Canal & Richvale: D-Pryde discusses first commercial LP, fans & more [Interview]
Toronto, ON – Originally published July 18, 2013 – If you think back to what you were doing at the age of 16, what do you remember? Me? I recall not really knowing who I was or where I was going, and I definitely had absolutely no clue what kind of career I wanted. But, as oblivious as some may seem at that age, there are a few who are more focused, with a clear idea of where they are headed, and this includes Brampton native, D-Pryde, aka Russell Llantino.
D-Pryde’s story began on YouTube, where he posted “free-verses” covers and original content. His fan-base exploded, and now, three years and over 40 million YouTube views later, D-Pryde has not only become an internet superstar, but he has turned into a strong presence in the pop and hip-hop scene. He has released two mixtapes, which were wildly received, was nominated by XXL to their 2013 Freshman Class List, hailed by MTV as “An Artist To Watch,” and was just added to the line-up for Lollapalooza 2013. But, all of this recognition shouldn’t come as a surprise because his undeniable charm and witty musical content makes it very hard not to be intrigued by this young rising talent.
HipHopCanada had the opportunity to sit down with D-Pryde while he was in Toronto promoting his brand new, and first ever commercial release entitled, Canal & Richvale, which came out on iTunes on July 9. We talked about everything from industry pressures, his fans, girls, bad dates, his future in the music industry and of course, his new EP.
Check out the full interview after the jump.
Written by Natasha Paolini for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: Okay, so first of all, congratulations on your new project Canal and Richvale! I want to talk about the vision behind it. Can you tell us more about that?
D-Pryde: Well, Canal and Richvale, that’s the title of the project. Basically, off top, Canal is the street I work in and live on, live as in chill there every day and really just have my lifestyle there. That’s in New York, that’s my new home and that’s where I live now. And Richvale is the street that I grew as a person, my mom raised me there, it’s in Brampton, which is hometown. And it was the spot where I started music and really was grinding out there. So, that’s where I was then and Canal is where I am now. So, I kind of have a location crisis, this was me back then and this is me right now, so it’s like ‘Who am I right now?’. Everything’s transforming, everything’s changing. I made a fictional intersection out of both them. It’s both walks of life at the end of the day.
HipHopCanada: How has living in New York affected your music career?
D-Pryde: It hasn’t really affected the music aspect of it all, but it’s affected a lot of other things, like my work ethic, which is on point now, I’m always at it, I’m always motivated and I have a team around me. Of course, just being up for anything at the end of the day. New York is a really busy city, everybody’s doing something, everybody’s at it, everybody’s always walking around, the streets are crowded, it’s a really rowdy city, and that’s how I am now. I need everything to happen, right now!
HipHopCanada: In comparison to your two mixtapes, what are some of the different pressures that come along with a commercial release?
D-Pryde: A lot of people concentrate on numbers, which I do get on their side, but on an artist side, you’re building an artist, this is my first ever commercial release, after 3 years of releasing free music so there is a lot of pressure on me. But, at the end of the day I give myself a good amount of … I excuse myself a lot, because, this is my first go at it. I’m not gonna be swinging at the fence, and killing it, killing it, killing it, but I am going to try my best and I am going to give these people really good music, whether they buy it or not or whether it gets leaked you’re gonna get great music. At the end of the day I just want everybody to hear it. Like, ‘Who cares?’ It’s all about the music and I can move numbers later. I know that because I’m positive about myself and my career, I’m a talented artist, that’s how I feel about myself, so I know I’m going to do great.
HipHopCanada: Moving on to your fans, they’re really an essential part of your brand and have pushed you to a different level. And you seem to know them very well, so can you describe what kind of fans you have?
D-Pryde: I have a very very, very, very hyper cult fan base. It’s like ‘super-fans!’ And, I like it because it just shows longevity; it shows how you much you can grow with a person. These kids have been sticking with me since I was 16 years old and these kids were what, like 14? A lot changes from when you’re 14 up until your 17. You start thinking things are lame; that’s your awkward stage where you grow out of a lot of things. And these kids haven’t grown out of me yet. I think that it’s a 50/50 thing, they are good people and I’m a good person and at my artistry for growing too. At the end of the day it’s a bunch of kids who really, really, really believe and I have a good share of kids who were bullied too. Of course, I wasn’t the craziest bullied kid when I was growing up, but I got picked on a lot. And I share that in a lot of my music, and they really understand, they’re really heartfelt and they’re really at it.
HipHopCanada: Amazing! What’s the weirdest or craziest thing a fan has done or said to you?
D-Pryde: Ummm, the weirdest thing a fan has ever done was…. Aw man, I have a lot of things, just like, so weird. Well, craziest thing, positively craziest thing was this dude tattooed my lyrics on his arm off a mixtape I made. I mean, a lot of artists have that and it’s like ‘Oh, why would you brag about that?’, but that’s a huge thing, I’m on somebody’s skin for life. That’s major to me. Being an artist that’s been at it for this long, you really want your hard work to pay off and that’s a great, great message. Weirdest thing… I had a meet and greet once and this kid pushed a girl and like, hurt her. I was like ‘Are you serious? Why would you push a chick? You’re a dude why would you push a chick?’ It was crazy. I have wild dude fans that love me as much as girls do. It’s awesome [Laughing].
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] That’s so funny. On to your female fans, I’m sure most of them want to know… if you’re single or not?
D-Pryde: Yeah, I’m single, I’m single. I sacrificed a lot to get where I’m at right now. I’ve had a lot of relationships where girls get really, really caught up on the fact that I’m always busy and that I’m not working a 9-5 job and tending to them. I’m not the most convenient kid, and I get it, and I totally understand it. It really just depends on the kind woman I date and what kind of emotional strength she has to really partake in being with a kid like me. At the end of the day, I’m just really patient; I’m just really concentrating on my work and my family right now. And whoever comes by and who’s right, is gonna catch it! [Laughing] I’d rather just wait and be patient and not settle for less.
HipHopCanada: Have you ever had any bad dates?
D-Pryde: Yeah, I’ve had the worst dates ever! I’ve had dates where I’d be walking out of a restaurant and I’d like pay the bill and she’d just be sitting there, but I had already paid the bill. I also had this one date where, I got into a fight with a girlfriend, and it was really really bad and it was about my career. She didn’t like how people would approach me and how girls would always approach me. So I’m like ‘Okay, let’s have a low key date. I won’t let anybody know where I am, I won’t tweet anything, don’t worry, we’ll be normal people for a day.’ We went to a restaurant and like a billion of my fans were walking up to me for photos and stuff. It ended up being a restaurant where a lot of my fans were at [Laughing]. So it was a mess, I’m taking photos, I’m smiling, having fun with my fans and she’s just sitting there with her arms crossed like ‘This dude, I can’t believe it, this was supposed to be our time, our date.’ We ended up breaking up like a month after, so it’s alright. You gotta respect my fans if you date me!
HipHopCanada: Very true! Okay, to wrap up a bit, what advice would you give other young people who are trying to get to a place where you’re at?
D-Pryde: Don’t ever think it’s going to happen tomorrow. Success is never over-night. The faster it comes the faster it will go. I know 3 years for me is like nothing to a lot of people but I’ve really been putting hard work into that. You’ve always gotta work hard, it won’t come over night, trust me, it won’t. You really have to be patient and just never give up, as cliche as that sounds.
HipHopCanada: That’s good advice. What’s next for you? Besides being on tour and on the momentum of your new EP, what’s next for D-Pryde?
D-Pryde: Well… I wanna put out more videos with this EP. “Lifted” was amazing, I got another video coming out for “Faded” which is on the EP too, that’s gonna be great. And we’re kind of debating on these other two songs of which one we should make a video too. So we’re just coming out with great visual material. If not that I’m getting ready for this album, I’m getting geared up, and hopefully when I’m on tour, when I’m with my friends back home, or when I’m chilling in New York I can gain more inspiration. I feel I’m not ready yet to make the album, but when I do make the album, it’s gonna be monumental.
HipHopCanada: Nice. And lastly, why aren’t you verified yet?
D-Pryde: Cause Twitter be hatin’ on a kid! And Twitter don’t wanna do it, but Twitter don’t know the streets love me. So, if anybody could, just tweet @Verified and tell them to verify me. I need to get verified! I had somebody from Twitter tell me that I need my songs on iTunes, and before that I had somebody tell me that I needed one or two TV appearances, and I got that. Then they’re like ‘Oh, you need to be on iTunes’ and I got that. But I’m still not verified. Twitter be hatin’ on a kid. So, just tell ‘em to stop hatin!
HipHopCanada: Will do [Both laughing]. I’ll get on that. Well, thanks very much for chatting with HipHopCanada and good luck with everything!
D-Pryde: Thank you! High five!
Written by Natasha Paolini for HipHopCanada
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