Rushen (lead guitarist #2), as a contestant
Joshua (drummer), as a Contestant
DNM Crew released their latest music video for their new single “ILL-LITERATE”, and we spoke to Dush from DNM Crew about the concept behind the video and how they came to shoot a music video amidst a pandemic.
Dush shared that the thinking behind the music video is based on the concept of how rap has evolved throughout the years. He shared that personally having grown up in an era where lyricism and “bars” in hip hop were prioritised, “boom bap is where our routes are from, the whole mumble rap style isn’t really the DNM Crew’s flow”, he said; and so came along “ILL-LITERATE” – a parody against mumble rappers.
He stated that it is all tongue-in-cheek, adding: “No hate or discrimination in any way, but just a fun flow we wrote down to a ‘90s nostalgic beat, with comparisons to this generation of how lyricism is very less on par with the quality of the beat, and how the ‘90s to 2000s were when a rapper had to step up with the bars.”
About the timing of the project, he said that the reason why they released it now is because they had actually recorded the audio of the song back in 2019, and it was quite overdue. He added, however, that they also felt that now was the perfect time because content is being released and consumed at a rapid pace, considering that people have a lot more time on their hands – both creators and their audience.
Dush said that the DNM Crew are more of a rap/rock band, but with this track, they focused more towards the hip hop aspect, and let the pro tools do the work, giving the electric guitar, bass, and drums a small break.
We also spoke about the production process. Dush shared that the track was recorded at Furnace Records in Mount Lavinia, and that it was a hard moment to beat. “To be honest, the moment we heard the beat, it took us maybe a few hours to write the verses; the next thing you know, we recorded and it’s at the mixing stage,” he said. He also shared that although this wasn’t a typical DNM Crew jam and was more focussed towards hip hop, the rappers incorporated the entire band into the music video.
With regards to the video production, he shared that they got started back when the first wave of Covid-19 simmered down, adding that it was definitely a really fun experience because they wanted to not just showcase their lyrics but also a backstory in order to add more context. “It was like shooting a movie, with our very own lead guitarist portraying the mumble rap character,” he said. He also spoke of some of their collaborators, especially the team from Empire Clothing Club, who were great contributors to making the video happen.
Finally, he spoke about how the pandemic has treated him and the DNM Crew as creatives, sharing: “The pandemic has been a very productive one, for DNM Crew and all the members bringing out their own unique skillset individually as well.” He also shared that the members of DNM Crew have worked on content on each of their personal social media, sharing some of their covers during quarantine. He said that their drummer Joshua and lead guitarist Nathan had time to learn the digital side of production in using pro tools to programme beats, which has been a huge addition to their content to come.
On a closing note, he shared that in terms of content to come, they have a couple of music videos coming from their first EP titled “Identity”, which will be their main focus, and also some exiting new music videos to accompany them.