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Creative Destruction: An Interview with Rising Hip-Hop Artist Dunson

Special to Informer | , John Richards | 2/11/2012, 2:16 p.m.

WI: How do you think that has shaped who you are as a producer and artist?

Dunson: Drums! From Go-Go to Baltimore Club, this area is all about drums. DC gave me the influence to pick up live instruments so I was kicking Go-Go beats on the drum kit since I was 8 or 9 years old. When I heard Baltimore Club, I wanted the machines they use to chop those samples and program those ridiculous beats! I did that early in the game when I was all about production! Then I started looking everywhere else for lyrical and vocal influences. That's what helped shape me as a complete artist.

WI: What other instruments do you play? And when did you first learn to play them?

Dunson: Drums since age 8, Piano since 12 and guitar just a couple years ago.

WI: Speaking of your multi-talents, which came first the chicken or the egg- the beats or the rhymes?

Dunson: Definitely the chicken. It was beats from the jump. I got my first sequencer after hearing Timbaland's production on Aaliyah's "One in a Million"...it took me until about 15 to pick up the microphone though!

WI: You've done a great job branding yourself on your own. What's your secret to success with branding yourself and your talents?

Dunson: Thank You! My approach is to really give yourself to your audience. Keep it interesting and if you're interesting enough as a person and artist, people will either really relate to you or at least be curious about what you're doing. Sonically, I strive to push the needle with the music. With music, I challenge myself to match innovation with connectivity.

WI: If you had to choose, which would it be?

Dunson: Wow! Don't make me choose! I can't! Seriously, they go hand in hand for me now. My rhymes are a part of the track when I'm creating. They aren't mutually exclusive. I'll be throwing down a drum pattern, get up, put a vocal line in a certain place, next I'm back to the bass line or something. It's a total package!

WI: Okay so since dropping your last mixtape Creative Destruction 2, you've made some connections in the industry. How did those relationships come about?

Dunson: It's really the Internet! Creative Destruction 2 has proven to be a major stepping-stone. As soon as I dropped the first track and it hit the blogs, I had emails from people like Atlantic Records which led to phone conferences and meetings in Los Angeles. That slowly snowballed throughout 2011 and before I knew it I went from recording in a small bedroom to studios in mid-town Manhattan every night with Grammy-nominated producers. By the end of the year I was performing at Highline Ballroom and working in the presence of people like John Legend and Ne-Yo! I just performed at the legendary S.O.B.'s at the top of the year...Crazy!

WI: Has getting closer to the industry insiders changed your view of how the music industry works?