D3WON Knows That Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
Written by Vocalo Radio on February 10, 2021
Chicago-based producer and hip-hop musician D3WON has been a collaborator since the beginning.
With roots in choir, D3WON channels his love of multi-musician collaboration into his newest project “Symphony,” with every track featuring one to three additional artists. His track “Believin’,” featuring Rebecca Brunner, found its way onto our In Rotation tracks for January.
We virtually chatted with D3WON about his classical background, how he stays collaborative without seeing other artists in person and what he loves about Chicago.
Your Spotify bio mentions you have classical training. Could you tell us a little bit about how your musical background influences the way you approach current projects?
In my musical background, I was mainly involved in choirs and large groups of musicians playing together and learning to listen to one another. That really influenced the way I approach music because early on it made me appreciate the unification of musicians.
As an artist who uses elements from multiple genres, how do you feel those genres overlap and inform one another as you create music?
Honestly, the genre overlaps really happen based on conversations in the studio. Sometimes I’m influenced by whoever I’m working with, or it could just be a situation when I’m hearing a beat and I go, “You know what’ll be cool?” But the main thing is I listen to a lot of different genres of music, so sometimes I might hear something and it subconsciously makes its way into my records.
How has your musical journey been shaped by your experience as a musician in Chicago?
Mostly, Chicago inspires me to keep the quality up! There have been so many amazing artists, producers and historic records that have been made in the city. In a way, it’s a very beautiful legacy to live up to.
What’s one thing you would like to change about Chicago?
Nothing. Chicago is such an artistically free and diverse city. Most people here own their art and create whatever they want.
What’s something about Chicago you hope always stays the same?
I really hope that people continue to stay inspired! I feel that’s what makes different cultures connect and thrive.
“Symphony,” your debut mixtape, features so many different artists. What was it like working with so many people to produce this album?
It was a lot of fun to work with everyone on the record! Every single artist has their own vibe so there’s never one solid way to do a song. It keeps me very excited. But it also allows me, as an artist and producer, to expand my thoughts and ideas on how to make records. Because, when writing the songs, it’s always conversational and open to creative ideas. And I pride myself with knowing what I want out of a song, but also giving the artist space to express themselves as well.
Do you feel like creating music is more fulfilling as a collaborative process than as an individual process? If so, in what ways?
Creating music can be done both ways, but for me I enjoy collaboration because it allows me to get more perspectives on the song, more ideas and I have this God-given ability to be able to put the right person on the right track. So, for me, the songs come out better, but you also have to remember I’m very biased. Since I have a choir background I’m always focused on the big musical picture rather than a single process.
Who is one artist you’ve always wanted to work with, and why? What would you hope to create with them?
I always wanted to work with JoJo. I love how she’s getting more into her R&B sound now and I think we could make a really cool record together.
Have you still been able to collaborate with other musicians during the pandemic? How has the process of collaborating changed in the past year?
Yes, I’ve still been able to collaborate with musicians during the pandemic. But since we can’t meet up, most writing sessions happen over Zoom and most instrumental parts are sent back and forth. It isn’t the most ideal setting but it works for what we’re doing.
Do you have any words to live by?
“I’m the living testament of ‘all good things come to those who wait.'”
Interview edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca