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“It’s the age of the informed and educated musician, and if you think sending demo tapes is still the way to go, you’ve got a harsh reality to face.”

D.P. writes, sings, and produces all of his own music.  He once created a full album in 48hrs and documented the entire thing on YouTube.  He spreads his message through social media and online music sites like Grooveshark.

If you want a taste for his style, some of my favorites are Lost In the Music and I’m Gone.  D.P. represents a new breed of entrepreneurial musicians professionally producing their own music without the help of expensive production agencies and record labels.  Without further ado, here is the exclusive D.P. interview:


You make all of your music yourself, correct – singing, writing, producing?

Yup, that’s right. I’ll have guest musicians come in and re-play certain parts, namely guitar parts. I can come up with how I want it to sound, but I’m a horrible guitar player.

How long did it take you to learn these skills?  Do you have a background in music?

I’ve been playing music since a young kid. Went through classical and jazz training and all of that. Theory and all. I’ve been playing piano for as long as I can remember, so that’s where the background comes from.

What kinds of software and equipment do you use and what kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to start producing their own music?

I use a pretty basic setup, and I think that’s the thing to take from the way I make music. Anyone with a decent computer purchased in the last 5 years can put together music these days. Hell, I used a 256 MB Celeron computer, if you know what that is, for about 10 years to make music. I made everything up to Bar Tab Blues on that computer. It was slow as hell, but it got the job done. I guess what I’m trying to say is you don’t need some super computer to make music these days. Anyone can do it, its just a matter of learning the software to make it do what you want. My main weapon of choice is a program called Reason that I’ve used since version 1.0. It’s up to 5.0 now, which just came out. I use Steinberg products to do my recording and mixing, namely a program called Nuendo, but it doesn’t really matter what you use. I started out with a program called Cool Edit that is free.

How do you fund all of this?  Are you making money with your music yet?

Hahaha. Well let’s just say, I’m doing music full time. Anyone that is serious about their art, at some point, they do the whole, quit-the-day-job thing, and I’ve done that. So I’m doing music full time. Am I making a living? Well I can tell you that someone working at McDonalds probably has it better off than me right now. At least they have some sort of benefit option.

You created an album in 48 hours.  It seems like it takes most musicians months or even years to complete an album and you not only put one together in 48 hours, but you documented the whole thing.  Tell me more about that.

I like to do concept albums, albums with a unique twist on them in between my full-length studio releases. The album you’re talking about, ‘fortyeighthours.’ was one of these albums. I was in the process of getting ready to record Bar Tab Blues, my first studio album, and I wanted to do another free album to release beforehand to build more buzz, so I came up with the idea to record a whole album in 2 days straight and see what happened. I wanted to do a sort-of webisode type deal afterwards, showing the process, so I video taped the whole thing. Also I had to prove to people that I did it in 2 days. You can’t make a claim like ‘this album was recorded in 2 days!’ and then not have any way to back it up. It loses it’s value. So I recorded it. It was great, a real test of ability to work under pressure. I’m happy with the way that album came out, and it just kind of validates the whole notion that, you never run out of songs. You can never blame ‘writer’s block’ for not writing songs. When it comes down to it, if you have to, you can knock out 11 brand new songs in 2 days. Sort of a personal affirmation.

Why do you go by the name D.P.?  Is it just your initials?

Yup. Danny Perez. People started calling me D.P. in highschool for short and after messing around with a couple different aliases for a while, D.P. was the one that I stuck with.

I heard about your music through a friend who had your music suggested to him on Grooveshark.  Are there any other online music mediums or social media tools that have been helpful in spreading your music?

That’s great! Grooveshark has been great in helping me reach new fans. They’ve got a really cool platform set up for new and indie artists to get involved and get their music on the site. Some of the other radio companies, namely Pandora, seem to be less indie-friendly. To answer the second part of your question, I use all the regular social-media tools, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. I’m just now getting into Tumblr. It’s hard cause every time a new tool comes out you have to learn it and how to use it to promote your music. You have to stay with the curve or get left behind. Bandcamp has been an awesome site and is great for musicians looking to sell their music online, direct-to-fan.

How has the Internet changed music today?

I have this conversation with people all the time. For sake for length of this interview, I’ll attempt to keep it short. It’s changed things in a lot of ways, you’re looking at a new musician middle-class due to the way the industry has shaped in the last few years. A lot more people have access to make music and make a living. There’s still a select few that stand head and shoulders (financially) above all the rest, but there’s more room for someone like me, who just makes music and puts it out, and tours on his own, to find an audience. 10 years ago, if you didn’t move to NY or LA and try and get a record deal, there was no physical way for you to get your music out in a successful way. It’s good and bad.

I really respect the “authenticity” in your music.  Where do you find inspiration and what themes do you try to convey in your lyrics?

Thank you! This is a hard one to answer. I do my best to touch on topics that are universal, but also real to me and what I’ve been through. I’m just a regular guy from a blue-collar family from small-town, America. I’ve never been rich, never been into fashion, or hanging out at the right places, or driving the right cars, or anything like that. I think it’s hilarious sometimes that some of the themes that are presented, especially in some of the hip-hop, are like these images and themes of ultra-luxury. You take that and then sell it to millions and millions of people who will never come close to living that lifestyle, yet they buy and drive around and blast it, and scream it at the clubs when they can’t afford the cover charge to get in the door. Is that irony? I just can’t relate. Popping bottles of champagne isn’t my life now, and it’s not what I work for, haha. That being said, yeah, I’m just trying to write songs that touch home with a lot of regular-ass people like me. Inspiration comes from everywhere, learning how to pick it up is the hard part.

What would you say your split is between business and music?  How much time do you spend creating music versus the time spent finding venues and getting your name out there?

When I’m working on a new project, like right now I’m working on a new online-only release called ‘D.P. and Friends’ which is basically a collaboration album with all of these great musicians that I know and that I’ve always said, ‘we should work on something together!’ but never find the time to. Anyway, when I’m working on an album, obviously a great deal of time is spent on music. But in the down times, it’s 90% business. The business, how to promote your self, package your product, how to make something that people are interested in, not just musically, but as a brand and package, is something that in this day and age, you have to know as a musician. Everyone in the business expects you to know how to do all of this before they even talk to you. It’s the age of the informed and educated musician, and if you think sending demo tapes is still the way to go, you’ve got a harsh reality to face. The business is crucial.

Any last words?  The floor is yours..

Just want to say thanks for taking the time out, thanks for listening to the music! And here’s my plug: You can get my last three albums for $14.99, plus some unreleased material, its like 41 songs total, from http://officialdp.bandcamp.com! Also, stay tuned for this D.P. and Friends album. And use Grooveshark! It’s the best! There ya go. I’m done. Thanks a ton!