On this day in America, we honor all those Military Veterans who made the selfless decision to enlist in one of the Armed Forces to serve thier country. Being a US Army Veteran myself (82nd Airborne, hooah), I truly understand the sacrifices that are made and the potential to sacrifice even more. Even for the veterans that make it home, there are often unseen scars that make it difficult to readjust to civilian life. Music can be one of the best forms of therapy for us. Our recent discovery Da’wan Gold is a fellow veteran who released a new album today to be part of the solution.
The emerging hip hop star was born in patriotic Boston and raised on a farm in Georgia before joining the military. Da’wan Gold became an Army engineer and was stationed in Colorado and Nuremberg, Graf Germany. His selfless service also included two tours fighting the war in Iraq.
After being medically discharged from the military (PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury are real), Da’wan began to pursue his other passion, music. Writing and recording music became a coping mechanism to deal with the lasting effects of his service.
The result of this passion, Soul Vibes was released today. The 9 track album is a thoughtful and inspiring look inside the mind of a true hero. The opener “Hollywood Acting” gets right to the point with Da’wan Gold pouring out his soul with emotion-laden lyrics easing into your ears over a solid beat. Prepare for the journey. The next single “Oneday” keeps the mellow vibe going with beautiful production as we dive deeper into his head.
The alt hip hop soul of “City Vibes” and “Even Fuxin Try” expand the sound of the talented artist. This is a unique original sound that brings the best of both worlds. There is raw energy in Da’wan’s vocals but the laid back beats let the sounds wash over you in a comforting way. Some poetry between the tracks furthers the full immersion into his mind.
The EP closes “Do or Die” which lays it all out for everyone to hear. The flow of Da’wan Gold is undeniable. Mix that with an artist that is willing to share his deepest thoughts, fears, and frustrations and you have a record that demands a listen from start to end.
We had a chance to chat with Da’wan and let him share his inspiration and excitement for what he has shared with the world. Enjoy the interview:
So first off is Da’wan Gold your real name or an artist moniker? It is awesome either way.
Hi Keith, thanks for this opportunity and thanks for the compliment.
It’s actually a bit of both, Da’wan Is my real name and “Gold” or “Goldie” came about because I’m like gold. Gold in its purest form is bright and malleable and has the ability to undergo plastic deformation before rupture. That’s me! I’ve had the ability to withstand so much dealing with War, homelessness, PTSD, TBI. Although I know that one day I will rupture or die, my spirit will live on. We’ve talked a bit about military life before this interview and I wanted to personally thank you, and the many Veterans out there who have served and are still serving, Thanks for your service.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a fusion of love, pain, struggle, life and overcoming adversity mixed with just realness. When I first started out I was just a rapper. I mean I had poetry but it wasn’t that strong yet. Now I write, sing, engineer, produce and I’m well on my way to performing. I claim that shit!
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
My brother James (Bogie) and combat brother Mark are at the top of my list—they aren’t music artists but real life dudes who have always been in my corner no matter what and stand for positivity, progress, and change. Salute to them.
Musically? For starters, my nephew Elvis Brown has had a big influence on me. He’s up and coming and has been in the game for some time now. He took me in when I got out of the Army and attempted to show me the ropes, but I had so much going on dealing with war. I had a lot of appointments and doctors and wasn’t able to click with his movement. Yet he’s always been an inspiration and an example of a hard worker to me. Other artists that influence me are old school hip hop artists, like the late and greats: Biggie, 2pac and Nipsey Hussle. But also J. Cole, Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, Jamie Foxx, Madlib, Gucci Mane, 50 Cent and Master P. I listened to so much of their music growing up—even in war. It helped me get through tough times in Iraq. Plus, they pumped me the fux up!
What inspired the current music you are creating?
Poetry, transformation, and change. I’ve been through so much on this road and a lot of needed therapy. I’m finally at a point where I’m comfortable as an artist and writer. Although I have much to learn when it comes to mixing (I’m an engineer too). I’m still happy with the process and struggle I went through to get here. My music reflects the growth I’m currently in and have yet to experience. Big ups to the Los Angeles Film School, they’ve helped me in my process as well.
Can you tell us about the new EP ‘Soul Vibes’?
Man, this project really means a lot to me. It took so long to get here and this music is a reflection of the journey. My debut release was “OneDay” followed by “Hollywood Acting”—both are out on all digital platforms. I wrote both songs coming out of a bad place mentally, musically and spiritually. I wasn’t being myself because I wasn’t sure who the hell I was after the war. It took some time and a lot of therapy to get back to me and my soul’s purpose. “Soul Vibes” is only the beginning of a long awaited journey.
Give us a look into the future of Da’wan Gold?
Well, the future is now for me. I’m actually a day ahead traveling Malaysia with a dear friend of mine. So I’m constantly recording and working (and of course enjoying the trip as well). I have sooo much music coming!
“Soul Vibes” drops today, aka Veterans Day. I’m hoping this connects with the Veteran community and resonates with anyone who has dealt with PTSD and TBI. I use to think it was just soldiers that dealt with this condition but we all have (had) our struggles. I just wanted to make good music in therapy. I hope it’s relatable and it touches someone that needs inspiration or love. GodSpeed!
Thank you Da’wan. I truly look forward to keeping tabs on your career and salute your service both in the military and new service to society through your music.
Keep up with more of the journey on his WEBSITE.