Capture the Creative w/ Doug Finesse
Doug Finesse is a name that continued to pop up on my Twitter feed. I am following some clothing lines that kept reposting his music along with some photos of him wearing their clothes. Doug has been in the music and fashion scene for a while now with friends in both fields. With a degree in fashion he is able to see things a bit differently while navigating the waters of marketing his music to the masses.
We spoke about the imagery artists need in order to hold peoples attention. Yes, your music might be untouchable but do you have the visuals to go along with it? We also talked about how important it was to be true to yourself and to portray yourself in a constant manor. Only share and comment on things that are inline with your interests and steer clear of the controversial subjects if that is what you are not about. I told him I had read about him and listened/watched all of his interviews he had done in the past. Doug Finesse has a good head on his shoulders and really comes off as older than 22 years old. The way he speaks of marketing and networking is how a veteran to the game would speak. I enjoyed our conversation as we walked in the complete wrong direction back to our vehicles. This is the Doug Finesse Interview.
STUDIGS: Whats happening man? Tell the readers who you are, what you do and where you are from.
DOUG FINESSE: What’s up world! I go by the name of Doug Finesse. I am a upcoming rapper and model from Prince George, Virginia.
What age did you start making music? What was the motivation to start when you did?
I’ve honestly been rapping since I was able to speak and write. My family is from New York, so hip-hop has always been in my life. My parents would play various artists in the house and in the car, such as Prince, Nas, Anthony Hamilton, Jay Z, 50 Cent and many others inspired me to want to have songs played all over the world too. I have compositions books from ten years ago filled with poems and songs. I started putting music on the internet in junior high school. Though it was lackluster and got laughed at, the few kids that supported and were inspired by me made me decide to never quit.
You have to be your own manager, booking agent, promoter, accountant, an honest critic of music.
What has changed in the music scene since then and what do you wish you could bring back from that time?
When I became old enough to surf the web and really hear all the music out there, my life completely changed. This was around 2010-2014. I felt like artists then were so hungry, that you could hear it in the music and that’s why it was so great. Unfortunately, all those artists are super commercial now, and their music no longer interests me at all. I wish i could bring back the hunger in the artists we all consider top tier. You can catch me listening to artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, KEY!, Unotheactivist, Russ, Reese Laflare, Playboi Carti and other artists on the comeup opposed to main stream acts.
Where has music taken you that you never thought you would go?
Music has allowed me to travel to different cities and states for shows, interviews, photo shoots, recording, networking, etc., meeting a lot of dope people in the process. It has allowed me perform in both small and big venues, as well as opening for artists such as Cam’ron, OG Maco, Famous Dex, Fetty Wap and 21 Savage. Most importantly, though I always hoped for it, I never knew so many people would support me and actually want me to win in life, not just as a artist.
Who in the music scene today, local or mainstream do you look up to and make you pursue music more and more?
I love the Virginia rap scene. The more I travel throughout the state, the more dope upcoming artists I discover. I work with a lot of them, especially my bros Jack TP, $ir Raymo, Antny Rome, Robbie Russell, La’Major, Bluntboi & Olympian Beats. I lookup to artists like Treez Lowkey and Young Crazy because they prove that if you work hard, you’re state will back you as well artists in the game. My favorite mainstream artists right now would definetly be the Migos and Metro Boomin, because they’re so versatile and just get better with time.
What made you choose a degree in fashion over a degree in music? How do you see the two disciplines overlapping now that you have graduated? How do you hope to mix the two?
When I first went to Old Dominion University, I was a communications major. I quickly realized the communication classes were too bland for me and I wanted to spice things up. At the time I was a diehard sneaker head and was confused about the direction my music was going, so I decided to put music on the back-burner and take some fashion courses. Nevertheless, I was able to link up with people in the fashion community in the 757 through school, and then network with those in the music scene and streets outside of school. It all worked out perfectly, but I regret not taking any music classes at all. People who have heard about me through music often to reach out to me for modeling gigs, and vice versa. I think me putting 100% into both fields will take me far.
How important is it for you as an artist to be familiar in all aspects of the music business (creation, marketing, finances, promotion, etc…) not just making music?
I tell my music friends all the time, that at this stage in your career you have to be your own manager, booking agent, promoter, accountant, an honest critic of music. I think it’s extremely important to know every aspect of any profession someone enters and wants to be prosperous in. I’m slowly learning all the details of the industry, and currently working on getting my name copyrighted, royalties, all that good stuff.
If there was any advice you could give to your younger, music making self, what would it be? How about the future you?
If I were able to give my younger self any music advice I would tell him to stay true; make sure what you rap about is your life, not what’s trending or someone else’s. I would tell him to listen to creative criticism and advice from anyone, because you don’t know everything. If my older self was a superstar, I would tell him to reflect on hisself and career, and question if he remained loyal to his supporters and what he stands for. If my future self was still just a aspiring rapper, I would tell to him to never quit and keep grinding.
What projects can we look forward to in the near future?
On December 3rd, I will be releasing my second project of 2017, the Late Four Class EP, produced entirely by Jack TP. With this project, I crammed all the aspects from my college experience into five dope songs. Jack not only made all the beats, but he mixed and mastered my vocals as well. I’m super hype about this EP, because it’s the most honest music I’ve ever made. There’s no features, just my story. I also have some singles, features and music video ideas in the vault for 2018.