Born in Cambodia and growing up in New York's Brooklyn, Darun is an ambitious individual who wants to be a voice for Asians in the music industry.
interviewed on March 9,2007
How has the reaction been to the video you did? Any airplays and support from the community?
The video that we shot was a lil appetizer of how the album will be like.. A fresh taste of flavors from the clubs to the main purpose why Hip Hop exist.. Its a club banger and underground video in one called "Work that body" and "Amazen" which features a new artist by the name of "YoungPrez"! (15 years old phenom). U can't make em' listen without having a party. No one wants to see a show where u talking about sad shit.. nah mean? Everyone that seen the video was amused by it because they never seen an asian hip hop artist' video that has sex appeal, style and lyrical creative content at the same time . Recently its been played on Indy channels like Video Music Box and on the web.. But this is just a warning shot to let everyone know that the full course meal is coming when the album drops this summer...! So lets grab our knivese and forks and get ready to eat !. Cuz this is the year of the Pig! Its our turn..!
The song to your video is catered to the club. Do you feel that making a club record is a must these days just to gain exposure by DJs?
Well the difference between an underground artist and someone who sells records nowadays is the prove of ability to make a hit record.. And the ones that plays the hit records are Djs in the clubs. No Major Corporation is gonna want to invest in you if you have no club hits.. Its just logical.. The business is money, and the ones that hold the keys to the safe are the industry's moguls. So yes, in order to lure them into your world , you do need a club record. You have to hit every angle to win.
With MTV World, which includes MTV Chi and K, shutting its operations, what does that tell you about Asian Americans and their support of its artists?
Well... Just when you thought theres a way out, they always find a way to shut us down.. I mean, Mtv world were the only source an asian artist can be viewed at .. I mean, Mtv and Mtv2 can play a spanish reggaeton song on an english channel, but not an english hip hop track from an asian american artist. If my video was played on Mtv or Mtv2, I probably will have more support from asian americans and other ethnics because it's on every cable channel which has more viewers in the U.S.
What would you suggest to revive an interest in all the talent that surrounds this community?
I'm sure there are alot of asian americans working behind the scenes of many companies in the entertainment industry including tv stations , radio, magazines and etc... But I feel as if we don't want or care for each other to make it and see one of us on stage excepting awards one day. There are followers and no leaders in the asian community today. In order to carve our future in the right direction, we need to really start supporting our own people. Money makes the world go round, but if we don't do things to support our own community now, there won't be a future in anything for our kids. We need to unite and believe in our own people. We can't be scared to take chances.. Change is needed . And we're like an untapped source in this industry. If done right, its like discovering an oil mine.... The payout could multiply very well...
You have a tour coming up with Hot Import Nights. How do you feel about that scene compared to the clubs and the parties?
Well the club and the parties are the same everywhere.. Its just now, I'm reaching multiple cities and crowds of every coast and ethnic. Hip Hop is a world wide thing.. Its politics from every angle of a common denominator. I'm building fans in every shade of skin.. Just breaking new boundaries is an exciting thing because I know they gonna feel our new mixtape and album thats ready to drop this year..! It will be something special to remember..!
How do you think promoters can do more to create a bigger channel in this party scene?
Well... I think the promoters are businessmen which are all about the dollars and cents.. But I think that being a promoter also gives you the responsibility to put on a good show for party crowds to enjoy themselves. So besides just doing shows in our own communities, we need to do shows of a mix industry crowd to keep the flavor rotating and alive with the rest of the competition . Besides going on my tour and doing shows in other states and cities, I'm gonna do party events that does performance shows of mix crowds about once a month in NYC. This will give a chance for new upcoming artists to rise ..
What about all the Asian American artists, including yourself, what can you all do to change the environment from scene to industry?
We have to compete with the best and get support from the rest. And I don't mean competing with our own ppl . Gift and talent has no color..If the major record companies sees us supporting and backing each other up by buying our cds and supporting our shows, it will give the execs the proof to see our record sales potentials. Who will believe in us, if we don't believe in ourselves....?
Running your own entertainment company must give you a lot of freedoms. Do you plan on collaborating with other Asian American artists as well as bringing in new talent into the game?
Collaborating with other artists has never been something I'm against.. But it seems that everyone wants their own shine and afraid of someone else to take it away.. But I've collaborated with other asian artists before.. To me , having a strong team is much more important and stronger than being a solo star...
YoungPrez is the newest artist on the team thats been carving his skills for a minute now since the age of 10. He is now only 15 and has already been writing and producing his own music. Both of our albums is schedule for release this year. He brings a new craft of excellency to the table.. His album will be the new breed of pure hip hop. We are taking music back to the essence of posessing lyrical skills and creative beats on wax. Not to mention sex appeal and raw talent. He is the future.!
NoNo is another asian artist that we have been working with.. He is a reggae artist that has been brought up in the heart of Flatbush , Brooklyn, in NY. He's a real artist that makes music from the soul and past experiences... Listening to his music gives you a feel of what he went through , in his whole life of having to survive in the streets..
And out of all the artists that's on the come-up, who are you feeling?
I only feel a small handful of artists.. Besides myself, theres YoungPrez, Gkay, NoNO and Shogunna...Because we all make music about Real pain, struggles and Creativity..
Thanks for taking the time out with Clubzen. What's coming up for you next?
Besides touring, doing shows and being on our grind, its making sure that our albums are straight fire and that we all eat and take it to the next level....! Make sure you're ready for it when it drops, "The Missing Ingredient" .. Summer 2007! U can stay posted with new music, videos, show dates, events and cop the new cd soon at Myspace.com/darun.... and your local asian music stores in chinatown.. ! Haaa haa..
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