Rapper/producer/blogger/creative/innovator Dari Loso is someone I’ve been very interested in interviewing for a while. I had a lot to ask him, but luckily the interview came out great as he’s a genuine dude with a lot to say about the underground, his career and influence, and what living in Seattle is like in 2018.
1. Firstly, thanks for agreeing to this, I’ve been wanting to speak to you about your music and your influence in the scene for quite some time. You told me you haven’t done many interviews, so I am honoured. Firstly, I wanted to ask where you are from?
It’s never a problem , I always enjoy networking with people interested about the art so I’m more than willing. I’m From Puyallup , Washington which is in the Pacific Northwest , its real earthy out here and similar to Portland, Oregon. I was raised in Puyallup, Tacoma, and Seattle which are all cities near by each other out here on the South and North sides.
2. Which rappers/types of hip-hop were you interested in when you were young, and which would you say have gone on to influence you? I definitely hear Houston and Memphis in your sound.
When I was growing up I went to Fred Meyer in about the 3rd-5th grade and bought albums like Red Light District From Ludacris, I bought Kanye West albums, a MF Doom album entitled “Danger Mouse” , 50 Cent, and many others. I listened to a ton of Three 6 Mafia, Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Bun B, Dj Quik, The Fixxers, A Tribe Called Quest, Heltah Skeltah, OGC, Smiff-N-Wessun, and hundreds of other artist. I’d say mostly every rap that has existed is influential in one way or another.
3. You’ve been a mainstay of the underground scene since it began, what would you say were the main things that have changed in the time since then?
I remember early 2013 when the internet scene first began expanding, I first came in contact with TrillPhonk, Lofty305, CSPG, then Shroom Head, after that it was growing faster than time could tell and we had so many artist coming out of nowhere that were actually talented. I’d say that the underground scene changed in many aspects, more people began to realize they could record right at home then release music so as time went by a few people from the original scene blew up and got more famous than the others, and more artist came into the scene. Now its swarmed with art but you gotta be thankful for the gems you find.
4. How did you get involved with the underground in the first place? When did you start taking music seriously?
I got involved by adding a bunch of random ass people on facebook back in 2011 from California and others places, started networking, then once I started utilizing twitter in 2012 it just became a thing eventually . Before that I was finding music on youtube and other parts of the internet, even on Tumblr pages . I started releasing music in 7th grade and was writing since 3rd grade. I’m 22 now almost 23.
5. Who were some of the most promising underground artists and producers back when you first got involved? Which of them haven’t got their recognition yet?
We had producers like Metro Zu, Drip-133, Misogi , Shawn Kemp, Fifty Grand, Chester Watson , Drew The Architect , DjSmokey, Rare Akuma, and so many its ridiculous.
6. Who are your favourite artists making music right now that you think are killing it, and keeping the underground spirit alive?
Honestly artist that are pretty legit and got that underground frequency rolling still are artist like Ugly Frank, Khris P, Lonny X , Freddie Dredd, BMB ScrewManeFlame, Versace Chachi, Space God.
7. I’ve recently been going through your discography and you have a lot of good shit. My favourite might be Astral Trash, that’s a crazy project full of mad different styles and dope beats, yet it’s also super cohesive. Is there anything you can tell me about the creation of that one?
I appreciate that because I’m aiming for a versatile mixture of music not something bland or repetitive . When I was making Astral Trash at that time music was still good and a lot of producers were networking sending free instrumentals so I got together with them and other friends. It was Summer and I literally only spent a week or two making Astral Trash with tracks that were already compiled. I made it off impulse because I wanted to make good music in the summer because I love the time of year , it changes the vibrations.
8. Is Astral Trap just an alias or an effort to push a different vibe? I’m also interested in your explanation for that name as a whole.
Astral Trap is the ethereal hyper space sound thats intertwined with trap and boom-bap, massive word play, with spirituality/mythology. When I was 17, I’d meditate, lucid dream, and I had my first very intense lucid dream that Summer, each morning I’d create beats, I’d study, I’d learn astral projection, so I took it into my hands to make it a whole genre. I’m pretty much claiming it as a genre and a name since it made my music excel.
9. You seem to be greatly interested in the occult and mystical, I am quite ignorant about this but it seems very interesting. Can you tell me about that? Is this something that has influenced the way that you create music?
When I was growing up I had a very strong drug trip which was also spiritual at the same time , it made me more aware that there are unknown energies around us that aren’t as explainable as what we can see. I was studying a lot of mythology learning the names of creatures, I was reading bibles, I’ve read Egyptian text, moon glyphs, sites on lucid dreaming, and also witch craft. I wouldn’t say I’m religiously inclined but I have my own type of religion within the universe, it has definitely been something that has shaped my music to be way different than others.
10. What else give you inspiration? What are the driving forces behind your lyrics, and the way you make music?
Going through life seeing people that have never made it, or have gave up them dreams is what inspires me because I’d never want to look at myself miserably. When people understand my lyrics and vibe off them with each other, it’ll bring that connection in people I wish to bring together.
11. Your visuals are usually really great, especially ‘I Like/ LSD’. Who is shooting the best stuff at the moment?
When I like/LSD was shot that was shot by friend who doesn’t even do videography but the thing about it is, it’s the editors, and also it is people who shoot the videos. I’d say Blanco Pages is my top one guy in shooting video because he’s professionalized it through school and experience. My favorite video editors are YoungGucciBurr from FFK, Fvlm Gxd , and HiddenBehindTheLeaves, also Future Crystals. Fvlm Gxd did the edit for I Like/LSD’ setting the whole tone for it and many other visuals seen by me.
12. Tell me about FFK, how did that start and what does it represent?
FFK originally started in Virginia with YoungGucciBurr which is our friend Shawn, and Gush God which is Logan. Gush God draws, designs digitally, prints, fashion designs, and makes music. GucciBurr’ sets up shows, runs shops online , sets up the Season drops, ships, creates beats, draws, designs, handling all of the merchandise , as well as video editing maintaining the best visuals to come out of the Richmond, VA area with a true form of raw capture. GucciBurr is the life of FFK, I came in as a poster child promoting it, investing, and throwing my ideas as well.
13. How has running a blog and a Youtube channel to promote underground music changed since the early days? I imagine it’s a whole different experience in 2018’s Internet climate.
Now that so many artist are in the game it’s hard to maintain what is a good thing to post or not, a promotion channel has a set-tone you should stick with. A lot of people offer to pay for promotion which I’d not recommend because you could easily find your fans out of element easily. The main objective is searching for music which could take hours on end and uploading the best material you find and nothing you have doubt it. It’s genuinely caring about the good music then uploading it more than anything.
14. If people want to keep up to date and stay connected to the underground, what blogs/pages/channels should they follow for fresh, relevant content?
I’d say UnderGroundVampClub has been doing a good job with reviews, postings, and promotion for artist . Internet Hippy, Underunderdogs, Masked Gorilla , TrillPhonk, Hauntxr, IdelGlance, BlancoPages, wifi.water , candy drips, and more.
15. You help put on and play a number of live shows in support of the scene, judging from the promotion you do on your Twitter and Instagram? Tell me about some upcoming gigs people should get themselves down to?
In September Left Brain should be in Seattle so if anyone is from there they should keep an eye out on it. Also under underdogs has a lot of shows lately, ham on everything, OmenXIII , JGRXXN, and in LA my friends of mine who run Slime City which is party/show gig will be having Xavier Wulf coming to many of our shows so stay tuned to see me in LA often with the crew doing shows with these people.
16. Which artists and producers would you say you have the best relationships with? Who do you work best alongside?
I work really well with CRIBB$ , who is a producer from New Zealand and a good friend of mine. There is Lord Fubu, Benji Stacks from Europe who is an awesome producer. Feld from Germany that has a unique signature sound, Swedistan , Mr Cheezl, and ScrewManeFlame.
17. I’ve noticed you occasionally produce too, when did you get into that?
I started producing in the 9th grade and released about 3 beat albums in 2014 , one in 2015 and kept my producing a very secret activity.
18. That Super 6 Club beat tape from May was real nice. Is there more of that sort of stuff coming?
Yes , The Super 6 Club beat tape was a introduction of my group The Super 6 Club which is full of producers from all over the place coming together to release instrumental albums even though the first one was solely produced by me it was for the hype and exist meant coming . There will a Super 6 Club album coming very soon with very few rap tracks on it but it’ll be worth it.
19. What would you say is the best/most influential project you’ve put together so far?
I could say that 1147 is the most influential tape I released because so many people came to me telling me they’d trip acid to that album and really connect with it. I’ve been told so many times about that tape. It was also a tape about a drug trip I had which led to my house being ruined so it had a lot of spite running through it.
20. What is your next move as an artist? Any projects planned/videos coming out?
I’m planning a underground documented show gathering thats similar to Low End Theory or Boiler Room and on top of that I’m playing a lot of shows in Seattle then I’m planning trips around America this year with many events . I’m slowly releasing good content but many albums will be out soon . I have a video dropping entitled Lil Spirit Bitch, July 4th as oddly as it sounds. I have a video for You Aint Shyt and Tifa shot by Blanco Pages edited by wifi.water and film god so its a good run on videos this year.
21. What would you say your overall impact on the underground has been? And why is information on you so hard to find?
The features I did with Lofty305, Slug Christ, Ruben Slikk, are features that were gems for so long that people always came back to me about just like how they do about 1147 or Legendary but in 2014 when I released Fuck Em All it had got 25k so fast I got into the scene with way more artist and networked hard that it left a foot-print on people when they all actually began listening to me more. I put a lot of people on through Shroom Head , I spoke with a lot of artist and it made people realize I was here for the art. Information is hard to find on me because the lack of sources willing to cooperate with the art I put out. I don’t always follow standard rules so people don’t always agree with that fact even if they like my art , there always seems to be guidelines and stipulations.
22. Finally, I wanted to ask what you get up to in your free time? What’s it like living in Seattle and does it give you creative inspiration?
Living in Seattle can be super weird , honestly I meet up with people, drink , or smoke in nature and make the best out of life if I’m not busy working on music but usually I’d take advantage of my time just to make music or sell art to people. I get invited to a lot of shows, and we throw a lot of shows, we pretty much walk out into Seattle and end up with 15 people within 15 minutes just enjoying life. I scout music, I go shop for vintage cassettes or vinyls, and I meditate on myself . I collected gold, gemstones, chains, and many other trinkets . It helps fill the void if Im not making music or out being reckless. Seattle is weird as in the way people communicate and function, it also has real creepy vibes here so it adds onto my music , this place also has so much nature, so much water, trails, and wildlife it inspires you to look at the different angles of life. The odd vintage vibe this place has gives you a different feeling towards art and perspectives on life.
Listen to Dari on Soundcloud. Check out FFK on Youtube. Follow Dari on Twitter at @AstralGoon.