Listen Here ➡️ Soundcloud ⬅️
I had an amazing interview with Indie Artist Dashen Grizzly! You wouldn’t believe his story even if I told you. Looks are truly deceiving! Peep the interview below. #Jaymarlé
Dashen Grizzly, where’d you get that name from & why?
- I was returning from Philadelphia by train on July 4th, 2011 after a weekend with friends at Temple University. All the passengers ended up stranded in a town called Exton in Pennsylvania. It was well past midnight and I was lucky enough to have sat beside the only other night-owl on the train. We got into a long-winded conversation til the morning trains began running. I learned he was raised in Arizona on a Native American reservation and much to my surprise he told me that the naming system of ‘verb-animal’ was an actual thing that still existed. We bounced ideas back and forth of what my Indian Reservation name would be. Eventually he had an ah-ha moment and took a cue from my beard & long hair, he snapped his finger, pointed at me and almost whispered: “You’re Dashing Grizzly.” Slight alteration and I had a stage-name. Dashen Grizzly. Sadly, we didn’t exchange contact info- so I can’t thank him.
What made you want to start rapping?
- I was notorious for chronically failing classes in school from 6th grade onwards. Taking notes took a backseat to writing poetry, lyrics & fiction while in class. Consequentially homework took a backseat to playing guitar while at home. I didn’t really watch TV so in order to punish me I was grounded from playing guitar on and off for years. So in order to satisfy my creative urges I really pushed myself into writing alongside instrumentals- which was equally fulfilling. Also at the time my singing was completely atrocious and there wasn’t a person in the world who had any trepidation about telling me. With rap I never had to ‘hit’ any notes so self-doubt didn’t create an artificial ceiling on my potential. Until, of course, I stumbled upon the nuances of tempo, flow, cadence, creating a unique voice. Spoken word, in general, has a host of challenging components that only become apparent once you’re knee deep into the craft.
How long have you been in the game?
- I was blessed with mentors whose experience really pushed me into putting myself out there at a young age. I remember passing out CD’s to friends in 10th grade, which inadvertently made me into somewhat of a laughing stock. My early endeavors were embarrassing at best. I knew the only important thing was that I was doing something. Building a skill. That always make you an easy target for people who aren’t doing anything.
Where are you from? & is your city aware of your movement?
- Rosewood, North Carolina. Although I’ve had some awesome times in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC- but big city novelty wears off quick so now I’m in La Grange, NC. My city is a glorified town, but I’m known less for rap and more for teaching guitar for free, selling/refinishing/fixing guitars and generally helping people become the strongest version of themselves- which, in my opinion, is far more important than my music being on their minds.
Dashen, what’s your biggest aspiration in life?
- I’ve got a long, long list of completely unrealistic goals. I’m in school for chemical engineering at the moment and would love to win a Nobel prize in chemistry, have an element named after me, solve an alternative energy problem, have my researched papers sourced, inspire future scientists, etc. I could go on all day. My goals are completely unrelated to music and I know that a Chemists’ life expectancy is substantially lower than the general population so I’m just trying to stay goal-oriented, live each day to the absolute fullest and attempt to be the very best at what I do, whatever I do.
Closing remarks: Dashen, it was truly a pleasure man! I can honestly say that one thing you’ve taught me is that talent has no face. Live life like its golden & conquer every dream you desire! 👏🏽 #Jaymarlé