice under Moskalyk, he demanded perfection and brought out the very best in Don’s mastery of the violin. One would be hard pressed to find anyone capable of playing a concerto or a sonata better or with more expression or feeling than Don.
Not only has Don Destin perfected his mastery of the violin, he has applied both his instrumental skills and his knowledge of the theory of music to mastering a variety of instruments including percussion, six string guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, and piano. He’s also a superior vocal talent that has finessed the complexities of beautiful harmonies. The mentoring of industry greats such as Tommy Mottola of Sony Records, Babyface, and Dick Scott has all contributed personally to the way Don Destin approaches the making of hit records.
Realizing that his pursuit of success in Canada was limited, he partnered up with engineer Joe Warlick from Interscope Records to create a production team called “The Specialists.” Under this umbrella, Joe and Don Destin introduced their musical creations to the industry working with artists like T.I. These endeavors have sold over two million copies and were Grammy nominated. Destin also worked with Young Dre on music used in the ‘Sims 3’ video game which sold over ten million copies. The Specialists also worked with countless other artists such as Crooked Eye, Paul Wall, The Game and Bun B, to name but a few.
Don Destin has also collaborated on violin with some of the legends in the game like George Clinton, Jesse Johnson and Jackie Jackson. He’s composed and produced music for artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lecrae, T. Pain, Yung Joc and others. Don is currently working on a side project which will feature his violin abilities on a smooth jazz, adult contemporary album. The record will be a masterpiece worth keeping an eye out for.
Don Destin’s solo violin work has been in the making for a long time. As the music industry has evolved, Destin has had the opportunity to begin work on a violin hip-hop project. The project was delayed as Destin struggled for a time being to remain in the United States and self-produce his work. As Destin puts it, he was never going to ‘compromise his artistic ability just because I wasn’t from this country.’ That dedication has now lead to the project being resumed in great force. High expectations are set for it and it has been constantly evolving.
Outside of his music, Don Destin has more recently become involved in entrepreneurial work. He started his new company, DDP Music Group to take back control of how his music reaches his fans. Thus, he now has the ability to control the release of his original work. The company has been actively helping artists by aiding in the production and release of new records. The DDP Music Group operates under the mentality that an artist’s work is best held in their own hands.
DDP Music Group has been a force for good in the music industry since 2009, the company having been formed shortly after Don achieved platinum status as a producer. Don wants to give back to the music community, offering opportunity to artists in the same way he was offered opportunities in the past.
DDP has also become involved with a label deal with Ingrooves/Fontana and Team Mashn. A very organic collaboration, the deal with struck between Destin and long-time friend and business partner Keith Clizark. Clizark saw the massive potential in Destin’s vision and decided to help Don take control of his music and his destiny.
The specifics of the record deal include worldwide distribution encompassing all aspects of promotion and marketing for Don’s artists. He keeps full control of the company and chooses what it releases as well, at which point Ingrooves gets behind the record and pushes the music to the next level alongside DDP.
As a result of many years of trials and tribulation, Don Destin lives, breathes, and bleeds his work. He’s learned so much over these years; all of which culminates in each new project he works on. One thing's for sure, though, and that is that Don Destin is a monumental force ready to start a musical empire.
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