New Zealand and New York City aren’t exactly on the same level. No disrespect to our Kiwi brothers but when it comes to making your mark, NYC is the market to crack, conquer and sustain. Thanks to the backing of Duck Down Records, David Dallas has recently sailed the high seas (well…almost) and made the transition across hemispheres. With a fresh bunch of tracks on the horizon, the hip-hop artist talks to us about what he does, why he does it and what makes what he does different. All from the ruthless and ever-appealing city he now calls home sweet home…
How would you introduce yourself to someone who had not come across you previously? Describe David Dallas…
Laid back, an individual with firm opinions about music and not much else.
You’ve recently made the move to be based in New York. How are you finding it? What brought on the move?
I’m enjoying it; it’s cool to be in a different place. Obviously I miss some of the comforts of home but I think I was past due living somewhere else. With the partnership in place with Duck Down it just made sense that now was the time
Tell us about your signing to Duck Down Records? How did it all happen?
My management team from NZ were actually in the US on other business and a chance to meet with Duck Down popped up just before they were due home. They thought Duck Down might be interested in what I was doing so they showed them my stuff and fortunately they dug it. It all went from there.
What are some of the biggest cultural differences between NZ and NYC?
There’s much less personal space in New York, and people are much less private. In NZ you’ll see people try to keep their phone convos to themselves, by keeping their voices down and ducking off somewhere – in New York people are quite happy to broadcast whatever is going on in their personal lives to whoever is within earshot, whether they’re arguing with their partner on the phone, or talking about last night’s basketball game etc. They’re just very forward.
How would you describe your sound? What separates you from your counterparts?
Smooth, melodic. I like to think it’s pretty easy on the ears, not too abrasive.
Swallow liquid honey. Drink water. Feel lethargic.
Tell us about your creative process. How do you keep juiced to create new music?
Privacy and good beats. I just need to be alone and have music that gives me some sort of inspiration to write something.
What can we expect differently from your upcoming album compared to Something Awesome?
I think I’ve improved as a songwriter. Music’s just like anything else: the more you practice the better you get at it and I feel like everyone who took part in the record has improved since the last time. Fire & Ice’s production has stepped up – the live instrumentation, the arrangements and melodies etc. I’m still learning things the more songs I make, and nowadays, I’m even less self-conscious of what other people are going to think or say. I just go with my tastes and instincts.
You’ve been blogging a fair bit about your re-location, music, etc. Do you believe in its significance? What role does your online presence play in your greater marketing strategy?
It’s the only avenue I have for presenting myself and my music which I can actually control, so I try to make it worthwhile for the people who are following what I do. TV, radio and magazines could all decide to stop fucking with my music tomorrow, but I’d still have the Internet as an outlet to put out the music exactly how I want it, and that’s amazing because artists in the past didn’t have that option.
Where do you hope to be musically in 12 months?
I want to have fans all over the world.
Who are some artists you are currently enjoying?
As far as new stuff Big K.R.I.T’s Return of 4eva has been in heavy rotation.