TripleHQ is proud to present our exclusive interview with music artist, DaTBoYZ3L –
The music scene of Jackson, Tennessee is fastly becoming a prime location to keep an eye on these past few years. One of it’s artists goes by the stage name of DaTBoYZ3L. His debut album premiered last year entitled “DatBoy” and featured a bevy of hits such as “Ransom”, “GetEm” and his most recent single, “Stressing”. Having proven his musical talents and abilities on said album, Z3L is prepped and primed to deliver his sophomore effort #DatSeason soon. THQ caught up with him recently and spoke about “Stressing”, the Jackson music scene and his upcoming album in this exclusive interview. Join us in the conversation below.
THQ: To begin, please share with our readers a little bit about your influences and early start in music.
DaTBoYZ3LL: I started doing music at a young age. I was listening to Tupac, Bone Thugs and DMX since a child. I took it serious, like recording and things. At age 15, I started to be influenced more so by the Atlanta rap scene from folks like Rich Kidz , Money Savage and Young Thug.
For those just hearing about DaTBoYZ3L, they may be unaware that you once were part of a musical duo, ZeL&MiKey. Before getting into current affairs, let’s revisit that moment in time. How did the duo form and what were some of your accolades?
ZeL&MiKey was created early 2011. We were child hood friends and both came up rapping together. I had been in another group before called Y.P.E but they weren’t acting right. So I quit and got with Mikey. He had a song called “Wang” and wanted me as a feature. We started performing everywhere, show after show. We had a comedy thing going on over at our YouTube channel. Mikey and I even tried out for America’s Got Talent in Nashville. We didn’t make the cut but we had a blast. Then in 2013, Mikey and I went to SXSW and performed our most popular songs; “WANG”, ‘I’m Gone” and “All night”. Unfortunately, Z3L&MiKey split due to personal and financial reasons.
Even back then, you had a knack for harmonizing vocals and overlaying octaves. It’s something you’ve fine tuned over the years and now is one of your strong points. What kind of recording processes do you use when crafting your lyrics?
What’s crazy is it took me a while to get to this point. I’m still trying to perfect it. I rap in a chill voice. Engineers always say my sound is so different. I speak from my throat and my delivery does the rest. The harmonizing was inspired by Bone Thugs but in my particular style. My next album #DATseason while feature alot of this.
You’ve been going extremely hard with the promotion of “DatBoy” since it dropped last year. Multiple singles and videos have been released, such as your most recent song, “Stressing”. The song follows suit with another of the album’s tracks, “I’m Tired”. We know with music that many of the times, a song can have multiple meanings to a variety of people. What was your mindset going into the booth to create the song and what do you hope people gain from listening to it?
I was going through a heartbreak with my ex among other things. I heard a beat from Cook and felt the pain in the music. So I went in and wrote. If I hadn’t, I would’ve turned to drugs or worse, suicidal thoughts. I was in the studio one night with Iam2j and recorded my intro to “MOAK”. Afterwards, I chilled for a while and told 2j I wanted to record another song. That birthed the “Stressing” track. I just put all of what I’m going through in my music.
I want people to gain self-love and self-confidence from hearing my music. When you’re stressed out, go to God instead of the drugs. Do something you love to fade out the depression, like I did on that track.
“I want people to gain self-love and self-confidence from hearing my music”
With it’s release, can we expect to see a video to accompany “Stressing” Z3L?
Yes, we begin filming for it in September and it will be well worth the wait.
Let’s speak about producers for a moment. You’ve been working with Let That Boy Cook on a pretty consistent level thus far. As a matter of fact, he’s the entity behind the soundscape of “DatBoy”. Will the two of you be working even more going forward in your career?
Of course, LetThatBoyCook is my dog! We been rocking for three years now and will continue moving forward.
Speaking of going forward, you recently revealed you’re at work on your follow up project, #DatSeason. Though we know it’s early in the process, are there any details you can reveal concerning the project such as producers, features or anything along those lines?
As I did for “DatBoy”, I want to keep features down to a bare minimum. As of now, there’s one sole feature from Paparazi Nik (fka Ca$h).
Aside from music, do you have or are you planning on pursuing other avenues like merchandise, business or life events?
I’m currently launching clothing lines called DaTGear/Dynamic and Terrific Gear. So far, I’ve been getting an incredible response. The website is in works.
What separates you from all of the other artists out currently? What makes you stand out and be unique?
I’m very conscious in my music talking about my history, African heritage and versatility. I speak about real life situations that people can relate to, especially emotions. A lot of rappers say they’re legendary but actions speak louder than words. My work will prove how different I am.
Where can our audience find you online?
In closing, please share a closing statement and anything you’d like for us to remember.
#DATseason is on the way and more videos too. Lastly, make sure to grab a copy of “Stressing” on iTunes and all other digital music platforms.