Da Face is a hard-working, passionate Rapso artist out of the island of Trinidad/Tobago. Da Face had a 10 year career in Software Development while working on his music on the side before diving into his passion full-time and became the joint founder and CEO of Future Crab Studios and a full fledged Rapso artist. So far, he has released one solo album, five solo mixtapes, two joint mixtapes with a group called Mecasmiastic Ent, and a joint mixtape with a hip hop artist. Now Da Face is getting ready to release a new studio album which will be titled “Mogul Music” set to launch this year.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I was always writing poetry from very young. The (embarrassing) catalyst was yours truly being booed off stage at a competition in a Trinidadian university I attended called UWI. I sat in my room later thinking - "if I did a song instead of a poem I wouldn't have been booed". From that time on, I started writing verses over Hip Hop beats. My cousin Natasha is the one I would credit with making me take music seriously. Over time I developed my style to mix Hip Hop with the native music of my country Calypso. So my genre is now Rapso which is actually an existing genre indigenous to my country.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
The craziest thing that has happened to me is establishing my own recording studio Future Crab Studios in 2016. Up to that point I had been paying to record in other studios, saving and having to be judicious with studio time. Now, I can give my music the attention it requires. Almost daily I have to pinch myself. It's literally insane to me to just be able to record casually and have my mix engineer and fellow business partner be able to give it a quality mix and master on the fly.
What has been the high point of your music path?
The highest point of my music path thankfully is without doubt my present state. I've had a few high points like crossing 100,000 views with the song "Cheese Pie and Pack Juice" in 2012, which is plenty for an upcoming artiste on a small island like Trinidad and Tobago. But owning my recording studio now and readying my second solo studio album and being able to give it the proper production and marketing effort is definitely my highest point thus far.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I like to write to an existing beat. I'm very hip hop in that sense. I take note of topics as I experience things and when I get a beat the connects with it I write. I'm very quick with lyrics so if I'm feeling it I can finish a song in an hour or too. But these days I've found myself re-writing verses to ensure that they are as close to perfect as possible. In terms of location, I like to write in a personal room at home. I usually record a demo version of the song home, a really rough version, and then go to my studio and record the actual. I've also included a lot more pop standards in my verses and started experimenting with structure. Like including pre-choruses and bridges more and codas.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
The biggest challenge is that the value of a song has dropped financially at least in the short term. I think in time streaming will make up for it but the era of selling a cd for $10US is dying and artistes will have to adapt. Not to mention the fact that cds as a medium for listening to music is on its way out. Even buying music digitally is waning. Streaming is here to stay. In Trinidad and Tobago, most people listen to music on and rip music from YouTube. Most streaming services don't work in our region. Only Apple Music and few have subscribed. My primary source of revenue for my last album was selling cds at shows. For my new album Mogul Music dropping in 2018, I know I'll have to be more creative this time around.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I apologize but I can't name just one. Lil Wayne or Kanye are my international picks. They are my favourite rappers and have been highly influential to me. Wayne for his creative, free-associative, punchline style and Kanye for his artistry and even his inflection-heavy style of rapping. Locally I would say Machel Montano and M1, two soca artistes from Trinidad and Tobago. Machel is the god of soca down here and M1 epitomizes a lyrical style of soca which is traditionally party music.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I prepare in my room. Sometimes I practice and get feedback from my brother Daniel Hamilton who is a soca artiste. I try to picture what the venue will be like so I can get my movement and everything in place.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
A song called Spirit of Trinidad (www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBMOP2MSuJA) off my album Kaiflo (noisetrade.com/DaFaceTrinidad/kaiflo). That album is collaboration between myself and a Trinidad and Tobago Hip Hop artiste called Enginear. He came up with the concept which is centered around highlighting the positives of our country. But I couldn't nail it particularly because so much bad was going on in Trinidad at that time. So eventually I ended up being the Yang to his Ying and speaking about the not so good. I rewrote that entire 32 bar verse like 5 times until it felt right.
Take a break from the interview to enjoy some music from Da Face!
What's coming up in the future?
The most important thing is my album "Mogul Music" dropping in 2018. It will be available everywhere digitally. To accompany it, I'll be releasing several music videos. The first two will be out before May 2018. Hopefully I'll be able to share some on this site. I'm working hard on making a name for myself and Trinidad and Tobago on a global level musically. 2018 will be great! Can't wait!!!
Where can fans can access your music.
First and foremost all links to my music can be found on my official website: thehardestworkingtrinidadartiste.com/music/ Secondly, follow me on Spotify to get access to my latest upcoming tracks: open.spotify.com/artist/3bNh4fIYSxC0b2UpMY4pVE