If you didn’t know already, many of your favorite artists are repping Virginia. Home to hip-hop pioneers like Pharrell and a growing list of contemporaries including GoldLink, Kali Uchis, and Chaz French, there is no shortage of talent streaming from the area.
Amidst the sea of creatives is Suffolk’s own DAZE, the lyrical wordsmith that consistently delivers slick verses laced with wordplay, honesty, and energy. Fresh out of high school, the emcee is well on his way to the top with two solid projects already under his belt.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with DAZE on his musical background and prospects for the near future:
Thanks for taking the time for this interview! For those unfamiliar, who is DAZE?
Oh no problem man anytime! DAZE is a dope, free-spirited, eccentric young lad that just wants to make good music.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music for two years now.
Was there a specific moment when you realized music was something you wanted to pursue seriously?
Yes, I was 16 and sitting in my living room looking at music videos. The video to Vic Mensa’s song “Orange Soda” was playing and by the middle of me being lost in the video I decided that I wanted to be a rapper.
How has Virginia influenced your career?
I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for Virginia. The diversity and passion about music in VA is crazy. I have a huge amount of talented influences around me.
You recently dropped your 2AM EP—tell us about the creative process behind the project and how it came together.
I really wanted my 2AM EP to sound completely different from my first EP. As far as the beat selections, I wanted to go with more of the Soulection type vibes. Lyric wise I still wanted to push positivity and good vibes. Play would show me a beat and lowkey challenge me to rap on it which would provoke my creativeness, but altogether I really fuck with how everything pieced together and meshed so perfectly.
The EP also features Ty Safari and Play of BreezePark—how did you guys link up?
All three of us went to the same high school. Since the 9th grade on the first day of school, I’ve known Tyus (Ty Safari); we’ve been cool ever since, plus we live down the street from each other so it’s very easy to link. Same with Christian (Play); I met him a couple months into the 9th grade and I went up to him and asked if I could be in BreezePark. That was before I knew that they were a rap group and before I knew I could rap. I live about eight minutes away from Play and we all stay over at each other houses.
What’s next on the agenda for DAZE?
There’s a single dropping by BreezePark that I’m going to be featured on that’s really dope, but other than that I just plan on working with dope ass producers and dropping dope singles until I start working on an album.