Nashville based artist, producer, and audio engineer, Draco Dayve, has been honing his craft for nearly a decade. Originally a trumpeter and tech nerd, Draco has blended his love for music with his technological abilities to create ear-catching melodies with amazing production quality on a shoestring budget.
Dayve has evolved throughout the years staying true to his sound and helping others find theirs. Ownership is the key message in Draco Dayve’s music as he preaches the importance of publishing and performing rights. Using the approach of “knowledge over expenses” allows Draco and the entire Killini Records team to utilize every opportunity.
“Rather than just paying people to do things we can’t, we force ourselves to learn every part of the game” From production to writing to artwork and more, Draco Dayve does it all.
How did you come by your stage name?
My real name is Dayvron but I’ve always been a fast talker and when I introduce myself everyone thinks I’m saying Dayve so it just stuck. I make sure people know to not forget the Y though. Draco is a triple entendre, I spit like a Draco the gun, I’m a dark magician like Draco from Harry Potter, and I’ve been doing some research on the Draconian constellation. Draco Dayve just stuck and my friend’s mom liked it as soon as I said it for the first time.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
My love for music came early. I think I was about 3 when I started developing an affinity for the complex art known as music. I played in several bands throughout the years and learned a plethora of different instruments including trumpet, piano, and trombone just to name a few.
I wrote poetry for school projects and I got pretty good reviews. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school when I began combining my 2 passions into one. I made music for my godfather who owned an indie label from 2011 to 2014. This was the moment I felt I deserved a chance to be in the industry.
3 years of trying to “get noticed” taught me everything I needed to begin my independent career with my own label, Killini Records. I did a “test run” with a different name, El Nomad, under a pseudonym label called Elohfam.
People really liked a lot of the music I put out during this time but they could tell I wasn’t being myself. I’m glad they called me out on that because it forced me to make sure I came all the way real when I officially came out as “Draco Dayve”.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
My sense of style comes from being poor but still having class and wanting to look my best no matter what resources I had. My style both physical and musical is just pieces of my struggle put together in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing and overall enjoyable.
My mom always taught me that you don’t have to look like what you come from and that’s always stuck with me throughout life. My dad taught me to be myself no matter what, so with those 2 driving thoughts always in the back of my head, I have no choice but to stand out in my style.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
The current project I have is a trilogy album released in three parts. A Cold Night In Hell, A Cold Night In Hell 2, & A Cold Night In Hell 3. Representing the 3 nights of darkness, the series takes the listeners down the rabbit hole known as Draco Dayve’s mind.
Each song is a mood letting the fans get to feel me as they hear me. As a black male in America, I live every day like it’s my last because honestly it very well could be depending on the events that transpire.
This is essentially my hell, but it’s one that I have a little control over so that’s the message I kinda wanna send to everyone. You control your life even in hell you’re your own Lucifer. Why not be your own God instead, spreading positivity?
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Hmmm. I think my greatest challenges are being misunderstood and not being able to express what I’m thinking as clearly as I would like at times. I’ve always been misunderstood because I share the same background as many people but I know their future isn’t my future so I move differently.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Absolutely. I don’t think there’s anyone doing what I do on my level. Very few rappers make beats too and even fewer mix and master their own music. Out of that select group, only about 1 percent own their masters and publishing on their own label. I’m definitely the best on my lane.
What are your plans for the near future?
Near future, I plan on selling out Madison square garden
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
I gotta thank my mom for being the best ever, and my best friend for helping me start and run my own label.
How can fans find you?
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Learn everything anyone is willing to teach you. Even if you don’t plan on using any of the information, it will behoove you to obtain every morsel.
The more tools you have in your arsenal, the more adaptable you are in the industry. Maybe today you have it all figured out but tomorrow everything changes. If you ignore the lessons for today you won’t be ready for the challenges of tomorrow.
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