Daniel has built a career on uncompromising creativity, sincerity, and a strong work ethic; moving seamlessly between the sounds of his native Colombia, emotional singer-songwriter music, electronic music, and orchestral music. Some of his credits include “Demi’s Panic” (film by renowned animator Bill Plympton, composer), “El Barón” (Sony Pictures Television, main title songwriter), Becky G (pop mega star, songwriter/producer), Andy Allo (Prince collaborator and lead role on Amazon's “Upload”, songwriter/producer), “Sami Yaffa - Sound Tracker” (documentary series, producer), “Naco Es Chido” (film by Sergio Arau, soundtrack/songwriter/producer), Elan Atias (former front man of The Wailers, songwriter/producer), Sergio Arau (director of "A Day Without A Mexican” and musician, songwriter/producer), Coco Jadad (Sony Music, songwriter/producer), “This Is Kelly” (short film, composer), “¡Corre!” (short film, composer), Cimarrón (Grammy nominated joropo group, songwriter/producer), Fruko y sus Tesos (salsa legends, songwriter/producer) and Fania (salsa record label, producer/remix) among many others. Additionally, Daniel’s music has been synced on shows like “The Bachelor”, “Temptation Island” and “Extreme Home Makeover.” In 2021 Daniel was awarded a grant by Reel Change: The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring to produce the score to Demi’s panic. The award was powered by SESAC and Christoph Beck, and administered by New Music USA.
Growing up in Colombia during the '90s, Daniel Jimenez Afanador and his friends threw late night parties where the heavy metal riffs of Iron Maiden collided with the salsa grooves of Fruko y sus Tesos. Mirroring Bogotá's cosmopolitan sensibility, Daniel listened to all kinds of music in his teen years - from Fabulosos Cadillacs and Counting Crows to Queen and Latin rock pioneers Sui Géneris. It was around that time - and after his mother passed away when he was only 16 - that Daniel realized that music had become a force of healing in his life.
"Music became my salvation at a very early age," he reflects over a cup of freshly brewed Colombian coffee in his Los Angeles-based studio. "I remember falling in love with my favorite records and realizing that all my troubles seemed insignificant compared to the beauty of those sounds. The next step came naturally: the need to write my own songs and share them with other people.”
These feelings of hope, positivity and a passionate dedication to the craft of creating quality music are at the core of Daniel's music. "I've always believed that a song must be painfully honest in order for listeners to be able to relate to it," he explains.
Initially, Daniel moved to Los Angeles in order to study composition, film scoring and audio engineering. He completed a Bachelor of Music with emphasis in Media Composition from California State University of Northridge, a certificate in Film Scoring from UCLA Extension, and a certificate in Recording Technology from Citrus College. But success found him while in school, when he founded Roxing Kafé, a pop-rock trio that would become a key band in Latin rock of the new millennium. Roxing Kafé released only one self-titled CD, but found itself touring the U.S and Colombia, playing at such legendary venues as House of Blues and the Knitting Factory - and sharing the stage with Latin music stars like Ely Guerra, Jarabe de Palo, Grupo Niche and Aterciopelados.
In 2007, Daniel disbanded Roxing Kafé and continued his path as a solo artist, songwriter, composer and producer. Daniel has performed hundreds of gigs across the U.S., Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Ireland, releasing 3 records as a solo artist. In 2012 he joined Spanish language electro-pop band Cinco Santos, with which he toured across Mexico, hitting the charts with four singles co-written by Daniel. Then, in 2017, Daniel co-founded Vikingo!, releasing their hard-hitting rock ‘n roll EP “Set It On Fire”, which has earned outstanding reviews from the press. And, he has been producing an album/documentary, “Sound of Us,” aimed at uniting a divided world through making music. “Sound of Us” samples everyday sounds collected by people from all walks of life to create songs.
Additionally, Daniel teaches Music Production and World Music at Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences, New Roads School, and Harmony Project (Compton Sheriff’s Youth Activities League).
Daniel’s schedule may be frantic, but the love of music remains. "Remember that scene in the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower when the main characters are listening to David Bowie at full volume as they drive through a tunnel?" he asks with a smile. "Music still evokes that in me. I haven't lost that feeling of joy. It's still there, the thrill of music."