Hip-Hop is a genre of music that has always been a part of my life.. Whether it was listening to Run DMC or Public Enemy during my younger years.. Or current day flag-bearers of the genre such as Kendrick Lamar who’s incredible good kid, m.A.A.d city was essentially stuck on repeat for the entire last quarter of last year for me.. I’ve found that finding promising young hip-hop/rap artists lately isn’t quite as easy as it used to be.. In a genre that seems to be over-crowded with artists that can sometimes appear to be struggling to sound like their more experienced counterparts, I’ve found it refreshing to come across ThisisDA.. A young and upcoming MC hailing from Bristol, UK who offers something with a little more flavour than I’ve heard as of late.. Below is a short interview that sheds some light on who ThisisDA is.. and what he does.. Enjoy..
Firstly, for those people out there who aren’t familiar with yourself, can you tell us a little about yourself.. Who are you? and what do you do?
My name is ThisisDA. I’m an 18 year old rap singer; hip-hop artist; rapper; mc; recording artist.. whatever they’re called these days. I record myself shouting in rhythmic patterns over rap instrumentals and convince people to listen to it.
Who have been your main musical influences? And what was it that drove you to start writing and recording your own tunes?
The things that weigh on my mind are what influence my musical direction. As of recently I’ve stopped writing lyrics in order to connect the beat with my inner-mind more. So literally whatever is on my mind will spill out onto the microphone.
Back in the day, my friends and I would cypher in the school playground during all our free time. It was definitely the freedom of disrespecting people and getting away with it that was the most enticing. Haha. Rapping was so new to me, I didn’t think I’d ever have the mind to do it but it’s simply one of those things you pick up and won’t put down for anything. The fact you can create a gang of sentences – at your own discretion – that people would then attentively listen to, was incredible. You’re invisible until the day you record a song. Not to mention the escapism factor.. that was also great. Getting lost in the words as an outlet for your thoughts was another reason I started recording. But I didn’t grow up writing poetry like everyone else who raps seems to have done. I despise poetry.
Given a choice of any artist in the world.. Dead or alive.. Who would you most want to collaborate with?
That’s a hard one.. All I know for sure is I wouldn’t comfortably cross genres for the sake of it. So it’ll probably be Kanye West. He’s virtually the only artist in this game baring similar personality attributes with me.
Musicians and labels today generally compromise personality when it comes to collaborations. We all come from different backgrounds and walks of life, but when you have common traits; the things you create together are priceless. But like everyone else, I’m looking at Mr West from a mediated standpoint. Sonically, it’ll be a dream to work with him, but who’s to say our personalities will harmonise correctly and produce music at their full potential? I love what I’m creating right now but being as critical as I am, I think I have a long way to go. It’s hard because I’m learning everything I can from the teacher, who also happens to be myself.
Other than Hip-Hop artists, what do you listen to? Have any of your favourite non Hip-Hop artists influenced you in any way?
Everything influences me. Just as everything influences you; be it subconsciously, or directly. As an artist, you have to be a sponge in this saturated society – but have a limit as to how much you allow in.
I didn’t grow up as a Hip-hop head or anything.. I wouldn’t even consider myself one at this present time as I listen to everything. Like I could sit here and listen to heavy metal, move on to Motown and then dancehall & reggae.
A word of advice: don’t pay attention to genres. They’re just another word for “labels” and we all know labels are for people who struggle to comprehend this world without knowing what is what and what goes where. Take a good look around you and realise we’re all integrated into the same social spaces, the only thing that divides us are our musical tastes and fickle interests. I’m far from open-minded but if a song is enough to evoke emotion and “move me”, then it’s on my playlist.
Growing up, bands like Panic at the Disco; My Chemical Romance; Fallout Boy and Arctic Monkeys were what I’d listen to regularly. Even today I find a majority of the time I really hate rap music, in all forms. Truth be told, I’m more of an emo than a rapper. You’ll get a hint of those influences on my upcoming free-album, “Super Arkane”.
So when can we expect Super Arkane? And how will people be able to get it?
The album is already fully recorded. Just waiting on the mixing / mastering process and promotional backing, then it’s good to go.. so you can expect it by this summer. It’ll be up for free download on my soundcloud, bandcamp etc. I’m just making sure me and Mankub are happy with the holistic sound of the tracklist. He produced the entire album and I think people will be surprised at how dynamic it is. Super Arkane is sprawled with aspects of my psyche, from sombre melodies to high-paced old school raps. Definitely something nobody wants to miss out on.
Being that you have a far more broad musical taste other than hip-hop.. What releases outside of the genre are you looking forward to this year?
In all honesty, I’m not really a fan of albums. I prefer listening to EP’s or single releases. It was only the other day that I only listened to my own album from start to finish.. and I struggled with that. Blame it on my increasing short attention span. But anything new from acts like King Krule, Laura Mvula, Ratking and Jake Bugg will get an instant listen from me.
I’d like to thank ThisisDA for taking the time to be a part of taken by sound’s Introducing series.. Great things are destined to come your way..! And as always, thank you so much to you the readers for your comments and likes.. Without you taken by sound wouldn’t exist! Take care..
Please don’t forget to check out ThisisDA at any of his official pages below..