Rapper/songwriter Dustin Cavazos held his EP release show at Spinster Records in Oak Cliff on Friday, March 13th for his new EP “Don’t Bother Waking Me”. Our Local Music Director Ian Campo interviewed him after the show and here’s what he had to say about his dreams, the city of Dallas, and what’s next for him:
Ian Campo: Tell me about your newest release, Don’t Bother Waking Me EP.
Dustin: It’s a statement to everyone to just let me dream. Let me do what I feel like I’m called to do. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position in which what I’m called to do is actually my dream. Don’t wake me up, let me just power through, and that’s kind of like a theme behind it.
Where do you record?
Dustin: I write my songs in my apartment on my little piano and I take the tracks to my producer Happy Perez (Frank Ocean, Lil Boosie, Mariah Carey) in Houston where he fine-tunes my sound.
In “Don’t Bother Waking Me” you talk about your dreams. What are they?
Dustin: My dream is to impact people with my music, any type of impact. Of course the positive route is the best route, so to be able to impact people positively with my music is the dream.
Who is Dustin Cavazos the artist?
Dustin: I think he’s passionate. With passion come flaws, so he is also a very flawed individual. He’s not perfect. He’s lost and made friends along the way but that’s because he’s so passionate about everything he does.
Are you from around here in Dallas?
Dustin: I was born in San Antonio but I’ve been living in Oak Cliff for the last fifteen years. I’ve always said, “Wherever you learn how to drive, that’s where you grew up”, and I learned to drive here.
How would you say Dallas has influenced you?
Dustin: Immensely. I used to hate this city. Whenever I first moved out here I was a kid and I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be back home with my friends so I had this disdain for the city, but then I saw the city lights and I realized that this is a beautiful city. I wanted to capture what this city is putting out in my music and it really has influenced me.
How do you feel about being able to represent Dallas in the music scene?
Dustin: It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of anything but to maybe one day, just maybe look back and say “Yo, Dustin Cavazos, he was himself”. I want people to say that he was himself so much that he made it and influenced the scene.
How has the new EP been received?
Dustin: Generally positive. I feel like it’s pretty accessible, but what’s been kind of hard is that since it is labeled as rap and hip-hop, I haven’t found my niche within that genre. I consider myself more of a songwriter. I’m trying to make it a bit more punk. I try to bring a punk attitude to my music in the sense that music has to be raw and filled with emotion and to do that in the hip-hop world it can be ill received at times.
You’re going on a mini-tour soon. Tell me about that.
Dustin: Yeah, we’re stopping at SXSW, we’re going to Midland. This show actually, the Friday the 13th show, was the kick-off. I’m going down to the valley for the Never Say Never Fest, which is like really dope because it’s filled with a bunch of rock bands, and that’s exactly where I wanna be.
Who are your biggest influences in rap and hip-hop?
Dustin: This might be a really cliché answer, but the first rap record that I ever listened to was “College Dropout” by Kanye West. Kanye has been a big influence. Through him I found about “The Blueprint” by Jay-Z and the “Be” album by Common. Then I listened to “Food & Liquor” by Lupe Fiasco.
How important is it to you to stay fresh and stay up to day in your music?
Dustin: It’s not important at all. I stopped listening to music when I started making music.
What’s next for you?
Dustin: I’m just gonna keep writing records, bro. We’re finally getting the attention of radio. Kiss FM played me here in Dallas and Kiss FM in Amarillo did too. It was surreal and crazy. It’s been a long journey so thanks to all those who’ve stuck with me. I’m just gonna keep writing records and see what happens.
What do you have to say for the younger generation that wants to pursue their dreams like you have been doing?
Dustin: You cannot give up. You can’t ever doubt yourself. The moment you doubt yourself, you literally have to start all over, so don’t ever doubt yourself. The doubt can creep in, but don’t let it get a foothold in your brain.
And one last question, what’s your favorite place to eat here in Dallas?
Dustin: From my place, I can walk down to my favorite taco stand. It’s called “El Si Hay”. It’s the best taco place here in Dallas.
Dustin Cavazos can be found on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. “Don’t Bother Waking Me” is available on iTunes and can be streamed on Soundcloud.