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With the amount of talented young artists constantly on the come-up in the Nigerian music industry, it’s safe to say our music industry is in safe hands.

The hip-hop game in Nigeria, is one that has been met with mixed reactions. While hip-hop has its core listeners, the genre has been largely playing second-fiddle to Afrobeat, with some rappers delving into the Afrobeat scene to try and create a name for themselves.

However, rappers like Blaqbonez, Dremo, MI and Vector have shown that it’s possible for hip-hop in Nigeria to grow on a large scale and be well-received, thus paving the way for upcoming artists such as Dash.

Today on Accelerate’s Rising Stars, we’re talking to upcoming rapper, Dash. A rapper, writer, football enthusiast and coach, Dash is on a journey to leave his mark on the music industry and ensure hip-hop never dies.

Can you tell us how your music career kicked off? 

Music basically kicked off for me because of the influence I had around me growing up. My dad especially loves music.. and then in secondary school.. there were a lot of music influencers such as Nonso Amadi, and a lot of other music groups. So yeah, at first it was more influence than passion.

You were once in a music group, what happened?

Yes! ‘TM Boys’. We all went down different paths, distance and all of that affected us, so we just had to dissolve the group. I miss making music with them though.

Has it always been music? Or you have passion for other things?

I love to write music and I write verses for other rappers. I’m also a Football enthusiast and coach. I currently coach a team in school (Unizik, Anambra).

How hard has it been combining music with school?

Broooo, it’s kind of the most difficult thing to combine effectively, because one must suffer, you can’t serve two masters at once. I barely record or perform. It’s depressingly tasking, cause pharmacy school  is as tough as it gets, practicals and classes dey choke….

Your style is described as laidback. What influenced your style?

Predominantly J Cole, MI Abaga and Vector.. amongst a host of others because i try to listen to everyone regardless of genre or style of music. And I’m a stress free person. From my sound, listeners can easily tell I don’t like stress.

And has this affected you from getting a larger audience and standing out?

Well, I don’t make energetic music so it’s difficult to get a large following for someone who is so laidback and “lazy” with the flow (laughs). But I think that’s my niche and I build on it everyday. I got real ones though, maybe not many but surely enough to keep me going.

Standing out is not as difficult though. I see myself, my sound and rap style as unique and which then naturally makes me stand out.

Dera

How is the music market?

Not even gonna lie, it’s kinda difficult right now, cause I’m an independent act. I’m solely dependent  on myself and work without a team or support. I don’t have the backing that comes from being signed to a label.

You must have had some difficult moments then.

I haven’t had extremely difficult moments but there have been hard times most definitely. eg. not getting picked for online competitions I participated in really put me down.. but we thank God and we move regardless.

What gets you in the zone to record music and what producer would you like to work with?

I shut myself out, plug in my headphones and maybe listen to some of my influences…or just keep bopping my head to different beats. It depends.

Dera The Boy is definitely someone I’d like to be in a studio with.

Who are the artists you’ve worked with and would be looking forward to working with?

I’ve worked with Kingrhatti of Penthauze Music, Hypabole, Curry amongst a host of other collaborative features i.e Cyphers and all.

I would kill to be in the studio with Ladipoe, his vibe is something I’d want to experience live. Vector and MI Abaga too. They plenty sha. Then young cats like Psycho YP, Fozter, Alpha P and Alpha Ojini amongst a host of others too.

i’d like to collaborate with as much young and upcoming rappers and musicians as myself, there’s no limit to what we can achieve if we come together.

Why haven’t you collaborated with any of the top boys?

It is very difficult cause the industry is a place for the strong hearted. Omo, person fit dey reason say him never blow finish why him go put you on. So that’s mostly what it’s about. They don’t reply dms or mentions lol, so i can’t even get into the process of negotiations.

Are there any upcoming acts like yourself we should be looking out for?

Rhatti is on his way up already, Hypabole, Chimy, Danybazz, Fozter etc.

Has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your music in any way?

On the contrary, it’s been positive (laughs out loud)..pun intended. Cause it’s given me an opportunity to self-reflect and work on myself and my craft. I’ve definitely gotten better and more confident in the past 3 months.

Are you looking to get signed to a label soon?

Well yeah, I’d love to get signed or be affiliated to a record label. The extra platform, push and financial assistance is highly needed. It would definitely help.

Should we be expecting a project soon?

Not any time soon, but I definitely have a lot of things in the works. I’m currently working on my EP and I would probably put out a couple of singles before the year ends.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I can’t say really but i know i’ll be a much better and much improved musician, and I hope to be more recognized than I am right now.

Finally, what do you have to say to your fans?

I want to thank you guys for all the support, please keep supporting and sharing my music. God bless.

To check out Dash’s music, they’re all available on Soundcloud. You can also reach out to him via Instagram or Twitter.

 

By: Muyiwa Aguda

See also: Rising Stars: Chulo

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