Dan the Automator

Daniel M. Nakamura[1] (born August 29, 1966),[3] better known by his stage name Dan the Automator, is an American record producer from San Francisco, California. He is the founder of the publishing company Sharkman Music[6] and the record label 75 Ark.[7]

Dan the Automator
Dan the Automator in 2015
Background information
Birth nameDaniel M. Nakamura[1]
Also known asNathaniel Merriweather[2]
Born (1966-08-29) August 29, 1966[3]
San Francisco, California, U.S.[4]
GenresHip hop[5]
Occupation(s)Record producer
Years active1986–present
Associated acts

Early life

Nakamura was born in San Francisco, California.[4] His parents spent time in Japanese internment camps as children.[8] His father worked for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and his mother taught at City College of San Francisco.[4] As a child, he learned to play violin.[9] While in high school, he became immersed in hip hop culture.[4] He graduated from San Francisco State University.[10]


Nakamura started his career as a DJ when he was a teenager.[1] After seeing the younger DJs DJ Qbert and Mix Master Mike performing live, he decided to focus on producing tracks.[4]

His debut EP, Music to Be Murdered By, was released in 1989.[11] He first gained national attention for his work on Kool Keith's 1996 album Dr. Octagonecologyst.[12]

In 1999, Nakamura and Prince Paul formed the collaborative project Handsome Boy Modeling School, assuming the alter egos Nathaniel Merriweather and Chest Rockwell, respectively.[13] In that year, he joined with Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala to form Deltron 3030.[14] He produced Gorillaz's 2001 debut album, Gorillaz.[1]

He is one half of Got a Girl, along with actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead.[15]

He composed the score for the 2019 comedy film Booksmart.[16] The soundtrack album was released on Lakeshore Records in 2019.[17]


Studio albums

Compilation albums


  • Music to Be Murdered By (1989)
  • King of the Beats (1990)
  • A Better Tomorrow (1996)


  • "Bear Witness III (Once Again)" (2002)
  • "Rapper's Delight" (2009)



  1. Comaratta, Len (August 29, 2010). "Whatever Happened To: Dan the Automator". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  2. Keast, Darren (December 27, 2001). "Nathaniel Merriweather Presents..." Dallas Observer. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  3. Kellman, Andy. "Dan the Automator: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  4. Harlaub, Peter (July 12, 2019). "Dan the Automator follows his own lane to food, movies, 'Always Be My Maybe'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  5. Quinlan, Thomas (May 1, 2001). "Dan the Automator: The Complete Package Concept". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  6. Crain, Zac (November 25, 1999). "Handsome Dan, Automator Man". Miami New Times. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  7. Kelley, Brendan Joel (January 17, 2002). "Nathaniel Merriweather". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  8. Ganahl, Jane (November 29, 2004). "He's sold millions of albums. Handsome, too. Calls Beck a pal. The Automator a rock star? No". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  9. Rotondi, James (March 1, 2001). "Automater for the People". Electronic Musician. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  10. Bee, Adrianne (December 17, 2004). "Holiday gifts with a Gator connection". San Francisco State University. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  11. Weingarten, Marc (February 17, 2002). "Alchemist of Alternative Rap". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  12. Harrington, Richard (January 19, 2001). "Back to the Future With the Automator". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  13. Lynskey, Dorian (November 4, 2004). "Cartoon capers". The Guardian. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  14. Brown, Emma (October 9, 2013). "The Future is Deltoron 3030". Interview. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  15. Sundermann, Eric (June 17, 2014). "Deltron 3030's Dan the Automator and Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Video for "Did We Live Too Fast" Would Make Ernest Hemingway Proud". Vice. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  16. Carr, Paul (July 18, 2019). "Broke a Couple of Rules: Movie Scores with Dan the Automator". PopMatters. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  17. Haubrich, Wess (May 10, 2019). "Exclusive: Check out this track from Dan "The Automator" Nakamura's score to Olivia Wilde's Booksmart". The 405. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
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