#KetchupTalks: A big fan of Rahman and Eminem both, Dino James talks to us about his newest album, D, his experience with the pandemic, and his journey so far!

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Shachi Lavingia
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Dino James


Rapper, singer-songwriter, and composer, Dino James tells us more about his recently launched music album 'D' which covers a little bit of everything that he likes across genres.

Born and brought up in a small village called Ghoradongri in Madhya Pradesh, Dino James worked a couple of jobs in Mumbai before he discovered his one true love aka rapping. Today, he's a rapper, singer-songwriter, composer, and storyteller among so many other things. If I had to summarize his music in one sentence, I'd say 'it's like he's wearing his heart on his sleeve'. His songs are vulnerable and so relatable because they cover the various aspects of being human. He's back with his newest album 'D' which spans 13 tracks and features first-time ear-pleasing collaborative efforts alongside talents like Emmy Award-winning producer, Aakash, and singers, Kaprila and Nikhita Gandhi.

This album will serve as Dino's grand introduction to the global music industry and will be released worldwide via Def Jam India, a global hip-hop label. In a fun interview with him, we spoke to him about his album in detail, what helps him create music, and his experiences during the pandemic.

Also Read: #KetchupTalks: Teenasai Balamu on music and creating opportunities beyond identities

Here's what he had to say!

Tell us more about your entrance album 'D'?

"When I realized that practically it's not possible for me to make videos for all my songs and I'll have to put a bigger body of work outside the market. There are too many ideas and songs and if I did it all by myself, it would take me years to put my thoughts across. So I thought it's time when the label was also there and everyone was in sync."

What are your songs like in this album?

"I'm a fan of Eminem and Rahman both. So there are a couple of melodies and hip hop, a little bit of afrobeat and songs like Arambol on a lighter note, and heavier songs like Sab kK Rapper Ek. It's a mix of everything, it's how I take my music forward!"

Writing lyrics isn't remotely as easy as it seems. How do you make sure your songs sound different?

"It comes to you. Writing as an art is something you have in you or you don't. It's a process. Every day you get up and listen to a beat and the beat talks to you. It's like getting to know someone new and progressing in that relationship. If you listen to a beat and get some ideas, you jam with people and some songs come to you. You get a couple of ideas!"

One thing you'd say to budding rappers right now!

"Don't get into the loop of what's going to happen 5 years down the line. Slow is the best speed you can get. Even I get into this Instagram and comparison rush but I just want to say that baarish ka mausam hai, life ko enjoy karo, young age mein karke dikhaana hai, zaroori nahi hai. Just enjoy your life, life apne pace se chalti hai. Keep hustling, keep working but also enjoy your life. Enjoy friends, parties, and your relationships. Don't die for everything and things will come. Be sincere with your craft and slow and steady wins the race."

Most of us listen to a song and it gets stuck in our minds where we end up listening to it all day long. Does this also happen to you?

"Ya ya, meri toh paach che saal se same playlist thi. So I have a tendency to listen to a song till I get irritated by it. I kept listening to Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and others. I got so possessive with these gurus that I only wanted to listen to them."

You can listen to his music on YouTube, Spotify, Jiosavan, Hungama, and Apple Music.

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