Dug is a rapper from Columbus, OH. He also does spoken word poetry and plays instruments sometimes. He raps as a solo performer, with the band Happy Tooth & Dug, and in a handful of groups. He just released the album The Signal Glittering Inside The Storm with Happy Tooth and the producer Evaridae, which is available on all platforms digitally, with CDs available on Bandcamp. you can catch Dug at the Overcast Hip Hop Festival on Saturday at 9:10!
We sat down with Dug to get to know more prior to the festival!
Give us some background on Dug...
As a kid I'd write weird poems with a lot of little linguistic tricks in them. I loved it, but I never considered it anything I'd show anyone. I've played instruments and written lyrics since around that same time. But it wasn't until I got into hip hop, specifically rapping, that I felt like it was my purpose in life. It saved me, the way music always has, but moreso, often, and so I had to do it. I had to try, at the very least.
Luckily, my friend Colin (Happy Tooth) was around and had the same goals. Having a person to bounce ideas off of, to work with, to empathize personally with my situation was crucial. Forming a group, first with our producer Ryan, eventually with a full band, made up of some of my closest friends, was even more encouraging. We've since formed a loose network of sorts with all kinds of amazing people. I'm technically an independent artist but in the least literal sense of the phrase.
When did you decide that music was your calling?
I felt like I'd like it to be my calling since I was twelve or so. I had insomnia, and a little radio. I would put the radio on really low when I went to bed. I always loved music, but nothing lets you really sit with it like thinking incorrectly that it would help you sleep.
I don't think I felt music was my "calling", though, until I got into hip hop. Most of my favorite writers come out of that tradition. There's something about how rappers play with language that is fascinating to me. I get inspired, and I want to contribute, if I can.
What can fans expect at a Live performance?
Lots of call and response (unless it's a livestream show), probably a Garth Brooks cover, lyrics including some variation of the word "apocalypse," rapping about emotions, a freestyle unless I get nervous.
How has the past 6ish months been for you musically?
Fantastic, actually!! Which is not at all what I expected. Of course I've had a lot of 'down' periods, too. But not as many as I'd thought? The band didn't get to tour the east coast. We did really want to do that. But Happy Tooth and I got to do a digital release show for our new album, 'The Signal Glittering Inside The Storm', and it was a lot of fun. My friend and bandmate Phil and I are making an EP. I'm finishing up on an album with some good friends and an EP with some other good friends. Staying home more the last six months for me has meant either working very hard on music or watching dozens of movies consecutively for days on end. Rescuing my 30th birthday by doing a last minute livestream concert in my basement was a highlight for sure.
What is next for Dug?
Once I finish the stuff I'm working on, I'm eventually going to release a solo album entirely produced by an artist I respect enormously. I forget if I'm keeping who it is close to the vest so I suppose for now I will. It's probably a ways off. Hopefully my band gets to tour the east coast with our pal Eyenine when it becomes safe to. Of course I can't wait for Overcast. Once live concerts are possible again I want to start coordinating with local organizations, bail funds, and public services/advocacy groups to have booths at my concerts that are in larger spaces. I think. I'm still working on the logistics.