Interview with upcoming rapper DC.
(This article was originally published on BespokeMag)
Social media can be an artists best tool or worst nightmare. A useful instrument to those who know how to use it to full effect, and disaster for anyone watching from the side whilst all but them get a piece of the pie. This rings true in the UK, where the internet is exposing more and more people to a growing, talented rap scene.
Take SoundCloud – it attracts over 175 million unique viewers every month. Without it, you’d probably use a lot less data and have a smaller phone bill, but it’d also be a little less possible to access sounds from quality, lesser known musicians like DC. Four months back the rapper from London took to social media to share his craft, and with that, has built a healthy buzz for himself in a short-space of time. He’s used platforms like Twitter, YouTube and SoundCloud well, gaining over 100,000 plays on the latter.
You could certainly argue that other rappers have achieved similar feats with social media. It holds true however that dead artists don’t generate such buzz over the period of just a few months.
It seems like DC’s here to stick around longer than the one-hit-wonder types seen in the scene before him. Of these, at least 60% lost their spot on my iPod back in 2010 – I’m not sorry either, I was working with 16gb of space and had to make some tough choices. And even now I’ve got 64gb to play with, those artists won’t see a return to my iTunes. They’ve truly been forgotten. But come 2020, DC will make up part of that 40% to enjoy stay on what will probably be my ‘iPhone 11’.
In 2015 he is someone who has comfortably established himself as an artist to watch out for in future. It’s certainly been a fast few months for the rapper. The type that allows no room for a reflective breather. So in his first interview with Bespoke we sat down with him to get his thoughts on how things have gone for him thus far.
So I understand you started taking music seriously earlier this year, what brought that about?
It’s always something I thought I was good at. I always used to write in my spare time and spit to my friends & they would encourage me to do it properly. Then one day I thought why not, just put something out there and see what the feedback’s saying.
Is music now something you’re looking to make a career out of then, or just something to do on the side?
The way it’s going…the period I’ve been doing it for, [4 months] I’ve been getting good feedback and some opportunities from it. It only makes sense for me to take it seriously.
I’ve noticed you wear a lot of what seems like your own clothes in your videos, tell us a bit more about Moongang and what’s going on there?
Moongang was created by my friends in 2010 – just a clothing brand for the mandem. Obviously we sell some, but there’s more exclusive clothing than items we sell. It’s just something for the mandem to wear really.
Your Gleamin freestyles obviously took off quite a bit as well, as did your track Local, did you expect them to get as much love as they did?
The first one I put out, I didn’t expect that, but ‘Gleamin 2’, I expected it to get a similar response because of how the first one went. Then ‘Local’, I didn’t think it was a good tune, I just thought it was alright, but my friends gassed me up about it, So I put it out on SoundCloud and got a good response, then recorded the video after.
Your latest track Local is getting a lot of love at the minute, that’s something you mention a lot in your music, can you tell the readers a bit more about what that means?
‘Local’ and ‘Gleamin’ are just things the mandem say really. It’s just another way of saying I’m there, I’m about.
How are you trying to go about extending this buzz you created? What makes DC different from other rappers?
I’m just myself. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not, I’d say the majority of rappers talk about the roads stuff, but I don’t rap about that. Even though I’ve grown up around it or whatever, that’s not me. I guess the content is different, that’s the main thing.
The first time I heard ‘Gleamin’, someone tweeted the 30 second preview, then it came out the next day. You’ve used social media well, how important do you think it’s been in building yourself up as a new artist?
I think it’s the most important thing out of everything else to be honest. That 30 second clip, before I did ‘Gleamin 1’, I did a Twitter freestyle, like a 30 second video. I used to think to myself before I did, why is nobody using this 30 second video thing? It only makes sense if you do music, it’s the best way to promote yourself. That’s why I did the 30 second clip of ‘Gleamin’, and it worked quite well.
I think social media is the most important aspect of promotion, it’s free promotion. You can get one retweet from a certain person, then loads of other people are exposed to your stuff like that. I think it’s the most important thing.
UK rap as a scene is blowing up right now, so with that, it means one artist can enter and quickly make the artist you heard yesterday seem less relevant, does that make you look over your shoulder a bit more?
I don’t really look over my shoulder because I’m confident in myself, but at the same time, I just think to myself, in the space of time it’s taken me to do what I’ve done, some artists that have been doing it for time haven’t even done what I’ve done. At my age as well;  I don’t really see too many artists my age doing what I’m doing, so there’s only few artist I class as sick, but the majority of the time they’re older than me. So I don’t really look over my shoulder because I’ve only just started, it can only get better from here on.
Who are some of the rappers you’re listening to right now, is there anyone in particular who influences your music?
G Frsh, Skepta, Stormzy, Avelino, Bonkaz & A2.
10 years ago, there wasn’t any Twitter around to hear 30 second previews of new songs, and access to British rap music was a lot more limited. Do you feel like coming up as an artist now in 2015, that it’s easier for artists to establish themselves?
Yeah I feel like now it’s so much easier. I reckon it was harder back then, because you had to be at a certain level to get heard. Now, anybody can put whatever out. People are sheep’s, all it takes is somebody to like something, then other people start liking it. It doesn’t even have to be good, it can just be anything random like a dance in the video.
Another common perception is that American rappers are somehow automatically better than a lot of British artists, because they’re American. With the way the British scene is going, do you think it has a future?
Grime is definitely blowing. Yesterday was the BBC Grime Symphony and it’s only the early stages. Look at Skepta at Wireless, it can definitely go places yeah.
We understand you did your first show not too long ago, how did that come about for you?
The people that were running it messaged me, asked me if I wanted to do it. I’d never done a show before so I just thought why not I need the experience.
How was it?
Yeah it was good still, very good.
You got any more shows coming up?
Nah, I’m not performing at the moment…
Is that deliberate?
Yeah, that’s deliberate. I’d rather work on my music then do shows. I don’t wanna go to a show and just have 1 or 2 songs. I’m not on that, id rather stay in the studio at work hard.
What’s next on the cards for you? Perhaps an EP soon?
I’ve just started working on the EP. I’m not putting a date on it cause I don’t wanna rush or force anything. that’s coming defo by the end of this year. Soon i’m releasing a tune off the EP, maybe in a months time. So that’s what’s coming soon; I’ve got a couple things coming but the next thing is a tune from the EP.
Want to read more?