The word Dub means to redo or rework; it is something one does when it is necessary to make alterations. This is what Breath a.k.a The Dubber has been doing since the age of thirteen. For over two decades the Washington, DC native has played guitar and encompasses the sounds of funk, rock, reggae, go-go and hip-hop to create a unique musical stew, all his own. Nikhil Sharma caught up with him to find out more.
How long have you been involved with music and how did you develop a passion for music?
The Dubber: I've been involved in music as long as I can remember. I've always felt that music was my calling. From dancing and trying to imitate James Brown from around the age of 2-3 years old, to listening to the Jackson 5, to being introduced by my uncle to the Funkadelic's, spawning my interest in the guitar. Growing up I spent at least four or five nights a week at the Go-Go which was and still is DC's music scene. I guess you would say my passion for music is natural.
Where are you from and does that influence your music and sound?
The Dubber: I'm originally from Washington DC where go-go is not only music it's a culture. So yes it definitely influenced my sound. The percussions of go-go and the aggressiveness of the early punk scene, Allah Bad Brains definitely come through in my songs.
How would you explain the music you make to people that haven’t heard you before?
The Dubber: My music is a musical stew of American music with hints of world notations. You can her roots rhythms, delta blues, hip-hop and other genres all fused in my music. My music has no genre boundaries. This is what sets me apart from the majority of artists out there today. I take a little and give a lot.
What would you be doing if you weren't involved with music?
The Dubber: Well I really love architecture… so I guess I would be involved in architecture in some facet. I just like the whole designing, creating and building process, which you can probably tell from my music, well at least I hope you can. But yeah architecture would have been my career of choice if music hadn’t got me.
Where did the name 'The Dubber' come from?
The Dubber: The Dubber comes from a band I was in, in LA called The Dubber's and The Kings of Selasi I. We were an LA based band who performed for two years and decided to move to Washington DC where the band, disbanded six months later. At that point, I was the last artist standing. Where in turn I adopted the name "The Dubber". The root word ‘Dub’ means to re-work or re- do, which I set out to do with this project. I am "THE" Dubber.
Are there any artists that have inspired you to make the music that you're making?
The Dubber: Yes far too many to name but here are a few… James Brown, Funkadelic's, Miles Davis, Bob Marley, Bad Brains, Robert Johnson and KRS1 for starters. Growing up in DC you listen to live music on the regular. It's the culture of the place and it has a tendency to suck you in.
Global Warning is an excellent album. How did you get so many genres to work alongside each other so effortlessly?
The Dubber: I just love music man. All types of music. Just as the philosopher Bruce Lee taught… "like water baby". I never was concerned with mastering any one particular genre of music I just took what I felt was good from all of them and added it to my sound. So with that said, there is no real master plan of how music comes together. I'm just creatively allowing my style to free-flow like water.
Do you have any plans to come to London soon? (Can I get VIP Tickets?) haha!
The Dubber: I would Love to come to London as I feel my music will be well received over there. I'm looking at April 2011 to schedule a couple of dates. Of course this is all dependent on if London will have The Dubber of course, lol.
Does your music have a message? If so, what is that message?
The Dubber: Yes you can hear my message in the lyrics and you can feel my message in the music. Lyrically the message is simple… universal love.
What does the future hold for The Dubber?
The Dubber: The time has come for The Dubber to go international. People are paying attention on both sides of the Atlantic which is a beautiful thing. There have been so many shows here in the States and I will be at SXSW again next year but the mission is to get overseas. Expect to hear and see The Dubber Worldwide!