Have you ever been moved by a record so much, you were almost afraid to listen to it from end to end a second time, for fear that the same emotions would arise again?
I’ve had this happen to me twice this year alone. Two records that sent my emotions running, and both were created by Soulection artists.
One of them I’ll keep to myself. I may reveal the answer later.. Who knows?
The other, however, is the debut release of Dpat’s “In Bloom”.
I wrote a review on the record earlier in the year, but honestly, I held back A LOT. At the time, it seemed almost impossible to articulate what I wanted to say in words.
It’s sort of the same feeling I had when I found out I had the opportunity to interview the artist behind the record.
At only 23 years of age, Dpat is a producer and artist on the rise, blending smooth and soulful R&B with live instrumentation, resulting in the soundtrack you need when you’re reflecting and needing to contemplate on things. Something I’ve been doing a lot of lately.
It’s time for you to get to know Dpat.
1. Introduce yourself.
My name is David, I’m based out of Houston, and I make music under the name Dpat.
2. Where did the moniker Dpat come from?
It’s a play on my real name and it’s a nickname I’ve had since I was a kid.
3. You recently released your debut record, “In Bloom”. Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind the record and some of its influences?
“In Bloom” was created over a long period of time – it took about a year for me to shape it into how I envisioned and to finally finish it. For the most part, the album was created while I was by myself in my room. I think that’s the best way of listening back to the album too.. alone with your headphones on. It’s a dark, intimate, bedroom-anthem album so I think it works well in that setting.
My musical background was an organic one and starting out playing instruments definitely shaped the creation of “In Bloom”. I approached the album with a mindset of combining electronic sounds with acoustic ones simply to challenge myself and hear the outcome.
I love genre-bending music; for example, hearing James Blake sing some soulful vocals over electronic synths and beats is amazing and unique to me. Neo-soul, R&B, electronic, and hip-hop have all deeply influenced my music, even if it’s a certain drum pattern or a bass line, they all have their part encoded in the DNA of my music.
4. What’s your favourite track off “In Bloom” and why?
‘Over’ is the one that resonates with me the most. It was the last track I created for the album and the one that sparked my drive to finally close the chapter of “In Bloom”. I had hit a creative plateau and was completely lost in what else would fit sonically with the rest of the tracks, until I laid down the opening drums and the rest just flowed out really naturally.
5. Your music has been described as dreamy and poetic to introspective and laidback. How would you define your sound?
6. Where does collaboration come into play with your craft, and which artists/producers do you hope to work with in the near future?
Sampha is an artist I would love to work with. I want to work with more singers because even though it’s fun to chop up sampled vocals, coming up with original melodies and hearing it over your production is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I definitely want to expand on that, for sure.
As far as collaboration, I’m lucky to not only have talented artists around me, but great people as well. Sango and Atu are two artists that I will forever be collaborating with. We’ve all been on each other’s albums and it’s always awesome to open up someone else’s session, step into their creative space and see what you can come up.
7. What’s getting heavy rotation on your iPod at the moment?
Inc.’s album “No World” is probably my favorite album of 2013. Rhye, Sampha and King Krule have been on heavy rotation as well.
8. It seems producers / beatmakers are gaining more prominence than vocalists lately and people have a genuine interest in finding out more information about those behind the scenes. How do you feel about that?
It was an important step that needed to take place. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and the audience usually only sees the tip of the iceberg. It’s great that people are starting to investigate who produced what and sometimes, it’s even a pre-requisite to determine what tracks they want to listen to first.
It’s awesome that it’s led to the fact that producers are given a chance to step into the spotlight and make a name for themselves. It would be great if this evolved into other artistic formats and we made rockstars out of graphic designers, directors, etc.
9. Pay it forward: What’s the best advice you’ve received that you would be happy to share with others?
“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”
10. What are you currently working on, and what’s next on your agenda?
I’m currently working on my live show experience. I’m going to be playing with two other multi-instrumentalists and we’ll have drums, guitars, and pianos to recreate the music.
I’ve always loved when shows are interactive and a problem I see with live electronic music is a disconnect with the audience. It’s difficult translating something you’ve made in your bedroom into a live performance, and it’s a struggle I think a lot of producers face.
I’m working on making the shows something enjoyable and unexpected but it’s a tough process.