As I start my series of interviews with underground artists I choose to speak with Artist DaShawn who is truly an artist in every sense of the word. As he is a producer, rapper and director of his own videos he shows that his creativity has no limits. It’s actually him who inspired me to make this a series so we can shed light on the mindsets of these underground artists who are all trying to prosper. Meet today’s artist, DaShawn Watson.
First and foremost, Who are you? What do you do? And where are you from?
I’m DaShawn Watson. I’m an artist because I genuinely love creating. Often times the medium changes so I don’t really feel like I belong to simply one title. Sometimes I’m the cameraman/director, other times (when it’s necessary) I’m playing the role of a graphic designer. Majority of the time I’d have to say I identify with being a producer because I may not be always rapping but I’m definitely always producing. On the topic of my roots, I was born in New York but left when I was 4 years old. Ever since then i’ve resided in Broward County, South Florida.
What made you want to get into this?
You know how some people are right/left brain dominant? I’d like to think I’m pretty in touch with whichever is the art one. I do art because this isn’t something I’m just good at, I excel at it. Making music isn’t a hobby anymore, I do this because it’s a part of me. In the beginning I was writing as way to feel better about myself. Talking about the things I wouldn’t talk about. I still write as a release, but now it’s not coming from the same place.
What are your goals? How you plan to achieve them?
One of my main goals I focus on is a strong fan base. You ever think about how as people we’re our own unique individual, but at the same time there’s someone out there that’s nearly identical to us? Those people are the people I make music for, so when I say I make music for myself I know it’ll reach and affect the people like me. I just want to create and reach that 14 year old kid that needs something to believe in.
What has been the most rewarding?
It’s funny how I only have a few songs public yet I’ve had so many people reach out to me and explain their personal connection with my music. The genuine reactions of positivity and support from people I don’t even know really is something you can’t force. I love it.
What is your strategy for preparing to release a song/video/project?
The people matter most. It doesn’t matter how many blogs push you, if people don’t push you, you won’t work. One of my mottos is “they don’t fuck with you til’ everyone fucks with you”, so I always focus on making a wave where everyone is included. People see a wave and they want to be a part of it.
Do you have a team of supporters or are you solo? Which would be more beneficial for you? & why?
I wouldn’t call it a team yet, more so a squad. There’s always people here and there supporting so it’s definitely not a solo game. My bros Ashton Jazz and Ivy are always working on what’s next, trying reinvent the wheel on what we have to do. At the same time we each have an understanding that sometimes you have to get it yourself. People aren’t always going to be their for you, so a good sense of independence is a necessary foundation. I’d definitely like a team of people dedicated to the greater good of pushing our brand, but you just can’t force these things. Nothing good will come out of that, it’s got to be genuine. Everyone knows you can do more with 10 than you can with 3, but till then we’ll be alright.
What keeps you going and focused?
A strong sense of “why”. When I remember why I’m doing this, I know I can’t quit. This isn’t about me, the things I want aren’t for myself. I learn that if you’re doing something for someone else you truly care about, giving up isn’t an option. I won’t stop until the people I want to see happy are nothing but that. I hate seeing people I care about struggle, unfortunately I’m not in a position as to where I can take them out of that. That alone is enough motivation for me. If they aren’t able to live their dreams and take risk, I’ll take the risk for them. In the end it’ll pay off, we’ll all live our dreams.
Will there be a point or time where you feel that if your music career isn’t where you’d like It to be you’ll move on? Have you set a limit for yourself?
No. If you take 999,999 attempts at becoming a millionaire and only 1’s successful, are you still a millionaire? If I’m not where I want to be, I’m not working hard enough. Long story short, I’m not quitting.
How would you describe your music/vibe?
It’s versatile. As people will see on the EP’s, there’s a big variety of style/feel. That mainly is a byproduct of how I make music. I make music based off of how I feel; as a person we experience a multitude of feelings, so I like to create around those emotions as a central theme. I got bangers, songs that’ll make you want to go hard at a concert and start a mosh pit, but on the opposite end of the spectrum I’ll have songs that’ll make you want to love your neighbor. I can’t tell people an honest answer on what sound you’ll hear from me because it all depends.
When you or someone else is creating a video idea how is that process between the artist and videographer?
Since everything is pretty much in-house, they’re isn’t much explaining to do. My “You Are (Not) Alone” video was shot by my boy Ashton while I handled the post production. Only hard part is coming up with the idea of what we’re shooting and why we’re shooting it. The plot (if there is one) normally comes from me sitting down and thinking of what’s the story I want to tell with the video. The next videos I get on will really drive that point home.
How do you feel about blog help? Necessary or just helpful?
It’s helpful, but it’s not the end-all-be-all answer. I’ve seen people come up from Broward with little to no internet/blog buzz yet their in-person physical connection with their fans be immense. Not to discredit the usefulness of blogs because depending on your current position they can help you get necessary content out, but I want to stem the argument that blogs actually need us (artist).