IceBurghSociety.com Exclusive Interview:
Welcome to the new exclusive interview series, called "My Intro..."! This series will be the first introduction for many talented up and coming artist out of the coldest country out, Canada!
We introduce the latest featured artist, Toronto MC, Dustin Wareham, as he introduces himself, what brought him to Hip Hop and where he plans on bringing it. Read on.
IceBurghSociety.com: Where are you from?
Dustin Wareham: Toronto born and raised. Moved to Scarborough when I was about eight from downtown. That was a bit of a shock. Downtown when I was younger, there wasn't a lot of black families in my area. My family was like one of the only ones. (Broadview and Danforth area) Scarborough was the opposite. We went through mad white flight. I moved to Malvern around 10 and watched 70% of the white people move further east to Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa etc. People don't understand how big Scarborough is either. I'd travel from Malvern down the road to Galloway where my mom lived, but our hoods always hated each other.
IceBurghSociety.com: What got you into Hip Hop?
Dustin Wareham: This shit is like destiny for me. I was about four, living downtown with my father, my aunt, cousins, Godmother and God brothers. We were all crammed into a townhouse on Bain ave. I was the youngest and I wanted to mimic my God-brother and cousins. They spun on their backs, I spun on my back. They would beat-box, I would beat-box and so on. It was follow the leader. We went from air guitar to air scratching and rhyming over night. Never looked back either. Then I moved to Scarborough and the reggae influence and Caribbean influences were thrown into the mix. I just soaked it up like a sponge.
IceBurghSociety.com: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Dustin Wareham: I'm honest and emotional. I like to make music that says something. Anything. I can't stand it when I hear songs from people and they have no substance. Why are you even making music? That's my main gripe with punchline rappers who only use punchlines. Ok, it sounds dope, but where is the meat and potatoes? What can I learn from your music about you or myself? I like to talk about society, race, the hood, my life, my problems. I like to let the world know I am a black man, well half black man, but let them know what goes on in my mind. What my train of thought is. I'm also really big into rock music. Alternative. Like I dig the fuck out of it, and Retro music. So when I make music, I envision performing it and the audiences response. I'm a huge fan of the Deftones, and Nas. Imagine two extreme opposites as far as music goes and you kind of get myself. Hip Hop with flashes of rock sprinkled in for flavor.
IceBurghSociety.com: What led to your style of delivery and beat-selection?
Dustin Wareham: It took years to get here. I was doing the solo-dolo thing like ten years ago just plugging away. I accidentally bumped into an old friend from high school who I went on to form a band with. This was an actual rock/Hip Hop band. Two guitars, drums, bass and myself on vocals. I spent every dime I had, and every spare minute I had on that band. Shit went sour, thanks in part to drugs and alcohol, and we went our separate ways, but I learned so much about song writing, delivery, stage presence, projection, audience interactions etc. I had to learn how to interact with four other guys and become one. How to turn my voice into an instrument. This taught me how to be a better artist and helped my delivery so much. As far as beats, I either have a hand in crafting them, or I just hear something and I know it fits. One of my main go to guys is my engineer Jayboz. He knows what I like, but I can also come to him with a sample idea, or adjustments to make to the beats. My first ep I pretty much had the songs written out in my head before we ever created one song. I gave him my ideas, and we created the sound together based on those song ideas floating in my head...Now I've reached a point where its like what version of me am I giving. If it's a collaboration my delivery might be tweaked to fit the track. If the beat is supposed to be the focal point, I don't let my vocals over power the beat. I don't have to reinvent the wheel every track with a crazy flow.
IceBurghSociety.com: How do you think you differ from other artists?
Dustin Wareham: I'm not afraid to be myself. I see a lot of people doing their best impersonation of what they think will work, or what they think is hot. I just do me. I write about my life, or things around my life. I'm not afraid to feel vulnerable or show that. This game everyone wants to look the best, sound the best, floss, be the king, I'm really good just being me and learning who I am.
IceBurghSociety.com: Who influenced your style?
Dustin Wareham: I have a lot of influences. A lot. Off the top, Nas, Jay, Redman, Pac; and I'm a huge Bob Marley and Damian Marley fan. Deftones is my favorite band of all time. I was seventeen when I first caught them and that band just hit me in the chest hard. So definitely Chino Moreno from Deftones. I also love the local scene. I get influenced by those around me all the time. I watch the Canadian dudes. Study flow. JD Era for example has a ridiculous flow. Young Stitch's reminds me of a early Em. But truth be told, I listened to the greats like everyone else.
IceBurghSociety.com: What ‘s the most important item in your music collection?
Dustin Wareham: Good question. In today's day and age, everything is digital. My laptop is pretty important because it makes me money. I DJ on the side, and my Mac book has been pretty vital to that. I don't have a lucky guitar or anything like that. I don't have any signed albums. I've bought Illmatic on tape and CD multiple times. I remember the line, "Never put me in your box if the shit eats tapes", kids won't even get that line today. They don't even know what cassettes are. I'm a collector so everything holds a value to me. I've got every Source issues from like '98 - 2010, and every XXL issue with the exception of a few. Can't really pin it down to one item though.
IceBurghSociety.com: Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
Dustin Wareham: Chino Moreno from Deftones. Nas. Santogold. I could say Bob Marley, but that might sound cliche. Like when people say they would collab with John Lennon.
IceBurghSociety.com: What's the most successful or highest point in your career?
Dustin Wareham: I try not to view my career in a past tense. I try to always look forward and think the best times are yet to come. Ive played almost every small and medium sized venue in Toronto. I've toured southern Ontario with a band. Clocked a lot of km's in a van with a few other guys. Can't really nail it down to one. First show I played with my old band, we won a battle of the bands and had a crowd of 250 people. I've played to 5000 people at a festival, and for 5 at a local dive, I feel high on stage. From 2014 until now I have just been going through the motions and taking it all in one day at a time. It took me from 2007 until then to really get the ball rolling. A lot of false starts. So now I'll just enjoy the ride until the wheels fall off.
IceBurghSociety.com: Any Final Shout-Outs?
Dustin Wareham: I want to shout out the grinders. The guys who work a 9-5, come home, hit the studio and get it in. The guys who perform at all the local shows and hold the underground down without hesitation. All the mans out here hustling for their crafts and art. All the struggling artists, actors, painters, poets. We are the life blood of this art community. Too many people think they are above that, or that being a struggling artist is below them. They can blow me. We're all kin in this. Even if you don't like that guy over there, or that actress over there, were all in the same bot. The ART BOAT. So shout out to all of them. Every last one. The one's doing this for love, regardless of the money situation. hat's pretty much 99% of the people I work with and come across.
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