Muzilog had a chance to speak to Dunson as he prepared for his show, “Gypsy Soul presents Ear Candy featuring Dunson & Bianca Raquel” in Baltimore, MD. He has escaped corporate America. No more 9-5, Monday through Friday, in the office behind the desk. This former Financial Advisor is not an uptight, man in a suit, but a free-flowing emcee. So, how does one make the transition? Are the analytical skills required to be successful in that career transferrable to formulating the perfect mixtape?
“Coming from financial background, you definitely have to the analytical piece involved. When I’m making music, I try not to think about business. I’m trying not to think about how it’s going to sell or anything like that but it is true that along my career I’ve tried to integrate a more generic theme that would touch a wider audience. When you first start off as a young artist, you’re like, “Man, I’m just going to spit anything that is on my mind. I just want to hear myself talk.” After awhile you come to a point where you feel like I’ve done enough for me, now I want to make this track about heartbreak; I want to make this track about feeling good or maybe celebrating or flying away. From that standpoint you become more strategic about what kinds of songs you’re putting on a project. But at the end of the day, you’re still trying to find you’re artistic presence in that theme.”
So, how is the value of the stock, “Dunson: The Investment” determined? “The work has been put in from a material standpoint. We do have a lot of material on the net where you can search my name and find something. Now, it’s where you have to have something that resonates on a wide scale and once it does, people will search you and see that your ground work has been done. I feel very proud of the groundwork that has been done and we’re going to take it to the next level. This will solidify the legitimacy of what I do as an artist. I already have my two feet on the ground artistically, so this has got to be a solid project.” The ground work consists of two albums, “Creative Destruction” and “Creative Destruction 2”. What an oxymoron! “Yeah, it is! I went to school for economics and creative destruction was a term where it’s like the VCR was dope until the DVD came out. The DVD destroyed the VCR because of people’s creativity. So, better things will kill the current thing. To me, I use it more as a personal term because once I started to be a full-time creative and quit the investment gig; I went through a lot of hardships. Brother went from having his own crib, car, to having his car repossessed and living at his Mom’s spot making records. You’re going to destroy your financial well-being and some places your respectability; People are like, “What are you doing?” just to be a full-time creative. So, until it turns that corner, you’re going to feel rough. If you look at the cover of my cd, I look like a freakin’ inmate, because that’s how I felt at the time. It was rugged.”
How does one make the sacrifice? We have heard tells of starving artist, but most of them were starving when they started and were forced to make their dreams happen. How does one just walk away from the comforts of life and their career to chase their dream? “It was a conscious decision. It was something that I always thought about. Every time I was sitting at a desk talking with a client about the downturn of the economy, I was thinking I’d much rather be in Manhattan recording records. It was a conscious decision, I had no obligations, I was 25 (years old), I had a few grand saved up; I was like let me try it. I fell flat, it was trial and error but I decided to take that risk because if you never try, you’ll never experience that and you’ll always be like “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” I’ve seen enough people like that.”
Dunson was able to make it to New York for recording. The groundwork caught the ear of Grammy-nominated production team, The Phatboiz, with whom he has developed a collaborative relationship. They have teamed up with Dunson to produce 5 songs for the upcoming album, which will also feature John Legend and many other guest rap artists. Dunson visited The Phatboiz in New York and recorded his new single, “Count On It” in the same evening. The track has a sample that the child in you is sure to remember. “Once it hit the waves on the internet people were like, “Man, It’s such a nostalgic track”, it drew them in to actually listen to the lyrics. Then, they were like this cat can spit too, that kind of hinges of what I was speaking about. It’s like look me up, I have more already out there.” It’s a feel good track with nice lyricism, but I can show you better than I can tell you. Download it for free!
Stay tuned for “Dunson: The Investment” coming soon! For more information on Dunson please visit: kentondunson.tumblr.com.
Article by Shani Elliott
Photographs courtesy of Gypsy Soul and Diamond Digital Portraits.