Music can incite positive movements. It’s happened time and time again throughout history, but it takes the right talent to sustain change.
iAmDLOW knows just how to move people. The 21-year-old Chicago rapper, choreographer, writer and producer took a look at the environment around him and decided to make a change through his music.
Known to friends and family as Daryon Simmons, iAmDLOW – an acronym that stands for Determined, Loyal, Optimistic, and Willing to Learn – chose to escape Chicago’s violence and poverty-plagued West Side neighborhood by doing something positive with his extraordinary gifts for music and dance. His original lyrics and choreography for 2013’s “DLOW Shuffle” proved a YouTube phenomenon, beginning a viral dance craze so popular iAmDLOW was invited to perform it alongside Steve Harvey on his nationally syndicated daytime show.
Expanding on a new genre of music that iAmDLOW created called, “Bop Pop" - the union of pop and hip-hop - 2015 saw iAmDLOW explode on the music scene with his "Do It Like Me" challenge. Captured on film in Chicago's Millennium Park, the clip would rack up 100 million cumulative views in less than six months, landing him on the Billboard Hot 100, and inspiring millions of fans to create their own renditions.
Superstars like Kevin Hart, Lisa Raye, Adrien Broner, Floyd Mayweather and more posted their own versions of DLOW's challenge online. Even Beyoncé threw a snippet into her performance at Super Bowl 2016.
iAmDLOW brought that spirit directly to the masses on the 2016 Let’s Dance Tour alongside Silentó, iLOVEMemphis (fka iHEART), We Are Toonz, and 99 Percent.
“It all comes together on stage,” he smiles. “That’s where you get the whole experience.”
“What I’m doing is not impossible,” he leaves off. “It’s just about being determined, staying loyal, keeping optimistic, and always remaining willing to learn. We all can do this.”