Check out our latest interview with 2014 Survival Of The iLLest champion Dustin Wareham. Bring Ya Eh Game was in the building for the final event as we were one of the official sponsors and the champ Dustin put up quite a fight to claim the number one spot! One of the prizes for the champion this year was an interview on our site, enjoy!
B.Y.E.G: Congrats on the win! How does it feel?
Dustin: It feels really good man! I’ve worked hard to get here with my team, and to win was the icing on the cake. We’re artists and we want to have our art validated and certified by people other than friends and family. Honestly the amount of love I got immediately following S.O.T.I., was amazing and humbling. And the fact that it came from other artists and people I look at as peers in this industry, made it feel even better. I’ve had a lot of highs and lows in this game, and the S.O.T.I. win was definitely a high.
B.Y.E.G: What was on your mind the night of the final S.O.T.I. event in Toronto?
Dustin: Man…My grandma has been in and out of the hospital since Thanksgiving weekend back in October. Really sick and losing a lot of weight and just the type of stuff that is really heart breaking to see. Every time she gets better and goes home, she’s rushed back by ambulance a few days later. The day of the event I had been at work waiting all day to get any word with how my grandma (nanny) was doing. She got rushed to the hospital in the morning having breathing problems. Then I got a text from my sister telling me how bad it was. To be honest I was in a bit of a daze. But my sister sent me another message later and was like just go hard and don’t worry about shit. So that’s what I did. Put it in the back of my mind and went hard with it.
B.Y.E.G: What are your plans going forward?
Dustin: Moving forward I have to continue to push the envelope and work with the momentum. I’m working on my second solo project, and getting all the producers and tracks ready. I would love play NXNE and CMW during festival season. My goal is SXSW within two years…Also got a few videos in the works, and a few other surprises. I also DJ and promote through my company with 80’sFavoriteBabies with my partners Ryan PVP and Patrick Naphan. We put on monthly events (BSMNT WSTD) that showcase local artists. We also DJ old school Hip Hop and top 40 parties as well. Those parties will continue…
B.Y.E.G: How long have you been making music?
I’ve actually been making music a very long time. I was trying my hand at recording, and doing a really shitty job of it fresh out of high school. I was a dope ass freestyler, but didn’t know how to really craft full songs. I would just go in the booth and try to string shit together in hopes it would stick…That lasted a few years, and I was always around open mic nights. Gypsy Co-op hosted by Mindbender and Eternia was one I hit up religiously. I would bus it from Scarborough on a Thursday night all the way down to Queen West. That place doesn’t even exist anymore. From there I hooked up with a few friends I went to junior high and high school with. They were more into Rock music, and I was always into Rock music anyways and we just kind of started messing around. One weekend turned into a month which turned into six months and before we knew it we had a legit band with songs. I learned how to craft songs, choruses and bridges. I learned how to project my voice, harmonize, speed up and slow down flow. I also learned breath control and how to feel out other musicians onstage without words. That was an artistic saviour for me. We called our band 85 East after the Sheppard bus route, and hit the ground running. That band lasted close to five years. We played every small town in southern Ontario worth playing as often as we could, and really started to get a following. But eventually cocaine, alcohol, and bad attitudes ended the band and left me in a lot of debt. From there I took a few years off and founded 80’s Favorite Babies as just a DJ company. That grew into promoting and booking local acts and before I knew it I had the itch to get back in front of the mic again.
B.Y.E.G: What is one thing you could tell the younger you?
Dustin: I would tell myself to get out of Scarborough. As much as I love that borough for raising me and giving me substance to rhyme about, there isn’t very much in the way of artistic opportunity in Scarborough. Everything happens downtown. That and learn an instrument. Guitar.
B.Y.E.G: Will you be performing next year at S.O.T.I.?
Dustin: I’ll definitely be performing at S.O.T.I. next year!! I was the DJ for the first year, champ the second. Hopefully I’ll be the headliner for the third year and bring it full circle.
B.Y.E.G: Who was your favourite act from the final event?
Dustin: Everybody did their thing on stage. Everyone brought that heat and intensity, but I really like Femapco and Words. Their sets were both dope. Fem has a sick flow and Words almost brought the room to tears with his song dedicated to his mother. But everyone was amazing at the S.O.T.I championships.
B.Y.E.G: Anything you want to say to your fans?
Dustin: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support. Some people still ride with me from my 85 East days, and I see y’all. Others have just joined the ride. Strap in. It’s going to get bumpy and I intend to ruffle a few feathers. I’m not a yes man, and I’m not afraid to tell it like it really is. If that’s the type of guy you ride for, then I’ll ride for you.
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