My name is Andrew Hillmedo Jr, aka Dante. I’m 23 years old and I was born and raised in The Bronx, NY. My parents are from Jamaica. I’ve always been involved in the arts. I’ve been drawing since I was 8 years old, writing poetry since I was 13. I played the alto saxophone for 3 years, I've been acting for 3 years, as well as dealing with graphic design for over 7 years. I’ve been making beats and writing songs for the past couple of years, but I’ve only started to rap professionally as of late 2010.
What Is The Significance Of Your Name?
I decided to go with “Dante” because that was the name of the first big role I’ve had. I starred as the character "Dante" in the movie “Baby Mama” disributed by Universal Pictures. I’ve been doing a lot of background work and managed to get that role. Therefore, the name “Dante” is a reminder to me that I’m not doing all this work for nothing. I will get my shine if I stay committed.
What Sets You Apart From Other Aspiring Rappers?
I would have to say my style and how I go about my music sets me apart from the competition. A lot of people make music for their hood or their city. I’m trying to make music for the world and music that everyone can enjoy. Some of my songs have a pop feel to it, some have an old school feel to it, some have a mainstream sound, and I even try to tie in some of my Jamaican roots into some of my songs. I’m all about making music that inspires emotion.
What single or project are you currently pushing?
I’m currently pushing “We Get Money” and “Back It Up”. “We Get Money” is a song I created from the ground up. It has gone through many revisions. It’s a song that I wanted to give an old school feel to, like something Run DMC would create. The beat is a definite head nodder and the hook is memorable. It’s the only song so far that I’ve shot a music video for, which is getting great reviews. “Back It Up” is a club banger! It’s a party song almost reminiscent of 2 Live Crew’s “Doo Doo Brown”. It’s one of those songs that when you’re in the club, you know the ladies can get down to and I foresee it getting a lot of club play once more DJs hear it.
What Is The Philosophy By Which You Live By?
My philosophy revolves around the fact that I just live to the best of my ability without letting stress get to me. I’m a very easy going and friendly person. I can honestly say I have no enemies. I don’t get caught up in petty problems or ignorance; I always say if it doesn’t benefit me then it doesn’t concern me. I just like taking it easy, meeting new people, and aiming for the highest level of success I can attain.
Which Artists Have Inspired You?
So many artists have inspired me. I listen to every genre of music except for country. Well sometimes I listen to Garth Brooks but that’s about it LOL. But Basically, I draw inspiration from Kanye West, Berres Hammond, Garnett Silk, Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes (old school), Usher, Linkin Park, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Rick Ross, Vybz Kartel, and Movado among others.
Who Does Your Production?
Up until now, except for 2 songs (“Built For This” and “Back It Up”), I’ve made all of my beats myself. I do the recording, mixing, and mastering for all my songs. I’m still learning but I’ve been able to put out some great tracks.
What Is Your Opinion Of The Current State of the music industry?
It’s not about real Hip Hop right now; it’s about fun songs. What I mean is, hardcore rap isn’t selling now, and people are going for catchy hooks on top of addictive beats. It’s all about singles now more so than an album and it's digital over discs. Things will change surely but I’m confident in my ability to adapt with whatever changes come forward.
What Is Your Opinion Of The Current State of the music industry?
I don’t think that I would change much about it now; I mean people are just having fun; they’re enjoying themselves. If it was a couple of years ago then my thoughts would be different. I’m happy that there’s no where near as much gangster rap on our radios and TVs as there used to be. In my opinion, Gangster Rap played a part in teen violence. So I’m just happy to see that there are less derogatory things becoming mainstream. There are mainly love songs, party songs, and songs about flossing hitting the air waves these days. And that's ok.
Are There Any Singers That You Would Like To Collaborate With In The Future?
Definitely, I want to work with Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Chris Brown, Chad Kroeger, and Ne-Yo.
What Producer Would You Like To Collaborate With In The Future?
I’m up for collaborating with any and every producer; I’m not picky about that. Johnny Juliano, who produces for Wiz Khalifa, made the beat for “Back It Up”. So I’m looking forward to discovering other producers and hearing what unique sounds they can bring to my music.
What Is Your Favorite Movie And Favorite Book?
My favorite movie would have to be either “Face Off” with Nicholas Cage and John Travolta or “The Matrix” with Keanu Reeves. My favorite book is the “Book of Rhymes the Poetics of Hip Hop” by Adam Bradley. That book as helped me the most with my career in the sense of working on lyrical content, learning the differences between rhymes and putting lines together. If anyone wants to get into Rap or even if you’re currently involved in Rap, then I think this book will benefit you greatly.
What Are Some Major Misconceptions That You Think People Have Of You?
A lot of people have said I’m intimidating and then a lot of people have considered me to be average or less than without even getting the chance to know me. I’m a very kind dude. I don’t try to scare anybody off, nor do I act like I’m better than anyone. People who have judged me without getting to know me missed out on getting to know someone who has a lot to offer, which is why I never judge anyone without knowing them. That person might end up becoming important in your life so why not get to know as many good people as you can.
What Is Your Favorite Part Of Your Live Show? How Has It Evolved?
I enjoy hearing the crowd sing along with a hook that they’ve never heard before. That really gives me reassurance that I’m making good music. I love knowing that they are enjoying my work. And my stage presence will get better over time.
What Is Your Lp Going To Be Like?
My album will be explosive! It's going to be a variety of things. You can expect to learn more about me. You'll be able to get your dance on and have an anthem for when you're ready to go out and floss.
What is your website?
You can check out more about me at http://ThisIsDante.com
Any Final Words For The People.
This is just the beginning for Dante, remember the name! Stay tuned and look forward to more hot tracks in the near future! Thanks for the love and support!