"Whatcha gon do with that dessert?" That's the question that Dawin asks you in his addicting song "Dessert." But what does that mean, exactly? Is he asking what you're going to do with your unfinished apple pie? Or is there a deeper meaning? For the record, if you thought Dawin, who was born Dawin Polanco, wants to know what you'll do with your leftover donuts, the song is, indeed metaphorical, and he explains it to iHeartRadio during our exclusive interview with him.
Music has been a part of Dawin's life since four years old, when he learned to play guitar. He got inspired to take up the instrument after watching his father play. He explains to us that over the years, his interest in music, learning new instruments (like piano), and creating music, grew tremendously. By ten years old, he began to figure out how to produce music.
Dawin on getting his start in making music
"It was more than just a hobby. Every day after school I would make a song, or I would create something every single day. After that I started song writing by the age of 16/17. I took it very seriously because I figured, I don't know anyone else who writes songs or produces songs, so I wanted to kind of just do it all."
Fast-forward to present day, and he has an awesome song -- with a remix featuring Silentó -- and an EP. The hit single has made it into the top 10 on the US Dance/Electronic Songs Billboard chart, and the official lyric video has garnered over 80 million views to date on YouTube. Speaking of "Dessert," Dawin tells us that he created an acoustic version of the song that turned into the final version that we know and love today.
Dawin on the making and meaning meaning behind "Dessert"
The singer and rapper revealed the chart topping song has multiple messages, and Dawin will let his fans decide the meaning and apply it to themselves. But in his own words, "Dessert" has to do with empowerment.
"The original version of 'Dessert' was just me, and then Silento got on. I also made an acoustic version, which is like how I came up with the chorus. [I] just kind of played acoustic, and then 'okay how do we make this more intense?' I figured I'd get in the studio, and add a dance break into it. That's one thing that people may not know about how it was formed. How the song was made."
"'Dessert' is more about empowering the person that I'm talking to, to really be themselves, and stay original. Not follow anyone else's path. Also be free and independent. Just follow your instincts, which is something I like to do and when I say, 'What are you going to do with that dessert?' It's really just what are you going to do? Are you going to dance or are you going to just set yourself free. Many things, especially when I say, 'It makes me want to taste you' -- I'm talking about your personality, how sweet it is, and it makes me want to have it all day long."
On how he ended up collaborating with Silento on the "Dessert" remix
Dawin's "Dessert" remix features Silento -- the mastermind behind "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)." The two came together through the internet at the first, but then began seeing each other at different events. Eventually they exchanged info, and today, we have "Dessert" as we know it.
"We knew about each other's song, but we didn't know each other personally. 'Watch Me' blew up online, and really took over the world. 'Dessert' was starting to really catch some fire online, thanks to the digital world. He heard it online. I heard 'Watch Me' many times. We [reached out] just like most artists nowadays do mentioned on Twitter, DM, and just like, 'Here's my manager's info. Let's meet at this location since you're going to be here.' We kept seeing each other at different events, and we ended up just talking about a collaboration, and that was it. He's such a cool dude. He was on the road working hard, and he took the time to really just bless me with a verse on 'Dessert,' so that was cool."
Silento also helped out during the filming of the "Dessert" video. Dawin tells us he gave some creative input that they ended up using in the music video. He says, "It's good to work with creative people like that."
On his favorite part of the "Dessert" music video
If you haven't already seen Dawin's "Dessert" music video, it's fun (and sweet) visual to go along with the song, complete with a party, dancing panda, inflatable dessert pool floats, and more. So what was Dawin's favorite part? The dancing panda, obviously! (Who also happen to be matching)
"One of my favorite parts is having me, Silento, and the Panda just dancing, and we're actually matching. The panda's black and white, I have [on] black and white, Silento had black and white on. None of us planned that, so it just kind of worked out that way."
All this "Dessert" talk has us thinking: What's Dawin's favorite dessert? IT'S APPLE PIE! He tells us, "My favorite dessert is apple pie. I think apple pie was made from angels. It's impossible to not like apple pie."
One thing you may not know about Dawin, is that he has an alter ego, and his name is "Spicy Chicken." For a guy with a song about sweet dessert, it's only natural that his alter ego is something savory. So what's the story behind Spicy Chicken? Dawin explains:
On his alter ego: "Spicy Chicken"
"I have an alter ego. It's like, when you're dating someone for example, [you] usually show off your sweet side, and you're very mellow, and not too aggressive. Down the road, you show your alter ego to that special someone, and this is my alter ego, spicy chicken, too hot for you. That's just like a more intimate side of me. Spicy chicken, organic spicy chicken."
With all of this dessert talk, we couldn't help but have some fun with actual dessert. So we picked up a few sweets, and put Dawin through a blind taste test. Find out how well he did below!
Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio