How did you start getting into what you’re doing now?
DOTB: In high school, up until my sophomore year, my parents never really kept a tab on what I was doing. That’s just the type of environment I grew up in because I lost my little brother a couple years before that. My mom was disconnected emotionally. So I was going through everything by myself. But my dad, he stays out in LA and he would always come down to check on me. He always wanted to make sure I was doing something to make money or that I had the initiative to go out and hustle.
That’s why in high school, I started selling t-shirts and no one was really buying them they just wanted me to give them out for free. So then, I decided to just sell drugs because kids were buying those. I got into that, and then over the years, I forget what made me want to start rapping...I think it was just a few people inspiring me to do music. I never took it too seriously, but I told myself “f*ck it I’ll try it”. So I started recording music on my iphone. I ditched school to go to the apartment complex across the street. My friends and I would slang and kick it and I would just sit there bored and waiting for people to come buy from me so I’d start to record little freestyles on my iphone. Then that turned into me actually liking it. I went home and started asking myself how can I do this more professionally? After I started recording voice memos and downloading them onto garageband and putting it over a beat. That’s how I made my first couple songs on soundcloud and over time, I just kept getting better. People started telling me that they liked it. Mostly I was trying to make money, but at the same time i was doing my music on the side. I just started going hard at it and making clothes for my brand with my friend Taylor. I kept pushing, doing shows, meeting people, networking. That’s pretty much how I’m at where I’m at right now.
How’d you get your name?
DOTB: Dayne is my middle name. My family always calls me Connor Dayne so I just took it and ran with it.
Right now, who is your biggest inspiration for you to keep doing what you’re doing?
DOTB: My dad and little brother. My little brother because he always looked up to me since I was older than him. He wanted to be like me. That kind of just pushed me to do it for him now that he’s not here anymore. My dad is a big inspiration to me because he came from nothing. I think at 16, his family moved away and he stayed in the house that they moved out of until they came and evicted him. From there, he built everything and got a house around the age of 25 then moved my family out of the hood. I look up to him because he’s such a hustler. He takes care of what he needs to take care of.
What is your “why”?
DOTB: Partly it’s for the money, but part of it is because I want to prove everybody wrong. I think when you’re doing something that’s an art, you really do have to believe in yourself because you won’t do it if you don’t. It’s so hard. There’s so many times where I’ve told myself that this isn’t going to work. There’s so much money and time that you need to put into this. But then I have to stop myself from thinking that way and keep going. I’m doing this to build something for myself and family. My family doesn’t really come from anything. I’m trying to build a legacy for them.
What are your biggest challenges or fears as an artist?
DOTB: I think, for me, it’s writer’s block and feeling like I don’t have enough time. Right now, I work two jobs and go to school. It’s hard to find time and sit there to work on my craft. That’s a big insecurity of mine. You have to find the time to make it work. Another insecurity of mine is the people around me. I feel like I can’t let my girlfriend down or my mom because I could be putting this money somewhere else other than my dreams. Money is a huge issue. Also drugs...they slow you down.
What is a piece of advice for someone who might be going what you’re going through?
DOTB: Keep going. Don’t stop. Work as many jobs as you can. Stay focused. Even if it seems like you have no time to do anything, cause you’re tired...try. Just put everything that you have into it.
What is something signature about you?
DOTB: I’m struggling to find that for myself right now. But people always compliment my smile.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself?
DOTB: I see my music taking off, but I think after 5 years I probably won’t be doing music.
What are your creative endeavors right now?
DOTB: I started to trust God or whatever higher power is out there lately. I’ve just been making music, not worrying about how many numbers I’m getting or whatever it may be. I’m just creating a plan, sticking to my plan and just telling myself fuck it. For a music artist, usually people are worried about getting on worldstar and trying to collaborate with these people to get some clout. I’ve tried that. I’ve got features with people and done that whole thing. So right now, I’m working on just creating my own wave through marketing and my own brand. Cause it’s one thing to make music, but if you make a good song and put it somewhere or make a really good painting and shove it in your garage, who’s going to see it and admire you for it? You need to promote it and put money behind it in order to get it anywhere. Right now, I’m focused on getting my money up that’s why I’m working 2 jobs. My friend Taylor and I are really trying to build something together to create something that’s bigger than us.
What is your dream job?
DOTB: My dream job is no job really.
What creative risks would you like to see yourself taking in the future?
DOTB: I want to make a song with somebody that’s big in K-pop.
What stops you the most from doing all that you’re meant to be doing?
DOTB: Money and Time management.
How do you wish to serve the creative community?
DOTB: I want to push the idea for others to stop caring so much about their image. I want to create every mile stone or any problem that I had growing up. My music doesn’t necessarily have to conform to the music video, but I want them to reflect what I went through in life, more so a story. That’s what I just started doing and I did that for my song “Cashapp”. It’s about how my life could have gone if I didn’t get my shit together. I actually want to have substance and something that I can connect to as a person, and have others be able to connect to it too.
What are some ways that you take care of yourself as a creative?
DOTB: I don’t and I think it’s a problem. I’m always on the go. I’m running around, emotionally drained, mentally drained and exhausted. For example, after this interview even though I worked all day today, sat in traffic for 2 hours and came home...I’m still going to go record.
What do you think our creative culture is missing?
DOTB: Leaders. For me, there’s no black leaders. No one is out here trying to lead the black community. For everybody as a generation, I feel like there’s nothing to look up to anymore. We have no hope left. We need people to make it cool to be yourself and not being who you’re around. Basically GoodEnoughCampaign embodied as a person. A leader who will show us through their own struggles that you are good enough.
What does Creativity mean to you?
DOTB: An expression of emotion.
What does being “good enough” mean to you?
DOTB: Being content and happy with the people that I surround myself with. Feeling good about my conscience. Feeling good about the message that I’m portraying to people. To be honest, I don’t think I’m good enough as a person because I’m wrong a lot of the time. But I also take my wrongs and try to understand them and make them right. I make mistakes daily that I regret. So in that sense, I don’t feel good enough. But on the other hand, I know that I’m good enough to do what I want to do. I just don’t feel good enough for some of the people that I have in my life because I’ve done others wrong and I’m not always there for them. I want to make it better, It’s just going to take time.