We had the good fortune of connecting with D-Trait and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi D-Trait, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
My legacy will be one of impact. I want to be remembered as someone who CARED about people in general. As someone who took the time to think about the impact they have on everything around them. I want to be remembered for my passion, for the level of attention to detail that I approach all things with; As the embodiment of excellence. I pray people remember and cling to the love I showed while I was here, I pray my music continues to touch lives, and give people strength long after I’m gone. When my time in this earthy form has come to and end I want them to build statues for me… not to idolize or worship me, but because I have done something so impactful it should not be forgotten. – D-Trait ❤️💯
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Where to begin.. For those of you who don’t know me, I am D-Trait , not Detroit… but “D” Trait , as in “D” Trait the game has been missing” . I write and arrange music , I produce, I sing, I rap , I direct projects and I consult. I am a Creative! In a world where so many peoples art looks or sounds the same I take pride in the fact that the D-Trait Brand has its own unique style; look, sound and feel. I believe in doing things organically and I believe in doing them at the highest level of quality. Alot of people make songs… but the special ones make *music*. A brands Character is on display with its product. As musicians that product is music.. when I was a sophomore in Highschool I noticed it seemed like there were certain character traits that were either missing or not very prevalent in the Rap & R&B genres.. I wanted to fill those voids and be “D-Trait “ the game has been missing.
A mission I will continue forever, move with integrity and give the people what they’ve been missing. I am thankful for my God given gifts to be able to hear things in “my way” .. I know that when I’m in creative spaces I hear things musically that other people don’t hear and never would’ve thought of.. I find myself saying you should move this sound to this part.. or if you put these words before those words it will flow and sound better.. sometimes it’s just a hum, a harmony, a cadence or something as simple as a random vocal adlib at that one special moment where no one would’ve thought to put it , or I’ll say it in a way that no one would’ve thought to say it.. that unique way of hearing things is a gift! It is truly a blessing and I am grateful for it🤞🏾🙏🏾 My stage presence is also something that sets me apart from many other music creators and that is something I am also thankful for and take pride in.. it’s hard to put into words how proud of a moment it is as a musician to have someone tell you how impactful your performance was on their life .. to hear someone tell you how they became a fan and have been following your career for years because of how special of an experience you gave them through your music, your art. To be honest, I’m really excited about my future & the network I have built , I’m excited to keep checking boxes !
Looking at past milestones like performing at the bluebird, the Pepsi center(now ball arena) , live at jacks and countless other staples in our Denver music scene it helps put things into perspective for me, I see how far I’ve come and how much closer I am to where I want to be. Alot has changed for me in the last two years, (as with the rest of the World lol 😂) That being said I am particularly Excited about the music I’ve made over that span.. I feel like the music I have released in the past was like trying to catch people up in a movie.. it was always quality music both in Sound and substance, but it has up unto this point always been music that was made prior to my current moment.. up unto this point I’ve been establishing the baseline from which my growth can be measured.. and now I finally get to showcase where I have grown to, and where Im at now! As a creative I’ve Learned we are our own worst enemy sometimes.. and that perfection is not in the final product… but rather in your successful execution of your concepts and intended missions alone the way.. to project completion .
I’ve always believed in doing things the right way.. I have learned that people actually see that, ad that even when it’s not expressed, people still appreciate that. In this business you have to adjust, be able to make changes on the fly and constantly evolve.. that type of environment teaches you to be resourceful and creative in your approach to solutions… if there’s no door for you to walk through.. take the tools you have and BUILD one! The more you do for yourself the more people will want to do for you. Lastly, we’ve all heard it at some point but, You are only as good as your team and my time in this business has taught me a lot about the importance of utilizing your resources.. your team being one of them 🙏🏾 Last thing in my “advice colomn” lol every successful business has a risk assessment model that they adhere to.. they look at all factors of their business and they say based on those factors we are willing to take “x” amount of risk.. I say that to say: if you want to be successful you will have to take a healthy amount of risk(s).. you will have to step out on faith a few times, there will be times where because what you are doing Has never been done you will have to just do what you feel is right in your heart and you will have to figure it out as you go… every time I have stepped out on faith God has given me wings 💯 – trust your intuition.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
#itinerary lol so my ace pulled up for a week huh? Step one the #touchdown “Airport pick up” You know I gotta be there to greet this individual when they walk out of the doors on the 4th floor. We’re gonna do the best friends reunited mini turn up dance I’m taking their bags and putting them in the car. Depending on the time of the day we gotta grab something to eat right? I love food so we’re going to restaurants and places my friend doesn’t have in their city…. EVERY DAY! lol 😂 You just got off the plane, your hungry? You want to do Lunch? Bet! Let’s get some soul food I’m thinking Welton Street cafe. After that.. I know you’ve been grinding, working hard.. #winning.. and it’s time to celebrate the win! We’re going to the diamond district of cherry creek, 300 S Jackson St Suite 135, Denver, CO 80209 to be exact. We gotta go see my Guy Christian Stone 💎 for a custom piece of jewelry. When I say if you can think it he can make it.. that’s no exaggeration. From Zorab to Audemars he has it.. if he doesn’t have it.. He can get it 🙌🏾💯 So far we ate lunch , we got iced out .. it might be time to catch up and maybe do some reflection… what better place than red rocks. After that we gotta start a mini burger tour to try all the best burgers in town: Park burger, Lark Burger , Snarf burger, Ted’s Montana , burger fii, Duffys cherry cricket, You get the jist… I’ll throw bird call in there too.. I know it’s not a burger place but as of right now (Until they open in AZ later this year) we’re the only state with them so it’s a good local homegrown spot. 👌🏾 At some point on this trip we’d have to go put up some track times at Unser racing 🙌🏾 Dopest go cart place I’ve ever been! We gotta walk the 16th st mall .. walk a few blocks over and go see the infamous blue bear 🐻 .. The art museum. ✅ A drive down Speer to site see.. the bridge just passed chopper cr. Where the Nuggets play .. elich gardens in the background, Spice Room Indian bistro for dinner… hands down one of the best restaurants in the city! The staff is great! The owner is great! And the food is even better 🤤 🥘 Club Beta for the night life Tetra Lounge for the vibe. Gotta take a mountain drive… Vail is definitely the destination.. maybe a second mountain drive to aspen .. never know who we may run into… Water world #classic lol 😂 gotta keep that kid inside you alive.. it adds to your life 🙌🏾 The park by Dove valley is super dope! I mean let’s be real here… we live in a super dope place! There’s a million things I still haven’t named… lol 😂 let’s just say I hope this friend came prepared.. it’s going to be a long week! 😆🤣
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out Wayne Watts of the “Dream Create Inspire tour” group. Wayne I not only a tremendously talented artist himself but he was one of the first people who leveraged their personal platform to further my Career. Wayne used to host the premiere open mic night in the city called “5280 jamz” it was hosted at live @ jacks on 16th street mall: Wayne’s acceptance of me and his embrace of my artistry was huge for me.. he built the bridge for me to become one of many staples in that venue and that was huge! I reached so many people who are now life long fans AT THAT VENUE and because of the opportunity to perform on that stage consistently and interact with people In the venue once my set was done. In addition, Wayne as a Co-founder of “Dream Create Inspire Tour” has given me a platform to use my gifts to give back and make an impact by working with youth from all walks of life. If a hundred grand fell out of the sky Wayne is one of the first people I would go see. I’d definitely have a blessing for him. I also want to shout out “LS” . LS is one of the best male vocalists Ive ever met In my entire life! And he Is equally as great of a person. I myself have always been a gifted vocalist but the capacity in which I sing now, at one point was unheard of. I had strong reservations about singing To the capacity in which I do now… about actually being a “singer” .. I remember having a long Conversation with LS one day in which he explained to me that I had more than what it takes.. he explained that I have a great voice and all the talent in the world to be a vocalist.. he told me that I just needed to get out of my own way.. that I just needed to be willing to be vulnerable within my music and that my talent would take over from there… I will NEVER forget that conversation because it changed my life! His belief in me, and his support of me Pursuing that Aspect of my artistry made me feel like “well… I’ve heard it a million times from people who have heard me sing.. but this is someone I work with on a professional level that I admire.. he does things vocally that I wish I could do.. if he is saying I’m a dope singer and that I should definitely incorporate more of it in my artistry.. then 🤷🏾♂️ (Shoulder shrug) it must be true” lol LS is super dope check out his new single “Body” I want to shout out Ru Johnson of Roux Black.. she gave me some advice when I first started re-establishing myself as an artist and that advice is the reason why I performed so many times between 2017 and 2020… if it wasn’t for those hundreds and hundreds of performances.. I wouldn’t be who I am in this music scene, my network wouldn’t be as vast and powerful as it is.. and I thank her for encouraging me to jump off the ledge and fly… I wouldn’t have known who Wayne was if Ru didn’t tell me to go see him and try to get on the 5280 jamz open mic. That open mic night lead to me building countless relationships through Wayne’s platform. I am truly thankful. A Meazy… Man where to start! Not only is he the peoples champ and one of the premier artists in the city.. but he’s Solid! Been a real one since day one, and has a heart of gold.. we have both done a lot that we didn’t have to for people .. we have a deeply routed respect for each other. I remember at one point in my career I was really feeling the need to validate that I belonged.. that I wasn’t just another person who woke up one day and decided “I’m gonna be a rapper” .. I wanted to show people that music has always been a part of me and show people that I am truly on a different level.. that I belong on the stage, that I could shine in the biggest moments and that music is what I should be doing… A Meazy was having a show with Mr. Midas at the bluebird after having previously sold out the bluebird on his own.. it was the first leg and opening show of the “Loud pack tour” … it was the biggest thing in the Denver music scene at the time and when he announced that he was putting me on the show as an opener The doubters came out in droves.. lol people reached out to him asking “who is that?” Or “why did you put him on the show?” Some even going as far as to saying it wasn’t a good decision simply because they didn’t know me.. but A Meazy believed in my talents, in my work ethic and my artistry… He stayed true to his word , He stood on his decision and he gave me the chance I needed to prove myself. I ended up selling the most tickets to the show by far outside of him & Midas as headliners.. I literally outsold all of the openers put together and I killed my set! When I left the stage and the next act went on … the crowd started calling my name and asking to bring me back to the stage halfway through her set 👀 lol .. I would never wish that on another artist but it is a testament to the fact that I killed it to the point that they wanted more! I set the bar! And I set it damn high. That was an important moment for me in my career.. Peoples doubts had to stop after that because I proved everybody wrong and showed that I’m built for this regardless of whether they believed so or not. A Meazy was a huge part of that.. all I needed was a shot and he gave me one! ✊🏾💯 Shoutout to Leintz! An artist and longtime friend of mine. I respect his dedication and grind! I appreciate his belief in me and my artistry! Because of him and his efforts I’ve been in rotation on shade 45 and legends like Dj Kayslay know who I am and know that we’re really making impactful music out here in Denver… #celebrate #familyties Shout out to D.Woods for always being there as a brother and being willing to run around with a camera! We’ve turned nothing into something more times than we can count! The long nights were easier having a brother with me to work through them with. Shout out to Connor Ray for supporting my artistry with his artistry as a photographer and film director. Shout out Jeremy Pape for always giving me great energy And for shooting super dope videos! Shout out to QuaranTina for supporting me in ways that free me up mentally to focus on what matters the most and maintain clarity in my artistic space. Shout out to my parents and any and everyone else I call family including my circle.. “blood is thicker than water… but water gives life” Shout out to all my music family and friends! Y’all give me life! Y’all motivate me, y’all remind me of how important my purpose is and you challenge me to keep growing and striving to be better and top the last. I love the healthy level of competition that we have. Shout out to my twin Rachel Bailey for believing in me and promoting me as a Song writer/ Arranger / Artist and as a person. I’m thankful to have you in my corner. Love you forever sis. #plaquesOnTheWall #grammysOnTheDesk .. it’s already written for us. Shout out my recording engineer Bam for believing in the vision and making sure your actions match your words.. you can always tell who really believes in or cares about your work as an artist.. and I appreciate your approach to working with me. It gives me the comfort to create freely💪🏾 Shout out 2une Godi I swear you’re the younger me lol.. I see so much of myself in you, your fearlessness, your energy , your talent.. they keep me tuned in with myself.. they keep me sharp!
Connor Ray @thecolorblnd Dago Ruiz @sackrubproductions Pries Williams @iampries Darius Wood @woodsvision Ishan Pradhan @ishan.media