1) When did you realise that you had a passion for music?
I had an interest in music very early on; being raised in the church community of my local town. Singing and music was a regular occurrence in the house and elsewhere. In my early childhood, my mother had a music degree and had as well produced a gospel album by the time I was in middle-school. Although I derive I vast amount of my inspiration from my mother, I hadn't realized my own drive and passion for music until I was independently living in the prairie hub city of Saskatoon. At a small house party at my friend's place, I was encouraged to try improvising some freestyle rhymes on a hip hop track. Once I tried it out and found I had knack for it, I combined the love I already had for poetry with this new found challenge of writing and began rehearsing more and more new complicated bars (rhymes). The rest is history.
2) Who are your main inspirations as an artist?
Early on I started off listening to artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Lupe Fiasco, Eminem, and Sum 41. BEP was the earliest taste of hip-hop I can remember being really interested in. "Let's Get it Started" would play on rotation during the school intramural break activity in the gymnasium or for the school sport's team "pep rallies". My mom loved them to the point of buying their "Monkey Business" CD and I would listen to it on repeat whenever I could. Sum 41 was the band I called my favorite for a long while even into my late teens. I loved the rambunctious nature in the music which I felt my family dynamic and personal mental health wouldn't allow. Your typical "angsty" teenager, right! Although I listen to a heavy rotation of Hip-hop and instrumental tracks, I will always be inspired by the style of music and energy bands like Sum 41 brought to the industry.
In high school and through-out my post-secondary education, I had listened to a lot of music by Classified, Madchild, Jon Bellion, and the artist known as Sol. I'd listened extensively to the rhyme and rhythm styles of these MC's to hone in on what I really wanted to sound like for myself as an artist. Specifically, Jon Bellion and Sol stood out as artist's that I found had the notable work ethic and rapping style I was looking to foster in my own craft. Watching their music videos, interviews, and live performances got me excited to see where I'd be if I applied myself to live for the same goals.
In the past 5 years, I became a big fan of the rappers NF, Mac Miller (RIP), Joey Bada$$, and Vinnie Paz. The very refined and sleek rap styles of these artist's inspired me to keep going in my music as well as spark up creative flows when I'd thought they had left for good. Hearing Jedi Mind Tricks and Joey Bada$$ with ProEra for the first time were the beginnings of many years listening to theirs' and others' songs on repeat. Doing this, I found that all the above names have many things in common as to what it takes to thrive in the music industry. Aside from being prolific, I learned from the music I listened to that authenticity and confidence is even more important.
3) What would you like to achieve as an artist?
I would like to use the platform I have created (group and solo), to spread positivity but more-so the awareness to all that anyone can find the light inside them needed to find their way out of the dark. I already believe I have gotten to a point where this became possible; now I am walking the journey of scaling it all up to a grander scale of community and connection with positivity through music. I live each day as a reminder to myself and those who listen to my songs that we are all in this together.
4) What is your most memorable moment while being an artist?
The one pivotal moment I would say sticks out above the rest, would have to be during the weekend I recorded three studio quality songs in Toronto, Canada. Around 1 year or 2 ago, My brother Jesse, who was living there at the time, had become friends with a local MC by the name of Teddy Ramsay. He had connections to a mixing engineer by the name of "Ricky Ru". The moment I recorded "Attitude" in a small condo with only a towel behind a top shelf quality microphone in the kitchen alongside two industry professionals; that was when I knew for certain I was gonna be doing some great things.
5) Who are the biggest artists you’ve worked with?
I have to mention that the founding members of the Saskatchewan based music group "Definitive_Collective"; which I also helped create, are some of the most talented and under-rated artists I know. Two instrumental producers, Meebu Beats and Bone Crate, as well as my fellow MC and Freestyle Performer, Rainbow Glory, are continuing their pursuits in music every day. They inspire eachother as well as myself through different genres and music experimentation.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the artist OPTiiiK during the production of "the (bagels) EP". He has an amazing sense of what precisely sounds right within different areas in the production of songs and taught me many things I remember to this day regarding music production and brand development.
6) Tell us a little more about your recent project?
The most recent project of mine titled "The Dark Days Behind Me LP" found on SoundCloud exclusively, is about all the dark days that are without a doubt behind us all. As you may note, on the cover of the album, the word "are" prior to the title as well as the question mark after; both have been crossed out to symbolize that it's not a question anymore, as it may have been for myself and many others in the past. I made this album as a compilation of my best original work in music lyricism and it shall be a reminder to all of the ever growing attitude of confidence necessary to believe in for healthy daily living. Aside from this, I believe words, specifically those we speak out-loud to the world and to ourselves within our minds, have immense power to dictate where we go in life. What we will manifest into our own lives, as well as those around us, is a reflection of our own choice in words. Therefore, I must say,... the dark days are definitely behind me.
7) What should we be looking forward to from you in the future?
This 2021 year will be marking the beginning of a new caliber of video content. Along with music video's surrounding The Dark Days Behind Me LP as well as The Definitive Collective: First of Many; Vol 1&2 albums, I will soon be announcing the official release date for "Under All The Pressure We Live Above". This is a completely original collaborative effort with Donny "Crash Bones" of Bone Crate made as an experimental industrial hip-hop album. Expect a brand new experience in sound that we believe shall have your skeleton and soul shaking with delight.
8) Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
From Saskatchewan as well as currently Victoria, British Columbia, Canada all the way to Australia and elsewhere, the crew and I send a very warm greetings along with exciting promise of a future where we all can further understand our part as a individuals in a world that strives to connect. Find myself @justdave_the1 and other members of @Definitive_Collective on Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, and more. Happy new year to you and your family; it means a lot to have shared a bit of my journey and I wish safe travels in yours. Peace and Love, JUSTDAVE.