Naturally, we also took the opportunity to do a Q&A with the Washington DC native. Read on, get familiar.
Where does the name Dreamcast come from?
The name Dreamcast was initially conceived as a youth when all I really wanted was a Dreamcast game system. I couldn’t afford one at a time so I would always go to my cousins house out in Maryland and try my best to win at every game. It was a cool system, ahead of the curve and a head of the PlayStation that came out at the time. It was something that I really want it and it always stuck with me.
Getting older I became a fan of the PlayStation and moved away from the Dreamcast system. But, as I was trying to think of names for my project Dreamcast stuck. I love the name Dreamcast because it’s shorthand for DC as well as District of Columbia. It still have this nostalgic feel, much like the funk music I love and the soul music I grew up to living in the ‘Chocolate City’.
What was the most important thing that happened to you in the past year?
One of the most important experiences I’ve had over the past year was spending a month in Abidjan, Ivory Coast working in the kitchen at Lepic Villa hotel. It gave me the opportunity to clear my mind and take a month away from music and the different projects I was working on at the time.
Take us through your creative process.
My creative process isn’t one that’s difficult, but it is one that’s my own. When it comes down to me making music it’s all about how I’m feeling - it’s all about the headspace I’m in. I try my best not to force lyrics. I notice that whenever I’m pushing too hard I take a step back, and I reevaluate what’s important. It’s a yearning to reach the high I felt when I recorded my first song. To be heard!
I take pride in being able to be a chameleon while working in a studio. I wanna to do a little bit of everything but I’m also fine focusing on the one area that the song needs at the time. Whether that be coming up with harmonies, messing around on the drums, or even cooking a little bit of food so that engineer doesn’t pass out.
How has originating from Washington DC influenced your art?
Growing up in Washington DC allowed me to experience a true melting pot. I was given the freedom to be funky, to enjoy rock, grow up around go go music which I think is one of the last few forms of expression that truly defines the essence of my city.
I grew up playing drums in church, my love for music grew exponentially from this point on. Living in DC my entire life made it so I never yearned for music, it’s surrounded me at all times.
What should the world know about DC in particular?
Something the world should know about DC, if you know you know; when you’re born and bred Washington DC you walk different.
What’s the change you would like to see most in the US?
A major change in the US that I’d like to see over the next few years is simple. I’d really like to see more youth given the opportunity to travel outside of the country. Access to passports should be a priority.
And in the music business? And most importantly; in yourself?
I truly think I can piggyback from my previous statement, the ability to travel allows young artists see parts of themselves they’ve never encountered. For me getting my passport at the age of 25 changed my life.
The next goal I have for myself is by age of 30 I want to have my feet imprinted on every continent. I’m really excited about visiting Asia.
What do you think of the current state of soul music and R&B?
To me R&B and soul music or alive and well. Two of the first places I travelled outside of the states was Amsterdam + London, both cities with a deep love for smooth R&B and soul music. Meeting people with similar taste, and an ear for silky production made me realise that I was on the right track and taking necessary risk in my creative process.
What is your favourite part about this line of work? Your least favourite? Why?
My favourite aspect of being a musician is meeting the people behind the sound. I’ve met some of my closest friends from simply listening to music and appreciating the art of sound.
I’d say my least favourite aspect of the music industry is that there Is a misconception that everything has to be cool. If people stop focusing on looking good there be more time for creation and unlimited hours for collaboration.
The home run for me, is meeting someone you idolise and they talk to you like a real person. They realise that music is just another way to connect and less of a clout game.
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Oh yes! The first time I got on stage I literally almost shit myself. It’s not a game, thank God I had a wet wipe.
Can you share a few of your all time favourite songs?
I have so many. My favourite songs represent different moments in my life. A song that will literally make me cry is Donny Hathaway ‘Givin Up’. But one of my favourite songs that provides motivation would be “Balm in Gilead” by Karen Clark-Sheard. My favourite artist may be Uku Kuut, RIP.