An exclusive interview with music artist D$waylo
Q: Where are you from? How has your environment shaped you as a person?
A: I’m from Walnut Park, which is an area on the north side of St. Louis, MO. That’s all I’ve known my entire life. Coming up, I barely knew what existed in the rest of the world. In that area, there’s violence and poverty everywhere. As a kid it was easy to ignore because I didn’t understand, but getting older I started to notice how serious things are. Being in that environment can either make you or break you, and I’ve seen it countless times. People who I grew up with get trapped in the life there and never find another purpose or goal that they want to reach or achieve and it causes a cycle in the community. I figured out that there were more possibilities, from being able to take certain trips and see things my peers didn’t get to. My mindset has been to change my situation and take it somewhere nobody thought possible.
Q: What made you want to pursue a music career?
A: What made me want to pursue music was the fact that I saw how much a person can express how they feel with no limits or restrictions . I met a friend at college from Memphis who made beats and was majoring in that subject, and me and him would spend hours free-styling to YouTube beats and going to the beat lab and making beats from scratch. He introduced me to fruity loops and from there I took it on head first.
Q: Who are you musical inspirations?
A: First person that inspired me to want to make music, is Young thug. He put all of his people in a position to win, all through the power of music and hard work. Starting the way he did, and now being on a world wide level is a goal of mine. I have the upmost respect for him, his career, and everything he has done for the people around him.
The second person is Michael Jackson. He was a pure natural talent who changed the music industry, and was able to connect with so many different fans and supporters around the world. I always have to remind myself that people from times without computers and digital software had to make everything from scratch and be original, which is something that is not around as often.
My third inspiration would have to be Juice Wrld. Although he’s no longer with us, I can remember times before I was interested in music, where I would listen to him and be surprised by how much of himself he was. Despite the negative comments he might receive, there was a deeper message and point he was trying to get across through his songs. He didn’t hold back and a lot of his music he just showed his natural expression of his life and life around him. I think those projects hold a different type of weight.
Q: What message do you want to send through your music?
A: The message I want to send through my music is to be yourself, try something different than what’s your norm or what you’re used to, and don’t give up. There will be people you love that are not going to be around the whole ride. Problems may arise, so it will not always be an easy and comfortable experience, but you can’t let that stop you. Always focus on the goal!
Q: What sets you apart from other artists?
A: The thing that sets me apart from other artists, is my ability to not be the same as the next person, and how I’m able to be versatile with my song topics and my vocabulary. I barely even include profanity in a lot of my music and that’s consciously happening in the writing process. I want to be able to get radio play, and I know they are selective, and have certain requirements . Another plus, is my vocabulary has grown immensely, since I choose to limit vulgar words.
Q: What is your creating process like?
A: The first thing I do to get started, and get in a creative mode is make sure the environment and room I’m in is clean and organized, in order to clear my mind. Then I’ll find a beat if my producer hasn’t already cooked one up for me. Usually I’ll listen for a beat that matches my mood at the time; Within the first 30 seconds of the beat, I can pretty much tell by then if it’s my type of vibe or not.
I get my flows and melodies by listening to specific instruments on the beat and matching the different rhythms of the drums I hear. Being an engineer for myself helps because over time I have developed more knowledge and techniques every time I make a song; And I have a lot of songs.
My main focus when writing is trying to use different words and to keep out as many explicit words as I can to make sure I’m expanding my vocabulary. I feel like a lot of rappers don’t think like that and just make whatever because they know people want to hear it, but I really care about my work so I like to put more thought into it. I hear people say they can’t even sit down and write songs but to each its own. I’m not taking away from them, I’m just saying that’s my approach to my craft.
Q: Are you interested in signing a deal or are you looking to stay independent? Why or why not?
A: I am interested in signing a major record deal. Of course I won’t jump and sign the first deal presented to me but when the right one comes around, and I have taken everything into careful consideration I will more than likely be ready to sign. Being independent is always a safe path to take and in today’s music world, you can become pretty successful off of being independent, but in order to take it to the next level and go worldwide with my campaign, I feel like a deal is the best opportunity to take advantage of. Right now, I am apart of Star Statuz label along with Mollyboi 500, and I’m being managed by Victoria Hudson at T Hud Management & Entertainment. With my talent, along with their services, expertise, and support, I will reach a higher level, in which I will be ready to start looking at deals with major record labels.
Q: What can we expect from your music in the future and do you have any upcoming projects?
A: I have a lot of projects that I will be dropping in the future. Each project will explore something different. I will be crossing over into other genres like R&B, Pop, and of course I will continue with my first love which is Hip-hop/Rap.
I just dropped a mixtape called “Out The Vault,” which shows my expression of being backstabbed and trust issues from relationships, with a mixture of vibes you can nod your head to and turn up to. My Strategic flows and melodies showcase my true artistry. It is available on all major platforms, as well as on LUM, under D$waylo.
Q: How can your fans and potential fans follow your journey?
A: I’m on IG @dswaylo. I’m on Twitter @dwaylo23. My YouTube is under D$waylo. You can pretty much search D$waylo or Dswaylo, and find my music on a variety of platforms. I haven’t been as active on social media lately, but I am about to give people a little more insight on myself, my journey, and my upcoming projects. I appreciate every listen and any amount of support. Be sure to stay tuned!