Artist Bio: I was born in Chicago and was raised in multiple cities throughout my childhood. The one central area I was mostly raised in is Englewood, Chicago.

I was bullied throughout most of my life and suffered severe depression. I started off doing poetry in the 3rd grade. It was a way for me to cope with the depression that I was going through.

Later on branch off into rapping and producing my own music. When my depression has gotten better, I branch off into dancing, acting, and drawing. As I got better and better in my craft I realized that I can do this full time.

In 2017, I made the decision to drop out of school and pursue my career full time. Even though my family had rejected me because of it, I believe 100% that, my music and my personality will get me extremely far.

My music and talents has gotten me the toughest times in my life and I just want the masses to relate my music in their own story.

1) What inspired you to be a part of the music industry?

What inspire me to be in the music industry is the hip hop culture. The culture has had a huge effect on my life in terms of how I dress, how I communicate with others, and what i think. Also nothing beats the feeling of performing in front of thousands and hundreds of thousands of fans and just vibing with the fans and connecting with them.

2) Talk to me about the making of your latest project. What was the inspiration behind it?

The inspiration behind my latest project is the situations that I had within myself, the situations I had with my friends and my family. This project was about me acknowledging past and evolving to the future leaving behind the haters, leaving the negativity behind and living a life of freedom.

3) What was the process behind making the project?

When making these songs, I was downstairs in the music room of the dormitory I was residing in. It was around midnight and thats when my mind really was in the mood to making music. When I open up ableton, I just started browsing through different samples and audios I have to see which one I like.

I found one sample for the song for Snap and I thought ” wow this is a hit.” So I just plug the sample in and let my imagination take over from there. Once I finish the song, I began to indulge in the song to see what I was going to make the song about. Once I find out, it took me a few minutes to write.

I just naturally let the words flow as if I knew what to write down. Same goes for the rest of the songs I made. I just browsed for a simple melody and let my imagination take over. Once I finish with the project it was around 5 in the morning and I was on pure determination and energy drinks.

I was so happy with what I made that I went to my dorm room, took a 7 hour nap and went to the studio to record my vocals and get it mix and master.

4) What are your thoughts on the hip-hop industry at the moment?

My thoughts on the hip hop industry overall is that I like where we stand. We some artists making good quality songs that express their story or situations to their audience.

Some artists are just making songs for people to have fun and dance to which that’s all people want to do is listen to music to dance and let loose. I think we are slowly advancing as a culture in my opinion.

More and more people are paying homage to those before us and more and more of the population are starting to recognize us and love us as a culture. In the billboard charts the top songs are hip hop. We still have room for growth but we are improving.

5) Do you enjoy grinding it out independently or would you prefer to be signed to a major label?

At a point in life, I did enjoy the independent grind. I love promoting my own music, having creative control over my music and doing it on my own.

But it hinders me from making music and performing my craft. Having a label to support me would allow focus on making good quality music and performing for my fans. I won’t have to stress about promoting my project.

6) What do you think goes into building a loyal fanbase?

I think what makes a loyal fan base is connecting with the fans on a personal level. Having the fans involved through the creative process of the project.

Having fans come on the stage to perform with me and have the fans send me design suggestions for merchandise. Providing fans content not only that I will enjoy but the fans we enjoy and relate to.

Also connecting with personal narratives and helping some fans with there situations.

7) What sort of online promo and marketing are you doing to reach your fanbase?

Right now I am putting my music on blogs and websites that target my audience that loves the hip hop genre. I am also using word of mouth marketing.

8) As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

I wear a bandanna on my head and two different earrings. Once I put these things on, it already made me different from any other artist.

My artist name is D1 and I kinda use the number 1 as my brand because it symbolizes my difference from everyone. That the things people are too afraid to do or decisions people are too afraid to make, I’m the only one to do.

My music has a classical and trap vibe to it and the songs sound different from what we heard today.

9) How do you currently make a living as an independent hip-hop artist? What sort of income streams do you have?

Right now my only source of income is streaming. I havent sold any records yet but I will soon.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.