Blog / a voice of rhythm, reason, & reality

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Dashius Clay

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Dashius Clay

Twitter is amazing. I have met so many people on there. People that don’t “get” Twitter need to create an account and try it out. I met Dashius Clay on Twitter, and was immediately impressed with his level of engagement and more importantly his music. He has a wide range of sounds from rap to electronic dance music. His work is great, and I love his videos. Oh, and his lyrics. Styles like this make me think about David Correy, a performer who has coined his genre as “urban rock”. This is also something I would consider urban rock. That genre actually makes sense once you have heard these lyrics. Anyway, Dashius was excited about the interview so I will stop talking. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Dashius Clay.

What is ArtistExtraordinair™ all about?

So many people ask me what I really am. They see me with all kinds of production and songwriting credits, my own videos, songs, art, and so on that I wanted to find a way to tie it all together without sounding like a human Wikipedia. ArtistExtraordinair™ is the most descriptive way to decipher me. I am just an artist in pure form. I take what the world offers, bend it to my liking, and redistribute it back for others.

You have almost 24,000 followers on Twitter. That makes you a celebrity in my book! Do you manage your Twitter campaign?

I have always been the only person with my Twitter password until this year. Luckily I get a little help everyday with a couple of the posts and RT from my website, and basically anybody else that’s a company or social platform. The fans and friends are strictly off limits. I am the only one that is allowed to respond or RT their stuff. I never want to be put in a bad predicament because someone tries to think “as” or “for” me.

As you know, I love beats. How did you get started with dance music?

Dance music is in my blood. Growing up, my mother was obsessed with freestyle and dance music like no other, so anywhere I went, in the car with her or when we were both home, that was being played. I kind of left it alone growing up because of how much I was into the “MTV World”, but around 18 it just came full circle and I started writing those kind of records. Once I had the power to produce those kind of songs, it turned me into Mr Hyde.

Your rhymes are what make your music powerful. Do you write all of your own lyrics?

Of course! I don’t trust anyone to write good enough for me. It would be a complete insult for anyone to even offer such a thing.

You have iPhone ringtones. That is pretty slick. What is your ringtone?

(Laughs.) I have about 20 ringtones on my iPhone for different people and different reasons, but it’s funny because of the way I made my ringtones. The music and the lyrics that I select actually pertain to the caller. Friends get funny ringtones, business gets serious music, and I have something else for the women in my life.

I love the artwork on “Celebrating Pain”. I like the cover on “Wake Up” too. Who does all of your graphic design?

With the exception of a couple of pieces, I have been the one behind all that. Visual is just as, if not more, important than the audio for me. We live in a very visual world, especially with the power of the Internet. I love to capture ideas and attention with the designs. Graphics are today’s first impression so its gotta be shocking, fun, and has to be worth more than a thousand words at first glance.

What is 1 Life Entertainment?

1 Life Entertainment is the independent label I’m a part of. Its home to me and a handful of other great artists. (NoEmotion GoldMask, Fader Lima, Regie Ray, Justincredible, Sarcazm, OverDos Y Rey De Corazon.) For starters, its a great home cause we have every genre of music so I have learned a million things through just watching them do their thing. Secondly, because they have all been legitimately successful, whether placements, plaques, sales, or tours, so it has introduced me to a lot of great and important people I might not have had on my own road.

It looks like you have had some success on YouTube as well.

I have learned that people don’t actually know what they want. So what’s best for them is to keep them on their toes and entertained. I will get to 5 million hits by the end of the year, that is all I know. There are so many artists that are content with feeding the same mediocre crap just to try and stay afloat. I don’t think or work like them so I excel and they don’t.

I called it dance music… but it is more than dance. It’s pop. It’s also R&B. Why don’t you just pick a genre and focus on that style?

A lot of people say that’s my biggest downfall, but I say otherwise. The reach, respect, and power I have in all these different communities gives me the upper hand. It’s not like I’m mediocre in each genre. I feel like I’m one of the best at each one so giving up on one doesn’t make too much sense to me. My fans are all really understanding and it’s a platinum feeling every day someone tells me or gives me the credit for introducing them to new sounds or genres.

You haven’t been doing this long… your first project was in 2011. Where did all of this material come from?

They come from basically living in studios for the past year. It has been non-stop every single week and has only been getting busier. I live my life to the fullest so ideas are always at hand. I am mainly inspired by how I live and what I experience so it all stems from that.

I am hooked on the new ALKIMUS single… Tell The World is a GREAT song. Is it possible to listen to that track and not dance?

I don’t think so. I wish I would have actually got behind the scenes of the recording and writing process because it was just a big party with a bunch of drinks, smoking, and dancing that night. That’s why you can feel it in my voice. I was on cloud 9.

Where can I get some Dashius Clay merchandise?

For now, I have shirts, sweaters, and iPad cases on www.dashiusclay.com for everyone. But there is a new line that I’m dropping this summer. I’ve been dwelling on the idea for a collection to go out this summer but finding the right designer that I can see eye-to-eye with has not been easy. I’m a pretty difficult person to deal with when it comes to anything I brand my name on.

I am currently living in the Midwest. Any chance I will see you on tour this summer?

Definitely. Europe has been in the plans for the past 3 months, but we have a lot to consider with the next few releases I have. Timing is everything and we don’t want to jump the gun. We feel strongly about what’s next, but right after that the States are definitely in my plans.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened on stage?

In one of my first shows ever I accidentally elbowed my hype man. It gets pretty crazy up there for some songs, and he just happened to get caught in the middle of it. I don’t think too many people noticed it, but he sure did. The bruise was there for about a week. As matter of fact, I have pictures somewhere, maybe I will post them on the site.

What is #TeamDashiusClay all about?

That is anyone who supports ArtistExtraordinair™. I am a fan of my fans so we are a team rather than a crew. They depend on me and I depend on them, exactly how a team is supposed to function.

What happens if I call it a dance track?

Then I’m going to have to report you to Retro and Slo V.

There are a lot of great bands out there… but who are you listening to these days?

I’m enjoying just about everything that’s out right now.

In your opinion, how has the Internet changed the way people absorb music?

I don’t want to answer this question for the fact that I have so much positive, yet so much negative, to say about it. It’s truly a bittersweet world.

Speaking the Internet, can I find your tunes on Spotify?

Yes, you can find my music everywhere except for a garbage can or shelf collecting dust.

You are an artist, songwriter, and producer. Do you prefer one over the other?

I love being an artist above all of them, because only I know how to properly deliver my visions. I trust no one else to do it correctly.

Where are you originally from?

Cali, Colombia.

You have remixed guys like Bruno Mars and Mike Posner. When you sit down to remix a track like that, do you need permission?

Technically you do. I have only gotten permission for half of the records I have done to date. It was one of the reasons I got turned off to doing remixes for so long. A lot of times artists would give me their blessing and then the label would turn around and give us hell for it. So when a record of mine hits 25,000 views in one day and then gets taken down, all it does is anger me and frustrate #TeamDashiusClay. Last year I actually had a Twitter battle with @deadMau5 that got pretty nasty over my “I Can See You Watching” record which was a remix to one of his songs. In the end I won because the record got over 100,000 views in less than 12 hours. I actually still laugh at that situation cause it taught me a lot. As for my thoughts on him as a person, no comment. Actions speak louder than words.

What is Broke Heart + Anger?

Broke Heart + Anger is one of the main singles and the theme to “Celebrating Pain”. It’s my thoughts on an ex-lover of mine put to music and melody. Sarcazm laid the perfect foundation for my feelings one night while we were working on the album, and I had walked in literally seconds after a big argument. Needless to say that was the fastest song I wrote on the whole project. We ended up teaming with iamKingXXI who is MY FAVORITE director. He translated it into a mini-movie that really ended up being one of the biggest launch pads for my music this year. We got nominated a few times and were included in a couple film festivals so that was out of this world for me.

Beer. Wine. Spirits. What’s your poison?

Champagne, wine, sour diesel, and a successful and independent woman to accompany me.

Have you ever heard your work on the radio?

No. I used to think I wanted to maybe be a radio host, but that’s a very demanding job. I have my moments when I need my space and when you’re on the air there is no time for that. You gotta be in high spirits and ready to give the people what they tune in for. If I do ever have a show, I want it to be 100% under my control so I can play and say what I want, how I want, and when I want.

How do you celebrate pain?

With a beautiful woman and champagne.

Has anyone ever said you look like Vin Diesel?

I use to get that a lot more when Fast & Furious first came out, but I also get compared to every bald light skinned celebrity out there. It will never end.

You spend a lot of time in the studio. Do you ever get bored?

A lot of times! It’s not all fun and games in there. We have a lot of downtime or just moments lacking inspiration, so we have to find other means of entertainment or ways to spark some new ideas. I’m in there 2-3 days straight sometimes getting projects completed, so it can get very tiresome. I try to break free as much as possible to keep my mind and attitude fresh.

I haven’t seen you live… yet. But what can fans expect from your live performance?

A LIVE PERFORMANCE… All capital letters. Each show is different depending on my mood or the event, but you will definitely become attached to each song while I perform them.

Trago has a sweet beat… but I can’t understand any of the words. What languages do you speak?

Wow! I’m blown away that you went that into my music. I was producing for a Latin artist at the time, and that was a record I had created for myself just out of wanting to get the idea out as a reference record. Over Dos came to the studio that night and immediately fell in love with it. It was a perfect fit for his album, so it was a no-brainer. The only other language I speak is Spanish, but I’m learning French and Creole at the moment.

LMFAO is fun… but are they good?

I can’t hate on what they do. It makes complete sense to me on why it works and also the politics behind their success. I do not think they have the “longevity factor” to them, but then again I’m surprised every day by what goes on in this world, so anything can happen.

What’s the best concert you have ever been to?

My favorite so far has been Chromeo. I am making it a goal to catch SADE this year, so I’m sure that will be a once in a lifetime experience but so far Chromeo takes the cake. Their music is amazing.

Is Dashius Clay your real name?

If I told you, I would have to kill you.

You seem busy… but what’s next? What else can we expect in 2012 from Dashius Clay?

You can expect 2011 on steroids. It’s getting bigger, better, and more serious by the day. As long as I care to keep learning, perfecting my craft, and being inspired, you can expect the unexpected from me.

I know you are busy, so thank you for taking the time to do this. I can’t thank you enough! In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.

I am not here on this world to be anyone’s friend, father, or role model. I am here to do whatever I want  however I want. If you appreciate what I’m doing, then let’s make history.

Dashius Clay

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