Last month Canadian artist, Russell Gilbert Llantino better known as D-Pryde signed with Mars Music Group , a seemingly young label that we couldn’t find too much information about. However, we did discover that the label backed by DJ Suss One of New York’s 101.5, who wanted D-Pryde to become its flagship artist. So according to tweets from D-Pryde, he is officially on board and “off to Mars!” Congrats D-Pryde on your success!
Recently, channelAPA.com had the opportunity to chop it up exclusively with D-Pryde about this new chapter in his life. He discussed with us everything from his emotional childhood to what his next step in the music business would be. Check it out, it is definitely a heart-felt interview for D-Pryde fans and aspiring young rappers.
For those who don’t know, why the name D-Pryde?
D-Pryde: The D stands for “Duke”, which invoked a feeling of high ranking and class to me as a kid. Back when I first started this music thing, I always dreamt of being a high class individual. It comes as a surprise to most people when they learn that I had a bit of a rough life in my earlier years. Having no father and moving from a poor area to the suburbs really gets to you if you’re an emotional kid. I would think a lot about the lavish life and hoped that one day I could bring myself to that position. I kept the alias “Duke” for months as I progressed in making music and upgrading my skills as an artist. One day I realized my name was a little too plain and too common!
I then tried to find a way to make “Duke” seem more interesting. As I looked back at how much I progressed from a daydreaming kid into a developing artist, I knew I was really proud of what I’ve done! Pride has a positive meaning to it, so I thought of attaching it to my name as a sign of positivity.
So, that brought me to make the name, “D-Pryde”! Ta-da! So in the end, I combined both of the meanings together. I am a person with a lot of pride in the way I’ve been working to reach the “high class” lavish life that might bring me happiness. That’s about it!
What are some things that surprises you about the progress and current state of Hip Hop today?
D-Pryde: I think hip-hop music today just got a little more commercial. But, there is no problem with that in my book. I mean, how can somebody buy the music without the music being promoted and shown to people all over the world? Endorsement deals, commercialism, media, etc. has changed music and the industry in general. I have no problem with it at all. As long as every artist and I still have the choice to make and listen to the music we love, I have no problem in what is “hip-hop” and what isn’t!
Could you walk us through the steps into how you got connected with MarsMusicGroup?
D-Pryde: It was one day after school when I realized my grades were improving more than I expected and I was happy. On the other hand, my family wasn’t doing too great and I needed more time to get closer to them. I saw that music was taking up a lot of my time, but I was not confident in a label or any type of company finding me any time soon. I decided to put the mic down for a while and make my life better. Later that night I checked my e-mail and saw that Baby J (Partner of Mars Music Group) hit me up and said he could give me an opportunity to take my career to the next level. I called him and next thing you know I was on a flight to New Jersey! After collaborating with them in the studio, I was ready to sign the contract they had for me. That brings me to the present time, up and ready with Mars Music Group to cater to my loving fans and make music to blow your ears away! DUNDUNDUN! Haha, but yeah! That’s the story!
As your music career continues to grow, do you plan to stay in Canada or move to the US?
D-Pryde: I don’t know much about that yet, haha. Most of my work is done in the US but the family and friends I love and care about are in Canada. I don’t have a stable verdict of that yet, I think I’d need to update you on the next interview, haha!
Collaborations with fellow Asian American artists have contributed to your success. Will we continue to see you do more of these collaborations?
D-Pryde: For sure! Traphik, Lil Crazed, and all those dudes are my really good friends. Even if I don’t get the chance to collaborate with them more in the future, I will still be affiliated with them as much as I am now. I have mad love for the Asian community, especially Asian artists because we all have to stick together in unity to make our movement! Power to the Asians!
Anyone you haven’t worked with that you really want to collaborate with?
D-Pryde: There’s a large number of people I’d want to collaborate with. At the moment, there are four artists that I can come up with off the top of my head: Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Eminem, and Drake. Justin Bieber because he is amazing! Despite all the hate that I hear from him in my age group, I really appreciate his musical talent and ability. Katy Perry is also simply amazing. Her swag, the way she sings on a record, and the touches she adds to her vocals. She seems cool to hang out with and a fun person to be around, so for sure she would be a choice for me.Eminem has always been my idol. He’s the reason I started music in the first place. I always listened to Eminem as a kid and “The Eminem Show” made me start. Eminem is highly influential in making me the person I am today. I could go on for days about how much he’s influenced me. Last but not least, Drake because he is the artist that I would have the most chemistry with musically and mentally. We’re both from the same city, have similar taste in music, and have similar personalities. Plus, his come up really shows what kind of person he is as an individual and artist. His music is amazing. I definitely wouldn’t mind chilling in a studio with him.
So what are your next moves, and goals, now that you are signed?
D-Pryde: My moves and goals? Just make music; it’s what I’ve always been doing. I want to make my mother and my friends (the NHB—No Holding Back) proud. Most of all, I want to cater to the people that brought me here, my fans. I love them so much and honestly feel that they gave me this experience of a lifetime. I love my fans to death.
For those who share the same aspirations as you, what are some tips or advice that you would like to share?
D-Pryde: Have passion for what you do. Girls and money isn’t passion. The drive comes within, so use that to succeed. Also, be confident in who you truly are, it’s okay to be different. Before making music about yourself, really think about who you are and about your identity. Last, but not least, never let anybody tell you what you can or can’t do because of your race…Asian, black, white, or whatever it may be. Nobody can tell you what to do, stay true to you. In the words of Doctor Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Closing message from D-Pryde
D-Pryde:To the fans, thank you for putting me here. It’s a true blessing and the music I make will always be 100% for you. If not then why did I ever make it? Haha. We all have a little D-“PRYDE” inside us, so be happy about your accomplishments. I’m happy about what I’ve done and how I’ve done it. Everybody should be! Thank you very much to my fans and channel APA, YEEAHHH!
If you’re in the New York area, some of D-Pryde’s tracks are hitting the airwaves. Although he’s mostly locked in the studio cranking out music, he still has time to mix it up with the fans in Time Square.
D-Pryde in the studio making records (contains profanity)