Now Reading
Dan Whitlam: Poet, Artist, Rapper, and Redhead

Dan Whitlam: Poet, Artist, Rapper, and Redhead

Who doesn’t love to celebrate a redhead’s rise to success? We certainly do!

Those of you who are on the right side of TikTok, may have heard Dan Whitlam’s wise words, while watching the journey of the London Overground train. In classic spoken word style, @DanWhitlam1 uses his poetry to personify and romanticise objects, places, people, and feelings. In his poems, or shall I say short anecdotes, Dan Whitlam reminisces on old memories and loved ones. But who is he? Don’t worry, we have spoken to him for you, and have got all of the insider info with regards to his rise to success!

Dan Whitlam started posting TikToks in February 2021. At first his videos depicted himself, sat in front of a microphone. However, as time went by, his aesthetic developed and inherently earned him even more followers.

When we asked Dan how it all began, he said: “I started writing poetry whilst at drama school – Guildhall. We had a creative exercise where we were asked to write a poem about an event in our life – I decided to write about my mum who passed away when I was quite little. I started writing then and I haven’t stopped since.”

Dan also told us that his biggest inspirations are: “My family. My friends. People around me.”

What really put Dan on the creator map was when he started to attach the audio of his self-read poems to short clips of humanity and everyday life. Because of these romantic clips, Dan’s audience could become more immersed in his poetry, watching and romanticising about life in London.

But Dan didn’t always see a career in this industry. He told us: “Not at all. I started poetry as a way to get out my feelings and also a way to pass the time in between acting auditions. However, it’s now turned into this possible career and I’m extremely excited about that opportunity.”

Dan posted supported his poems with short anecdotes for a while, until November 2022 when he switched up his aesthetic again.

By this time, Dan Whitlam had over 70,000 followers on TikTok, and was gaining more than 300,000 views on some of his videos.

We asked Dan if TikTok assisted with growing his audience, and he replied: “Absolutely. It’s the best free marketing tool out there if you can learn to harness the algorithm. I’m now able to generate 3 million views a month through my social channels which has really helped with my career.”

Dan, of course, is a natural redhead, who struggled to love his hair for a while. He told us: “I used to hate my red hair. I couldn’t wait to be old enough to dye it and change it. But, as I got older I realised how wonderful it is and how so many wish to dye their hair to get close to the colour red. It is now one of my favourite things about myself.”

@danwhitlam1 #spokenword #podcast #poetry ♬ original sound – Dan Whitlam

Speaking of different music styles in comparison to spoken word, Dan revealed: “I think they can be one and the same. One of my aims is to make spoken word as listenable as ‘generic’ songs. It shouldn’t belong to just a select group of poetry lovers, it should be for all and anyone. However, my love for Rap stems from the fact it’s very lyrical and word-led. I think poetry, Rap, and spoken word lends its hand to listeners tapping into a certain emotion and living the story.”

In just two years, Dan Whitlam has gained a huge following of TikTok – 90,000+ to be precise. Over 9,000 people have reposted his videos, more than 25,000 people have saved his videos, and over 100,000 people like his videos. It’s safe to say that Dan Whitlam is a self-made success.

But why does Dan Whitlam keep changing his style of video on TikTok? He revealed: “I think it’s all a process. You need to find what works for you but also for the viewer. I’ve tried so many different styles to see what resonates best with the viewer but also allows the spoken word to take the spotlight rather than the video. I’ve settled on videos of trains passing as great middle ground. There’s stillness and movement within the same image.”

See Also

Dan continued to explain that he wants his spoken word to make his audience think. He told us: “I’d love for them to see their own lives and situations when they listen to me. To find a relatable aspect of my work and create the visuals in their own head. If my work can help anyone process an emotion or a problem or feeling, then I’m over the moon.”

@danwhitlam1 ‘Juliette’ on spotify now #spokenword #podcast #poetry ♬ original sound – Dan Whitlam

Aside from his TikTok creator career, in December 2021, Dan Whitlam released his first single ‘Exit Sign’ on all major streaming platforms.

Dan wants his career to make poetry more accessible. He expressed to us: “I want poetry to become more accessible. As a teenager I always hated poetry and how un-touchable it felt. I feel poetry should be messy and expressive not something holier than thou left to gather dust on a shelf. I want to bring it further into the modern world. Finding the meeting point between my music and poetry has been a great journey so far.”

In September 2022, Dan Whitlam appeared on BBC Radio London after he was named BBC Introducing Featured Artist. During his time on the radio, Dan Whitlam showcased his new track, ‘Young Minds’ (which is played in the first video).

Dan also spoke to us about his upcoming career milestones. He said: “I just sold out the Jazz Cafe (550 capacity) in Camden which was a huge milestone for me. Being on the same stage that Amy Winehouse performed on was surreal. My next gig is looking like it will be at Lafayette which is another step up to 750 people capacity.”

Dan has high hopes for spoken word artists. He explained: “I think it [spoken word] will have its time. It’s already in a fantastic place from where it was five years ago. Artists like Kae Tempest, Loyle Carner, George the Poet; they’re all pushing the world of poetry into a far more relatable and popular place. I like that it has its own community. It’s very strong. But ultimately, I can only see spoken word getting more popular and growing as an art form.”

Dan Whitlam’s latest single, ‘Juliette’, is out now! Find him on TikTok, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Soundcloud.

Scroll To Top