Over the past 2 years Los Angeles producer, Great Dane has been shifting the trap game with his own mixture of dark and chilled out tones. Returning for his 3rd LP, Great Dane continues to push the envelope with his inventive and brooding cuts. His self titled album delivers a perspective that was lacking in his previous work, giving him the proper spotlight it deserves. Dane's work can be found alongside his class mates Mr. Carmack, Djemba Djemba, Awe and many others on TeamSupreme, one of the strongest collectives of West Coast artists. We were given the opportunity to catch up with Dane and his latest work:
DB: It's 2015, you're 2 years in and already on your 3rd LP, how does that make you feel? What's changed?
Great Dane: It’s very fulfilling. I’m trying to build something you know…something that will last. I guess what’s changed is that this is becoming a bigger part of my real life - I feel like anything that happens to me personally or in my career now can be part of this bigger art installation by getting channelled into music.
DB: I think it's safe to say that your new album is a bit darker than your previous releases, any reason why you chose this route?
Great Dane: I sort of just went with what felt right to me. I know it’s not as hype as some would have liked, but that’s not how I was vibing this year. And there’s enough of that out there anyways, so for now I wanted to say something else.
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DB: Being included on a roster like Alpha Pup must be pretty intimidating, how do you deal with that pressure?
Great Dane: It is what it is - pressure is good.
DB: I can hear a bit of Dilla in your work, has he been an inspiration to you? What other artists have influenced your style?
Great Dane: Wow I’m honored. He’s an influence for sure, but more than that he’s an influence to my influences and none of us would be doing this without his impact.
DB: Over the past 2 years you've built yourself quite the reputation providing some of the chillest trap out there. What's your fascination this specific style and where does it come from?
Great Dane: I’m not sure. It probably comes from the fact that I don’t think of it as “trap” or like any genre specifically. I can see how that term is kind of fitting but I think the farther I can stay away from what things are called, the more I can think outside the box & hopefully grow.
DB: In the past 2-3 years we've seen a massive shift in rap hip-hop, which is primarily being pushed with trap beats. But your sound borrows a bit of the new school and the old school, do you find it hard to balance the two?
Great Dane: I think balancing the two is kind of what makes it fun. There are a lot of new production techniques that I’m lagging on and I could definitely learn more of, so if anything I can take this year to learn the new moves and hopefully create more of my own.
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DB: The collective you co-founded, TeamSupreme, has some of the hottest tracks out there right now, how do you manage it all along with dropping a 20 track album?
Great Dane: TeamSupreme is a collaborative effort in every way. I hardly have anything to do with actually managing it these days, most of that can be attributed to Preston Walker, Tk Kayembe, and David Streit. The way most of us interact with TeamSupreme is as a unifying force that is much bigger than any one member.
DB: What's been your favorite part about working with your team?
Great Dane: The live shows. I love performing and playing out my tunes live, but being able to do that with some of my best friends and biggest musical influences all at once is pretty special.
DB: I see Djemba, Carmack, Awe and a bunch of your other guys in my Soundcloud feed almost every other day, what's their secret?
Great Dane: Everyone does their own thing and we cheer each other on as we go. I don’t really put out a ton of music compared to others, but I try to always make it something that I truly care about and believe in.
DB: Where do you see your music going next? Any plans you can hint at?
Great Dane: Well, most immediately I’m gonna be doing direct support for Gramatik on the west coast leg of his tour next month, and I have an official remix coming out pretty soon for...somebodyy… but outside of that, yeah I don’t know where it’s all headed- hopefully I can stay true to myself and the people who support me wherever it goes.
DB: Any new artists you've been keeping an eye on?
Great Dane: He’s not like…new, but I’ve listened to M. Constant almost every day for the last 3 years…something is wrong if this dude doesn’t seriously blow up.
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