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93.9 WKYS is embracing local talent, and every Monday, we will prominently feature a local artist on the WKYS website.

If you would like to be featured on 93.9 WKYS New Music Monday please submit your song in an MP3 format, your photo, your bio and contact information to our DMV’s OWN page and every Monday we will feature a deserving local artist.

This week’s featured artist is Dunson.

What inspires you to create?

Since I was a kid I always tried to push standards. I was that kid who was first to memorize a whole Bone Thugs verse and trying to do it quicker than the actual record. Or sitting in Art class designing my own Nike shoe. I wanted to take something everyone loved whether it was a popular shoe or a trendy rap style, and then make it so much cooler and take credit for it! It’s just realizing that you have the ability to put something valuable into existence…plus a little Bourbon.

It’s no secret that the industry is oversaturated with aspiring rappers, what is that something that you feel your music brings to the industry that is lacking?

I feel like my rap is more refined and well-rounded. Being that I grew up playing multiple instruments, playing in bands of all genres and producing, I take a legitimate musical approach to rap. From the rhythmic cadences to the melodic delivery, it’s more than simply rapping over a track. Culturally, the diverse social experiences that I’ve gained over time contribute to the versatility of topics and themes. As a result, the music resonates with a wide range of people.

What has been the most memorable moment on your journey thus far?

There are a few moments and milestones. None of them are more memorable than the day I quit my investment gig to pursue music full time. It was a huge risk but definitely the most important decision I’ve made. I remember the feeling I had when I exited the doors of that lobby, I’ve felt limitless since.

If you could produce for anyone who would it be? Likewise, if you could get anyone’s co-sign whose would you want?

There are so many from different sides of music so to find someone who I consider a hybrid of all the artists I’d love to produce, I’d say Rihanna. The female voice is the best instrument in the world. I specifically love her vocal texture. I could see some distorted piano chords, acoustic drums layered with heavy 808s and synths, etc…and let her take it from there. As far as a co-sign, I would love a Timbaland or Kanye West co-sign because they are some of my greatest influences in different areas. I’ve already received a lot of support and encouragement from another of my musical influences, Mr. John Legend, and that’s been dope. But at the end of the day, it’s really about being able to stand on your own two feet.

Why do you rap?

Because I have something to say and it comes out best when delivered musically. It’s the most audacious way to deliver an idea or message. Beyond that, when executed properly, rap can do so much for the listener by evoking that expression or that emotion they couldn’t find anywhere else. People downplay rap so much. There’s that opinion that music or sports are the only way the majority of people like myself find significant success in society. I had the makings of success in an industry far from Hip-Hop. But my legitimate passion brought me right back to that “predictable” path in order to achieve success. Not because it was my only option but because it’s absolutely what I specialize in.

What’s more important- that your music is great or that people understand you?

Over time I learned that the music has to be great. It has to sound good enough to draw the listener in. Then the listener can uncover more about the artist if they choose to. I started off so focused on the message and the music kind of took a backseat. I was artistically selfish. But I learned that you can’t ask a music fan to understand you don’t give them a chance to nod their head first!

You can get at Dunson at @KentonDunson or check him out on Tumblr.

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