Canadian Rapper Duane (D.O.) Gibson recently talked to ai love music via email about his musical inspiration, the release of his new book, and the release of his newest album Still Driven. The Toronto-based, fifth-generation Black Canadian whose family ties extend from Cape Breton to Saskatchewan, is marking the 20th anniversary of Stay Driven with a new album, Still Driven, that came out Oct. 1 through Believe Music Canada. The 15-track collection is a testament to Gibson’s longevity in the music industry, which has seen him embark on 25 international tours, accumulate over one million YouTube streams.
Gibson is also marking his two-decade milestone by publishing his second book on October 1st also, On This Grind, containing additional knowledge gleaned from the music business, lessons he says can be useful for entrepreneurs and students in all fields. Be sure to check out what Gibson had to say about the book and what was it to work on his newest album. Be sure to check out his newest album down below. Let me know what you think in the comments!
First of all, please introduce yourself!
Hi! I am D.O. Gibson representing Toronto, Canada.
How did you first get into rapping? What has your journey looked like?
I started when I was 10 years old watching rap videos from artists like Fresh Prince, LL Cool J, and Run DMC. I was hooked. It took me a few years before I started creating myself but in my late teens, I would start making my own mix CD’s and then professional recordings.
It was 20 years ago that I released my first album so it’s great to still be here!
What artists or musical genres inspire you?
I love listening to all musical styles. I’m kind of surprised that I even listen to some Country music now. But I’m always about Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, and can get down to some house music too.
As 2021 is winding down, what is one thing you want to be challenged within 2022?
Well, it’s been a tough time Worldwide with COVID, but last night in Toronto we had a sell-out crowd for the Toronto Raptors basketball team. That just felt like a great sign of where we are and where we can go.
In addition to rapping, I speak to kids at schools so I really want to see the World open back up for them.
Congratulations on your new book! What inspired you to write On This Grind?
Thank you! I was inspired because of how I learned early in my journey as an artist that it isn’t just about the music – you really have to do the business side of things. I get asked by a lot of artists “What does it take to make it as a professional musician? How can I quit my job?” So I felt like a book was the perfect way to address this.
What is the book’s biggest takeaway for readers?
That you can achieve your dream if you set solid goals. It’s not about fame and money, it’s about the journey and enjoying each step of the way.
Let’s talk about Still Driven. Was there a singular theme presented in the album or do the tracks have their own individual concepts?
The overall concept was staying in the business for this long. I wanted to take the essence of what got me into Hip-Hop but keep it fresh so I worked with a lot of artists on the project – both emerging and established.
What was production on the album like?
I was able to get some hot beats for the album! I worked with a variety of producers to ensure that I had music that was the hottest out. As I was saying in the last question, my experience comes from old-school Hip-Hop, but I never want to come with something dated.
So this project has some fresh production.
What do you want listeners to take away from this new album?
I want listeners to throw it on from beginning to end. I think that’s what every artist wants – for people to hear the album in completion. I want people to come away inspired and fired up. I want people to work out to my music and push them through a tough set, but also to drive to work or school listening to my music and having them fired up for a great day.
Any future plans?
I can’t wait to get back on the road for more shows so I can perform some of this music for new and old fans worldwide!
Make sure to check out D.O. Gibson at the following: