Born Dan August Rigo, August caught the music bug early when he saw Michael Jackson’s legendary performance of “Billy Jean” on Motown’s 25th Anniversary TV show. “Even at that age, I knew I was witnessing something extraordinary,” says August. “I think my destiny was etched in stone from that very moment.
While still in his teens, the Toronto-born August, who taught himself to play keyboards and guitar, and who names artists as disparate as Jodeci and the band Chicago as influences, traveled to New York City to meet with producers and record label heads. “Every time I had a new song or two, I’d scrape together whatever money I had and go meet with everybody. It was a hard grind, but eventually it all worked out.”
August’s phenomenal talents and formidable songwriting/production skills soon caught the ear of industry heavyweights such as Eric Nicks, Sha Money, Irv Gotti, and Chaka Khan just to name a few, which led to a head-spinning slew of written songs for artists such as Sean Kingston, Mary J Blige, Leona Lewis, JLS, Pleasure P, Iyaz, and Jessica Jarrel, just to name a few.
“It’s incredible how fast everything has happened in the last couple of years,” says August. “What I think artists and producers like about what I do is, I write with the radio in mind. I try to come up with a hooks and melodies that I can hear on the radio. But I still try to have an edge to what I do.”
Pretty soon August will be bringing those hooks front and center on his own album. A singer of incomparable depth and soul, August has partnered with Justa Beast to form a company and has signed with Island/Def Jam as an artist in his own right.
“Being a self-contained artists is really where I’m headed,” says August. “Songwriting for other acts has been something of a means to an end. But to make my own records and show the world what I’m all about, that’s where my head is at.”
August is co-producing (with Justa Beast) the bulk of his forthcoming album, but he’s going to work with Boi-1da, Stargate, The Runners & Stereotypes. “It’s 80 per cent done at this point,” he says. “It’s exciting. Everything’s been leading up to this. I think when people hear my record, they’ll get a full sense of what I’m all about.”
And with his already proven track record, no doubt music fans will soon be seeing August’s name at the top of the charts.
2011 August Rigo interview