An artist in every sense of the word, D. Lanham has over two decades in the music business and is an immense talent. He’s a singer, rapper, producer, songwriter, and a really great guy who I’m very lucky to know. Enjoy the interview!
1. Hey bro, great to finally get this interview done. Firstly, I want to ask how long have you been in the music business? By that I mean making music of any variety; producing, rapping, singing.
I’ve been making music as long as I can remember, since around 8 because my family always had a key to our church, I was able to work on melodies and chords from an early age. I started out TRYING to sample when I was 8 or 9 in the mid 90s but I was better at using tape to make beats with a Casio than sampling…. producing came about because I wanted to rap and sing. Been doing both as long as I can remember, however I didn’t start viewing it as a profession until I began doing studio work in high school around 2002.
2. Your bandcamp has the largest quantity of your music, do you believe it’s a superior platform to Soundcloud?
For my needs, yes. I have a need to allow my fans the ability to support me how they see fit and Bandcamp allows that. Some of my supporters might be between paychecks and can only give me a dollar for a beat tape… they tend to turn around and spend more money later for the whole catalog or a specific release. Soundcloud doesn’t get me any cash upfront and streaming numbers show that even when it’s monetized the income doesn’t provide a living in itself. I still make stuff available for streaming services but it’s a win-win when I can earn a living and you can take the music with you as a supporter.
3. You’ve experimented with a wide variety of sounds throughout your career. Your earliest music found on Bandcamp includes The Prelude, a nice slice of boom bap that shows off your rapping skills excellently. But then you have material like the spacey Electronic Experience and the jazzy Vinyl Elements. Where do you feel most at home musically?
Honestly there is no most at home for me. Creatively speaking I’m just drifting through moods, and different styles I tap into from different genres simply reflects that. I guess my home is just a big beautiful space full of sound, and I hate to sound corny but it kind of fills me with wonder that because of my Hip Hop roots I was taught to borrow everything, use everything to create something new so there’s no limit to the size of my musical home. I just worry about conveying a certain sense of beauty. What my art is made of doesn’t matter, as long as it’s honest it’s beautiful.
4. Your recent single ‘The Pursuit of Immortality’ is up there with your best to me, as were the ‘Insomnia (Hell)’ and ‘Mothra’ joints off Soundcloud. Will we see another full length rap album from you any time soon?
Definitely yes to another Rap album. I have two projects in the works, one with a brilliant brother named Ronesh on the beats that will be a full length joint, no singing just bars. I have a second album I’m working on that should be ready for the 3rd quarter, it’s a solo record that has mostly darts on it but there will be more genre bending and melody involved vocally. I’m excited to unleash all this 2019.
5. Do you have another planned releases musically, or anything people should be looking out for?
There will be beat tapes released throughout the year, and expect other projects designed to marry music and other media together, the only hint I’ll give is think retro…
6. To people who are unfamiliar with your discography, where would you suggest people begin?
9MM Cupid (released as Ohini Jonez) is the most complete record I have; there’s drugs, love, lust and regret… Rock, R&B, and Pop with a Hip Hop foundation. It was during a period when I was living beyond my means and writing in a very autobiographical fashion. The sessions were long, the drugs were hard and I was only living moment to moment… I was living in my lower self but in reflective moments I was kind of observing myself and breaking myself down as a character.
7. You’ve performed under a number of names over the year, but you appear to be going by ‘dlanham’ at present? Do any of your past monikers have any significant meaning?
When I changed my lifestyle, quit harder drugs and started to settle down I decided to leave Ohini Jonez in my past, since that identity kind of comes with the excess that was fueling me at the time. dlanham is my first initial and last name, just me being myself. I always wanted to grow into using my real name anyway, I kept aliases because it was just the thing to do.
8. As well as an artist you’re also a manager, can you tell me about how you got more into that role and the rappers that you’re currently working with?
I don’t know if I’d call myself a manager so much as just someone who helps artists out, I merely step in to help when my friends hit me up. If you need help with finding new revenue sources we can team up and brainstorm. Need help with making a website, finding local venues to get started at? Let’s go for it. Right now I’m working with a Boston MC named Skunkz and No Stable Label plus another super talented producer/MC named Jonathan Cloud who’s also from Boston, along with Sekwence and the Souless fam. 2019 for me is all about learning how to improve, and developing connections; while I don’t consider myself a manager I want to develop those skills further because I’ve been bitten by the bug of being behind the scenes, accomplishing tangible things that help others.
9. You’ve told me in the past that you’ve been very closely involved with writing aspects for other artists in the wider industry, is that something you’re able to discuss? If not then I’d just like to get your take on the industry as a whole.
My take on the industry is that there are a lot of ways to earn a living, and people are too concerned with clout and not having a skill. If you have a set of skills you can get in where you fit in. Not getting the big placements as a producer? Look into licensing. Not in a huge Rap market? I’m sure if you live around humans, someone likes Rap and there’s a way to reach them. Throw shows, throw parties and Rap there, do what you have to do instead of waiting to be discovered; become the market if your community is underserved musically. I personally wasted a lot of time not doing, as opposed to just making shit shake. Don’t waste that time because it can’t be replaced.
10. Thank you very much for this bro, always a huge pleasure. I hope you’re keeping well, and I wish you the best for the future! Now’s your time to do some shoutouts!
Shout out Sekwence, Wonder If Hell Has A Buffet is incredible… I want to shout out every release from the team but that’s impossible without doing a whole article, follow @soulessrecs on Twitter and get familiar!
Jonathan Cloud has something special coming this year, I’ve heard the previews and it’s great. Get familiar with him @FirstComposer on Twitter.
Skunkz is preparing a huge year, please follow him @_SKUNKZZ for updates .
We’re just working, thank you for having me!
Check out Darias’ work in the following links!