D’Truce is a young rapper whose aim is to impact lives positively with his music. The artiste and copywriter with X3M Music got professional in 2011 and has released mixtape series, his recent work being, ‘Better Days’ video featuring Praiz. In this interview with SAMUEL ABULUDE, the electrical engineering graduate with real names Chukwuebuka Dusten Anyasie speaks on his sojourn in music industry and how working in an advertising agency has changed his approach to music.
Why did you choose to do music?
Well honestly, I never set out to become a musician and I’m not gonna give you the cliché, ‘I didn’t choose music, music chose me, that’s very lame’… (Laughs). Initially, I played basketball. I actually thought I was going to play in the NBA or something but somewhere along the line, growing up, some stuffs happened with my parents, my family and it left me in a certain place mentally and that was what led to the quietness I spoke of earlier and during this period, I started reading a lot and writing a lot and around that period, some great albums came out like MI’s Illegal music mixtape, The Talk About It, 50Cent’s Massacre, all those, like there was so much music material in circulation and I started listening to rap music and somewhere along the line I started taking this random things I wrote and started writing them into verses and then I met friends that were actively into music. We started doing things together and that was it. I found myself rapping.
You sound like a rap addict with all these rap figures you mentioned, who inspire you most?
Honestly, I cannot point to one person and say this is the most inspirational rapper I’ve listened to because there’s a whole bunch of them. My playlist is crazy and scattered with names you’ve probably never heard of and besides rap music, I listen to hip-hop and a lot of jazz and traditional afro beat like highlife and all that stuff so I literally just draw inspiration from everything I hear, that’s beautiful and sounds great. Officially I have been in the industry since 2011. So this will make it my sixth year.
What makes you feel good?
Good food, happy people, video games. Maybe money (Laughs)… Absolutely. The thing is music for me is a job but I don’t like to look at it as a job because it’s like eating. Sometimes you’re hungry and you eat, sometimes you’re not hungry and you eat. That is it with music. Sometimes I have to make music when they are like “we need a song for this”, so I have to go into the studio, that’s when I do it likes it’s a job. But sometimes I’m working on the street and something hits me. I might not be able to go into the studio there and then but I have my phone, so I record voice notes. I probably won’t record the song until like two weeks later when I feel like. That’s when I’m hungry. The music comes to me and that’s when I write it down, I lay it down and record it. So I like to look at it as something I love to do and not something I have to do.
Does that explains your kind of music; Feel Good music?
Yes! It’s very relative to the environment. After the release of ‘Better days’, I did like a short series online called the pop culture series where I just take random topics and articles from the social media and turn into songs. These are basically phrases you have seen, hashtags you have seen, just random stuffs and in my unreleased material, it’s like that, real life situations, real life issues. I’m not trying to sound extravagant, like telling you I have a Ferrari when I don’t, maybe when I buy a Ferrari, I can say I have a Ferrari on my song, you get. I’m just very simple, straightforward and relatable, that’s how my music is.
So what do you drive now?
I Drive a Mitsubishi (Laughs)… I didn’t even buy it. It’s my mom’s old car and I took it.
Isn’t it interesting that as at that point in your life, rap was what you listen to. Can you recall the sensation or healing it gave to you back then?
It was an avenue to let out my anger. Because I rap and hip-hop is one of the very few genres that cursing is part of the music… (Giggles), you can curse, you can yell, shout, and get aggressive with your gesticulations. I remember just being alone in my room, head phones plugged in and I’m literally just going at it like that you know, it was very soothing for me at that point in time and I went to different places in my head just by listening to music.
So how prepared are you for the industry?
I really don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m a part of an industry. I’m just a guy that people like and people will like and what I’m trying to do is touch as many status of people I can with my music because if I was trying to become a part of the industry, I probably won’t have a day job you know, I would be dressing different and acting different you know, trying to be in the club every night; that’s not me, that’s not my life. I believe in the industry, I am a part of the industry. So to speak, but I am not trying to be one of the stereotypes in the industry. It’s like asking an accountant how prepared he is to work at a bank.
Let’s talk about other creative sides of you?
The creative side of me is the real me. I guess because music is a creative activity. If you lack that creativity, you may end up sounding the same and I feel like me working on advertising has really helped me a lot in understanding the concept of being a brand. Back then when I made music, I always thought that I needed to come up with something other than music to push but it was never really clear to me. Working at an advertising agency opened my eyes. The extended play EP I’m working on, it has already been concluded, and I’m just putting finishing touches to it. It’s called Eden, so now I’m thinking of how to market Eden. It’s not just about putting out the EP, it’s like ‘what’s the plan?’ I think of it as a campaign rather than just release. How long is it going to run, what are the touch points? What brands am I trying to market it to, to put money back into what have done, what channel do I use to get to my audience and all that? Music is a business at the end of the day so if you think of it as just something you are just doing, you are playing with your business. It might be fun but the real work starts after the music is ready.
What style are you bringing on you own rap?
Basically, I am my style because when I interact with the people I’m having discussion with I usually speak English and pidgin. Sometimes I listen to music that I recorded and I don’t even realise I’m rapping in pidgin. I’m trying to make my music an extension of myself in the long run. I’m not trying to force a sound. If I feel sad today, I’m making a sad song. Because I wasn’t trying to fake my sound yesterday, it would be easier for me to sound the same way today. It’s like meeting someone for the first time and you speak phonetics, then you run into the person the next day and you speak pidgin… (Laughs) it sounds weird. So I’m trying to be as natural as possible.
Where are you taking us with Eden?
Basically, Eden is my first compilation project after my second mixtape which I dropped in 2013. That’s a gap of 2 years and within these two years, I have seen a lot and a lot has happened and I have grown in my approach to life, in my sound and music so Eden is like a window to what I sound like now. It is like a re-orientation of the D-Truce you are used to. So with this EP. I’m trying to make proper music. I’m trying to open up a window to my mind that is, this is my approach to what I make of life. I feel like it’s a nice balance of rap and proper music, so yeah”
Why wouldn’t you want to take music as a job? Is it because it’s not rewarding enough?
The thing is there is this quote I saw somewhere, it says “the moment you stop enjoying what you do, it’s that moment you begin to fail”. Of course it’s a job. Maybe when the music blows up, I may decide to cut other jobs but you know, we have one life. Who says you can’t do as much as you can with all your talents? It’s not a crime.