FSD Feature: Dlow – The Fake Shore Drive Interview

Andrew Barber

 

FSD: Would you say performing in front of 100,000 people represents something of a professional peak for you?

Dlow:  It’s just more motivation. I mean, who performs in front of 100,000 people? Especially someone like me, the typical boy from the hood who just happened upon a great idea and it hit. Like nobody expects to perform in front of 100,000.

FSD: When Silento’s “Watch Me” came out, which contained bopping among other viral dance sensations, did that compel you to create your own collected dance track?

Dlow: I wouldn’t say I felt like, “I need to do this”. I’m like… It was smart.

FSD: You recognized the ingenuity of combining all these regional dances.

Dlow: That was my mindset. That’s smart. But I wanted to challenge people. You have creators of each dance. You got creators of the bop, creators of the whip, creators of the nae nae, and
those are the top people to do it. Everyone around them are giving them that certain type of
praise like “You the best, we know you the best.” My challenge was like, “Okay. I know y’all the
best but I can do it better than y’all. Can you do it like how I do it?” That’s how the concept of “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me” came.

FSD: When did “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me” came out?

Dlow: September 2015.

FSD: What’s your relationship with the producer NunMajor?

Dlow: All my beats that I got from him, me and him sat down together, face to face, and came up with the concepts together. He never sends me anything through email, we work face to face.

FSD: So you had a vision for “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me”?

Dlow: Yep. I was with my road manager Keese. I was telling him “I gotta do something so I can keep my name in the game.” It took me a week to write “Do It Like Me”. Everyday I’m adding new
pieces, taking pieces out. And I really had a concept for the beat because I need something
that’s going to hit, I need something that will get people moving. So I’m telling Nunmajor we
gotta make something raw. So he starts playing keys and notes and everytime he play
something I’m like “Keep it. Save that.” We started formatting, it got good, then it got great, and we made it greater.

FSD: How long between recording and release?

Dlow: After I recorded it, it probably took me a week to release the video. We planned to shoot a video but something was always happening. One day it was raining. Another day by the Buckingham Fountain they were having a race. It never worked out. We got tired of waiting so we just did it on some steps and the next day we put it out.

FSD: Introduce me to the other three dancers in the video.

Dlow: One artist is Big Sexy. He got his own song called “Big Sexy Roll”. Another artist, Kemo, my brother started with him and everything one of the bop originators. Other artist, Baby Doll, she hot with the dancing in Chicago.

FSD: How did the video do in those first 24 hours?

Dlow: I think it did 20,000 views the first day and then from there I just seen people posting videos. People out of the country, in the country, people everywhere. Mothers, grandmothers, babies, everyone doing it. From there I knew it was going to blow. From that one day it got 20,000 and the next day it doubled. And the next day it doubled. Then it started going from getting thousands to getting millions a day.

FSD: So when you’re marketing something, you can only push it so far. At some point its gotta catch on its own. When did you stop pushing “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me”?

Dlow: I knew it was just going to go when I started seeing all the celebrities doing it. Kevin Hart wasthe first celebrity I seen doing it. Then after him it was Fat Joe, Stevie J, Timbaland’s daughterand everyone with like a big name. Floyd Mayweather! Everybody started doing it. So I’m like “Yeah, I can relax a little bit.” But you never want to get too comfortable. Always want to be on your P’s and Q’s.

FSD: Today the “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me Challenge” video stands at 56 million views. Over halfway to 100 million. Peaked at 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. We’ve now firmly overshadowed the success of the Dlow Shuffle. Did you ever think between the two songs that it wouldn’t work out for you?

Dlow: Between I’m like, “Man, it’s not going to happen. Nothing I’m doing is working.” But that little piece of faith told me “Just try. Only thing you’re going to get is a yes or a no.” And I got a big yes.

FSD: Talk to me about your just released EP. Who should be picking this up?

Dlow: I dropped an EP, March 18th, through Atlantic Records. It’s called I Am Dlow. The purpose of this EP is just to show the world I can really make songs, that I’m an artist. As far as people purchasing it? I want everybody to purchase it. There’s no just certain age group on it, it’s for everybody. That’s why I called it I Am Dlow. I could have called it anything but I’m Dlow and I need y’all to understand.

FSD: Who should be buying this EP? Because I’m sure your core fans already have these songs.

Dlow: People that haven’t heard of me, people that’s not around me, international fans. People that don’t have an idea of who I am.

FSD: Tell me about the significance of today. What’s going on right now?

Dlow: Right now I’m signed to Atlantic Records, I’m on this amazing tour called the Let’s Dance Tour. Right now we’re at the Aragon Ballroom, finna turn up.

FSD: It’s your homecoming show.

Dlow: Yeah it’s my homecoming. My whole family finna be here. My mother is going to be here. This my first show she’s ever made of mine. My grandmother, before she passed, she used to work in this building. So it’s like, emotional.

FSD: You’ve been all over the country with this tour.

Dlow: Yeah we’ve been a lot of places I’ve never been. This tour is a learning experience for me as far as business and life. I get to kick it with artists I’m working with for the first time like iHeartMemphis and Silento. It’s just a learning experience across the board.

FSD: What’s your favorite city you’ve been to so far?

Dlow: Ohio. They showed a lot of love. I did two shows back to back and both sold out.

FSD: What’s your relationship like to bop now? I mean, this has taken you well beyond the confines of Chicago.

Dlow: Bop is like my little brother. I’mma keep teaching him, I’mma keep taking him everywhere I go, and I’mma keep… just, just keep trying to let the world now.

FSD: Have you given any thought to what’s next?

Dlow: At this point, I know my capabilities and I know the people I got behind me won’t even allow me to think ahead that far. I got a lot of things I’m working on for the future, lot of things in store. A lot of work.

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