D4vd Started Making Music to Avoid Copyright Strikes on His Fortnite Videos — He Just Hit 1 Billion Spotify Streams with ‘Romantic Homicide’

D4vd reaches one billion Spotify streams for "Romantic Homocide"
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D4vd reaches one billion Spotify streams for "Romantic Homocide"
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Photo Credit: Spotify

An avid Fortnite player started making his own music to avoid copyright strikes on his gameplay videos. Now one of his songs has reached 1 billion Spotify streams.

Last year, David Burke was a Fortnite player who made montage videos of his gameplay, but kept receiving copyright strikes for his use of other people’s music to soundtrack the videos. To solve this problem, the 18-year-old started creating his own music to use in his videos, releasing them under the name d4vd.

Fast forward to nine months later, and d4vd has over 25.1 million monthly Spotify listeners and a rapidly growing fanbase, thanks in no small part to his viral hit, “Romantic Homicide.” Now the song has reached the coveted 1 billion Spotify streams threshold, while Chartmetric data finds the track having been streamed over 43.3 million times on the platform in the past month alone.

The song is a “surprisingly sophisticated” ballad mourning a past relationship, and has seen use in over 160,000 TikToks (d4vd himself has around 2.2 million followers on the platform). Notably, the track — which peaked at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 — was recorded using Burke’s iPhone and produced with BandLab’s free iOS app.

Though he only started releasing his music in 2022, David Burke started using BandLab in 2021 to produce soundtracks for his Fortnite gameplay videos. He started uploading them to TikTok, which gained him a significant audience on the platform before his songs were widely available.

D4vd’s future in music is bright, having recently partnered with Mogul Vision Management and Billie Eilish’s home label Darkroom. He’s also signed a publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing.

Last summer, BandLab became the first music creation platform to support the Human Artistry Campaign in its goal of defending the human element of art in the face of unethical AI. In October, the company partnered with Universal Music Group on “an expansive, industry-first strategic relationship concentrated on artificial intelligence.”