Dan Fowlks: The Musical Dad Behind That Viral Video

(image via Dan Fowlks)

Have you seen this video? It’s very cute. I’m not going to steer you wrong when it comes to precious moments, I promise.

 

What’d I tell you? Cute, right?!

We here at The Dad like it, too. Executive Editor, Joel Willis, explains the appeal.

“I love this video so much because it shows an involved, cool dad bonding with his kid. This is what modern fatherhood is all about.”

At The Dad, we have quite a bit of absurd and ridiculous humor, along with some snark, but we also spotlight authentic dad moments. This video shows the genuine joy that comes along with all of that and makes it all worth it.

We wanted to learn more about Dan Fowlks, the man who charmed the pants off the world singing “Dream Lover” to his young daughter, Novie. I contacted him to find out what it’s like to be an involved, cool dad with a massively viral video.

The Dad: Hi Dan, we love the video! Where did the idea come from?

Dan: Over the years I have sung to my kids around the house. This particular song, “Dream Lover,” was one I was working on last year. One night, I decided to record myself so I could hear how I sounded. While my wife was taking the babysitter home from a date we were on, I started singing to my daughter, Novie. Her reaction to it caught me by surprise, so I kept singing and feeding off her energy. She was clearly enjoying it.

The Dad: It’s extremely cute. I’m usually pretty reserved but I was basically giggling and squealing the entire time. Tell me a little about how the video picked up steam on the Internet.

Dan: I shared it on my personal page in December and received some fun reactions to it on my friends list. In January, I came across the The Dad Online and figured it would probably be something they’d enjoy, so I tagged them. [The Dad Executive Editor] Joel reached out to me about posting it and I said “surely.”

Dan in the backyard with his son, Cope.

The Dad: We knew right away it was a special video. We were surprised it hadn’t gone viral already! You gave us permission to feature the video and it took off immediately. Since upload 3 weeks ago (on January 17), it has reached over 37 million people across the world, with over 2 million reactions and 17 million views on Facebook alone. Amazing.

Dan: I thought it was really nice to see so many people reacting positively to it. Then, the next day, seeing it had over 1 million views on The Dad, and then finding it on some European pages climbing over 10 million views! It started getting a little nerve-racking because it was one of those things that is out on the internet and there is no getting it back.

The Dad: What kind of responses are you getting?

Dan: The responses have been quite overwhelming. So many people watched it many times over and found joy from it, which has been quite rewarding. Some people commented that they turned off the Grammy’s to watch the video–that has the most humbling comment.

The Dad: A few people were worried that your daughter might fall off the bed. What do you have to say to ease their fears?

Dan: I knew she wasn’t going to fall off because I was literally right in front of her. Also, if she did fall off, the song would have ended and it would have been a moment that I would not have shared. It’s funny how people watching it think she is going to fall off and no matter how many times you watch the video something amazing always happens… she never falls off.

Halloween night, 2017.

The Dad: What do you think makes the video so special?

Dan: Seeing somebody so young react to good music is revitalizing and makes you wonder, where did she learn that? She was 10 months old at the time. Clearly, music is a special gift we have. Personally, I believe that we exist well before this life. Whatever other life that is, something remarkable happens when music touches our hearts and souls.

The Dad: Any celebrity feedback? Has Beyoncé seen it?

Dan: I was waiting to go in for an audition and looked at my phone and saw that Orlando Bloom shared the video to his social media. I had to take a double take at that.

The Dad: Have you learned any lessons about being a parent? Do you have any advice for your fellow dads out there?

Dan: From my experience with parenthood, I still just see myself as a “kid” who has kids (that might sound weird). Kids are not dumb; they are pretty smart and very observant. It is okay to get down to their level and simply talk with them. For instance, there have been moments when I needed to express that I have never been a parent before, so everything is as new to me as it is to them. I believe your kids will see you differently and that it is okay to make mistakes, correct them the best you can, but then move on.  

Music and being creative in the home has worked very well for our family, there was a time when I was doing a film that took me away for many days out of a month. Before I left, I sat down and drew a little sketch picture of me with my son and me with my oldest daughter. It was nothing of artistic merit to be hung in a museum, but they cherished it enough to hang it on their wall above their bed. Simple things like that, I feel, go a long way as a parent.

The Dad: What’s next for you, Dan?

Dan: Well, the sporadic world stage was an interesting experience, to say the least. For me, it is back to auditions, writing, and looking for opportunities to create. It has opened an opportunity to share more of my music, that I never thought would happen because I never thought so many people would ever hear me sing and play. It has been nice feedback, so I will be recording and getting some music out there, and hopefully, people will like what I have to offer.

Dan and his son watching the sunset in Southern Utah.

Dan has been a super nice guy throughout all of this. Dude’s got talent. He deserves all of the opportunities and attention he gains from the success of the video. We sent him a The Dad shirt and hope he wears it with pride.

Check out Dan Fowlks’s website and music.

 

Procrastination: OFFICIAL PARODY (2018)

Been meaning to make this since 2010, but…

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7 Things I Thought My Dad Invented (Before I Knew Better)

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When I was but a wee boy, clueless to the ways of the world, I used to think my dad was the world’s greatest inventor. He was the one who mastered technology, who coined phrases, who tirelessly created new ways to be lazy. Yes, Dad was responsible for everything.

Now that I’m grown, I can admit that I was wrong. Way wrong. Hoo boy, was I wrong. But I love my dad, anyway, despite it all.

Here are some things I used to give the old man credit for, before I knew better.

1 Smacking your lips and saying “ahh” after a sip of soda

(MeTV)

In the “wisdom” of my thirties, I understand that this is a trope developed by the sodapop industry to make their customers believe that carbonated corn syrup is somehow refreshing. But a quarter of a century ago, I thought it was the funniest thing Dad ever did. Haha! What a sound! There wasn’t any explanation needed. It simply guaranteed a giggle-fit from me.

Compound this with the fact that Dad was strong enough to pop open the tab on my can of Sprite, and you can see why he’s my hero.

2 Petting the cat with your foot so you don’t have to reach

(LowCarbKitty.com)

Dad has never been one to extend effort where effort is not absolutely necessary. Our cat, Señor Fuzz, was well aware of this trait–honestly, I think he even admired it. When Dad would recline in his La-Z-Boy, Señor Fuzz liked to nuzzle his cheek right up against the bottom of Dad’s foot. Dad would, in turn, use his surprisingly nimble toes to scratch the cat’s chin.

When I was a boy, watching in awe as my father used his sweaty, stinky feet to bring bliss to the cat, it didn’t register to me as laziness. I saw it as the ingenuity of a true genius.

3 Calling Wednesday “Hump Day”

(YouTube)

What did it mean? Where did it come from? As a boy, I couldn’t fathom the answer to these questions. As an adult, though–well, I still can’t. Dad somehow came up with a way to make Wednesdays funny. From that day on, all Wednesdays were camels. Haha! Camels with humps.

In my teenage years, “hump” took on a new meaning. A meaning that Dad might imply, but would never come right out and say. I appreciate that, Dad.

4 Singing in the shower

(LolWot)

It’s pretty good, right? It was Dad’s idea to put the acoustics in there, you know. We could hear him all the way in the kitchen, bellowing out the “Scooby-dooby-doo” verse from “Strangers In the Night,” over and over again. His favorite shower numbers were definitely Sinatra tracks. But on rare mornings, when the mood was right, we’d hear him sing “Habenera” from Carmen, or that song that goes “B-b-b-b-b-bird bird bird, bird is the word.”

I want to be clear here: it wasn’t my idea to flush the toilet when Dad was on the bridge of “More Than a Feeling.” It was Matt’s idea, okay? You gotta admit, though, the sudden rush of cold water did wonders to help Dad reach that high note.

5 Slurping milk straight from the bowl after you’ve eaten your cereal

(1000AwesomeThings)

“You want to grow up big and strong, right? Just like Dad? Then put that spoon down, son. The time for spoons is over. Wait. Hold on. Okay, Mom’s not looking. We’re good now. CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!!”

6 Lighting a match after pooping

(YouTube)

In the summer of ‘96, my dad sat me down for a serious conversation. “Look, son. You’re developing into a man. Soon you’ll have hair everywhere you can imagine. Yes, you’ll be rich with hair. Richer than you could ever know. Sorry about that, by the way. It’s genetic. For now, your manhood is announcing itself–uh, what’s the word…aromatically–when you step out of the can.” And that’s when he handed me my very first book of matches.

As I lit a match for the first time after pooping, I was reminded, yet again, that Dad was a genius and an innovator–albeit, one who was too cheap to buy air freshener.

7 Oh, and Dad definitely invented the regulations for loading the dishwasher

(OnlyMyBestRecipes)

He just refuses to tell anybody what, exactly, they are. 

(ipeg.com)

Did my dad really invent these things? My heart says, “Yes.” My semi-functioning adult brain says, “No way, José.” But that’s not important! What really matters is that Dad taught me the skills, tricks, and quirks that helped me develop into who I am today. For that, I’ll always be grateful.

Now if only Dad could invent a way to tell me what to get him for Christmas…