“Be Careful Who You Surround Yourself With” 5 Insider Tips with Deetranada
“I think the way I carry myself inspires people (kids) to be themselves and to never give up. My fans watch me on social media and ask me questions and I always try to keep it positive and let them know that every day may not be a good day, but to not give up and know that there is always tomorrow.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing 16 year old emerging powerhouse, female hip hop/rap artist, Deetranada! The singer’s poetic verses and commanding freestyle ability not only push the boundaries for female rappers, but for all music artists in the industry today. Her proven musical prowess has built her a following and propelled her into stardom.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
My music story began from the pain of being bullied in school as far back as my elementary days. I started rapping to express myself. Rapping gave me a way to be creative and to channel the pain I was feeling each day.
My family saw my talent and allowed me to try out for Jermaine Dupri’s “The Rap Game” in which I was selected to compete on the 3rd Season. I came up as the 2nd runner-up. I began with a 1000 plus followers and in just over a year of being on the show, I have garnered 715k follows on Instagram,
Since then, I have been on TV and a Summer Tour and stages all around the country, not to mention while on tour, Deetranada merchandise became the top seller.
My 1st album was released last year and charted on iTunes in the first week and peaked at #10. I have been consistently booked for performances, appearances and private events as I continue to pursue my music career.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are currently working on?
I’ve been promoting my most recent album, Adolescence Swim. I am also working on collabs with some of my favorite artists from Baltimore and am excited to be back in the studio working on a new album, entitled Dee vs Everybody.
Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Seemingly, out of nowhere, Chris Brown followed me on Instagram! Now, that was exciting! Sage the Gemini and I often talk about music and the great, Kehlani DM’d me! That was so cool! She told me I was dope. Joey Badass and I are cool on IG too. And, of course, there’s Jermaine Dupri, the famous producer who I worked with on the show and tour.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
I would have to say, my mom and my big brother Jermaine. My mom has always been the one to keep me positive and cheers me on to never give up. My big brother, Jermaine always makes sure I am doing what I’m supposed to and that I continue to grow, not only as an artist but in every aspect of my life. As my manager, he makes sure that I get to the studio, shows, appearances, video shoots, and that I keep my commitments. My brother was the one that encouraged my mom to let me go on the show. He believed in me from the start. I’m so grateful to have them both in my corner.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I think the way I carry myself inspires people (kids) to be themselves and to never give up. My fans watch me on social media and ask me questions and I always try to keep it positive and let them know that every day may not be a good day, but to not give up and know that there is always tomorrow.
What would you advise an aspiring artist who would like to emulate your career?
- Be yourself! The industry can see through people if you are putting on a façade.
- Be creative, dare to be different. It will pay off.
- Be original, there’s enough copy cats out there.
- As an artist, when you rhyme, keep in mind that Hip Hop is for the culture. Represent!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started my career” and why?
(1) Not everyone has your best interest at heart. So, be careful who you surround yourself with.
(2) Not everyone wants to see you win, but keep going!
(3) As much as possible, try things on your own first. Ask for help when necessary.
(4) It can get very demanding. It’s part of the territory. Hone your skills and do your best.
(5) There’s a great deal of perks. And, they can come pretty fast. Enjoy it!
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
I would love to have lunch with Chris Brown! He is my all-time favorite. Although, he has had his share of ups and downs (like all of us) he still stayed true to his craft. I love that he is so creative when it comes to his music and his art. I would love the opportunity to ask him what it is that motivates him and what his process is in making music.