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Interview With Seattle Artist Dave B At Summer Meltdown Festival

Home / Interview With Seattle Artist Dave B At Summer Meltdown Festival

Dave B is a Seattle born MC that has been living in New York for the past two years. Dave has been in New York working on new music, testing out a new creative space for his upcoming projects. He’s one of Seattle’s most talented hip-hop artists, blending his rapping and singing skills seamlessly through each record.

Interview With Dave B At Summer Meltdown

*This interview was edited for clarity*

Festival Crowds

“This is the most different festival I’ve ever fucking been too,” Dave said without hesitation.

Driving into the festival grounds and being greeted by white people in dreadlocks greeting him with “Namaste” isn’t something him or his crew has ever experienced before.

“It’s different, but I like it because I’m the only rapper here,” he explains. “I feel like they needed that.” 

Dave’s performance started a few minutes after the main stage act ended. Many people wandered over simply because he was the next act on. There were plenty of people in the crowd not familiar with his music.

“I should have been on the main stage, but they were fuckin’ with it.” Some people even knew the words and were bobbin with it, that shit was dope.”

Dave says that while performing for his own fans is different than performing a festival crowd, he doesn’t approach his sets any different.

“It’s like a first impression, it’s like a first date. You want to be on all your P’s and Q’s. You want to approach every show like that, but especially festivals. Everybody doesn’t know. You have all these new people around you, and it’s a blessing. You can cover all this new shit, and if these n***as wake up tomorrow and weren’t too fucked up, and remember, that’s it.”

At the end of the day,  the type of audience or venue isn’t as important as the effort put into each set.

“You just want to get people into it. It’s about energy, people feed off that. People only respond to what you give them. So every time you have to give them everything.”

 Musical Influences

 Post Performance Bliss

Coming off a performance that featured his live band for the first time in three years, they only had one rehearsal before showtime, but you couldn’t tell. The performance went off without a hitch in front of a hyped crowd.

“The shit was fuckin crazy. I’m still on a high. That shit felt really good,” Dave said.

“I don’t like listening to rap music that much.”

“I think if you’re making something and you listen to it, you don’t want to be influenced. You want your own approach.” 

 Writing Process, Balancing Rapping And Singing

“I can rap, but I don’t think of myself a rapper. I can sing, but I don’t think of myself as a singer. I think about melodies,  I think about pockets.”

Dave grew up envying artists like Lil Wayne who can just plain rap. He learned how to use brevity in his lyrics. Getting a message out in eight bars instead of 32, paired with a catchy melody, is a recipe for sticking songs in peoples heads until they’re screaming the lyrics out during shows.

“I always tell people I’m a musician and they say “what you play?” “Voice,” Dave responds. “That’s my best instrument. Find your pocket and how it feels to you.”

Dave doesn’t do anything special to prepare his voice for concerts. He just practices daily, takes care of his voice, and the rest comes naturally.

“I just do it. I’m not the best singer by far, but I sing. I sing every day. I sing in the shower, wherever. Take care of your voice and you don’t have to do crazy shit. I’m not out there doing all these high notes and falsettos.  I just know how I like my voice to sound and it is what it is.”

Interview With Seattle Artist Dave B At Summer Meltdown Festival

 NBA Free Agency And Preseason Return To Key Arena 

During his set, Dave spits some bars about the heartbreak he experienced when the Seattle Sonics left Seattle by way of Oklahoma City. This lead me to bring up the NBA’s preseason return to Key Arena, where the Golden State Warriors play the Sacremento Kings.

“I’ll be there for sure. Hell yeah!”

“This season is going to be interesting, but I don’t know what the fuck LeBron about to do. I have hella theories – like Lebron is gonna shut down that Lavar Ball shit. You can’t be mouthing off like that when you have LeBron James on the team.” 

Dave isn’t sold on the Lakers making the NBA Finals simply because of LeBron James. Kawhi Leonard didn’t end up on the team and Dave doesn’t believe LeBron James has enough power to get past the likes of the Warriors or Rockets in the Western Conference.

“They sent that mutha fucka [Kawhi Leonard] up north! He looked sad about it too.”

Dave and I lamented about the Isaiah Thomas situation and how he was forced to accept a veteran minimum contract for the Denver Nuggets, just two seasons removed from an MVP-esque season for the Boston Celtics.

“They did that n***a so dirty, as soon as they couldn’t use him anymore in Boston. His sister died, he did all this shit for you guys,  he got you into the playoffs and played his ass off every night. Y’all mutha fuckas played him.” 

Interview With Seattle Artist Dave B At Summer Meltdown Festival

 Seattle’s Rapidly Changing Culture 

Dave informed me during the interview that the Showbox Market was saved and is being turned into a historical landmark to protect it from Seattle’s tech-hungry developers.

“There’s so much shit that’s gone. We came back two days ago, ridin’ through, I’m like damn there isn’t shit here anymore. There’s no soul in Seattle anymore. That shit’s crazy, there are apartments everywhere.” 

“They’re trying to make Seattle this big city that it’s not. Seattle is never going to be New York or Chicago or L.A. Seattle is Seattle, there’s a soul here, there’s a feeling here, and there’s history here. That’s why people navigate here other than the tech.” 

Even Dave’s former elementary school is a stack of condos now. The city is changing quickly and many of his childhood memories don’t look the same.

“That’s why I’m glad they saved the Showbox because we can fight for something.”

 Future Projects 

“We just finished a project, so I’m excited about that.”

Dave’s newest project was entirely produced by Darius, a producer/DJ that has been a long time collaborator who also spun the show for him that night.

“We make all these songs for almost every project we’ve ever put out, but those songs don’t ever end up on projects, but everyone always says  these are the best fucking songs.”

After months on tour where he was writing constantly, the new project came together quickly once he was done touring. After a trip to guitar center and a weekend locked in his mom’s basement, the project was done.

“It’s my best shit ever. I got a whole gang of good shit on the way.”

Dave’s last album Pearl was based on a breakup with his ex, while this new project is a coming of age story.

“This shit is like growing up, growing pains type thing. It’s like dreaming out loud and staying in my moment. The chemistry he [Darius] and I have through all these songs just comes through.”

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