I’m a freak for listening. If it’s new I want to hear it. If it changes direction or makes something simple baroque, then I want to know. I tell people who ask how I’ve lived so long that it’s possible as long as you’re waiting for the next great song to come along. The record that will finally quantify the allatonceness of the womb when it gets tangled up with the infinite void. That’s what keeps me alive, I am sure of it.
With that sort of vampiric attitude—though don’t get me wrong, I do love the light as much as the dark of night—it’s no wonder that I spend hours per day poring over every sort of music currently available to the human race.
Of course the interwebz helps, it’s all global and shizz, cuz. But what helps more is the fact that this, after all, is a small town. People know people who know you. That’s always going to be a thing around here in Dirt City, especially in the art and music communities.
That freaky fact was made clear to me just the other Friday, when I told our staff photographer that I was planning to interview the rapper named Dremon for the next issue of Weekly Alibi.
Of course Eric Williams knew the dude. He worked with him on some promotional photos a few months ago. Besides making it relatively easy to set up a killer in-studio photo shoot with these cats, I reckoned Eric might already have some heady shots.
Those two agreed to meet on Monday. You are looking at the results right now. That and a transcript of the words said between an old-school rocker who made a pact with hip-hop nation back in the ’90s and the latest and potentially greatest of the local artists currently rising—fiery, fierce and poetically and musically fecund—in the midst of Burque’s music scene.
Besides a slew of recent recordings including the beginnings of a concept album trilogy, Dremon hopes that upcoming performances—March 23 as part of the Hart of the City performance at the Ramada Hotel (2020 Menaul Blvd. NE) and as a featured artist at the third annual NM 420 Fest happening April 20 and 21 in the middle of Downtown—will bring his sound within reach of more listeners interested in groovy yet gritty observed emanations distilled though a seriously spring-wound post Tupac West Coast trap aesthetic.
Weekly Alibi: Hey Dremon, tell me, tell our readers a little bit about what you do...
Well, I am Dremon, born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I guess you could say I come from a musical family, a family where the joy of music is ever present. On my mom’s side, it’s nothing but musicians. They were the first to strive to do something with music. I’m still learning about my family and myself, now that I’ve gotten back in contact with them. There’s also a lot of influence coming from my dad and my uncle. My uncle was the first artist I really listened to, in getting to know hip-hop.
And who is your uncle?
He goes by the name Revelation.
That’s a cool name.
His work has a lot of substance to it, he’s one of my favorite poet-lyricists. Before that, I was really into Michael Jackson.
Like everyone in the known universe who grew up in the ’80s, right? When did you start making your own music?
The first project was with my cousin. He just happened to have a microphone and a computer with a recording program. It was just all freestyle. I don’t think it was very good. But he told me he could hear something that would grow later on. I had potential, in other words. I’ve always been inspired to make something better, I’ve always had a musical inclination.
What happened next?
The next project used a similar recording process but with GarageBand or something like that, on an Apple Computer. It was a little more complex and I was actually producing some of the beats and samples, so I started to get hands-on experience with that sort of thing, too. It expanded from there. I started working with more people, different producers.
Are you mostly making the beats and choosing the samples for your own work now?
I give some suggestions, but mostly I’m flowing, supplying the words and the rhymes. I love freestyle, but I really dig writing songs.
What are you writing about? Where do you get your inspiration?
I get all of that from real life. And actually, that’s the name of the latest album I put out. Real life inspires me. Like talking to the people next to you, the people that you see, not even the ones in music. I just gather my energy from the world.
So do you feel like a conversationalist; someone who is out there in the world, observing and connecting?
Observing and absorbing. It’s kinda the way Tupac put it: his music wasn’t necessarily about him, it was a representation of his culture, his family. There’s poetry there.
Yeah, people who dismiss Tupac as gangsta gangsta are missing out on some very deep work.
He talked about so much, it was a trip to me. Especially on “Thugz Mansion.” That’s real life.
Well artists like Tupac really brought the genre full circle.
It’s a powerful message. That’s my inspiration. That sort of point of view, or somebody else’s point of view, people going through stuff. That’s what my flow is all about. What you are experiencing, what your mom or your brother or your sister are going through. There are a lot of things that everyone has in common, experience-wise. It’s like watching the whole world go by.
Wow. I really relate to that and I think that it’s culturally significant that hip-hop deals with human experience in such a poetic way. Sometimes it seems like rock music glosses over the observed personal experience and how that experience shapes lives. How do the people in your life and family react to your work?
I think at first, they didn’t take it that seriously. But then they started listening and saw my music progressing. It went from ‘oh, this has potential” to “ I love this.” They’re on board now, but they’ve always been supportive.
What does your trajectory look like. Where are you headed?
Actually for this year, it looks like three albums, well not exactly this year, maybe the next year and a half. I don’t ever like to rush things. But I don’t like not doing anything, either. The first album I’m pushing is called Real Life. That’s out, and it was executive produced by SBM Global. The one that’s up in the air—which were just working and letting it come together naturally—is called Maximal. That one’s executive produced by Alejandro Gomez. The third album I’m pushing for is called Til Daylight. I’m workingwith Nike Boy on that one as well as a lot of other folks.
It’s like there’re a lot of people who want to work with you!
There’s this gentleman, Ant Glynne, outta Los Angeles, California, who is interested. When I was out at his studio, I realized he’s worked with people like Guns N’ Roses and Rick Wakeman.
But he’s a rocker!
We just started working together. Something grooved. Well for someone that’s into other genres outside of hip-hop, I feel like I know he has something, like we have something.
Yeah, I’ve noticed more and more rock producers getting behind hip-hop.
Yeah, if you’re in touch with the other genres, those are the artists that are really making it.
A fancy word for that is polymorphism.
They’re like all over the place.
Is Burque gonna get small quickly, given that sort of notice and awareness?
I’m going to always keep moving. But what I’ve done here, what I do here, there’s no place like home. When you’re making music you’ve got to be as comfortable as possible. I was able to do that in LA and on the East Coast, where there are very different vibes and imagery. That’s great. But there’s a huge difference here in Burque. It’s like looking at the stars in California’s desert versus our desert. In Cali, there are millions of them, all very far away in the sky. But out here, it’s like you can touch that sky.