With a heap of successful singles and an awesome album under his belt, David Dallas is one of New Zealand’s hottest rappers. After high school, he went to University to pursue a degree in Computer Science. During his studies he had the opportunity to kick-start his career as a rapper who’s vibe, in tracks like “Indulge Me”, “Big Time” or “Front To Back”, is truly distinctive. So much so that we believe this guy has a lot more to look forward to in the future. After his debut album Something Awesome hit the New Zealand Top 20 charts, and with a few shows in the US, Format jumped at the opportunity to talk with him about his music and career in the rap scene.
“Feels good – it [Something Awesome] hit #1 on the iTunes album chart over here too, so that was nice. But, the most validating part is still hearing from people who picked it up and are feeling it. That’s the shit.”
Format: Hey David, how’s it going? Please introduce yourself to our readers.
David Dallas: My name’s David Dallas, I’m a hip-hop artist from New Zealand.
Format: When you were young, what was it you wanted to be most in life?
David Dallas: I wanted to be a bunch of different things, but I think I most wanted to be a videogame reviewer… or rich!
Format: When and how did it come to be that you started rapping?
David Dallas: I’ve listened to rap for as long as I can remember, due to my older brother. I’d always learn people’s songs and recite them to myself, but I’d never thought about actually trying to rap, not until I met a couple friends who were doing their thing while I was at University. I had heaps of spare time so I started downloading instrumentals and reading up on how to record. Once I bought a cheap mic and got my hands on some ‘cracked’ recording software, it was on!
Format: How does it feel now that your album Something Awesome has broken into New Zealand’s Top 20?
David Dallas: Feels good – it hit #1 on the iTunes album chart over here too, so that was nice. But, the most validating part is still hearing from people who picked it up and are feeling it. That’s the shit.
Format: So have you reached the feeling you’re talking about in “Big Time”?
David Dallas: Haha, nah not yet. I’ve still got a whole lot of things I’ve gotta accomplish before I’ll feel like that.
Format: What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
David Dallas: “Indulge Me” is a special one to me – I’ve always liked smooth artists, and this one just has that vibe, yet it’s still up-tempo enough for people to dance to. I dig the fact that it’s a song about a female that isn’t corny, that can be played in a club. Difficult combination.
Format: If you had the chance to feature a rapper of your choice, who would that be?
David Dallas: Any one of the following would be a life highlight: Jay-Z, Andre3000, Eminem (circa 2002), The Prodigy (circa mid 90s), Methodman (circa mid 90s)
Format: You were a member of Frontline. How did it come to be that you’ve gone solo?
David Dallas: FortyOne, who was the other half of Frontline, was never into the whole ‘artist’ side of the business (doin’ videos, interviews etc). He just wanted to produce and make beats, so me steppin’ out was the logical step. He still ended up producin’ half the songs on my album. Best thing about it is it’s freed me up to make music solely reflective of my own tastes. I don’t have to worry about representin’ no one but myself.
Format: What’s been the best moment in your career to date?
David Dallas: Playing my first show in the U.S.
Format: Lastly, any upcoming projects or plans our readers should know about?
David Dallas: Look out for my album Something Awesome, which is available worldwide on iTunes. I’ll be in New York for the CMJ music marathon in October, and I’ve got more new material in the pipeline. Just finished a remix with a dope U.S. act that’s set to drop in the next couple weeks. Check my web site out if you wanna keep up with what I’m up to.