fbpx

„Musicians shape our society“ // Dillon Cooper Interview

Dillon Cooper by Daniel Shaked

„Do you want to be successful for the moment or do you want the longevity?“Dillon Cooper asks, sitting in the lobby of his hotel in Vienna, filling the room with positive energy and joy. The Brooklyn rapper represents the opposite of typical rap cliché. Both of his parents were into music and have influenced Dillon since early childhood. Later on, he studied at the Berklee College of Music, playing the guitar, but started rapping to out-stand. Due to his parents’ influence, his musical education and his enormous knowledge about music, Dillon Cooper now creates music with much passion. That’s the impression he gives while sitting in the hotel lobby, waiting to answer The Message’s questions. A talk about the power of music, staying away from negativity and police violence evolves.

You were born and raised in Brooklyn but went to college, so you probably aren’t one of those typical „ghetto-rappers“. Did you ever feel not accepted by the scene in Brooklyn or by any rappers?
There have never been any problems. I grew up in Brooklyn, I went to school in Manhattan, so there has always been a balance. I had well off and rich friends and I had friends from the hood, but everyone accepted me for being Dillon.

Because of your music education I would assume that you know a lot about music. Do you notice and experience music differently because you pay attention to sound and stuff like that?
I definitely do. Ever since I was a kid I have always been very attracted to sounds. I hear jingles and certain sounds in songs that people just cannot catch while listening. So I would say I have a really good ear.

„There is so much power in music. Musicians and entertainers shape how society acts. It’s hard to get people off from drugs when the music is all about drugs“.

In Austria and Germany there is a big discussion going on because lots of people say that in the German rap game everything sounds the same and everybody does the same. What about American rap?
I’d say that there is a trend going on right now, but everything happens in trends. There are always periods of time where a certain sound exists which is very, very popular and people see that sound as the way you should make music to be popular. So people just jump on that trend to stay relevant but the thing is, that trends come and go. When you take time to create real music, that’s what stays forever. So you can pick what you want to do: Do you want to be successful for the moment or do you want the longevity?

Is there a movement or a trend in the rap scene right now that you do not support?
The only trend that I do not support is this whole bunch of drug-rap. Not that kind of rap where people are selling stuff, but I don’t like the talking about getting off from Xanax, Lean and so on. I just lost too many friends who have done that. The problem is that the younger generation listens to that music and they don’t know enough about those drugs, so they listen to it and repeat all of it unconsciously. There is so much power in music. Musicians and entertainers shape how society acts. It’s hard to get people off from drugs when the music is all about drugs.

 

Are there any big differences you’ve noticed since you’re touring in Austria?
I’ve been to Austria a few times. What I have noticed is that Austrians are really into knowing what happens on the other side. Some people don’t want to come to New York, because it is one of those cities everyone wants to visit, though they are curious if New York City is like they know it from TV, YouTube or trough music.

Apple music categorizes your music as „East Coast Rap“. Why is this whole East Coast and West Coast discussion still such a big thing?
I have no idea. I don’t even know that my music is categorized under that, that’s weird and new to me. I’ll check that out because I don’t ever consider my rap as „East Coast Rap“. I’d even say that I was more influenced by West Coast Rap.

You said in an interview that you had been to one of your first rap concerts and you were thinking that being a rapper is cool but you wanted to be Jimi Hendrix. Now that you are a rapper, do you still want to be like Jimi Hendrix?
I want to be Dillon Cooper, but of course I was kind of influenced by Jimi. I started to like rap while I was at school for learning to play the guitar, to get away from what everyone else was doing – playing the guitar. Now I’m at that point where I have already proved that I can rap. So I am focusing more on my guitar-stuff right now. I don’t want to put myself in a box, rather I want to have that balance. I never thought of myself as a rapper.

„Some things are there for a second and then they just disappear and then there is that stuff that needs to be built over time. And that stuff lasts a lot longer. I’d rather take that road“.

What would you do now if you had not become a rapper or a musician?
I would be an actor. Acting or writing, I think.

I read some comments to your videos on YouTube. Many people wrote that they feel that you are underrated and that they do not understand why you aren’t really, really famous. Do you feel the same, do you think that you are underrated?
I don’t feel underrated but I know how people judge that, so they think: „Oh my god, he is not represented on that huge platform here and there and so on“. It’s hard to define what fame is. The way people receive my music and the messages I get from people about how my music affects them are good enough for me. I feel that everything happens the way it should. So if it is supposed to happen that everything is going to work out, it will. I am confident that it will, but some things are there for a second and then they just disappear and then there is that stuff that needs to be built over time. And that stuff lasts a lot longer. I’d rather take that road.

I got the impression that you have a very positive mindset. You deleted your Twitter-account because you don’t want to know what people are thinking about you. A few weeks ago you posted a picture on Instagram saying that people shouldn’t be scared of starting something new. Is it a conscious behavior staying away from negativity and trying to be a positive person or does it just happen unintentionally?
I definitely do make an effort to not take on negativity, because what you take on is what shapes you. The best thing that anyone can ever do is to be in peace and to have a clear mind. Somebody I’ve admired since I was a kid, because of my dad, was Bruce Lee. I have a tattoo on my chest, it says: „Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water“. The concept of that quote from Bruce Lee is that when your mind is clear, empty and in a silence and when there are no influences from outside, that’s the mental state in which you can really focus and shape what you want to do. If you focus on good things, you’ll get more of the good things. It is really that simple.

„The goal should be to accept that there is only one race and it is the human race. Everyone comes in different shades, but that’s one race“.

T-Ser, is hosting this show tonight. A few weeks ago his crew experienced police violence. They’ve started a campaign to raise awareness about police power against people of color. In general, police violence is a big thing in rap. Did you ever experience with the police?
Shoutouts to T-Ser, we’ve actually known each other for a few years. We’ve done shows together and are friends, so I was aware of what happened. We believe that police brutality is a worldwide issue and that it comes down to an abuse of power. I mean it’s documented through history that when people feel a threat from a certain group, whether from blacks or others, when people feel there is a significant threat against their regular way of life, that’s the point where people tend to get angry. One of the easiest ways to get away with that is with the police because they have the authority and the power. I’ve experienced it before, I was on tour down south in America, which has a very bad history with slavery and everything like that, and this mentality kind of still exists there. We got pulled over by the police, they searched our stuff for no reason and threw it out. Just to do it. They did not care, that there was no cause. It’s ridiculous because nothing was going on.

„The only thing that really exists is the now. Every moment that has happened before is already gone“.

There needs to be a way people can actually get along with each other. It has been going on for too long. If you look around the world, everyone is together. People are mixed or in mixed relationships. So the goal should be to accept that there is only one race and it is the human race. Everyone comes in different shades, but that’s one race. The whole ideology of blacks and whites and so on is man-made, it doesn’t really exist. We are fighting here against something that’s not even real, but that was made and put there by somebody.

 

We talked about your post on Instagram, about opening a new chapter. Is there anything you want to change or something you have changed recently?

Recently, a lot of changes have happened in my life. I’ve just felt personal growth over this past year. I’ve gotten to a place with my music that feels like the direction I want to go now and which makes me internally happy. It’s not a choice between considering what could make me popular or choosing a path that would make me happy. It’s just my life where things are happening. And you need to keep moving forward in life. Because past doesn’t exist and neither does the future. The only thing that really exists is the now. Every moment that has happened before is already gone. And if you keep living life in the sense that you look at every moment that you have as a new chance to make something that you want to happen and if you focus on that and not on looking back, everything will play out the way you want it to.

TeilenTw.Fb.Pin.
...

Bitte verwenden Sie einen aktuellen Browser, damit die Website korrekt funktioniert.

Sie sollten noch heute aktualisieren.