MC Silk: Luck is An Excuse (Episode 5)

Podcast Details:

Guest: Daniel Ciupryk (MC Silk)

Date Added: 11th Jun 2015

Length: 47 min, 17 sec

Summary:

“Humble rapper” might seem like an oxymoron but in the case of Daniel Ciupryk (aka MC Silk), it’s an accurate descriptor. In this edition of #ProjectKazimierz, Sam and Richard sit down with one of Poland’s rising stars for a frank discussion on success, failure, and the power of the Internet.

Table of contents, resources and links
Resources and links:
Table of contents:
The Polish Internationalist Mindset
  • 1:52 Sam’s Intro
  • 2:28 Richard introduces Daniel Ciupryk (MC Silk)
  • 06:54 Daniel on Getting into the Music Biz
  • 08:00 Success with YouTube
Success Beyond Rap
  • 09:04 Daniel’s First Taste of Success
  • 11:20 More Than Just Rap
New Paradigms in Media
  • 12:59 New Paradigms in Media
  • 14:44 Quantity Over Quality
  • 17:07 Creating Good Content on YouTube
  • 18:09 Content-Focus vs. Money-Focus
  • 18:49 Disparity in Content Standards
Making Room for Better Content
  • 21:32 Making Room For Better Content
  • 22:18 Talent vs. Character
  • 23:40 Daniel’s Greatest Skills
Finding Success in Failure
  • 27:11 Success Out of Failure
  • 28:45 Finding Your Starting Point
  • 30:10 Keep Starting Over
  • 31:05 Never Give Up
Increasing Your Odds of Success
  • 32:58 The Classic Underdog Story
  • 33:31 Strength in Weakness
  • 34:24 Luck vs. Talent
  • 35:25 Increasing Your Odds of Success
  • 36:34 The Advantage of Disadvantage
Luck Is An Excuse
  • 39:09 Daniel’s Future Goals
  • 41:36 Daniel at TEDx
  • 43:30 Luck Is An Excuse
  • 46:11 Do What You Love
  • 47:57 Outro

Transcript:

1:52
sam cook:
Hello again, podcast listener, project Kazimierz. This is Sam Cook, I`m your co-host along with Richard Lucas here from Krakow in Poland. And Richard today has a very special guest to introduce, which I think you’ll find quite interesting and really a cultural force here in Poland that also has I think a lot of lessons for celebrities and musicians and stars across the world, so we’re looking forward to bringing this to you. So, Richard, I’m going to through this over to you and let you make an introduction of our guest today – MC Silk.
02:28
richard lukas:
Yes, well, certainly, MC Silk is Daniel`s like stage name. I’ve met Daniel once, he came over to my house. Daniel is extremely well known for having done a wonderful YouTube video, which he raps in seven languages. And the time I first saw it I think it`s been 2 million, it is now well over 4 million downloads on YouTube. And what I really like about the clip is the kind of Poland that I think represents the future, it’s multi-cultural, it respects Polish history, and it shows real talent and ability. Then when I met Daniel he started telling me about the history of how he understood the vision of going direct to the world of the internet through traditional media, then rather than me talk about it… And so it’s a great honor and very importantly. Daniel is going to be coming to performing or speaking in our TEDx Kazimierz event on the 23rd May, so he’s certainly one of our star guest speakers, but rather than me talk so much, Daniel, could you just introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?
03:45
daniel ciupryk:
Yeah, hello, first of all. You know you hype that introduction so much, I feel so small compare to what you said. Well, I’m not a star of any caliber but…
03:57
sam:
Daniel, let’s cut the Polish modesty here because America’s listeners won’t understand a rap star who is modest.
04:06
daniel:
Alright, as you said I’ll be a speaker at TEDx Kazimierz, but I hope I`ll be speaking in Polish not in English. As I said before, when I started on that, you know, my English is something that I haven’t learned in school. I’ve learned it during, you know, travelling the world. I’ve never lived in other countries. I’ve been in English speaking countries for like 2 weeks maybe together, but what is interesting, and I want to say about it, is that I sound better than I am because, you know, I learned it by hearing it, listening to music. And you know that was my English lessons – video games and music because when I started to play video games in the early 90s, there was no localization of the game, so everything was in English. You found out what they were writing or saying or you couldn’t play, that’s how I learned. So I sound good or I sound much better than I actually speak.
05:13
richard:
I’ve lived in Poland for 24 years and I think I’m for an American or Australian, or Irish, or British listener hearing, Daniel saying that his English is not very good, it sounds a bit weird because many British people would be proud to speak Polish as well as Daniel speaks English, but this is a cultural thing.
05:38
daniel:
I wish my English was better.
05:40
richard:
Ok, but anyway we’re going to be having sessions at TEDx Kazimierz in Polish and having sessions in English. If you’re performing as part of that, then I think the language is only part of your performance, so we can discuss the details of your talk at another moment. But can you talk with us a bit about how important YouTube and the internet have been? And also I think quite recently in November last year you were in London should talking to Google and YouTube, weren’t you?
05:20
daniel:
Hello! Can you hear me?
05:21
richard:
Yeah, we can hear you. I was asking you maybe to tell us about the way you use the internet in your relationship with Youtube?
06:29
daniel:
All right. Well, first of all, YouTube right now is the big thing, right? It’s something that everybody speaks about and everybody knows that it’s not a future of television, it’s modern television for the young people. Young people don’t watch television at all only like marginally. You know, I started that like 5 years ago, and I started doing YouTube videos like.. I don’t know..8 or 9 years ago, and I’ve been doing it for like 4-5 years. And I realized that maybe it is not the way to go because, you know, I had like 5,000 or 10,000 views that was my most viewed video. Then when I realized, I just said to myself: “Alright, this is not the way to go”. Then I recorded the video that hit like 1 million in a week. It was the last video that I recorded and I’ve already started doing other things. I already gave up my music career because… that was another long story, I don’t want to go there. But the only way I could spread what I do was through or via internet. So I was trying to do it, but I could say I failed at it. And then I started doing some other things, I started doing video production and so on. And then I just did the last video just for fun, and I didn’t expect to be that big, it was 4 years ago, actually 4 years and 2 weeks and, you know, it was a hit because it had like a 1 million views in a week. So it was really big. Then, you know, then I started doing it again, right. I felt like maybe this is the way to go, and maybe it is time to, you know, spend some energy and time producing and creating new stuff, and that’s how we’d work.
08:38
richard:
So, this hit that got a million in a week, did you do anything..? It sounds like you were surprised by that. Sometimes with the entrepreneurial success story everything is very carefully planned and other times they would just get lucky. Do you think there was like some particular thing about your first big success or were you like really surprised, and you didn’t understand what happened?
09:04
daniel:
Well, it was actually an answer to another video, George…that was…rap fast video. It already had like 4-5 millions when I saw it. So I thought my answer was more interesting. But so actually I could think at the back of my mind I thought maybe it can be a hit, I was expecting maybe 500,000 in the best way, but, you know, I knew that I’m in Poland. Even though the video was half… half of it was in English, I still thought because I’m in Poland there’s no way I could reach like 4-5 millions. I didn’t know that there was like 5 million people using YouTube back then in Poland. So it was impossible, but I was, you know, trying to reach bigger audience. And what happened was that half of the viewers were from outside of Poland, and that’s why it was so big. Because, you know, first of all, it was the answer to the other video, and it was a showcase of my rapping skills, it was also a fast rapping video. I didn’t know it was such a big thing, I knew that I can rap fast, but I didn’t expect it, you know, to be so big.
10:41
richard:
So in a way it is a bit like, when there was “Gangnam style” hit from Korea, people started doing their own copies of the “Gangnam style”, and like some guys who went really famous and got like half a million hits on YouTube because they were like in the shadow of something that was big already. So it was kind of … it was a smart idea to do the answer to the previous video. By the way, we will post links to all these videos in the notes we published with the podcasts. So if anyone listening to this who wants to check these links out, just look in the shownotes. And we’ll make sure that everyone can click and take a look at all these things, right.
11:20
daniel:
Just to conclude, you know, the difference with my videos and the videos you’re talking about, it wasn’t a copy of Watsky’s video, it was trying to build on it, it was something more, it was not just a fast rapping video. I did a lot of things during it I showed, because it was live, it was shot 100% live. It was also a video clip and I played a game shooting Watsky character in a real time. I’ve made a comment under his video while rapping, so I was writing also while rapping and so on. So I showed a lot of different skills I think, you know, a lot more happened in the video because Watsky video…I didn’t say it was worse or better, but it was just him, you know, rapping.
12:11
richard:
Ok, so I understand, so you’re saying people compared them?
12:17
daniel:
I just took the idea, and I felt if I take the idea and show a lot more, a lot of stuff, it can be a hit, I didn’t expected it to be that big, but I expected it anyway.
12:33
richard:
Yeah, that is absolutely right, I think when we first met, I think it was last year, you were due to go to London to talk to the guys at Google or the guys at YouTube, and they were talking about setting up some kind of group of YouTubers, did anything come out of that? Could you tell us a bit about what happened then?.
12:59
daniel:
Well, it’s a big thing to talk about right now because my attitude towards YouTube was like, it came from, I forgot that word, but I was really excited, I could say that. I was excited about the new media, about the freedom in the new media, about the difference that it is. Difference from perspective of creating content that is working in TV stations, you know, you can be independent, you can do whatever you want and nobody controls it in a way. And right now when my, you know, is taking over internet, I mean like, because people saw or because it is going so big…Big money is also involved, and the more money is involved, the more it reminds me of the old media structure. There is definitely some kind of control. Right now Facebook is fighting YouTube and that is cutting the views from your fans. So you have to buy the views that you earned, right. And it is cutting tremendously the views from YouTube because they are trying to make their own, they have their own media player, and they are trying to establish themselves as the video provider also. So the companies are fighting, and the people are losing, I’m not only saying money, but, you know, because the YouTube movement is big, their people in the groups, they are trying to do Youtube videos, but what they are focused on is to how to make money on YouTube. Every speaker I hear, or every gathering concerning YouTube, they always speak about how to earn on YouTube, not how to make videos, how to make good videos. The quality, even if it called a YouTube bible, the quality is in the third place, the first point that you have to keep in mind is that you have to make videos consistently and every week. And, you know, you’re not able to do great stuff every week, if you’re independent. You have to work on it, and if you want it to be good, you have to take your time. Sometimes you do something, and you look at it, and you say: “No, it is not that good”, but if you have to do, you show up every week, you know. I talk more about complicated stuff, not talk shows or something like that, but the stuff I do, right. If I were doing things once a week, maybe I would have more subscribers or more views, but it won’t be good. And YouTube is pushing people to, you know, it lowers the quality of YouTube. And I really see during the years, it is getting lower and lower, and the most popular channels are like not interesting for people with higher IQ, I don’t know how to say it, or older people.
16:19
richard:
I understand, it is really interesting, and that’s a great message to put out to the TEDx audience because…you know…
16:29
daniel:
The audience is getting older, the Youtube audience is getting older, so they will be looking for more involved stuff and there is not a lot of it. You can always find, but the mainstream is getting the TV
16:44
richard:
But you know, the way I look at it, and it is a really interesting perspective because the great thing about the TED and TEDx movement is that there really are volunteers doing hit for free, so, you know, it is like, if you got one TEDx talking in your life, you can then really focus on doing a good one, right, you know…
17:05
daniel:
Yeah
17:07
richard:
And so, you know, what we all know, on one hand, the freedom of the internet is fantastic, but, on the other hand, there is so much content, you need help to find the good content, right, because I mean 1 in 1000 videos may be brilliant, but how you gonna find them. So I think that is a really interesting and, you know, of course people talk about the five big giants of the internet which of course, you know, apart from YouTube, Google and YouTube that you mentioned and Facebook, there’s also Amazon, and there’s Microsoft, and there’s Apple owning somehow, you know. The regular guy is just kind of lost in the battle of the giants. But I’m a kind of an optimist, I still think that if someone can come up with something really brilliant, it is a better world now than it was 20 or 30 years ago, when the only people that you can talk was the Telewizja Polska or the Polish TV or the BBC or CNN, right.?
18:09
daniel:
Yeah, of course, I’m not saying… the money is always good because people have power to create new stuff, but, you know, I can see some patterns going on in the world, in the media. I think there should be the other platforms, they are starting right now, the other platforms with the better content, you know, focused on content, you know,not on earning money. Because one time YouTube and Facebook will become one big banner. I’m using it, I’m using YouTube and Facebook and so on and I can find a lot of interesting stuff there, I’m not saying it, but I see the trend. You know, what bothers me, I just was scrolling through my Facebook wall, what I see, of course, Facebook videos and a lot of advertisements. But what bothers me, these companies should because they have so much power and so much influence on people, especially young people, they should control the quality of it somehow, because it creates people`s minds, young people’s mind. It’s so powerful that, you know, they have some kind of mission, I don’t know if they feel it, but, you know, the funny thing is that you can’t put nudity on the Facebook, right? But every time I scroll through my Facebook wall, I see executions, for example, and some things that young people, you know, shouldn’t see or the extremists are using internet because they know somebody will see it. So the more we are showing or sharing it, the more they will do it, right? Facebook should control such things, they don’t control it, they don’t want to see movies right? That’s what bothers me always, but it’s another topic.
20:01
richard:
But it is an important topic and I think that, you know, the idea that this high quality content is one that is music to my ears, that`s a very good tittle by Clay Shirky who also wrote a book “Here comes everybody”, where he talks about the fact that the average American from 15 or 20 years ago would spend 50,000 hours watching TV during their life. And what he argues, yes people are doing stupid stuff on Facebook, it is a bit of a waste of their time, but it is more active than just sitting in front of the TV and watching the TV channels. So, even crap and rubbish on social media, at least it’s some kind of creativity compared to just watching content that is created by the TV channels. But I’d like to go back a little to your history about how, because you know, one of the reasons you said you’re not famous but you are a very talented rapper, what motivated you to learn those skills? Did you have a natural ability or was it hard work? Because for some of America they might have not yet watched your video, so they don’t realize what you can do. So how did you get to the position, where you were good enough? Was that a journey or were you born with that talent, how did that happen?
21:32
daniel:
I believe in internet, and I know that in the big junk I know that you can find things that you can`t find anywhere else. And I think that the stupid videos are sometimes are very creative, but they are stupid in a way. But you know people are trying to do things that wasn’t possible before because they know that they can take their camera and publish, and they know that it would be published. And because they watch the other’s people’s` video, everything involves. So this is a very good thing. And as I said, in every junk you can find interesting things, but I’m saying about controlling the media, but this is another topic. Let’s get back to your question. As I said, I don’t believe in talent. I believe in character. And I’m not saying…Well, in my case, it was… I think it’s a strange story or not common one. I mean I’ve had like ten years of break with doing music actually, but as I said, I learned my English listening to music. And I’ve been listening to rap. Not only rap of course, but I’ve listened to rap like 15 years before I came out. And, you know, because I had a problem reaching people, because nobody heard about me, that built me up. I mean people my age. [Laughing] It sounds like I was one hundred years, but rappers my age, especially in Poland, are mostly down the hill when it comes to learning new skills and so on. So this is a new generation, and I am summed up with the new generation. It’s probably because…I look younger than I am, and most or a lot of people think that I am 20-something. And I feel that I’m just starting, you know, because I had the breaking point. I had to wait for so long that built me up, and, you know, I try to be better, and better, and better, and better because I felt I’m not good enough. I felt that I’m good. I felt that I’m better than people that are popular, but, you know, I listen a lot, and I just rap for myself. And I never focused myself on rap in past. It’s just a thing that just came because of exercising. I mean I was not exercising past rap, but I was rapping all the time, and this is just something that happened, you know.

“People are trying to do things that wasn’t possible before because they know that they can take their camera and publish, and they know that it would be published. And because they watch the other’s people’s` video, everything involves. So this is a very good thing.”

Daniel Ciupryk (MC Silk)
24:31
richard:
Because…I know
24:33
daniel:
I still don’t think this is the most…this is my best skill. This is the skill that is mostly measurable, and that’s why it makes some nice.
24:46
richard:
I call myself a rational optimist, and you know, one of the slogan of our conference is “Age is no limit”. And I, you know, I really like the idea that someone who’s become nationally and perhaps internationally well known for a skill says that, you know, this isn’t your best skill. Could you share with us what you think your best skills are or what’s in the future?
25:12
daniel:
Well, as I said before about the talent, you know, I think people got some positions or something like that, but the thing that decides about your success or being not successful is your character, and I think there’s only one thing that matters. There are only two kinds of people. The ones that are discouraged by failure, and the ones that are encouraged by failure. And that’s what makes the difference, because there is a line where most people fall because they think this is the best they gave and there’s a group of people that crosses that line just pushes them once again, they get up once again. And when you cross that line, there you go down the hill, I think, but I think that’s the thing that’s the biggest factor in life.

“There are only two kinds of people. The ones that are discouraged by failure, and the ones that are encouraged by failure. And that’s what makes the difference.”

Daniel Ciupryk (MC Silk)
26:19
richard:
I think that’s a really, really, really good idea to get across. You know, the TED movement. The TEDx movement is motivated by the idea of idea is worth spreading, and if you imagine someone somewhere, listening to this, and thinking: “I failed. This should motivate me to work harder to succeed next time rather than to give up” – that would be a great message. But is there a particular failure that you could share, like something that went wrong in your life, and you considered giving up and then it turned you around? I mean you don’t have to answer this, but on the other hand, podcasts are quite a personal medium. You know, you can tell. You can say whatever you like now, but is there a particular failure that you’d like to share as an example of something that motivated you to work harder to be successful?
27:11
daniel:
Well, as I said before, it’s a long story, but I haven’t said that but I had health problems and I’m suffering from bacterial disease. I don’t know if I’m pronouncing it well in English. But you know, every day for me is like, you know, it’s funny because one of the things that I have is like when I wake up, I feel like ten times worse than in the evening. So, I have to push myself because it’s not only pain in the joints, but you are weak and so on, so I have to push myself and convince myself every day to get up, to start. It takes me hours and I have stretch myself and so on so on. If I stop, I probably am in the best shape with the disease with people that are suffering for 20 years because I’m suffering for 20 years. Over 20 years. And because, you know, if you stop doing that exercise, if you stop eating well and so on, there’s a lot of limitations. That’s why I wasn’t playing concerts and so on because if you start your career, going back to music, if you start your career, you have to start in a shithole, if I can use that word.
28:39
richard:
Yeah, and I think the people listening to this podcast will know what a shithole is.
28:45
daniel:
All right. Anything you’re doing. If you want to start marketing, if you want to start your own company, you have to start from scratch, and those starting points are the most difficult thing because you have to be strong. And most of the time, you have to be also physically strong, and I couldn’t go through that. I couldn’t go that path. You know, in music it means playing every second day in different places, and so on. I wasn’t able to do that. The Internet allowed me to do it. I was waiting for that time. I saw Internet as a way of doing it, but I waited like 45 years before it happened because Internet wasn’t that big before. But I was believing it would be and it just happened, so good for me. But it learned me that, you know, my everyday is a battle. I have to get up and I know tomorrow will be another day. I know I will jump from bed, you know. I know it will happen and I know it will be again and again. And I have better and worse days, but. And the other thing, the funny thing I was talking about videogames and music. I think that video games gets the good influence on your fighting skills. You know, when you’re playing a game, you have to, when you’re playing an action game, for example, you have to get up again and start over and start over and start over until you succeed. Right? It’s not always the situation in life, but when I was younger, I think a lot of that, because I got that kind of character. I never gave up. This is the thing. I never gave up, and there’s no way to… you know, sometimes I think I gave up, but I wait some time and, you know, I get up again. And if you are setting your goals high, and even though it’s not always if you want, you can do it. It’s not always like that. They say it. If you want it, you can do it. No, but if you really want to do it and if you set your goals high, then even if you don’t jump over that bar, you will jump higher than if the bar was lower. So even if you don’t do things that you imagine, you will do much better, if you don’t imagine it.

“If you are setting your goals high, and even though it’s not always if you want, you can do it. It’s not always like that. If you want it, you can do it. No, but if you really want to do it and if you set your goals high, then even if you don’t jump over that bar, you will jump higher than if the bar was lower. ”

Daniel Ciupryk (MC Silk)
31:07
richard:
Yeah, I think. I mean I know I’m very happy to put you on the stage, talking in Polish, but I’m also thinking as you’re telling me, these are messages that could touch a global audience, and I wouldn’t want you to think that it’s going to be your decision, but certainly I think these are things that people could hear in English because these are universal truths. This is truth for some kid in Argentina and some girl in Pakistan and some guy from… because you know, it’s like fighting against ill health. Ill health can get anyone. I’ve got cousins who are blind, I’ve got a severely handicapped sister, and I feel that. And also, one of the speakers at our TEDx, if he’s well enough, he’ll be 90 this year. He’s a 89-year-old guy who spent two years in the Soviet Camps and did the track to the Middle East, and you know, he has a smile on his face. I asked him if I could interview him tomorrow, and he can’t because he’s busy. He’s 89 and he’s working tomorrow. And he’s 89. I feel, you know, whatever I struggle with in my life, if there are people who can get up in the morning and go to work when they’re 89 years old, and they’ve been through hell, and they’ve seen many of their friends being killed by the Communists, then there’s no excuse. You know, it’s like it’s a question of what sort of version of yourself are you going to be. You’ve always got a choice, and I guess in the morning you could stay in bed and you could not get up, and you know, who would win? Nobody, right?
32:47
daniel:
Yeah, right.
32:48
sam:
Ok
32:49
richard:
So I am just going to say, Sam, you’ve been listening to this. Is there anything you want to, because you haven’t met Daniel before? Is there anything you want to ask or comment?
32:58
Sam:
No, I’m just really enjoying hearing this message, Daniel, and I think that, you know, the classic underdog story that you fought in business is… I think every entrepreneur would identify with that, but the fact is that every step like before your breakthrough seems like failure, and then you crossed the magical line, where you breakout and you’ve arrived. And I think everyone’s been through that in some element of their life, whether it’s an athletic pursuit. You think about athletics. Every step until the finish line you’re failing because you haven’t finished, and I think that’s a great metaphor that you brought up, and then the other one talking about your illness, which was a huge handicap, which many people would give up on, and you turned that into a great strength because you had to find a new medium that most music stars wouldn’t be forced to do and help pioneer a new model, I think for the music industry, which I think a lot of people are using now, which is going direct to your audience.
34:13
richard:
Yeah, great. And we’re moving towards the end of our time now, and I appreciate Daniel, you’re hungry, and Sam, I know you’ve got working these things with your team
34:24
daniel:
Can I add something to that, because we said about the entrepreneurs and successful people. In any field, I think that when reading comments on YouTube, you can also see that there are two kinds of people. They are trying and people that think that if the other people are successful, they probably are lucky and talented.
34:46
sam:
Yeah.
34:47
daniel:
Nobody who reaches some kind of success, it doesn’t matter what kind of success because I don’t think that my music career is success, I could do much better, but I think that I’m doing it because fighting my physical disabilities is my success because I put ten thousand more work into it, but it doesn’t matter. I mean what matter is that a lot of people think that other people were lucky and talented. This is not true. This is not true. You don’t get lucky, you have to… everybody has to work for their success.
35:25
richard:
Yeah, I completely… I mean I feel like as a white middle class British guy growing up in Oxford with parents who cared about me, I had many advantages in my life, but you always got a choice. And the way I see it is like everyone’s got the best and worst versions of themselves, right? It’s like wherever you are, however privileged, you can be very privileged and you can still screw up, and you can be very underprivileged and you can still screw up. And there’s always at every stage every day you’ve just got life ,what are you going to do? And to me the question is when you look at the mirror at the end of the day and you think what did you do, did you do your best that day because you know, if you do your best every day, the chances that you’ll be lucky are much, much higher. And you know, maybe there are unlucky guys that are probably, you know, there are probably guys…probably there are guys who have been shelled by the Russians in East of Ukraine, and they were trying really hard and they just got blown up and they were unlucky, but I think you change the odds, you change the probability of being successful if you try hard and you don’t just get born lucky or born unlucky.
36:34
daniel:
You know what, Richard. What you said. I think that it’s not a popular belief, but I think that people who are lucky, like you, if say so, are even in a worse situation than coming from the bottom because, as I said, success in life is when you know how to fight. And when you look at football stars or rappers, they’re mostly from lower class, right? And these are the people who are trained to fight. That’s why football players or NBA players, most of them are not from the upper class. So I think people from the upper class are handicapped.

“I think that people who are lucky, like you, if say so, are even in a worse situation than coming from the bottom because, as I said, success in life is when you know how to fight. And when you look at football stars or rappers, they’re mostly from lower class, right? And these are the people who are trained to fight. ”

Daniel Ciupryk (MC Silk)
37:17
richard:
I was lucky because although I was like privileged in the International scale in my childhood I felt unlucky even though because I went to a rich kids school, but I wasn’t one of the rich kids. So, like maybe I wasn’t rich compared to my peers, and I think sometimes you’re absolutely right. Disadvantage can be an advantage. It was only when I came to Poland and I saw how because I came to Poland in 1989. You know, of course the average level of life in Poland in 1989 and the Polish history, well, I guess if people don’t realize, you know, the United Kingdom was the most powerful country in the planet 150 years ago and Poland suffered for 70 years under Communism and was almost destroyed during the second World War. So, if you didn’t know that bit of history, you know, clearly I was very lucky as an average British guy coming to Poland. So, I think coming to Poland taught me to appreciate my good fortune, but when I was a younger kid, I was working hard and I was struggling to keep up. So yeah, I think disadvantage can be an advantage, but you know, it’s like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, right? If people grow up with free money from the Government, it’s not very good for them, right?
38:34
daniel:
Yeah, they are wealthy because they are born wealthy, but I don’t think it’s a success. It’s not a success. If you don’t earn it, it’s not a success, right?
38:43
richard:
Okay, and thinking a bit about the future, like you mentioned that you’re older than you look and certainly from the YouTube videos, you might think that you’re 22 or 18 or whatever, but can you…? If you think about what your goals are and your challenges are now, what are you working on, and if things go well, what will you be doing in five or ten years time?
39:09
daniel:
Well, just about the short plans, and I don’t know if it will be a short plan, but I’m working on my LP because I’m trying to stay independent. I’m staying independent, and I will. You know, I will finish this LP, when it’s finished, when I’m satisfied. So I’m doing it for like two years. Of course doing videos in the meantime, but I’m focused on finishing my LP, and this is my, you know, short-term, I hope short-term, goal. And you know, I don’t think a lot about what I will be doing in ten years because I’m trying to be flexible, and I get bored quickly. So if you look at my videos, every one of it is a different story. You know, there’s no.. you can find idiosyncrasy in my persona, if I could say it like that. You know, last time like 40 days ago we just put a on YouTube a video that we made with Cardiac Association in Poland, and it’s about brain stroke, right? It’s a song about the brain stroke, and this is a social campaign, this is totally different from rap nobody, right? It’s totally different from very few videos. I also do a lot of more involved songs that are completely different from what people see on YouTube. So and I also do a lot of video stuff and all I can do, you know, sitting in front of the computer, but not only. And probably I’ll be searching for new ways to express, that’s for certain. And I’m trying to look into interactive videos. I have some ideas and I will come up with it, and I will probably do something in the near future. So, I’m trying to go out of the frame, even out of the frame of YouTube. So, I think that is what the future will bring for me, I hope, but what will be. Let’s not think about it too much.
41:36
richard:
Okay. Well, I very much hope that there’s a great TED talk by Derek Sivers? about the…he calls it… It’s the… how to start a movement, where he shows a guy dancing without a shirt on the side of the hill, who suddenly takes a whole crowd of people and they’re dancing with him. And he says that TED is a great environment for a guy to find partners and help people to help realize their dream. So, I think if you can push that message out to the TED and TEDx audience with your talk and then, later, via the Internet, you know, maybe you will find people who come to you with crazy ideas. I’m certainly the crazy idea guy, so maybe we can find something, but, you know, I very much hope that this process of engaging with our conference will help not just inspire other people, but maybe find some people to work together with you.
42:42
daniel:
I wish my English was better.
42:45
richard:
What was said?
42:46
daniel:
I just said that I wish my English was better.
42:51
richard:
From my perspective, you know, the decision about the language is still open. I think that we can work together if you’ve got issues, but you know, if you want to reach a global audience, it’s a different story, if it’s subtitled into English. There’s a great team called the Open Translation Project, so if you speak in Polish, then it can be subtitled into English, and that will work, but on the other hand…
43:17
sam:
You could do the TED talk in seven languages like your rap.
43:20
richard:
Yeah, you can do it in seven languages.
43:23
daniel:
[Laughing] Hope so.
43:25
richard:
Let’s make it easy for you.
43:27
Daniel:
Well, all right.
43:30
sam:
Daniel, I just wanted to sum up some of your themes and thoughts and wrap this up for the audience here, if that’s okay. I think luck is an excuse for a lot of people to not try something. And the old saying I used to hear and really appreciated in my military days is “There’s a lot of luck in the military and there’s a lot of un-luck, and luck is just what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. And yeah, you got lucky to an extent when your video went viral, but you’ve been preparing for that day for a long time, I think with your hard work and the things you did to get ready for that, and that’s a story that is worth spreading.

“Luck is just what happens when preparation meets opportunity. And yeah, you got lucky to an extent when your video went viral, but you’ve been preparing for that day for a long time, I think with your hard work and the things you did to get ready for that, and that’s a story that is worth spreading.”

Samuel Cook, Entrepreneur
44:17
daniel:
Yeah, it wasn’t my first video and nobody sees the work before, right?
44:22
sam:
Exactly.
44:25
richard:
The video games company that made that famous first iPad hit Angry Birds, Roxio. I think that was their 52nd game. They made 51 games before they did Angry Birds, and Angry Birds was the big hit, but you know… Certainly from my point of view, if the lesson to learn, if you see someone, you think they’re lucky, look at what they’ve done already. I think looking back into people’s past, I think you can always… As you said, it’s about character. There are two types of people. There are the people who failure set them back, and there are people from whom failure just motivates them to try harder. And you know, I’ve only met Sam in the last few months, and I met you once, and now we’re having this quite personal conversation, but you know for me I think that you can come from different cultures, the UK, Poland, America, but there’s a certain type of person who knows that wherever they’ve come from, wherever they are now, the only way they’re going to go forward is by not letting the problems set them back, but just recognizing we’ve only got a few more days or months or years or decades to live and we may as well do the best we can. Okay, so is there any closing message? If you imagine you’re a 15-year-old or 25-year-old American, Irish guy listening to this podcast, is there any closing message you’d like to say, because we’re basically at the end of our time now, but I’d be really happy to give you, Daniel, the opportunity to pass some message on to someone listening to you? Just wondering what advice would Daniel aka MC Silk give to them.
46:11
daniel:
It might sound, you know, too simple, but it was said a lot… Really it’s the thing that you have to find the thing that you really love because if you don’t find it, then you try to focus on things that will give you money or fame, you won’t be good at it because you can only be good at things that you love because you will try and get up, and try and try until you reach that satisfaction level. And even though you might earn money on the other things, but still it won’t be success because you will be doing things that you don’t like for the rest of your life. Somyou can only be great at things that you love because you will spend your free time, you’ll be thinking about it even though you’re not at work, and you will win over people that don’t love that thing that as much as you love it.
47:09
richard:
I think as a closing message, you can only be great at things that you love. I think that’s a very appropriate message to end this interview on. So, from my point of view, I’d just like to thank you for spending an hour at the end of your day with Sam and myself and the podcast audience, and I’ll be in touch with you after we get off air, asking you for a few links to the things we’ve referred to so that we can put that together in the show notes when we publish this.
47:43
daniel:
All right. See you on Facebook then.
47:46
richard:
Yeah, indeed.
47:47
sam:
We’ll see you on YouTube, Facebook, and whatever else you decide to pop up on in the future. Thank you, Daniel.
47:53
daniel:
Thank you, Sam.
47:54
richard:
Okay, thank you. Okay, goodnight and bye-bye.
47:57
daniel:
Good night.

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