Florida has always been known as “The Sunshine State”. To kids out in the West Coast like myself, Florida seemed like a dream. Orlando had Disney World, Universal Studios — the dope one — and Tracy McGrady. Miami had the beaches, pretty girls and Dwyane Wade — as you can see I love hoops. From the outside looking in, it seemed Florida had no worries. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Though a stout tourist destination, Florida has its demons just like everywhere else, and places like Liberty City command a reputation only bested by Compton. But you know what they say… Pressure creates diamonds, and Florida has been Sierra Leone. Rising up from the struggle, we’ve seen natives like Kodak Black and Denzel Curry break through the shackles and snatched the attentions of listeners all around America — though Kodak has a bit more shackles to overcome. Hoping to be next in the line of sunshine hopefuls is Broward County native DaShawn Watson.
DaShawn Watson has picked up some regional steam lately with his infectious track, “Slide” which features Watson crooning in the intro which quickly turns into motivated, solid bars. Watson shows supreme potential by moonlighting as a vocalist during the hooks and ripping the verses to shreds, showcasing his vast versatility. Though his catalog is a bit scarce, the promise is there; and the story is fantastic. We got chance to catch up with the 20-year-old Florida native to chat about everything from growing up in Florida to boasts of FIFA invincibility.
RESPECT.: Where are you from?
Watson: I was born in Queens, NY; but my family decided to move down to South Florida when I was 4. Ever since then I’ve lived in Broward County, FL.
RESPECT.: How has living in Broward affected your sound? Do you think you would be doing the same thing had you stayed in Queens?
Watson: Broward Bred Broward Dead. I write about the things I’ve done here, the people I’ve been with here. I wouldn’t say my sound is one that represents Broward but it’s one that could only come from here. If I stayed in Queens I probably wouldn’t be making music; I don’t think things would be the same, probably for the worse. I mean, what do you think most DaShawn’s are doing.
RESPECT.: What type of artist are you?
Watson: Simply put, I do it all. From the visual to the audio. I’m involved, if not doing it. I really like to be in touch with art, the form doesn’t matter to me. Sometimes I’ll do photography, other times I’ll want to produce a couple beats. I guess an all-around artist would describe it best.
RESPECT.: What type of music do you make?
Watson: At times I don’t know. It’s really based on what and how I feel. It’s definitely rap, but I’ve never really been able to narrow it down to one thing.
RESPECT.: What were you doing before music?
Watson: Playing Runescape. Before I made music I was really into video games, drawing, and computer stuff. This is all middle school/early high school time so I was lame. I just read manga and watched anime, notably before it was cool.
RESPECT.: What’s your favorite videogame of all time?
Watson: I play FIFA a lot, I hate FIFA, but I play FIFA a lot. If I had to choose my favorite videogame of all time it’d be a toss up between Dragon Ball Z, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 and Super Smash Bros. I don’t know how many hours I’ve I logged in on that DBZ game but it isn’t healthy.
RESPECT.: What made you fall in love with hip hop?
Watson: It was everywhere I was. Music was always played growing up. BET, MTV, and the radio were things I was always tuned into. I literally couldn’t avoid it; it’s what my friends were listening too, it’s was Hotnewhiphop was talking about, it’s even the Sisqo album my mom had that I’d occasionally listen to.
RESPECT.: What’s the first hip hop album you ever bought on your own?
Watson: I’ve never bought an album in my life. I’m a huge album over singles person but I’ve never bought one. It’s been a goal of mine that when I get on, I’ll go out and buy like every album I loved. That’s: 2014 FHD (2014 Forest Hills Drive), GKMC (Good Kid MAAD City), ATLiens, Culdesac, and more.
If I stayed in Queens I probably wouldn’t be making music; I don’t think things would be the same, probably for the worse. I mean, what do you think most DaShawn’s are doing.
RESPECT.: What kind of sound can fans expect to hear on your upcoming project?
Watson: Everything but happy music. It’s not a happy thing.
RESPECT.: Who are your inspirations?
Watson: I love Outkast, I just feel like “Hey Ya” is the best song ever. Big fan of Childish Gambino too; I listened to his album Culdesac at a pretty important time of my life so it gave me inspiration on what to talk about in my music. Amy Winehouse also, I love her voice, wish I could sing like her. Outside of music, my grandma. Mainly because she’s lived a life in which she’s affected thousands of lives. I want to do that with music.
RESPECT.: How did you start making music and what’s one time you wanted to quit but kept going, why?
Watson: I started writing music back when I didn’t like myself. It was the reason I started making music. In regards to quitting, I always want to quit. I feel like with anything that’s uncertain, you’re going to want to quit, a lot. I’ve tried to stop making music, but I can’t. You can’t simply stop something that’s a part of you.
RESPECT.: Where can people keep up with you and your music?
Watson: My website (http://www.bttrday.com ) whenever I decided to make things public, my Twitter or Soundcloud.
Check out Watson’s track, “Slide” below, and be sure to keep an eye on the Florida native.
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