Photo Credit: Paulo Salud (IG: @paulosalud)
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For the benefit of anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker for the past few years…who on earth are you?
My name’s Deca. I’m a rapper, producer, and visual artist.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
My dad is a musician, and played guitar in a New Wave group called The Aviators in the ‘80s. And I also have two older brothers that put me on to a lot great music. So I grew up listening to a pretty broad range of music—all of my family’s collective tastes had a big influence on me. Then when I was 11 or 12 I got deep into Hip-Hop and started trying to write verses. My good friend Ichiban (who’s featured on, The Veil), and I used to sit around for hours when we were kids making tapes and freestyling. Over the years I just got more and more serious about it.
Do you remember the first beat you ever made? How did you go about it?
Yeah, the first beat I made is actually on my first album Top of the Line Bottom Feeder from 2004. It’s a song called “Hope Turns to Doubt.” A friend of mine at the time gave me a quick tutorial on the MPC 2000 and I used Billy Cobham’s song “Heather” which is the same song sampled in Souls of Mischief’s “93 ‘Til Infinity.” I remember just trying to make it as unrecognizable as possible, so I chopped it up, pitched the sounds, and made a dinky little melody. It’s hard to listen to that album without cringing but it’s a decent beat for a first try.
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
Probably a few Ayahuasca experiences…
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry?
Being able to make music on my own terms and making a living doing it. I don’t have the benefit of having a label push and promoting my music, but I’m doing exactly what I want to do, and slowly but surely people are catching on.
What has been your biggest challenge in life…and how did you overcome it?
Addiction was a huge challenge. I started everything at a really young age and that pattern of heavy drug use continued up until about ’08. I was heavy into opiates and had been trying unsuccessfully to quit for years. I ended up leaving Denver and moving to LA for two years to try and kick. I knew too many people and it was too accessible to me back home, so I picked up and left. I was able to quit in LA and aside from a few slip ups early on, I haven’t touched opiates since.
Who are your heroes?
Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, William Blake, Joseph Campbell, Fela Kuti, Nas, Jacob Boehme, Hermann Hesse…the list goes on.
Who have been the coolest, most memorable people you’ve met along the way, and how did they make an impact on your life?
Too many to name, but the first one that comes to mind is my friend Kriamaa Anuradha. I first met Kria when I was on my way to Denver to do a couple shows and she sat next to me on the flight. She was reading a book written in Sanskrit and I asked her what she was reading. The book was about how sound created the universe, and we ended up talking the rest of the flight.
Years before that I came across something called Cymatics that studies how sound frequencies and vibration effect matter and shake it into mandala like formations. She was reading a book about the same principle written probably a thousand years before the discovery of Cymatics.
Since then we’ve kept in touch and become good friends. The interludes on, The Way Through are edited excerpts from conversations we had at my apartment. What she said seemed to sum up the intention of the album I was making. She’s an amazing woman.
Teck, please embed his song, “The Way Through” here:
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Last year I went to Europe for the first time to play a festival called Hip Hop Kemp outside of Prague, and to play another show in Berlin. It was an incredible experience. I’ve been doing this a long time so it was definitely gratifying to get an opportunity like that through music.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
I met Kool Herc twice. The first time was at the Wild Style 30th anniversary. The second time I was at was at a bar called the Fat Buddha. He walked in like an old b-boy wise man or a sadhu or something. He was talking to me and a friend and started drawing this geometric diagram on a cocktail napkin but I couldn’t hear a word he was saying. It was like he breaking down the meaning of life but the music was too loud to hear it.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Tom Waits. I’d serve him a Filipino box spring hog.
Where can everyone reading this interview keep up with your adventures?
Here’s links to all my socials…and be sure to check out my new instrumental project, Flux, below, which you could cop here
Thanks for the interview!
Upcoming Tour Dates:
• 6/17 (Sun): Club Congress, Tucson, AZ
• 6/19 (Tues): Rebel Lounge, Phoenix, AZ
• 6/21 (Thurs): Hi Hat, Los Angeles, CA
• 6/22 (Fri): Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA
• 6/24 (Sun): The Vera Project, Seattle, WA
• 6/25 (Mon): Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
• 6/26 (Tues): Red Room Lounge, Spokane, WA
• 6/28 (Thurs): Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT
• 6/29 (Fri): Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
If you liked this, check out our past interviews HERE