“I’m still a firm believer of artists going to the States to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Once you have some experience doing live shows and your craft is mastered, you should travel to the States to gain more exposure and test your skills in the places where Hip Hop is more dominant.”
Check out the interview with D’NME exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
D’NME: Personally, I started off as a fan of Hip Hop first. I was just like everyone else who heard Hip Hop and then got inspired enough to try their own hand at it. Overtime my love for the art of emceeing turned into a passion which in turn transformed into a profession.
I know that when I first started rapping I never questioned myself. I pretty much just jumped into it head first and did my thing. When I was in high school I was just writing rhymes and then I started going to studios so I could learn the art of recording which is a whole different skill in itself. I know I took a few years to find myself with recording before I actually felt confident enough to start distributing my music and performing live.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
A lot of times when I’ve exhausted all the reachable outlets in the music business I try to get people outside of the music industry to get my music in front of their networks. I like to reach out to fashion bloggers, directors, and people who may be able to use my music to enhance their brand.
With this method you get fans who may not be into Hip Hop per se, but if they like your music they’ll become a fan of what you do. I think getting your music in front of people outside of the initial music business is very important because you never know how a certain person or brand can benefit you.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
I think the concept of selling music is a challenge because people aren’t really conditioned to buy music anymore. At the same time, I’ve been able to find ways around it. There’s money in touring; there’s money in having your songs licensed for commercials, TV, and movie;, and there’s also money in writing for other artists.
Despite all the stigmas about money in music, I do think that artists on the come up can generate income. If you can build and operate a home studio then you can charge for studio time and if you have access to a producer you both can work as a unit and charge for recording and production services.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
I’m from Toronto and for me the Hip Hop scene has always been faulty. I’m not talking about how the media promotes Toronto as a huge spectacular city, I’m talking about the Hip Hop scene. I’ve never seen places like Detroit’s St. Andrews Hall or Philadelphia’s Voltage Lounge or New York’s S.O.B.’s in Toronto where artists on the come up can go on a weekly basis to get better and just gain exposure.
I’m still a firm believer of artists going to the States to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Once you have some experience doing live shows and your craft is mastered, you should travel to the States to gain more exposure and test your skills in the places where Hip Hop is more dominant.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I could be wrong, but I think music will never be at the point where there is one premier artist anymore. In the 80’s you had premier artists that the general public would live with for a year or two and the music was more timeless. You would have been hard pressed to find another talent close to Michael Jackson when he was doing Thriller. He was the top artist of his time. All eyes were on him and there were no internet sensations to distract the public from his work.
Fast forward to today and you now have low quality music being released every week which is blocking the artists who are actually making good music. Since everyone and their mother thinks they can get in the studio and make a single, you have an over saturated market. So now, even when a talented artist cuts through the noise, so to speak, they don’t get the proper recognition. New music is being released every day and consumers have a short attention span. So, unless the internet becomes obsolete, I don’t see the over saturation in music ever stopping.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
I always tell upcoming artists to do music for themselves first. If you’re getting into the music game to please everyone else you’ll always have issues. I started doing this for the love and because I genuinely have a passion for making music.
Artists should utilize the internet to its fullest capability. I can’t tell you how many times a person has reached out to me and said, “Hey, I’m from Germany and I’m a huge fan of yours, I love your music!” I would never be able to get that type of response without releasing my music online.
Even though the internet is useful you should still take the time to travel to various states, cities, etc. so you can network and perform. Travelling gets you out there even more and if you leave a lasting impression your music will keep spreading.
What inspires you to write your next song?
I generally get inspired to make music in a lot of different ways. Sometimes producers that I work with will reach out with new production that hits me right away. Other times, just getting a gut feeling to start a new mixtape or EP inspires me. There are times when I’m in the studio with another artist and what they’re working on will spark me to create a song.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I definitely have to hear some sort of music before any idea comes to me. If I have a concept for a song, I need to have the right beat to write to. For example, if I have the beat already I’ll just start writing to it. The lyrics may take a few days or so, but once all of the lyrics are completely written I like to take a week to memorize the verses so I can record them without reading anything from a piece of paper. Once I have a solid recording, I send off everything to my engineer and he does the mixing and mastering.
What do you think makes a great song?
I think the lyrics of a song are very important, and of course how the song sounds sonically is important as well. A lot of artists don’t realize that the way your record is mixed can make or break your song. Listeners don’t know the details of a mix, they just know if a song is pleasing to their ears or not.
I also feel that the music should move the listener. Whether it’s a thought provoking song or just a song for the club, it should evoke some kind of emotional response from the listener.
I think these elements are the deciding factor for whether your song is timeless or whether it’s just something that a person listens to once and never plays again. A song’s quality will always be a big thing to me because I grew up on artists and musicians who took their time to create great music all across the board.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official website: www.DNMEofficial.com