BY: GABY MORENO
Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,
Today I will be sharing with you all an interview I did with the amazing rapper and singer Dana aka DP the Unknown. I had the pleasure of sitting down with DP and getting to talk to her about how she got into music and her journey. Also we discuss her EP “Gone Fishing”, which is a great body of work! One of my favorite EP’s of 2019. You can check my EP review I did on that project at the following link: https://7octoberz.com/2019/07/05/nightmare-on-sedgwick-avenue-we-are-all-in-the-same-boat-dp-the-unknown-gone-fishing-ep-review/ . Dana is a genuine person full of positivity and truly talented! She is also filled with lyrical wisdom. Thank you Dana for inviting me to your listening party a few months back to get to listen to your project in its entirety near the beach which matches the theme of your EP. I had a great time conversing with you and getting to know you a bit more. Please read below to get to know DP the Unknown.
1. Please introduce yourself to those who might now know who you are.
I go by DP the Unknown, they are my initials for Dana Patrice. I’m from San Diego (laughs)
2. Please share with us your journey and how you started rapping. How long have you been making music? How long have you been performing live?
I’ve been writing poems and digital art stuff like forever. When I was 16 my brother brought me to this studio where we could record for free. But I had originally went there to work on digital art. He asked me why don’t you do something for fun on this beat. Little did he know I’ve been writing poems like forever, but I just never shared it cuz I didn’t think it was important or anything.
So basically my brother got me started at like 16 years old. Last year I started taking it more serious. My first performance was at 16 and then years of nothing since I wasn’t taking it serious. Me and my brothers would do shows since we had a group, but also do our separate things.
3. How do you hone your craft and performance? I saw you perform at Hope 4 the Homeless and you killed it!
I listen to all types of music so I try to merge that into my sound too. I liked to be versatile and not just give one type of style. Just make music everyday, sing or hum whenever I can.
4. You just dropped an EP called Gone Fishing which is dope! Why title it that? What does the album mean to you? I interpreted it as we are all in the same boat called life and it is up to us to make the best of this life!
So many reasons why I gave it that title. I feel like that saying alone can be interpreted in so many ways and that is what an artists supposed to do. Me originally the idea was me going on this fishing trip by myself and really owning in on my thoughts and like my feelings. Letting it all out and reeling in people in with hooks and stuff. It can mean a lot, so that is how I got that idea. When I would get off of social media, I put in my bio “Gone Fishing” cuz I would need a break from this or I need to go think. Social media is a lot sometimes so I had to get away. I was like okay let’s make this a project and make a full concept.
5. How did you get into the San Diego Hip Hop scene?
I’d say since last year I started taking it more seriously and staying consistent. My brother would have people who would do events and we would perform, but that was before I took it serious. Then last year Verde brought me to her shows and that really got me started.
6. What or who inspires your lyrics?
I don’t know, I be in my head a lot so I think a lot. So I feel like I just need to write it down so I can get it out. I’m like a philosopher always pondering.
7. Some of your lyrics have a bit of spiritual wisdom and self belief which is dope! You touch on manifesting and positive thinking? How did you get into that mind set and incorporate it in your music?
Well these past years I’ve felt lost. I was doin a lot of bullshit, but now that I am transitioning and about to move, taking on new journeys. If I can do it, you can do it! As long as you remain consistent type of thing. I just want to spread positivity and also be real!
8. What do you think of artists like Russ who promote self belief, music ownership and manifesting your dreams? Sometimes he is seen as arrogant because he is proud of his accomplishments, but he is sharing knowledge that other rappers fail to do. What are your thoughts on that?
I think it is a good thing, but like as long as they’re not being fake about it. Practice what you preach! Also the consumer has to know, you are making an artist your idol, they are not always gonna meet your standards if they do something wrong. Everyone has negatives and positives.
9. Do you have other music genres that influence your lyrics?
I love R&B, R&B is probably my first love! I was making R&B a lot and so this was so different for me, to make some hip hop and different topics. I was always talking about love, sex and all that (laughs). So this was a huge change and I kept telling people. I was kinda scared to release it cuz they are expecting a different side of me and it’s a different vibe.
10. When and why did you fall in love with hip hop and the culture?
I grew up a Hip Hop kid. We do have a choice, but me personally living in City Heights I grew up around it. Hip Hop and R&B it is really all I know. One album that really inspired me was Pharrell’s In My Mind, it was crazy, he inspired me so much. I am really trying to work with him!
11. What is your favorite rap album of all time? Why?
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill . She touched on the Hip Hop, R&B and Soul. She gave us all of it in one! It really helped me through tough times. In High School I listened to the whole album.
12. Who are your favorite emcees dead or alive? Who inspires you?
Mick Jenkins really inspired me! When I started to take myself serious that was one of the people I was listening to The Waters album and Noname
13. What about favorite R&B singers right now?
So many right now, Summer Walker, H.E.R. and SZA. Those are my top 3.
14. What has been your greatest accomplishment so far as a creative?
Manifesting a bigger audience, like touching people a little more with songs that have depth to it, instead of just love songs. You know some love songs have depth to them, but other topics cuz you know that is not what the world is.
15. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind either creatively or on a personal level?
I just want to be the example that you can do whatever you wanna do in your life whether it is music or sports. If you wanna be a doctor or lawyer, do whatever you wanna do that makes you happy, cuz you’re not here forever! It would be a sad way to go out. If you die doing what you love then everyone is going to remember you as that person.
16. What is your favorite scary movie and why?
One that tripped me out since I saw it when I was young was “Orphan”. Also I like “Child’s Play” and “Jeepers Creepers”.
17. Do you believe in the supernatural or ghosts? Any experiences or know of anyone who has?
I try not to or I would drive myself crazy (laughs). I feel a higher power tho.
18. What advice or words of encouragement would you give to someone who might be scared to follow their dream whether it be music or something else?
Utilize your resources, there’s like little blessings around you that you probably aren’t taking advantage of. Whether there are open mics that are for free, it is an opportunity to grow. Yeah, take advantage of your resources and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Once you get started keep the momentum!
19. Who are some of your favorite artists from San Diego? Whether singers, musicians or rappers?
So many, but I got say my brother of course he is super talented J.A the unknown. Sir Karri, Keon Forbes, Curtis Cartier, Verde! Too many!
20. You’re EP didn’t have any features which is dope because if shows you can hold your own! On future projects is there any SD artists you want to collaborate with?
Yeah, I really wanna collaborate with John Givez, he is kinda bigger he is in Oceanside. Cali the Dreamer, do some more tracks with Verde, Sir Karri and Fresh Heir.
21. Which song off your new EP do you like the most and why? What would you like your supporters and listeners to take away from this project?
They are all my favorite, but the one that I made spontaneously was the last song “Gone Fishing Forever”. I love that at 3am I made the beat and that night I couldn’t sleep until I got this off my mind. I was like this is really good! I’m not usually too confident in myself , but I was like I know this is really good and I really love the words that I put into this cuz its the perfect way to end it. It was the last song and I was struggling. I had like 3 outros and I made that and I was like the rest of them are trash this is it!
Whatever you want to take from it and however you interpret it! As long as it is positive really, cuz there is different messages in each song. But just stay true, work towards your dreams and don’t stop!!!
22. Any shout outs to any people or platforms that you are involved with or have supported you and your music.
I wanna shout out my mom because she is super supportive in everything I do! If she can come to a show she will come to it, if it’s not a crazy bar (laughs). She’s there, she supports the music, she doesn’t try to tell me no music isn’t for you. She tells me if I want it, go get it! It’s been like this forever. She has been doing her thing as a single mom! My immediate family, my sister, nieces, my brother in law and my brother. They have been the most supportive people ever. It is great to have them and a foundation so when you do go out in the world you have real people.
Links to keep up with her music:
Thank you Dana for your time and being down to do this interview! I truly appreciate you!!! Keep making relatable and inspirational music! Of course also keep representing for the ladies! To my readers and supporters hope you all enjoyed reading this interview. Go give DP the Unknown a follow @dptheunknown to keep up on her latest projects! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads. While you’re at it please feel free to follow my blog on social media @7octoberz Instagram and Facebook! Also follow me on Spotify, Itunes, Anchor.fm/7octoberz, Google Play Music to listen to the rest of my audio interviews under: “Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue“.