“As creatives trying to forge their own non-linear career path, one of the hardest things is to simply just keep going despite society and your peers telling you it’s impossible.”

Check out the interview with DGS Samurai Champs exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
DGS Samurai Champs:
Jeah grew up with hip hop being introduced to him by his older brother Savonn at an early age. Merv xx Gotti’s musical roots came from an entirely different background. His first encounters with music came from being involved in the local hardcore scene and playing in bands.  Although their backgrounds are very musically different, Jeah and Merv xx Gotti started blending their sounds together as early as high school where the duo met.

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and be ready to put in the work. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you reach the next level of your artistry if they were simply aware of your openness for guidance.

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Like any artist, we simply want to be able to support ourselves doing what we love. In the big picture we hope to change the perception of Asian masculinity much like Bruce Lee did for Asian masculinity in North American film back in the 70s except in the context of North American hip hop and music as a whole.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
As creatives trying to forge their own non-linear career path, one of the hardest things is to simply just keep going despite society and your peers telling you it’s impossible. It’s important to not seek validation from these external sources and just focus on your work and your own creative pursuit.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
The two cities we’re from, Regina and Saskatoon, are the two largest cities in our province of Saskatchewan in Canada. We’re fortunate and grateful to be part of a nurturing creative culture amongst the tight-knit music community here, especially for the artists belonging to the alternative and independent arts.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
First, find the balance between meticulousness and spontaneity. Second, don’t be afraid to reach out. Third, try your hand at everything. And last, learn to love the process of the development of your art and be okay with incremental growth. Observe your growth over an extended period of time. The myth of the “overnight success” is exactly that, a myth.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
We just recently played in Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany. We had the distinct honor of being the sole Canadian artists representing the hip hop/R&B/modern soul/house/electronic genres. Although we take pride in our Southeast Asian heritage, we will always identify as Canadian artists. We were extremely proud to represent our country.

What is your inspiration?
We find inspiration in people who climbed to the top of their creative ladders despite all odds and redefined their creative medium in doing so. This includes people like Drake, Bruce Lee, and J. Cole to name a few..

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
This is a hard question. “Anyone” can be successful in their work these days mainly because most of us have access to the internet, resources, and the means to produce well-produced music. However, it takes a certain type of person to be able to continue to keep moving after being knocked down time and time again.

Where can we find you on social media?
Official website: www.samuraichamps.com
Bandcamp: www.bandcamp.com/DGSamuraiChamps
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/dgsamuraichamps
YouTube: www.youtube.com/DGSamuraiChamps
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DGSamuraiChamps
Twitter: @DGSamuraiChamps
Instagram: @DGSamuraiChamps