As someone who pretty much devotes eery waking minute to listening to, studying, sharing and discovering music – there is often nothing more exciting than stumbling onto a new talent. Between running this site and working full time at a record label, the amount of music that I listen to on a daily basis is quite substantial and what I have learned more than anything throughout my time in the business is that there is an incredible amount of talent in literally every nook and cranny of this spinning rock.
As someone who used to write, rap and breath Hip Hop – I can tell you that it is probably the most saturated genre, making discovering GREAT new artists incredibly hard. There is a lot of good stuff, a ton of shit, and then there are the diamonds in the rough.
When I first came across Dylan Montayne, at that time known mostly as ‘The Uber Rapper‘, I didn’t find it difficult to see past the gimmick and clearly see the undeniable talent. While rapping for chicks while driving an uber may have been his jump off, Dylan Montayne has been rocking his whole life. Starting as a drummer, Dylan clearly remembers when he started to rap – demolishing his classmates in lunchroom freestyle battles, there was no doubt he had skills, so he took it and ran with it.
From there I made sure to keep tabs, and when he dropped his track, “Deja Vu“, I had all of the reinforcement I needed to know that he was going to turn his love of Hip Hop into a long and fruitful career – one way or another.
Most recently, the Colorado based MC finally took the major step of putting together his first album and after running a highly successful crowd-funding campaign – he hit the studio and, “Rebecca Lane“, was born. While I could go track by track and tell you why Dylan Montayne is so dope… I’d rather you learn the way I did – by listening intently, over and over. Do yourself a favor and check out the videos and album below and make sure you keep scrolling to get to know the buzz worthy artist via our interview.
RDFO: How old were you when you first decided to try your hand at being an artist?
DM: 5 years old! My first experience playing music was in my garage, banging around on an old beat up drumset that my dad got me. I’m not sure if that counts as being an “artist” at that point. But it started there.
RDFO: How did growing up in Santa Fe help to shape you as an artist?
DM: Santa Fe is a city of creative energy. A lot of it is focused around the “fine art” world, but music was always present as well. Art has to be unconstrained, and I never felt constrained in Santa Fe. It’s ok to be different and try new things there. My hometown is really starting to embrace what I do, which is amazing.
RDFO: Now in Colorado, how has the vibe of the city influenced your sound?
DM: Denver is another city that embraces artists and supports them! That was one thing I noticed when I moved here – in some regions of the country, you really have to SELL your shows and beg people to come. In Denver, going to shows is a way of life. The shows sell themselves. I think the overall vibe of the city has definitely influenced my sound – it’s a really laid back place, and again, a place where it’s ok to be different and try new things. I’m not sure there’s a better place for me to have started my career.
RDFO: How did your first viral exposure as the uber rapper help to drive you?
DM: It definitely showed me what was possible. Before that, I could barely scrape together 100 views on my videos. It’s hard to be confident in yourself at that level. I definitely became more driven after the viral experience because it made it all seem a little closer.
RDFO: When that video took off online, what was your initial reaction?
DM: I was mostly like, “about time”. But it was definitely overwhelming for a minute there. I thought it was the “big break” or something like that. The attention it got was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It cooled off and things went back to normal pretty quick, though.
RDFO: Why did you decide to crowd source this album and did the campaign react as you were hoping?
DM: Hell yeah they did! I had been thinking about crowd-funding a project for a while, and it just came down to the right timing for it. I had started to create this album, “Rebecca Lane”, and I just knew I wouldn’t be able to pull it off on my own. The Kickstarter campaign was awesome, because it really showed me for the first time that a lot of people really wanted to hear what I was making. It really re-energized me to see that.
RDFO: What is your most personal/favorite song off the new project?
DM: That’s a tough one. I’d say “Pecos Purp” and “No Smoke” are my personal favorites! But I mainly love the whole flow of the album, when listened to front-back.
RDFO: How did you come to collaborate with the people you chose for this project?
DM: There were a lot of producers involved in the project that I had been collaborating with for a long time. Two of the songs (Rebecca Lane, Lonely) were produced by my guy WayzWhizz out of Russia. I’ve been working with him for 4-5 years. And then there’s Shane Doe, who produced four of the records (Diablo, How’d You Get That Way, Pecos Purp, Phantom or a Jeep). He and I have been cooking via email for a little while now, so it was dope to have his sound contribute to this project. “No Smoke” was a cool collaboration because it has 4 people involved who live and record in 4 different places. Birocratic produced that song and absolutely nailed the vibe, and then Abhi The Nomad and Harrison Sands just SHINE on the track. One of my favorites for sure.
RDFO: As an indie artist how important is it to build a team of creatives? How do you decide who to work with on things like production and art?
DM: I think it’s definitely important to have people that you can at least bounce ideas off of. I leaned on a few select people to help me with all of the things involved in making this album. People I’d been working with for years, who know the vision. For example, Ryan Frederick and I recorded a large part of the album in 4 days at his house in Nashville. He mixed and mastered this whole project. I’ve been working with him for 4-5 years so it was pretty easy to align our visions for the SOUND of this album. But there were also people involved who I’d never worked with before, producers and such who I found on social media. That’s always fun too.
RDFO: What is up next for Dylan Montayne in 2019?
DM: I just want to get out there and do more shows, start hitting more cities. And more music for sure! I’m already writing the next project… Stay tuned though, a lot coming up in the next few months! Hit me up @dylanmontayne on socials.