“Hip hop is an art form that changes and evolves over years. And artists are always trying to create art that is timeless. ‘The Northsider EP’ by DTown is his greatest effort at achieving this goal.”
My debut solo album, The Northsider EP, turns 6 years old on March 30, 2021.
The release of this project marked a defining moment in my career. After performing for 10+ years with my brother Mello Dee as a rap group known as Da Kreek, I made the decision in 2014 to release a solo hip hop project and make my mark on the world.
I’ve always handled everything in my career directly. No official management are representation. It was always do it yourself. However, I knew that I would need help putting this project out. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a hip hop artist is that “Do it yourself” doesn’t mean “do it all by yourself.”
I could handle the rapping and songwriting aspect of everything. As well as some of the production. I also had a solid grasp on marketing, promotion, and event planning. But to ensure that I was getting the best result, I decided to leverage the use of some professional relationships that I had made along the way.
Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, and producer Ryan Leslie offered his guidance on how I should go about releasing this project. I was really inspired by what he was doing with his black Mozart project, merchandising, and developing a strong community of supporters who would purchase just about anything he put out. The guidance and advice that he provided would not only shape the outcome of this project, But it will also become the framework that I would utilize in releasing a lot of my projects moving forward.
Ryan is a very smart and business-minded individual when it comes to leveraging the use of an existing fan base to ensure that a project becomes successful. He provided the framework on how I can develop my own platform, cut out the middle man, and communicate/sell to my fans directly. While I cannot go into great detail on everything that we discussed, I can say that I am incredibly grateful that he lent his guidance and expertise to me for this project.
Mello Dee, Award-Winning Producer, acted as the primary producer for the product. Mello is my brother and we performed as a rap group known as Da Kreek for 10+ years prior to the release of The Northsider EP. Together, we won several awards which included Best Live Performance and Best Song. Mello Dee is one of the most talented and versatile producers that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I’m incredibly grateful for his support and involvement with this project.
Black Cloud (Producer), Jonre (Singer / Saxophonist), K-Starr (singer) and Mai Byrd (singer) are all incredibly talented individuals who were involved in the project. I’ve known black cloud for quite some time, and produced one of my favorite tracks on the project, “Never Back Down.” Jonre Is a mutual friend that I met through Mello and when did his talents as a saxophonist to the project. He has since going on to become an incredibly talented singer, songwriter, and producer. I met K-Starr several years ago when we shared the same stage together. He’s one of the most talented singers and performers that I’ve ever had the opportunity to perform with. I’ve been friends with Mai Byrd since highschool. She has always been passionate about music and has always been an incredible vocalist. It was truly an honor to work alongside of these people to bring the tracks on The Northsider EP to life.
The goal with this project was to establish myself as a solo artist and make an undeniable impression on those who listened to the project. Throughout this process, I discovered a new love for my creative process. That largely stemmed from me working with close friends and associates to develop something amazing. This was truly a career highlight for me and served to define my career as a solo artist.
Thank you to everyone who has worked alongside of me over the years and to everyone who supported the project. Whether you bought the album, stream the song, downloaded a track, purchased merchandise or have come to a live show, I greatly appreciate your support. Thank you for everything. Let’s continue to make history together!
The Northsider EP is available on all digital streaming platforms. Listen here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/dtown/bvge