Q&A: DAZEONEAST DISCUSSES "DESERVE BETTER" LAUNCHING HIS CAREER, GROWING UP IN SOUTH CAROLINA, AND "HERFAV" ARTIST
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Daze “DazeOnEast” is a 22-year-old R&B & Rapper, audio engineer, and singer-songwriter from South Carolina. Having surpassed over one-million total streams, DazeOnEast sits down with Co-Sign Radio to discuss choosing music as a career over football, and what is to come for the young talented artist this year.
Who is “DazeOnEast?” Tell us a bit about yourself, I am sure everybody wants to know who “Daze” was, before the “East.”
DazeOnEast: To start I turned 22, December 29th. I grew up in a small city near Greenville, SC. I was always into sports as a kid. Played baseball, football, basketball, and ran track. Music was never in my plans until I was about 14. A few homies I went to Middle School with started this group, and I decided to go to the studio with them one day. I remember it like yesterday. They were making this RnB track and needed somebody to fill in the last verse. So, I told them to let me see what I could do on it. I had always listened to Drake, Usher, Chris Brown so I just came in with a flow similar to theirs, and after I sang the first line I had written to the song, the engineer told me, “Boy you gone have the girls in a daze with this one.” Now that I look back it sounds corny as fuck, but that stuck with me for the longest time after he said it, so I decided to go with it.
DazeOnEast (Continues): The name change to “DazeOnEast” came when it was time to put my music on streaming platforms and handle all the stuff that comes with that. Daze was too common, believe it or not, so I wanted something that was more unique, and catchy. I spent a lot of days on the east side of the city because that’s where I grew up. So DazeOnEast seemed to be the perfect name.
I remember back in early 2016-2017, thanks to the SoundCloud algorithm, coming across your hit single “Deserve Better.” Which ultimately, in my opinion, sparked your music career. Agree or disagree, and please explain what the success of that song meant to you.
DazeOnEast: First and foremost I want to give a huge thanks to my brother, Luis Aguilera who produced and mixed that track (” DazeOnEast – Deserve Better “). At the time, I had no clue how to mix, knew nothing about production, I just felt like I had a voice and wanted to see where it could take me. When Luis sent me the song back, I instantly knew that “Deserve Better” could be the song that launches my career. It was the relatability of the song that made me know instantly that people would have a positive reaction to it. I’m blessed to say that’s exactly what happened.
DazeOnEast (Continues): That song is now at about 3,000,000 streams if we’re including YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music. If it was not for the reaction I received after dropping that song, I don’t know if I would still be creating music today, because at the time I was playing college football. I didn’t know if I wanted to pursue a possible shot at the NFL or go all-in with music. I chose music, and I’m glad I did. “Deserve Better” gave me the platform I needed to continue with music and be somewhat successful, which I am so grateful for. Thank you to everyone who streamed that track. Love each and every single one of you.
How was your childhood “On the eastside.” A familiar Daze quote from your “Drake – Pistols” remix. Did your family influence your career choice or was it something you found naturally? Do they, or did they, always support your choice for pursuing music. Also, do they listen to your music?
DazeOnEast: My mom tells me stories all the time how I was that one badass kid on the block, that all the thugs wanted to be with 24/7. I was bad as hell as a kid, it got to the point I had to switch Elementary Schools because of an incident that happened on school grounds. I guess then I was just a product of the environment I was around. Once we moved away from the hood and got a house, things started to change. I was a straight-A student through school after that and stayed out of trouble, so it was for the better.
DazeOnEast (Continues): As far as my family having an influence on my choice to pursue music, they sort of did. Till this day my Dad bumps music throughout the house. When I was younger he burned CD’s on the computer and had all the vibes stashed in those multi-paneled CD holders. He played the RnB vibes sometimes but he mostly listened to 2pac, DMX, Ludacris, Eminem. My mom is where my love for RnB comes from. I remember those car rides after school she would listen to Mary J Blidge, Fantasia, Brandy, Destiny’s Child, Boyz II Men, all of that. Since day one my parents have supported my decision to make music. When I was 14 they bought me my first mic, interphase, and everything else I needed. At first, my parents didn’t really listen to my music, but ever since I’ve started to take it seriously they have been listening, especially my mom. She loves “Pistols,” and “Still Young.”
Though your image is very discrete, it intrigues the question “When are we going to get a proper reveal?” Do you have plans to do face-to-face interviews or music videos? What is your reasoning, or inspiration for the way you brand yourself as an artist, and who inspired it?
DazeOnEast: March/April it will all unfold, and everyone will see why I’ve been gone. As far as my branding, It’s just me. I’m the exact same way in person. I stay lowkey, mind my business, and work. It was never something done on purpose, but I see how It could be used as a branding tactic.
It is funny to me having come in contact with you after years of listening to your music as a fan. Only to be sitting here speaking directly to you with us being close on a friendship level. Now, I notice you and ‘Duski’ have a group called “HERFAV.” Can you please tell us who is apart of “HERFAV” and what your guys’ plans are for the group?
DazeOnEast: Facts, you a day one. It’s a forever thing now. As far as “HERFAV,” it consists of myself, Duski, and Kxvi. We’ve been silent for so long for a reason, trust me. 2020 is about to be crazy. This is no longer a “SoundCloud” thing.
I think by now your fans know you as a “Drop a single here and there” artist, then back to the lab. As in a good way, what inspires the way you release music and do you have a strategic goal for each month or year you live by? This is mostly for other artists to get a sense of “Promotion and strategy is key.” Would you agree or disagree?
DazeOnEast: Too much music can be a bad thing. Flooding SoundCloud with songs shows consistency, however, it is not the best way to go about things especially if you have a solid fanbase. Dropping a few songs makes your listeners hungry for more. You see it all the time with artists like PartyNextDoor, The Weeknd, ‘Riri‘ (Rihanna), etc. Look at the effect it has whenever they announce that a project is on the way. Also, I took last year to work on myself as an artist, which is another reason why I dropped so little.
Having features with South Africas “LNLYBOY” and Canada’s “Duski,” who else can we expect to have a feature with DazeOnEast? Are you still doing features, or are you strict with who you work with?
DazeOnEast: I haven’t been doing too many features as of late, but I have done songs for HiddenHills, Hrtbrkfever, and RoseryHills that haven’t been released, yet, but should be soon. I feel like It’s not necessarily that I’ve become more strict as to who I work with, I see it more as just focusing on my own craft.
What’s your plan for 2020, can we expect a lot more from you this year? Or are the situations “Undisclosed” or “Complicated?” As I am sure people with high standings are watching.
DazeOnEast: A LOT MORE this year, I promise. Can’t spill too much right now, but everyone should be seeing some things pop off next month.
Now for some more questions regarding the music industry as a whole. What is your take on artists signing to labels, would you ever sign if the opportunity worked in your favour? I know most artists, nowadays, want to claim “Independence” when it isn’t as simple as people may think it is, in my opinion.
DazeOnEast: Signing to a label isn’t a bad thing as long as the right terms are met. I advise anyone who is about to sign to have a manager, and an entertainment lawyer helps you through the process to catch those red flags. I would for sure sign to a major if the opportunity came, and all of the terms were proper. As you said being independent is hard, but doable if the circumstances have you highly favored.
Is it true, you produce, engineer and record all your music? If so, if not, would you recommend all recording artists learn all these skillsets?
DazeOnEast: I do not produce all of my songs, but I do engineer my songs with some guidance from Duski. Kxvi produces most of my songs and I have seen him work in person, and he’s a freak when it comes to that shit. So if you want to learn some stuff about producing I would recommend hitting him up, as far as engineering I learned from YouTube videos, and gained a few tips from Duski.
Anything you would like to say to your supporters and artists trying to become a recording artist, producer or audio engineer?
DazeOnEast: Be you first and foremost. I’ve seen too many niggas be afraid to sing because they think it tarnishes their image of being a “real nigga.” Secondly, I would say to make connections and work with other artists. This gives you a way to grow your fan base, and also share yours with other artists and ultimately grow together. The biggest advice would be to take time to perfect your craft. Watch YouTube videos, learn things from other creatives, and invest in your craft. At the end of the day, perfecting your sound, mix, etc., is all about repetition. Niggas in the NBA putting shots up every single day, to be the best. That logic pertains to music and everything else in life.
Lastly, what is one positive thing you could say about yourself?
DazeOnEast: I’m as humble as they come. If you’ve worked with me, or have crossed paths with me in person, you know. I’ve seen this clout create too many egocentric, bragging ass niggas and it’s disgusting. You’ll never hear or see me down anybody else, that’s just how I was raised. I want to see everybody win.