Student Musician Spotlight: DAP The Contract

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This week, Blog is spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Underground. We’re publishing all interviews of one musician talking to another.

Earlier this week, we had the event’s two DJs, Michael Moyal (aka Mulga) and Raye Sosseh (aka Chartreux) interview each other. Jahi Abdur-Razzaq Brown ’17 also interviewed fellow rapper Sebastián Otero Oliveras Brown ’18. A few days ago, Dolapo Akinkugbe Brown ’16 (aka DAP the Contract) interviewed Jahi. Now, it’s DAP’s turn to be in the spotlight. You can check out DAP’s work on his SoundCloud.

Keep reading to find out about his working with Mark Ronson (yes, for real), the influence of his Nigerian roots on his music, and why his post grad plans might include law school.

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Sebastián: So, DAP, you recently got back from Abbey Road Studios. Let’s just start with that.

Dolapo: Yeah, that’s a good place to start. That was this competition Converse does where they have artists apply. They have 84 artists go to 12 different studios around the world, and you’re given a mentor. Mark Ronson was my mentor, which was amazing. And he was mad cool, super laid-back, and made me feel comfortable. We made three songs together on a Friday, and then I worked on stuff with the horn section on a Saturday. So it was just like a perfect music weekend, really, in the best studio ever.

S: How did you feel when you entered Abbey Road?

D: I remember the first day, it was like a video when me and my sister walked in, and I was just silent. The best thing about the room was that when it’s silent–nothing sounds like that ever in life. It sounds perfectly silent but noisy at the same time.

You can hear anything in the room—it’s a big room—and you can hear every single detail in the room. It’s like the perfect noisy-silence, because you can hear a little hum, like you can hear the room breathe, but it’s perfectly quiet. That was the first thing I noticed. I didn’t even play any keyboards. We didn’t touch anything for the first ten minutes. We just sat there in silence, and it was just crazy.

S: Do you think that this is one of DAP’s greatest accomplishments?

D: For sure. That and performing at the Saatchi Gallery in London were the two biggest landmarks so far. Nothing comes close to that, really.

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Student Musician Spotlight: Sebastián ( )tero

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This week, Blog is spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Undeground. We’re publishing all interviews of one musician talking to another.

Check out the event’s two DJs, Michael Moyal (aka Mulga) and Raye Sosseh (aka Chartreux) interview with each from Tuesday. Yesterday, Dolapo Akinkugbe (aka DAP the Contract) interviewed Jahi Abdur-Razzaq (Brown ’17), rapper to rapper. Today, Jahi interviews fellow rapper, and musical Renaissance man, Sebastián Otero Oliveras (Brown ’18). You check out Sebastián’s work as Sebastián ()tero on Soundcloud.

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Jahi: Alright let’s talk about you. I think, the main thing is: why music? Why express yourself through this music as opposed to something else?

Sebastián: Right, I started playing the violin when I was 4. So music has been very present in my life, throughout my life. I don’t know, I just think I have this connection to music, and this energy to produce, and use this medium to express myself.

For example, I can think of a good thing to draw, or something, but my hands don’t do it that well. But I have my voice and I think I have the talent and the energy. So that comes together and that is Sebastián ()tero.

J: So how did you make the transition from violin to rap?

S: I played classical until I was 13 or 14. I got bored. I love listening to classical music but I can’t play it. I don’t like it. And then I moved to jazz. I played a little bit with jazz, and I’m from Puerto Rico and salsa is a big thing. Latin jazz too. So I also played over those types of genres.

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Student Musician Spotlight: Bodega Beats Rapper Jahi

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This week, Blog is spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Undeground. Every day, we’ll publishing an interview, one musician talking to another. Yesterday, the event’s two DJs, Michael Moyal (aka Mulga) and Raye Sosseh (aka Chartreux) interviewed each other.

Today, Blog brings you an interview with rapper Jahi Abdur-Razzaq (Brown ’17). Jahi is interviewed by Dolapo Akinkugbe (Brown ’16), aka DAP The Contract. They discuss everything from the concept of “home,” to the best Nas album, to “S&M” by Rihanna. Definitley keep reading if you’re looking for some good rap recommendations. You can check out Jahi’s work on Soundcloud.

Tomorrow, DAP will be interviewed by rapper Sebastían ( )tero.

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“Tell Your Friends” by the Weeknd starts to play.

Dolapo: The first question I have for you is: what is your primary purpose for making music? What do you want to do with your music?

Is it for fun? Is it therapy for you? Is it therapy for other people?

Jahi: It’s therapy for me, but by accident almost. I was just obsessed with the idea of making music, it was something that I thought was so cool and that I had to participate in.

So I was like, yo — let me participate in it. When I started, I didn’t even put a lot of what was in me into the songs — which is what I wanted to say. So, I changed what I wanted to say into just saying everything that’s in my head. Telling my story: how I be feelin’. Even if it’s not my story — how I’m feeling through somebody else’s story.

D: I feel like a lot of artists start off just joining in because it’s cool, and then they realize how helpful it is for them, and that breeds more passion for it. Then you really start to get shit off your chest — and that makes it, I think, for everyone. So, this latest project you’ve put out, what’s it called again?

J: Home for the Summer.

D: What was that inspired by? What did you get off your chest in the making of that project?

J: What sparked it was just the idea of being between home and college. I was like, yo, like this is actually something that’s crazy, this phenomenon.

D: It really is. We really don’t talk about it enough. They’re really polarized lifestyles.

J: Yeah! The real thing is like, there’s vacation, right? And anybody can have vacation. It doesn’t have to be college. People have vacations. So, the whole thing is about stress. It’s about being as stressed as I am here — it’s nuts.

But from the beginning it’s stress and trying to figure out how to work with that stress, and then trying to get rid of it. Once you try to get rid of something like that with the wrong things, it kinda just messes it up for you. All that happened to me, and I was just like, “Screw it!”

D: Yeah. Going home for the summer for people is a very — especially, I come from Nigeria, so going home for winter, for me, for Christmas, is a culture shift like crazy. What’s home like for you? You’re from Brooklyn, right? Where in particular in Brooklyn?

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Student Musician Spotlight: DJs Chartreux and Mulga

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This week, Blog will be spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Undeground. We’ll publishing an interview every day this week, one musician talking to another.

Today’s interview is with Raye Sosseh (Brown ’17) and Michael Moyal (RISD ’16), also known as DJs Chartreux and Mulga, respectively. You can check out their Soundcloud profiles by clicking above, and catch them DJing together Saturday night.

Michael is the co-founder of Bodega Beats, the music blog and community; he grew up playing instruments, but later found his calling in curating music and taste-making. Raye DJs and produces, using “dense hip-hop inspired beats with recognizable motifs and lyrics to emote an evolving emotion with every song.” Read on to find out how exactly a DJ picks a name, why they hate Top 40 songs, and how they came to be real life Zac Efrons (we’re kidding).

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Raye: What kind of tunes were you thinking for this event? It’s going to be an eclectic mix of sounds.

Michael: I think we should start easy, because we’re doing the first hour and half, and then the last hour and half just go break everything.

R: How do you hunt [for music]? Because I always have a very hard time — I feel like I fall into niches a lot with where I’m looking for music.

M: I know, I hate my Soundcloud right now. I hate it. Actually it’s weird–it goes in waves. A couple of weeks ago, my Soundcloud was unbelievable. This past week, it’s just been garbage.

I have a folder of all the websites I like to look at, and I’ll check them out from time to time. It’s hard, because people curate music on Soundcloud. My favorite thing is when I find a collective. Recently, I found these dudes, they’re called Blanc Label. They’re so good. Their sound is mostly electronic stuff, but they’ve got some really dark stuff and then some really lighthearted new disco shit.

R: I definitely feel like that’s a better way of going about it, seeing whole movements as they occur on the Internet, as opposed to honing in on eight or three people who repost things on Soundcloud.

M: I’ve been deleting people on Soundcloud. I unfollowed Diplo.

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