As you know I’m a huge fan of the bro Marekos Side Hustle Hip Hop show and the Full Clip Radio boys over in Brisbane. So it was when I was listening in to one of Rex’ shows that I first heard about Dos’ Speakerbox show and what it’s all about. Basically he breaks in a lot of up and coming local (NZ & Australia) hip hop & RnB artists and plays them alongside established artists. In the interview he had with Mareko he also explained his artist name change. He was formerly known as MC Mzre. In his own words: “I didn’t want to be miserable no more. That’s how I was living, living the character. So when I came up with Dos it’s actually my name Daws but just spelt different. The pronounciation of Dos comes from the latin words “Un Dos Tres” (1,2,3). I then found out that in the dictionary Dos & Daws are the exact same meaning which means ‘2’. So that’s me throwing the up the two’s (‘PEACE sign up’)”
About 6 weeks ago now a mate of mine asked me if I’d take a listen to his mixtape and let him know what I thought/what my fave tracks were etc ….. I was like yeah, sweet send it through! To be honest I wasn’t really expecting anything much because I hadn’t heard of him before and I met him at Calendar Girls hahaha #TrueStoryBro and also a #LongStoryBro ….. Shouts to Johnson for dragging me along with him, Zach the bro, Johnny and their bodyguard (sorry can’t remember his name but he looked like their bodyguard lol) for a really, really, REALLY hilarious night.
But yeah, back to the mixtape – I listened to it and honest to G LIKED it, it was different AND dude can sing not just rap! The fact that I liked it surprised me because as I said before I wasn’t expecting to, so I was like hmmmm is it just me and my taste in music cos I know what I like but how do I know if what I like is actually GOOD? I sent it on to a few industry people and all the feedback on it was really positive! One of the peeps I first sent it to was Dos – he’s been in the music industry for a really long time, knows his music & he hosts a show that plays new and upcoming artists. He told me that he really liked it AND the songs that I thought were the standouts were the same as his picks so I was like YUSS!! I feel cool now lol! It also got me thinking and Curious George that I am – I wanted to find out how he picks out tracks that are good enough to play on his show from the tracks that just suck.
So here we go – my 20 Questions and Dos’ answers lol …..
Dos MCing a gig
Me: How long have you been in the music game and where did you get your start?
DOS: I wrote my first verse in 1994 but Ive been a part of the game since 1999. I was a member of a group called KAOS & Dawnraid were looking for artists so I got a call one evening from the boys saying Dawnraid wanted to meet us. We had 3 tracks ready to show them. KAOS was the first group that signed a legal contract with Dawnraid. We signed the same day as Deceptikonz. We’ve known Dkonz since high school so we all caught up one night for a drink. The name Horsemen Family came up because we’d all be “riding the horsie” every weekend which for some of us turned into everyday (laughs) we’re all school mates connected through friends and family which is the core history of the Horsemen fams.
NZ Hip Hop group KAOS from back in the day – Dos, DJ Blaze, Rayze & ATP
Me: At what point did you feel like – Hey! I’m actually good at this I can make a career out of what I’m doing?
DOS: I’ve always been flying beneath the radar and I love it. Years ago my boy Savage said to me on tour “bro, you do everything me & Scribe do except you dont get hassled for autographs, photos & interviews. You’re lucky”. So when KAOS started doing gigs & touring thats when I knew I could take over the scene if I really wanted to. But I loved not getting hassled. It kept me grounded. I’ve always wanted to be the Master of Ceremonies, you know the Mic Controller that Moves the Crowd but I loved the underground scene too much. I wanted to do it the right way for me. I didn’t want to release half arse music. Even though I released some music, I didn’t feel like it was to my full capability but other people were happy with it. That was what I liked about not going too mainstream.
Me: How did the touring gig with DJ Sirvere come about?
DOS: If I remember correctly, Phil (DJ Sirvere) had asked around for me to record a freestyle for Major Flavours 2. At that time he asked me to join him on the tour to perform my verse. It was myself, Savage, Mareko & J1 from RES. Later on I met a girl & moved to Australia for 2 years. The whole 2 years I ain’t do no music. Nothing. Savage had kept my name alive while I was away. So when I did return to NZ, I was only back for a couple days and I got a call from Phil asking me to come along to the X-Air event in HTown to perform my freestyle, this was when Scribe blew up. We get back stage, I’m kicking back laughing with J1 when Phil popped his head out from the side of the stage & asked me to jump up & hype the crowd. I was like “nah nah i aint been performing for 2 years bro ask Savage”. He gave me the meanest eyes like “you better get out there & hype that crowd”. So yeah, grabbed the mic, sussed out the crowd and said these 4 words – “What’s going down H-Town?” The whole crowd just went wild, I mean they were the loudest crowd I had heard in 2 years at the time. And they loved me. From that moment I knew I had them in the palm of my hands. Rocked the crowd for 40 minutes, straight – after that Phil & I became the best team to ever rock crowds. And we still are.
Dos & DJ Sirvere – bottom pic they’re holding the award they won at the Urban Music Awards. Check out a couple of vids of them both in action after the jump.
Me: When did you move to Australia and why?
DOS: Well I was on the Big Day Out Australian tour with Sirvere back in 2007 & the day after the Melbourne show i bought a plane ticket to Brisbane, showed him and said I ain’t going back to NZ with him. It was a shock at first but it was the right decision. I mean when you get oppurtunities in life, you take it. Australia has always been on my mind to do music here and Brisbane was the place I chose. Mainly for the weather. Warm air helps with my medical condition. NZ was too cold for me, I kept getting sick.
Me: So does Australia have much of a Hip Hop scene? How does it compare to NZ?
Australias hip hop scene is massive. I’ve got much respect for it but today I can only talk about the hip hop scene in Brisbane and from what I’ve seen the underground community here is bigger than the mainstream. I can honestly say that the hip hop scene here is like how it was in Auckland 10 years ago. It’s still fresh here. We have a lot of ex-pat kiwis making a bit of noise and now that the internet is helping Brisbane based artists get their music out it’s a beautiful thing. But events like the Hip hop summit? nah.
Me: It says in your bio that you were a founding member of Beatkamp Muzik – who was in that group? Are they still around? I know ATP is but not sure if the others are still doing stuff.
Beatkamp is all ATP. He told me about the idea when we were still in NZ recording for Dawnraid. So really it’s been years in the making before he actually put the label out in Australia. I was never signed to BK. He signed JR & Xy Latu. We helped him out but I think he knew that I wasn’t as committed to the label as the other boys which was a blessing cos I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. My first child was born and I just wasnt giving BK 100% of my time. I was still involved when I was able to. They released a self titled album which I still think is dope. Then JR got kicked out (laughs) he started his solo career & teamed up with his own crew to form Voyce entertainment. Xy also left the label to focus on his solo career and is now an artist/producer for his own label Voice Kontrol music group. I think everybody is happier right now doing things the way they want, when & where they please. That’s the beauty of independant labels.
My personal fave Beatkamp track – Rap Game Remix ft PNC & Savage
Me: Were you doing something with Peter Gunz at one point? The Infamous Bedroom? What was that about? lol!
DOS: Why what did you hear? (laughs – THIS guy!) The infamous Bedroom….. The Bedroom was an urban nightclub that was the place to be on a Tuesday night on the Gold Coast (Australia). I was the main MC there & every week we had DJs from all
over Australia fly in to perform at the club. Even Manchoo, CXL & Sirvere played there. The whole club is laid out with double beds, all the bar tenders were females… dressed in lingerie. We had so much fun there (laughs) The club would open at 9pm & be packed out by 9:30 because of the the 2-hour long all you can drink specials on the night.
Me: So how did the Full Clip Radio gig come about? Is it something that you Horsemen Boys put together or was it already an established online radio?
DOS: I put the idea to the boys that Brisbane needed its own hip hop radio station. Horsemen Family were already doing a radio show for RepFm (Horsemen Hangover) back in Auckland so I wanted Brisbane to have their shine. It was between myself, Dj Blaze, Dj K-Woodz & Mareko that we thought yeah lets make it happen. So the very next night Blaze had setup a website & a braodcasting account and we were ready to roll. The following week Blaze named the radio station Full Clip Radio. So the idea of having a radio station had already been in our minds for years but we hadn’t known how to set it up.
Looking at expensive radio transmissions & the licensing fees that came with it we were like “fuck that” but to be honest, I think online radio is the future.
Me: You host ‘The Speakerbox’ show with DJ Sketch which “exclusively showcases local upcoming talent and slots them in alongside established artists” by established artists do you mean artists that get played on mainstream radio or just artists who’ve been in the game a while but have a good following?
DOS: I play artists that have a history of music & are still going no matter if they’re mainstream or established. I play a balance of Oz & Nz hip hop & RnB. I started this show especially for the hardcore fans of NZ hip hop to appreciate Australian hip hop & vice versa. I’m trying to bridge the gap between our communities to start appreciating & respecting each others music. There’s a big gap between us & I’d like to be the person to bring us all together. So when you tune into Speaker Box, if you don’t recognise the artist thats on air, they’ll most likely be from Australia. I only play the best from Oz. I’m tryna get the kiwi crowds to like & respect the music coming from Oz. Like I said you’ve got to show respect to gain respect.
** Here’s a couple of their shows you can check out on Soundcloud. If you miss it on Thursday nights (NZ time 10pm – midnight, BNE time 8 – 10pm) then you can catch up or enjoy the show any time on Soundcloud **
Me: Do you get a lot of submissions from local artists?
DOS: I wish I had a 3 hour show because I get tonnes of submissions. I get music from all over the world like Spain, America, Great Britian, Africa & there’s a big rise in local artists wanting their music heard & I’m willing to help them out. I want to play their tracks but 60% of submissions won’t make it to air. It all comes down to quality. I need the tracks mixed, mastered & edited for radio. I also like to highlight an artist that’s got an album or video coming out. I will play 2 or 3 tracks from them per week for a month to really push that artist & get them the recognition I think they deserve. I also have artists come in to the studio for an interview & a catch up to promote their project. The main goal for me is to get their songs played on daily rotation on Full Clip Radio.
Me: What made you want to host this kind of show for the up & coming artists?
DOS: There’s nobody showcasing music from our streets. There’s too many rappers & not enough radio stations that appreciate urban music. I know a lot of local crews that have albums posted on facebook & youtube but ain’t getting no air play on radio. I want to have the only radio station playing our local music. Everybody’s getting bombarded with what’s going on in Brooklyn or Atlanta when we got stories in Brisbane or in Auckland that need to be heard. I would rather hear about Rizvan’s story about coming up in the game than Jay-Z. I’m just one of many so I’m trying to do my part in helping their musical journey be heard.
Me: What do you look for in a mixtape or track that gets sent to you in order for you to deem it worthy of airtime?
DOS: Content, production & delivery. That’s what makes a dope artist. You can have the best producer on your track but if you’re just rhyming about clubs, and your story telling is wack I don’t wanna hear it. It’s sad cos when the beat is dope, my ears are trained to listen to the beat only. So it don’t matter if your accent is Oz or Kiwi or if your crew is number one, or if you have 50,000 followers & Likes on facebook. If your style & delivery is whack I wont play it. I don’t want my listeners turning off the radio.
Me: Are there any that you’ve had to send back and say nah you’re not going to play their track – do you give them suggestions of what they need to improve on or are you like ‘aint nobody got time for dat’? lol
DOS: I always try to make contact with those sending me tracks just to give them the sense of realness. Whether it be good or bad. I’ve had to tell artists to go get the track mixed, mastered & edited. Some do come back with it ready for air play. That shows me that they went the extra mile to make it happen for themselves. That’s dedication to their craft but in saying that, there are some wack rappers out there that think they are Eminem. Seriously, they get ‘The Frisbee’ treatment.
L-R Mareko from the Side Hustle Hip Hop Show, Dos and DJ Sketch from the Speakerbox Show
Me: I know it’s early days for the Speaker Box but have you had submissions from any artists that you’ve introduced on your show that have gone on to do big things?
DOS: I’ve played music for artists that get a big buzz out of hearing their songs on radio. I’ve debuted a number of songs on Speaker Box that are now on daily rotation on Full Clip and that’s the main goal for me. To hear your music played 4 times a day is a buzz in itself but Speaker Box is still in its early stages. I’m confident that we’ll break a star in the near future.
Me: With up & coming artists do the opening track/bars/lines need to grab your attention before you’ll listen to the rest of the tape or will you listen to a whole mixtape (if you get sent a mixtape)
DOS: Definitely the opening words or the first couple of bars on the beat. You have to grab my attention & when im bobbing my head to the beat, thats a really good sign that im going to like your album. It only takes one song for me to like you as an artist. So make it dope!
Me: Of the new artists you’ve had submissions from which ones have you seen some real potential from and you think will go far?
DOS: I like to think of artists potentionally doing well on an international level. It comes down to your work ethic & the team you roll with. There’s a couple up coming artists that im feeling at the moment and I think if they keep their goals & mind right, with the right team to push them they will do great.
Dos’ Top 3:
All of these artists are un-signed at the moment. I want to be a part of their story so that’s why I’m playing their music.
A kiwi born artist who musically has it all & I would love to see him do big things.
Have a listen to or download his mixtape above
Seymore – Stones
Like his facebook page here
Follow him on twitter here
He also hosts the late show on Monday nights over on K. FM 106.9 with Bex & Zach – you can catch them chopping it up from 10pm – midnight playing good vibes, hip hop & soul jams.
Seymore in the K.FM studio*
An RnB singer & ex-member of 4DG who is doing really well pushing his music out & I think he deserves all the success.
** He recently just put out a vid which my bestie Vanu featured in woop woop! She’s the gorgeous girl in the green top **
D.Burn – Feelin You
Check his music out on SoundCloud here
Like his facebook page here
Follow him on Twitter here
D.Burn on a promo pic for his latest single
Melbourne based kiwi, who has his game on lock. Independently he’s a success story waiting to be told.
His first official single & vid – Anything ft Sam Feo below
Check his music out on SoundCloud here
Like his facebook page here
Follow him on Twitter here
Me: So what advice would you give up and coming artists?
DOS: Be original. Full stop. Stand out from the rest. Get noticed for rolling in your own lane rather than following the trend.
Me: What’s new for you? Any new projects coming up?
DOS: What’s new for me? Well I’m having fun with this radio stuff so I’m working on trying to better my shows, be more involved in the community & when the time is right i’ll drop an EP with videos. But i’ve lived the dream & had heaps of fun, it’s time to help somebody else with their dream now.
Awww wada cool guy!! Shot bro! Really appreciate you taking the time to listen to my mates mixtape when I sent it through and also for taking the time to answer all my 101 questions lol!
* And on a sidenote, my mate from the beginning of the post who had sent me his mixtape? Yeah, thats Seymore! You liked him too aye lol! Holla back with your fave track of his and I’ll see if they match mine & Dos’ picks!
And as promised here’s some vids of Dos (back when he was known as MC Mzre) & DJ Sirvere in action. Don’t forget to tune in to Dos & DJ Sketch on Thursday nights on Full Clip Radio …
Major Flavours 5 wrap up
Turn it up (Major Flavours) ft Smashproof