Student artist pursues his dreams

Senior Daniel Disalvo is following his passion for music, releasing an album later this month.


Daniel DiSalvo

Danny Hilltop, also known as Daniel DiSalvo, is releasing his debut album later this month.

Senior Daniel DiSalvo’s love and passion for making music originially started as a joke, but after making his first song, he knew it was something he wanted to pursue.

“I started writing music two years ago after a spontaneous freestyle session with my friend where we made up rhymes for fun,” DiSalvo explained. “We joked around about me becoming a rapper and after our conversation, I thought I would try to make a song. Ever since, I fell in love with the craft.”

Daniel DiSalvo also known as “Danny Hilltop” to his listeners, has released 10 songs which are available on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple music. His music has amounted to upwards of 46,000 streams and has been played in 17 countries across the world. He plans to pursue a career in the music industry in the future.

Through his music, DiSalvo hopes to instill the message that you can do anything you set your mind to as long as you believe in yourself.

“My message I hope to leave is that there is hope in this life and that with God, anything is possible,” DiSalvo said. “I want my listeners, like me, to chase after their dreams with everything they have and believe that if I can make it, they can make it in whatever they want to do as well.”

Cover photo for Danny Hilltop’s newest single called “Better On My Own.” (Daniel DiSalvo)

He draws much of his inspiration from artists like Lil Mosey and Drake, and uses mainstream hip hop as a big influence on how he structures his songs. Unlike many rappers nowadays, DiSalvo tends to stray away from using vulgar language, which makes him stand out in his music.

“My ultimate goal when writing music is to spread joy to people through my lyrics and melodies. In everything I do, I make it an emphasis to honor God and share the faith I live by,” DiSalvo said.

Although the pandemic has affected many negatively, it allowed DiSalvo more free time to create music.

“Seeing how many people were struggling, I found it necessary to be a light and give hope when a lot of people were hopeless,” DiSalvo explained.

While music is a big interest for DiSalvo, he also devotes a good amount of time to basketball. A member of the varsity basketball team at Wiregrass Ranch, DiSalvo focuses on time management to makes sure he prioritizes both passions.

“Even though at times it is hard to juggle, I mark out a plan for my day and set goals on a white board in my room so that I am focused on what I should be doing,” DiSalvo said.

Daniel DiSalvo (0) playing against East Lake in the District Championship. (Sydney Gordon)

Jeremy Calzone, varsity basketball coach and teacher at Wiregrass Ranch, is impressed by DiSalvo’s ambition and drive to achieve his goals.

“It’s hard to find things that are not inspiring about him. He is one of the most well-rounded students that I have ever met in my 17 years of teaching,” Calzone said. “Amongst adversity, he doesn’t let people tell him what he should and shouldn’t do.”

Danny Hilltop’s most recent single, “Better On My Own,” released on Feb 19. It addresses a past relationship where he found himself struggling to stay true to himself. This song will be included in his debut album called “Hilltop” that will be releasing in late March or early April.

“The album will feature my style of music which is upbeat, just like my personality,” DiSalvo explained.

Ashlyn Loeb, a listener of his music, really enjoys jamming out to his songs, especially his latest single.

“I like how it’s not like other peoples’ music, it’s really original,” Loeb explained.  “Most importantly its coming from a really nice guy with a good heart. So he deserves for the whole world to hear his music and rock along with him.”