Born in Boston and raised on a farm in Georgia, Da’wan Gold is no stranger to hard work and drive. Before becoming an emerging international artist, he bravely fought in two Iraq wars. Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury he was medically discharged from the Army and went on to pursue his passion for songwriting. Making the bold move to Hollywood, California, Da’wan experienced a bit of a rocky start. Wanting to get away from his doctors and many appointments the artist again travels abroad. While on this journey he managed to meet other talented musicians and producers. Lucky for us he plans to release the various collaborations created on this path in what he refers to as “the change after Army life”.
“One Day” was inspired by Gold’s musical and spiritual darkness, a point he recalls feeling lost and derailed from his path to becoming an artist. Gold talks about the disconnect he felt from friends, family, as well as his experience traveling in the army and working with different labels around the world. “One Day” is an excellent combination of meaningful lyrics with pop/ hip-hop vibes. One part that stuck out the most for me was when he sings, “I hope you find your way”. Sometimes when you’re on a dark path it can be hard to find the light. Luckily, Da’wan was able to overcome these thoughts and go on to produce amazing music.
Listen to "One Day" here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic! What was it like fighting in Iraq to getting lost in aboard on your musical journey?
Peace, Love & Blessings! First of all thanks for this cover, you're doing on me BuzzMusic! I really appreciate your time. For starters, fighting two wars was never what I had in mind. I just wanted to get off the streets and help my family, as well as not be forced to sell drugs anymore, which seemed to be the norm coming from where I was raised. My grandfather and eldest brother were also in the service. So with no aspirations for college at the time, I joined the Army, which eventually led to going to Iraq twice, this changed my life for the bad and good. It broke up a lot of my relationships with family and friends because I was gone so much. I lost a lot of great friends down the range and even a few more when we returned home due to certain addictions and trauma.
My job while in the Army was a Combat Engineer (same as the Rapper Mystikal). That job requires you to search for bombs day and night, keeping the routes clear for Army personnel and other Coalition Forces. These bombs often explode on your vehicle, killing and injuring soldiers and civilians. I was placed out of the Army due to combat. When I came home seeking treatment for the trauma I had experienced, it became super difficult. One reason was that I look so young and the other one was that the communication between the branch I was into the outside or transitional stage was not the best.
I eventually ended up in Los Angeles, working with Capitol Records as a back-up vocalist alongside my nephew. I used music as therapy, but with all the appointments with doctors and the VA, it threw me off balance and eventually led to me leaving the country to get a break. I ended up In Berlin where I met a lot of aspiring producers, rappers, singers/songwriters and creative individuals from all over the world. During this time my song Berlin Nights came about, which I created with the help of my Rochester-to-Berlin music brother and producer Anthony Mangier (Sonytoprano). This song gained great traction but I was still facing personal demons that I needed to confront. We eventually went separate ways, unfortunately, and I headed home to get back to my roots. I coped with Post-War stress and begin to write my EP Soul Vibes to explain a bit of this journey.
Which artists have had the biggest impact on your album and why?
Motivational and impact-wise I would say the late great Nipsey Hussle. I never got to meet him but his purpose and goal to be an inspiration to others, along with being real with oneself, stuck with me. Seeing his career and watching his interviews reminded me to keep pushing and never give up. It’s sad to see that our own race targets each other. I’ve been in a dark place for so long and spent a lot of time listening to people like Master P, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, and a few more.
Out of all your productions which one was the hardest to create and how did you overcome this struggle?
It's funny you ask because the last song I created was a struggle (Do or Die). I had a different instrumental a year prior and hadn’t cleared it. I finally wrote Do or Die in a day and realized after that someone had already purchased the track. I reached out to my great friend and producer Eren Leib Tolga (who also produced Hollywood Acting and Even Fuxin Try) and asked if he could produce something over the vocals. He agreed but unlike the other tracks, I wasn’t able to be there physically. I was 7 hours ahead in Malaysia and this was a struggle with him being in Berlin. We went back and forth in emails and Skype messages to get the song done. With the release date being November 11th (Veteran’s day), we literally finished the song on the 8th that Friday for him and the 9th early Saturday morning for me. I wasn’t sure if we would hit the deadline because I had to submit the song and it may not have gotten cleared over the weekend. In the end, it worked out and we were able to hit our target date. I was super stoked about that!
Traveling and performing all over the world must be exciting. Where do you plan on performing next?
It has been an amazing experience traveling and performing! I found it even more exciting to see other cultures and how they live, this has been one of the biggest joys. Where I’m from this isn’t seen as possible. No one really has a passport or traveled outside of a 3-state radius. Which isn’t bad, but I knew after fighting two wars I wanted to see more of the world and what it had to offer. I’ve been offered to join a tour, so if this will happen that’s where you’ll see me next. We thank you for your years of service and love touching single, “One Day”. How do you see your music evolving in the coming years?
You’re welcome! It really means a lot that you enjoy this track as it was my debut single. Big thanks also to producer Klae Beats from Canada, who also produced City Vibes and Wishing on a shooting star (Woast). We talk through email but have never met in person, but he’s been a supporter and a real humble guy. Also thanks to the other producers that were involved, including Yung Nab from France who produced MPR (Money, Power, Respect) and Eren Leib Tolga from Berlin. I think the fact that I get to work on songs with people from different places around the world shows the diversity I’ve learned. I hope to keep creating on an international level. The rest is just a journey that I like to explore and engage my listeners with.
Thanks for chatting with us at BuzzMusic! What's next for you as 2019 comes to an end?
I have my mixtape "The Radicals Vol 1" dropping late November or early December. I’m very excited about that! This two-week project will include an 11-song mixtape with only 1 feature. I grabbed the dopest free tracks that I could find online and wrote lyrics to them. This project isn’t for money, but solely to express my love for creating music. I want to show the producers that I’ve chosen that I have respect for them and that out of the millions of instrumentals online, their track stood out the most. This is really gonna be something for everyone!