David Dallashas been a busy fella in the last few years. Remember back in the day when he was Con Psy, a member of the rap group Frontline? Well the training wheels have rolled way past Pawarenga. D Dot has since pioneered a strain of distinctly home flavoured hip hop, a South Auckland flow for the ages. You could safely say the Kid is now on top. He's now the Man.
Dallas has had a bonafide hit with The Chemical Brothers flip ‘Take a Picture', the Jamiroquai sampling EPBuffalo Man and played Scribe at his own game in a majorly streamed George FM freestyle last year. He's also joined the Duck Down label based in New York and scored an endorsement from G Shock. The dude is basically clocking life as much as a Kiwi can. Oh yeah - and he's releasing a new album next week, the aptly titled Falling into Place.
How's your day been?
Not bad, just had an interview before.
Not too buggered then?
Yeah the interviews have just started...you're the second one of the day so your timing's good mate, not too far into it yet.
Your new album Falling into Place comes out next week. You've recently been doing shows and debuting some new songs live. How are you feeling leading up to the big release?
Yeah, I'm feeling good about it. We've just played shows in Wellington and Auckland and they were mental!
How are the crowds reacting to the new songs?
Really crazy. Obviously Runnin (Dallas' first single from Falling...) is big for us at the moment so we've been closing our set with that. The crowd goes H.A.M. They're super responsive to the new songs, but I can't wait for people to hear the rest of the record. I feel like there's even better stuff on there.
The production on Runnin is amazing. Sort of urgent, church soul stuff.
Definitely - all credit for Runnin has to go to Fire & Ice (Aaron and Jordan Iusitini, Dallas' current production team). They killed it. They were the ones that really pushed that song to me. We were in the studio working on something else and we suddenly got stuck. I was like "Man, I feel like we need a banger - there's none on the record!" (laughs) Aaron said "It's funny you say that, I've got a little something." And when he played the track, the three of us were all sitting there and as soon as the gospel sample and the drums kicked in, I was like "What is this!?" It sounded weird to start off with, but I didn't realise what it would become.
I actually had a verse which I'd written for another song the night before. I'd come up with some lyrics to clear my mind, as we were (approaching the) deadline for the record. I was supposed to be working on the album! Then as fate would have it, the verse fit perfect on that Runnin' track. As soon as I heard the verse and the beat together, it was like "Oh shit, this could be something".
It's come together perfectly I think. The samples on your songs really paint a picture - how involved are you in the production of the songs and do they reflect your music taste? I mean, you've got a whole EP based around Jamiroquai (2012's Buffalo Man).
Something like the Jamiroquai thing - that was my project that I'd always wanted to do. I was such a fan of the band growing up and I knew the depth of their back catalogue. They did records that actually had scope. I think a lot of people consider them a dancey funk band and that's it, you know? But they've got jazz influenced stuff, slow ballads too - so I talked to Fire & Ice about it and they loved Jamiroquai. So we said "cool, man - let's do it then."
But for Falling into Place, I'm in charge of picking what I use. Fire & Ice will try and pitch certain beats that they've made, which is cool, but at the end of the day I choose what I go with. Me and those boys have similar tastes and that's why we have a good creative relationship. Even outside of the stuff we make, if I hear a new song and say it's the shit, nine times out of ten, Jordan and Aaron will think the same.
It sounds like you've become more and more assured with your sound. It sort of jumps out at you every time it's on the radio - obviously you're repping the Kiwi accent in your songs, which is awesome. It's like you're reaching a point of difference that sets you apart from other rappers out there.
Yeah, and that's what we have to do. You can't really establish a style and a sound without a solid production team. My relationship with Fire & Ice, 41 and P-Money as executive producer, that's how it's eventually developed - just picking the right sort of sounds for us. The music that we want to make, and the music that we like.
So, you've done Rhythm and Vines and the BW Soundshell over the years. What's the main thing you're looking forward to this timearound?
Just the new record. When we got off the stage in Auckland, the band said to me "Yo, wait until we do Runnin' at Rhythm and Vines!" (laughs) There are certain songs on the record that will work really well live, and Runnin's definitely one of them. You want those big, anthemic songs in your set that just have energy. I can't wait man, we're all looking forward to it.
‘Runnin' and the new record will definitely gain some traction by the time of Rhythm and Vines.
It's just gonna be good timing for us. Falling... comes out next week, and there's enough time for it to settle in but still be fresh by the time New Years rolls around. Runnin won't be rinsed by then. It's gonna be cool.
Are you planning to release any of the Ruby Frost collaborations from Falling into Place?
We've actually just shot a video for one of the songs that features Ruby. They were actually the first songs we did for the album, and they're the only ones that have made it from the material I was working on (in 2012). Everything else had begun around mid-January of this year, after we'd finished all our shows over summer.
We didn't come out of the studio until the end of May. Then we had a finished album - written, mixed, recorded in one period. I've never had a record like that before, where the songs haven't been sitting there for a couple of years. It's very fresh, even to me.
Who are you looking forward to at Rhythm and Vines?
Wiz Khalifa, definitely. I've seen him twice before. He does his thing live and I've been a big fan of him since he started out. I don't know if we're going to get to see him though, 'cause we're playing Rhythm and Alps on the 30th and he plays that same night in Gisborne. He'll be sick though! I'm looking forward to Chet Faker too. One of my boys Ta-Ku has done some stuff with him.
To finish it off, how would you describe Falling into Place in a couple of words?
(pauses) Gritty. Sincere. But still pretty.
Falling into Place is released October 16th, and available for pre-order on iTunes now. His next show is this Saturday, the 12th of October, at Hamilton's Altitude bar.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.