Dash is an up coming artist currently based in Manchester. For the upcoming release of his second mixtape ‘It’s Not My Fault’, we had a phone interview at around 10pm whilst I was in Portugal and Dash in Manchester, discussing the mixtape, music, family and friends and being independent.
Shevaun: Are we allowed to use your government today or are we sticking to your stage name?
Dash: Just the stage name
S: What’s your stage name and where did it come from?
D: Dash. It came from watching this show called Red Band Society, and my favourite characters name is Astro. He has a friend on the show called ‘Dash’ so I just took the name and ran with it.
S: What are you? A rapper? A singer? Both?
D: I’d like to say both, I’m just an artist. I just like to make music
S: Do you feel pressure to do well musically at 17?
S: You feel like you’re on a clock? Why?
D: Yeah, I set very high goals for myself concerning music. So, I do feel like I’m on the clock all the time.
D: Because there are so many things that I want to do, and you know people don’t live very long so you know…
S: How old were you when you started getting into music?
D: I recorded my first song when I was 15, but I was doing choir and music at school and stuff like that when I was 10/11.
S: Do you ever listen back to that first song?
S: And? How do you feel about it?
D: Terrible (laughs), I feel like I’ve improved
S: Do you have any musical inspirations?
D: Yeah, I draw a huge amount of style and choice of subject from Drake
S: You like Michael Jackson a lot as well, right?
D: Yeah, he’s my favourite artist, he’s actually the first musical person that I can remember.
S: What do your parents and friends think of your music?
D: My parents are supportive, but they just don’t want me to try and put all my eggs in one basket. Most of my friends are supportive but I don’t really have any friends who aren’t, cause then we can’t be friends.
S: Tell me about ‘Would You Like A Tape’
D: That was my first mixtape. I just wanted to create something. I didn’t need to know if I was going to release it when I was making it. I just wanted to make something without thinking “Will people like this? Will people like that?” It was a therapeutic process for me because life wasn’t going very good at that time so any challenges I had I would just put it in there
S: You know Her, Pt 1 is my favourite song from ‘Would you like a Tape’, how did you create that track?
D: Her, Pt 1 interestingly is one of the first songs recorded out of all the songs there. I just came home from school and there was a girl that I liked and unfortunately, she didn’t like me back. So, I just got my laptop and did the only thing I knew how do and freestyled whatever came to my head
S: Tell me about your new project ‘It’s Not My Fault’?
D: INMF is like a mirror that shows what I want to do as an artist. It’s not the final product yet but it’s what I want to be. WYLAT is nice but this is me discovering my sound properly. It’s just me explaining how I feel. Like most of the time I feel like I’m in the right. It’s a really… I hate to say this but a very righteous project where I’m basically saying everyone is wrong but I’m right. It’s like a very high horse, very everyone else is wrong I’m right.
S: Dead Man’s Hand, what inspired you to try drill and who is Skeemz R1
D: Skeemz R1 is an upcoming drill artist. He is really good at what he does, and he also happens to be my brother and best friend. He just said how about you come try [drill], we have a bit of friendly competition going on between us. He suggested coming over to his side of music, and I was like it doesn’t hurt to try.
S: I was getting AM X Skengdo vibes from it, did you listen to any drill?
D: I listened to only drill for about two days
S: What about the Nigerian music scene?
D: The Nigerian music scene taught me a lot more about the actual industry than music itself. I spent a lot of time doing part time work at labels in Nigeria, so I learnt a good amount about different artists and what the music industry is really about. Not too much about music because I don’t make Afro songs, it is something I do want to try and do just not something I have in my arsenal right now. But I do listen to a lot of Nigerian music
S: What do you think about the Nigerian music scene at the moment? I feel like there are so many young people and I don’t feel like it’s that typical Afrobeat sound. It’s more like eccentric in a good way?
D: I feel like it’s a bit more advanced, there’s an unusual amount of young influx, which is totally amazing. I absolutely love it and you know the guys we see like Rema and all those guys its very impressive to see. I just feel like… my only problem is the Nigerian music scene is a bit like a microwave in the sense that nothing really lasts long, and we don’t really get- I want to say full bodies of work. There are very few people I can point towards “oh this album, that album” that stand out amazingly. Aside from the classic that Burna Boy has, the album before ‘Outside’ and ‘Outside’ itself. I haven’t really heard that many good projects that sound like projects by Nigerian artists if you get what I mean.
S: How does the music process work for you? So obviously you write your own stuff, but you also mix and produce your own beats, right?
D: I mix a lot of my songs, but I don’t produce beats. I have a go to team of producers or I purchase beats online. There a few people who send me beats
S: So, do you have a studio in Manchester? Or is it an organic thing where you have a studio in your room
D: I have my own set up in my room, I’ve got a portable studio
S: Do you look to others for feedback on your music before you release anything?
D: Yeah, I’ve got you know… a team of people I consider to be my A&R, funnily enough your sister is one of those people. I send her all my tracks before, she’s actually heard the mixtape. I’m not looking for positive or negative feedback. It’s more about are you getting the message I put in there. If not, we go back to the drawing board and see what went wrong.
S: What do you want to get out of music?
D: It’s a lot of things, honestly, I’d be lying if I did say I don’t want fame or money. But in the end, if I don’t manage to get that number one all time album stuff like Michael Jackson there’s no point to it. I looked at all the things I was good at and this is something I feel I can be the best at. Period. And that’s what I’m going to do. I would also like to be in a position where I can help other people because another thing is that when I get there I want to it to be very easy for other artists to get there and create more art. I know how difficult it was for me to get to where I’m even at now, which isn’t very far in comparison to where I’m going.
S: Any advice for anyone thinking of doing the journey you’re doing, as an upcoming musician?
D: It takes time and patience. I feel like the most important thing is finding the right team. If you have the right people around you, you know… if you’re good at it and take it seriously then all you need is find the right team. You need a ‘go to’ group of people, that you can rely on.
S: So, what would you say for someone who’s not in the same financial position to be able to be as organic as you are? Do you know what I mean?
D: That’s when you more so need a team, then you can stand on other people’s shoulders you know what I mean? If one of you can’t do it five of you probably can. There’s loads of different rehearsal spaces like in Manchester where you can be creative. If you just look around you, you can find your people, there will be places that can help you with your art. When you start out it doesn’t have to be top quality, just make whatever you feel like and if you do that and are consistent there will be opportunities. Regardless of where you come from.
S: How long did it take for you to come up with the next mixtape?
D: When you make it, it feels like a long time. A good amount of it is waiting around so that you can give feedback on something and someone can give you feedback. I feel don’t spend that much time in the studio, out of the 7 months I spent 10-15 days doing actual recording, maybe another 30 writing and the rest is sitting around and waiting for mixes or creative direction. Or days of nothingness. I feel like it seems like a long time when you see the process because you see other people moving and creating things.
S: Do you care about numbers? Like streaming?
D: Yes! I’m absolutely obsessed with numbers and streams, I look at them almost every other day. I have a stream goal for everything I’m doing and if I don’t meet it, then you know… talks need to be had.
S: Have you thought about making music videos?
D: I considered making a music video for this mixtape, but I decided because of the type of project it was, where everything is so tied together. I felt it was more appropriate to make a short film.
S: Is there anything you want to say to fans?
D: Check out the music, there’s something for everyone. That’s what I try and do. I just want everyone to check it out, I hope you all have a great time listening to it, if you can help by listening, sharing or purchasing please do so.
It’s Not Fault now available for purchase and streaming on all music platforms.
If you don’t know already, SICKA VISION will be having a Welcome Party on the 24th October 2019 at the Ticketmaster HQ!! The party will include artist performances, nibbles and free drinks! We hope to see you there, tickets can be purchased here via the Universe App.