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Lyricist, Songwriter & Record Producer, D.Y. McDaniel, Releases “Choose Life”

A splendid message in single, "Choose Life,” by addressing the weary hearted who's comptemplated suicide.

Derrick D.Y. McDaniel was born in Bronx, New York, where he lived with his mother, who toured the world while in military.


From that upbringing McDaniel became an attorney that attended college and Graduate school at Boston University, before landing on Wall Street as an investment banker for JP Morgan and Chase.

While housed as investment banker, he was legal guardian and caregiver for his ailing grandmother after the sudden passing of his mother.


This kindled a profound passion inside of him birthed from his own struggles with bereavement, and lessons as custodian, to mentor families of the elderly.

McDaniel helped with education and placement for the elderly who were unable to support themselves at Caring Hearts Elderly Care of New Jersey. McDaniel received profound insightfulness on mental health and wellness, concerning the elderly, as well as their caregivers during that time.



McDaniel has a lingering background in music, where he wrote and produced songs over two decades ago, that led to a lengthy hiatus.

The innovative producer wrote and performed songs, prior to his wedding. “I was on Wall Street, and then I built out the eldercare corporations, and of course I had a couple of kids… um, my blessings,” he explains when asked the reason that he took such an extensive break from creating compositions. “So, life--Life really happened, and next thing you know, you blink, and a couple decades have gone by.”


The composer said that his return to music is an unexpected gift of the pandemic, that like most people, his life slowed down. “I actually had time to sit in a quiet space for the first time in a couple decades, and the music started flowing again. So, this was unexpected but a blessing.”


McDaniel sees music through a colorful lens, opposed to musical notes or movie-like visuals from the mind of a spectator.

Humans typically identify lyrics of a song to their own life, or wistful expectations. “I actually do see music in colors. When I listen to a song, I see little sound, and it’s difficult to describe this but, I’ll hear it the way other people see colors; so, for example, it’ll sound dark to me. It’ll sound lighter to me; and I’m able to put together sounds pretty much the same way people might match colors.”

In describing the vibrant phenom, McDaniel’s continued by saying that he matches the song by color, so if the sound is upbeat, he creates a continuum of bright and sonic compositions.

Furthermore, it’s the vibrant melodies and messages, intermingled with his newest single

Choose Life." The song is a soothing dedication to people deliberating suicide, that starts off with children chanting. The librettos are both motivational and cathartic as the singer recites one infectious line, “We all have to face, both good and bad days…” The song is caroled from two separate chords of popish and R&B, while the vocalist can be heard as both male and female in both interpretations—the creativity is magnanimous, and a compliment to the collective language of music.


CDC states that suicide increased by 4% from 2020 to 2021, with 45,979, and 47, 976 deaths in the United States. There are more males (4%) documented that committed suicide than females (2%), whereas the death rate increased in young men, and teenage boys through the ages of 15-24.

“When you really think about that and, you really process it, it’s freighting to think that, cause ten to fourteen years old—When I was ten to fourteen years old, I’m outside playing. I’m riding my bike. I’m doing all sorts of stuff that gets me in trouble, but age-appropriate stuff that gets me in trouble like staying out too late or you’re playing ball or something, and you accidentally break somebody’s window. You know, age appropriate (stuff); The thought of children at that age sitting around thinking about how they could end their own lives-- I mean, oh my gosh! That’s just, that’s too heavy a weight. Children shouldn’t have to think about stuff like that. Obviously, not everybody’s life is perfect, and unfortunately, some children are born into what I consider hell on earth, and that’s tragic. But we’re supposed to be trying to help those children. Not, watch them end their own lives.”

When chilling news broke about the death of Cheslie Kryst (crowned 2019 Miss America), McDaniel soared into action… “The night I wrote choose Life, I actually read about Chelsie’s death, and it hit me that hard,” he said. “I read that article and I sat down and wrote the song. It was my way of doing something about this.”

Proceeds from the song will benefit Samaritans of New, York, which is part of a global suicide prevention network that has 400 centers in over 42 countries.

Visit YouTube for both versions’ male and female .


Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

To listen to entire interview please click link below:

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