Don Vontae - Interview
1. Tell us your rap name and where are you from?
Don: They call me Don, Don Vontae, or just Don Von. Don't really matter to me, either of those fits me like a crown.
2. What made you start making music?
Don: Just being a fan of music, man. My family was huge on rap and R&B so I guess you could say I've been around it my entire life.
3. Who are your influences?
Don: Besides the mainstream artists that I bop on a daily basis like Cole, Gucci, Future and Jay, the people that really influence me are the local artists around the Lou and musicians that I work with on the daily. They really inspire me to just be dope at what I do.
4. What is your take on the underground rap scene right now?
Don: The underground scene in my opinion is a little biased but that's to be expected. Usually in the underground scene its about whether an artist is "buzzing" or not that gets them the placements and shows v.s. the actual talent. Its a trend that I honestly don't see going away anytime soon. As the saying goes, "Its not what you know, its who you know."
5. What are your goals for 2019 regarding music?
Don: My goal for 2019 was to establish strong bonds and relationships. Over the time of last year I had felt as if I was alone in my mission and that was because I had kind of alienated myself from branching out and working with other artists. You HAVE to collab in rap! So my mission for 2020 is to collab more and step out of my comfort zone.
6. You have 1 person to thank who would it be?
Don: That would probably go to my pops. Riding around with him growing up he always was bumping whatever the latest album was so I got a taste of rap, R&B and even country at a young age so its only natural it had an influence on me when I started making music on my own.
7. What is your process for recording music ?
Don: To be honest it really depends on how I'm feeling at the moment. Sometimes I'll look for beats and then write lyrics, other times I'll already have a quick lil something wrote and I'll check around for beats. Other times I just book a couple hours in the studio and just try to come up with something on the fly. It all really depends on the vibe, man. I feel like catching a genuine vibe is the most important part over everything.
8. Any upcoming projects or singles fans should be getting ready for? Don: NIGGA! Ok, so I pretty much have another project that I wanna release but I'm basically down to the process of picking and choosing which tracks bop the hardest. Haven't given it a name or identity just yet but much love to Jazzon, Flexxworthy and Killa C and Krazy8, and my guys Beyond Black on helping me with this new project from production and beats to engineering to verses, connects, and all of that.
10. What impact do you want to have on the world?
Don: For me its just the creation process. Being challenged and also using "RAP" as a release. Its a positive way to translate what you as a human being goes thru on the daily. Real shit. I've written stuff down to a beat that I might have never said to anybody in a regular conversation. It's the music that brings out that kinda raw emotion inside all of us.
11. What are your ambitions with music is this just a hobby or is this a full blown 24/7 lifestyle your embodying?
Don: One of my OG's once told me that every successful business started off as a hobby at one point. And honestly I feel as if I'm moreso past the "hobby" juncture in the road and I'm more so onto the "business" portion of the game. Lately I've been feeling as if I've been doing myself a disservice by just keeping it strictly a hobby. I'd make bitch ass excuses for myself "Awe damn I'm too busy" or "I work too much" or "Man I don't even have enough money". That got old so I felt like I needed to shift gears and make moves and now wheels are turning.
12. Who is your favorite artist in the rap game right now and why?
Don: Gucci for sure. His consistency with how much music he produces is ridiculous. A strong work ethic is big and that's something I've been developing on my own. always remember the words of Big Guwop: "The songs are your assets."
13. What does the music you create make you feel?
Don: It takes me through time to be honest. Kinda like time travel. That's another reason I write certain songs because they take me back to a time period of when I was writing it. Where I was living, how life was, who I was dating at the time. All of that.
14. Why is music so important and dear to your heart ?
Don: Music just makes me feel nothing. Like I can escape from whatever problems I have I can just put my headphones on and leave. like take off and float away. Its just the feeling of getting away from your problems in a healthy way.
15. Taking this as a passion what works best with you for endeavors you may face (regarding to music)?
Don: What has always worked best for me is just remaining humble. Even in the studio working with engineers I genuinely ask question and try to learn and absorb as much info from them as I can like a sponge because they hold they keys to making me sound better. You gotta be willing to be taught and learn. It's too many niggas that already think they know everything out here.
16. Whats your best collaboration experience with another artist or producer?
Don: Man that's gotta go to my bro Jazzon on our track "Hunneys" like a couple years back. I remember checking thru my email and listening beats and I came across it beat and I'm like "Fuck this is nice!" but I couldn't come up with a hook so I shoot Jazzon a text and I'm like "Yo fam I gotta beat but I need a hook, you got me?" and he's like "Yeah send it thru.". And he send it back with the hook, the hook hit so hard, I sat there at 2 in the morning writing the verse, I had work the next morning but I didn't give a fuck. And that track slaps bro, check that out if you get the chance. Shout out Jazzon.
17. Who does all of your cover art or do you make your own?
Don: I get freelance cover art done, man. I'm a sucker for good artistry so I love seeing new styles and takes on my ideas. I usually come up with the concept or general idea and then let the artist do there thing.
18. Who makes most of your beats or production?
Don: Again, it usually varies. I like working with a lot of people so I don't discriminate when it comes to the beats. if the shits hot, then the shits hot and imma try to rap on it.
19. Who is one artist you wish to work on music with and why?
Don: I'm tryna work with Thugger (Young Thug), man. Dude is hella creative and just is all over the place with his music style but the shit still slaps like it's crazy to me. Straight up. I still got "So Much Fun" in my rotation to this day.
20. Who is one producer you wish to work with and why?
Don: If I had the option to choose, it would be Pharrell Williams. Every beat I've heard of his you can smoke weed to or write weed raps and you already know I'm all about that shit. But seriously, he's produced nothing but classics so, yeah, I guess you could say that's a dream project for me.
21. For people who havent heard of you what sets you apart from other artists?
Don: I am who I am. I'm not with the bullshit. Everything I talk about I've experienced someway in my life and what I see and experience is what I speak. It's tough to find real in the game. Look no further.
22. At the end of the day what does music mean to you ?
Don: Music is LIFE to me. I don't know where I would be without a beat and a pencil and a pad. Music really does save lives and so long as we protect it, it'll continue to do just that.
23. Any live shows or projects you got coming up? Don: My new project is releasing before the year is out plus a new video around my birthday December 17th. We swinging heavy all 2020 tho! No more pulling punches on you niggas! RIVER CITY, BITCH!!! 24. Where can the people that checked out this interview find you? Don: Follow me on Twitter: @DON_VONTAE,
IG: donvontae, FB: Don Vontae.
Check me out on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal and SoundCloud: Don Vontae.