5 minutes with David Dallas

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D dot D A double L A S ….. YAAAASSSSSS lol!  

David Dallas released the visuals for one of my fave tracks on his ‘Falling into Place’ album last week – Southside

A couple of months ago Rocky and I were able to tag along towards the end of his shoot when he shot part of his verse down at the Otahuhu bus depot.  You can check out more of the behind the scenes pics like the one above here

A few days later (before he flew out to Europe for a break with his fiance Leilani & to tour with Six60) he also graciously allowed me to bug him while he was eating dinner and ask him a few questions so here we have 5 minutes with David Dallas 

Me: Your latest album name is “Falling into Place” – was there one particular moment that you can put your finger on that was when you felt like everything started to fall into place for you or was it a number of moments? 

Dave:  Ummmm nah I don’t think it was one particular moment cos always when something falls into place you feel like your goal shifts and it becomes something else and something else to do.
But, I mean there’s been heaps of key moments for me like even early on it wasn’t until the video we did for “Indulge Me” came out on ‘Something Awesome’ like when we first met Joel Kefali  (director & one half of the music video team ‘Special Problems’) and we started doing stuff, obviously when I made “Indulge Me” and I first started doing stuff with ‘Fire & Ice’  (producers Aaron & Jordan Iusitini) – that felt like a turning point.
Then when we put out “The Rose Tint” obviously that was another moment that felt like that. When we shot the “Runnin” video and “Runnin” dropped that was another big moment, since then it’s gone Platinum and “The Wire’s” done really well and gone gold. All of those things are like key turning points for me.

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Dave & toma

Dave at the release of his album “The Rose Tint” at the Ponsonby Road Pop-up store

Me: On Jay-Zs birthday last year he ranked his albums.  Can you rank your top 5 songs – not based on sales or what have done well but just based on what you personally think is your best or favourite songs you’ve written or put out from when you first started. 

Dave: I probably couldn’t put them in an order – I could probably say my 5 favourites tho!
Definitely ‘Indulge Me’ and ‘Big Time’* would be two of them. They were just significant to me like it wasn’t until I’d done those 2 songs and those 2 videos that I felt like I’d done songs AND videos that represented me and that I was like ‘yeah, that’s portraying how I wanna be portrayed you know?’  and it wasn’t until then that I hit my own and I was coming across the way I wanted to come across in both the music and the visual.
It’s actually just like a lot of the singles off the records – so those 2 are big for me, um ‘Take a Picture’ obviously and ‘Caught in a Daze’ (ft Freddie Gibbs) yeah, and ‘Runnin’ and ‘Southside’ are probably my 2 favourites off the new album.

The Big Time video was actually spotted by Kanye West and featured on his site when it first came out too!  

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Dave performing at the Dirty Records 10 year anniversary at The Studio, K-Road 

Me: “Not Many” the remix is the song that broke you into mainstream attention when you featured on it with Scribe & Savage.  At the time you were up & coming & not many people were familiar with your music.  Is there anyone in the industry now that is ‘up and coming’ that you look at and think they’re good enough to feature on a similar epic song?

Dave: (Laughs) Like I mean obviously the dudes that I’ve reached out to. Spyccs on there, even putting Jordan on a song, ‘The Daylight Robbery’ boys ….. But nah there’s heaps of good dudes.
I never kind of think of things like that I always think of who’s gonna suit the song I’m working on as opposed to – you know there might be some dude who’s awesome but they might not necessarily fit with what the song is going to be you know? So I’m more about who fits the song as opposed to ‘Who’s the awesomest dude’ you know?

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ddot in concert

Top: Dave performing with Jordan Iusitini (one half of music producer team Fire & Ice) and the Daylight Robbery in Matakana at the Summer Winerys Tour supporting Six60

Bottom: On the Runnin’ Tour at the Power Station, Auckland with Jordan, Che & The Daylight Robbery 

Me: What’s your favourite pair of kicks and why?

Dave: oh shit! That’s tough! Cos there’s heaps of Nikes that I like but I don’t really want to claim Nike (laughs!) ah f#%k there’s too many man, that’s a hard one, that’s a real hard one. I constantly have a rotating thing like obviously all the classic shoes are the shit and there’s certain classic things you like to have in your wardrobe. So if you’re not affiliated with anyone you wanna have like a pair of suede wallabies, a pair of timbs of some sort, a pair of shelltoes, some chucks and some air maxes or some Adidas ZX.
There’s so many but to be honest my favourite shoe of all time is the Jordan V – that’s the best. Ah f#%k it, I don’t even care you can put that (laughs)
I rep adidas all day but if I was to pick ONE shoe that’s just my favourite shoe of all time, cos I remember one time when I was a kid, my brother came home from America from a trip when the Jordan Vs had just dropped and f#%k I don’t know how old I was – I was in primary school, I don’t know, but that’s the first shoe I ever looked at and was like f#%k! I WANT that shoe. I’d never felt that sort of thing for a shoe before you know? and I remember he came home with that shoe and it was everything about that shoe – the Jordan V was that shoe.

Jordan V

The Jordan V

Me:  I remember you telling us one time about how you’ve had to see yourself as not just an artist but as ‘David Dallas’ the brand and how you’ve had to protect that brand by not doing certain gigs or things that may hurt that brand.  Did you recognise that early on in your career?

Dave: Ummmm I don’t think of it like, I don’t know even using the word ‘brand’ is kind of funny, but I’ve always thought that everything I do and everything that I’m a part of represents ME you know what I mean? It is like definitely to an external person it is – it’s like a brand that you’re protecting or whatever but for me I just try to make sure that everything that I’m associated with is stuff that I’m about or stuff that I represent.
You know like you’ve got to understand that from the point of view of someone else cos I just know as a kid, if I saw my favourite artist like Mobb Deep and they were on like a f#%ken weetbix commercial or something I’d be like ‘that doesn’t seem right – that’s weird’ you know? Even if they got paid heaps of money you’d be like ‘That’s random, why did they do that you know?’ and I can always remember thinking that when I was a kid. Sometimes I’d see artists that I liked do weird things and I’d be like ‘That’s random!’ you know? So I think since I’ve been an artist I’ve just inherently thought like that about things that I’m associated with.
I try to make sure that everything I associate with whether it’s music, visuals, the design, shows, I just try to make sure everything fits with me personally, more so than a brand it’s what I like personally you know what I mean? Like it has to be something that I like, something that I’m into, something that doesn’t look ….wrong.

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Dave with his producers Fire & Ice (L – Aaron Iusitini & R – Jordan Iusitini) repping Adidas promoting the All Originals represent event in Auckland.

Me: So is that then how the likes of say G-Shock have approached you to work with them?

 Dave: Yup, like I’ve been real fortunate that those people have reached out and I’ve been fortunate to have really good relationships with G-Shock and Adidas but again those are companies that I’ve liked since I was a kid you know? I’ve always loved G-Shock and again I always remember my older brother with a G-Shock and I was like ‘that’s the shit’ cos I’ve always liked brands that are cool like that, that are innovative and have a heritage behind them you know? And yeah, all that stuff just comes in circles – it’s stuff I’ve liked since I was a kid.

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DDots G-Shock!

Daves custom made Adidas Stan Smiths!

So then I was like Shot Ddot!  thats it and he was like oh thats easy and I let him get back to eating lol!

ANYWAYS for more than my 5 minutes – Lani Says featured a really in-depth interview Dave did with Sam Wicks back when he first released ‘Falling into Place’ where he talks about the making of the album and a lot of the tracks that were on the album, Southside being one of them  – be sure to check it out on her site here  It also features some amazing pictures that Damien Nikora had shot of Dave as well.

Here’s what Dave says about ‘Southside’ the track which features Mareko & Sidney Diamond in his interview with Sam  …

I feel like we’re three prominent Hip Hop artists from South Auckland, and we’re all from different parts of South Auckland. So it’s kind of like, covering all the boroughs with different styles, and it’s artists from South Auckland whom I really respect. This whole concept came from Jordan from Fire & Ice, he did the beat and he pitched me the idea. He said, ‘I reckon you should do a real song about South Auckland, no fake posturing, corny thing, something that invokes pride in our neighbourhood and something that comments on our social situation, without glorifying stupid shit. Something real’. I just wanted it to be something that’s proud of our neighbourhood for the right reasons.

And here’s what he said about the video which was directed by Jordan Cherrington on his David Dallas site …

I’d always wanted to do a song of pride for our neighbourhood. Our actual neighbourhood – not this eatarse, oversensationalised idea some have of it. An ode to everyday South Auckland. It felt important. Reaching out to 2 of the best rappers our area has birthed also felt important, and as time’s gone by I’ve realised putting a visual to this song feels important too. Here’s the no frills view of home.

Southside video below – enjoy 

 

And lastly one of my favourite sites The Smoking Section has a Rappers Doing Good feature where they shout out rappers doing good & non-thug like things basically lol!  So, at this point I gotta shout out Dave (& also P-Money via Keshani) for keeping my kids clothed and in very dope clothes and shoes for a few years now.  The boys have also inherited a few of Daves old games.

I had to laugh a few weeks ago – I’d given Jig my Ipod and I think the old cover photo shot was one of him & Rocky and then I saw one of the boys had changed it to this …..

 

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SUHWEET then they’d rather put Dave on their ipod cover with them than me lol!

 

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The boys being their usual selves with their cousin Pafe at Daves ‘Rose Tint’ Pop-up Store opening a few years ago

 

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5 responses to “5 minutes with David Dallas

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