Smooth Soulster Talks W.ants W.orld. W.omen

Friday, October 28, 2011 10:23

An Interview with Dwele

By: Casey Pukl

Dwele is that guy. Which guy? That guy. You know, the one who writes incredible songs, can sing himself to the moon, has worked with Kanye West, Common, and many more, and you expect to be larger than life. Dwele is as humble, laid back, and kind as they come. I had the pleasure of speaking with him yesterday morning (one day after his emergency root canal might I mind you), and we talked about everything from his writing process and his speaker building hobby to his gorgeous female fans. If I had to pick one word to describe my chat with Dwele, it would have to be… cool. Just plain, old-school cool— and it doesn’t get much better than that.


CP: Tell me about your record Wants, World, Women and how it came together. Did you have the concept for it first, or once you finished writing, did the songs fit themselves into the categories?

D: It was really a combination of both. It really started when I was working with Nottz on the song, “I Wish.” The first line of the song I had was, “I wish I had a dollar for every dollar you think I have, I wish I had those Gucci shoes inside that Gucci bag.” It was a part of me that I don’t usually get to express. You know, I like those nice things, but that’s not all of what I’m about. I was trying to find a way to talk about it without making people mad. It was a section I just had a lot of fun with.

Then came the political section. You know, I’ve wanted to do some political stuff before, but I never really had the platform. I wanted to talk about the economy and what’s happening. I can’t really put a political song in between some baby-makin’ songs, you know? (laughs) Then came the “Women” section, where I did what I’ve been doing all along. This record was really about giving myself some different avenues to express stuff I don’t usually get to.

CP: Do you have any favorite songs on the record?

D: I really enjoy all of it, but I really like, “Dim the Lights.” I originally envisioned Raheem Devaughn rapping on the record, but when I asked him about it, his response kind of scared me. He seemed a little unsure about it, so I decided to keep him as a vocal presence on the song, and I think it came out great.

The other favorite is one of the last songs I wrote for the album. They always say that the last song winds up being the favorite, and I guess that’s true for this. “I Understand” is the other one. I really like that one.

CP: One thing that stands out about this record is your intros. Do you usually start with them or are they something that you start writing at the end of the process once the songs are chosen?

D: They’re an after thought. Once I have the songs, then I try to listen to them together and smooth out the transitions. If it was up to me, I’d have interludes for everything. I love interludes. Make that transition as smooth as can be.

CP: I’ve heard that you’re not just creative when it comes to music, but that you’re also into photography, painting, and poetry. Do you find yourself using these as outlets when you’re on the road?

D: I actually don’t do anything when I’m on the road. That’s my time to relax, catch up on some sleep, and rest my mind creatively. It’s when I get home that there’s so much to do. My home is like a playhouse and a workshop. That’s where I’ll finish a painting I’ve been working on for three months, or edit videos, or build speakers.

CP: Build speakers huh?

D: Yeah, the last few months I’ve been getting really into the tech stuff.

CP: I think that would be a really tough thing to get into. That’s the kind of thing where you get it all together, plug it in, it doesn’t work, and then you have to start over, no?

D: My first speaker actually worked on the first try!

CP: (Silently hangs head in shame and feels like an idiot). On that note, what have you got in store for us for your show here at Anthology on Saturday?

D: Well, Choklate is opening, and I’m a big fan of her live performance. But as for my set, I’m just trying to touch on a lot. Make sure everyone leaves happy. I’m going to give ‘em a little bit of everything- make ‘em move, slow it down, pick it up, and make sure everyone’s loving it. I’m at 101%.

Be sure to check out our Dwele highlights playlist, and come out to see him Saturday night!

Dwele Spotify Playlist

WHAT: Dwele
WHEN: Saturday, October 29th, 2011, 7:30 & 9:30pm
TICKETS: $14-$49 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile