If you find yourself wanting to connect more with artists you love or find new ones to fall in love with then the "Artist of the Week" from Underground Uprising is a great way to do both. The Underground Uprising "Artist of the Week" Dame Daniels answered some questions for us and we are so excited to share his answers with you. If you are a fan of his or just tuning in, you'll definitely dig either way. Check out the full interview below.
Where is Dame Daniels from? What was it like growing up there?
"Well, I was Born in Salinas Ca, Spent my Childhood in A small Country town called King City In South Monterey County, 10 miles from Soledad State Prison, we are really mainly known for agriculture, Gang Bangin, and SellIn Drugs. I Spent my Teen’s/Adult life in Atlanta, Ga (East Atlanta To be exact). But Atlanta is what I know."
What kind of music did you listen to as a kid?
"I used to listen to a lot of a variety of music, anywhere between The Beatles to Temptations to Mc Hammer to Michael Jackson, always been a Fan of Elton John and John Lennon. I gotta give credit to my Mom and my Uncle who would Play they music around me when I was a kid. I didn’t really listen to too much Hip Hop Until my Pre-Teen Years."
When did you first start getting into rapping?
"I didn’t start getting into rap around 97-98. I ended up getting a Cassette Tape from a friend in the neighborhood, and it happened to be the Wu-Tang Forever Album. Once I listening to The Song “Triumph” I was hooked. No one was listening to the Wu Tang in Cali at the time that I knew of, they were listening to Darkroom familia and Bay music, Tupac ect, I had to be around 12-13 when I got into rap. I was so inspired by Inspecta Deck and Method Man this is what I wanna do."
Biggest challenge in your career so far?
"Honestly, Beating a Drug addiction while still being Active in Music had to been my biggest challenge thus far. I lost everything and Everyone at one point of my life, and at the time I always told myself, I WILL Bounce Back from this. Imagine The movie Hustle and Flow or 8 Mile. That was basically how it was for me. And on top of that I was sleeping on the streets. I used to sleep on Marta (Buses/Trains in Atlanta) I wound in Mental wards, this was around 2008. Things started to Turn around for me when I got my first deal with Mac Dre Thizz Ent. In 2011."
What do you think of the current state of AZ Hip Hop?
"Honestly when I first Came to Arizona Three Years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know who was who in Arizona. Of course you gone have haters and non-Believers, that’s everywhere u go. But the Way I see it, to me AZ is a very open market which I think I’ve Took advantage of. Far as artist, I only knew about Willy Northpole because of his Time with Ludacris and Distributing the peace. The only person from Arizona I’ve actually worked on music with is super producer Mex-Manny in 2012, before he dropped His Hit with Rihanna and Future (LOVVEEEE SONG) before he went Triple Platinum and walked away with a Grammy. Some of My personal Favorite Artists has to be J-Rob the Chief, Dann G, Futuristic, would love to work with those guys."
Top 5 Hip Hop albums of all time?
1) Z-Ro- Let the Truth be Told
2) Wu-Tang clan- Wu-Tang forever
3) Tech n9ne- Absolute power
4) Tupac- All eyes on me
5) T.I- Urban Legend
When was your first live performance? What was that like for you?
"I been performing literally my whole life but the one that stood out the most was a show I did in Atlanta in 2005-2006. It was a Club Call In Atlanta Called Frequency, me and Bro Greed were rockin. After our Set, the Dj wanted us to kick a 16 bar Verse. I ended up Doin the verse. At the time I used to rap like Twista, very Fast, and by the time I was done the whole Venue went crazy. One of The Editor’s who Worked At the Source Magazine was so blown away, he told me, “Give it a few more years and u gone be some serious”. It was one of the best feelings ever, I had to be around 19-20 when that happened."
8 - What artist inspired you the most?
"There is a Rap Artist out of Houston, Texas by the Name of Z-Ro I look up to the most. His music helped me when I hit Rock So much. I remember I was locked up and I heard this he got song called “T.H.U.G” (Tru Hero Under God) and that Song helped me get Clean, I would LOVE to reach out to Z-Ro one day and tell him thank you for changing my life."
9 - Who would you like to work with in the future?
"Honestly I really wanna Work with Dj Drama, I really wanna get a Gangsta Grillz with him. I’m really not big on workin with a lot of artist, I do a lot of solo Work, but I’d LOVE to get a Dame Daniels Gangsta Grillz goin one day. Shout out Dj Drama, he really changed the mixtape Game."
10 - What’s the next move for Dame Daniels?
"Right now I actually am workin on my New Project, “The Son of Junior”. Should be out later this year. I also have Started my own music scholarship I’m giving out at my old high school I'm giving my first one out this year. I’m also focusing more on my Label, T4 Records, our new Platform, Indie Plug Media, my manager has partnered up with me on, and a lot of my other businesses in the works, and just keep pushin out more music for the masses!"
by: Steven Sandage