By: Gemma Mastroianni
DEAR-GOD is a hip-hop and experimental artist from Brampton, Ontario. I have been intrigued by his work ever since I heard his single/video "The Burbs." When his first EP was dropped in December titled 1-844-4DEAR-GOD, I was even more impressed. It is not exactly common these days to nail down a smooth and professional sound influenced by rock and hip-hop similar to Rage Against The Machine, and he did just that.
I have not stopped listening to the EP since it has dropped, hence why I chose DEAR-GOD as the first ever artist of the month. Please see the interview below:
When did you start playing music, and why?
I started playing drums when I was 9. I used to play Rock Band on my old PS2 and eventually got sick at the in-game drums. My parents got me a beginner kit for Christmas and I took drum lessons for years to come. I was shit at sports growing up. I was always underweight, and I got heat stroke whenever I played outside. Music made me feel like I could do something unique, something that other kids at school couldn't do.
When you began playing music, did you see it growing into what it is today?
Ever since I started playing drums, I felt inclined to pursue music long term. I was always passionate but I never knew what the end result would really be. In high-school is when I started actually making beats and songwriting with friends. Never knew where I'd go with it, but I really did dream to "make it," whatever that means. Now I'm out here like, "what the f*** have I gotten myself into." But, I can't imagine doing anything else with my life at this point really.
Why the name DEAR-GOD? What does it mean to you?
DEAR-GOD has become a double entendre. It can be taken as a shocking remark, or it can be a question posed in times of necessity.
You can use it in either context, I don't really care.
When was DEAR-GOD formed?
After I ditched the lame ass offensive name I used to go by. Started "Crack Baby" when I was a dumb 16 year old. DEAR-GOD was created when I was a (less) dumb 18 year old.
What music did you listen to growing up, and how has your taste evolved? What do you currently listen to?
In the early years I listened to whatever kids at school listened to, whatever my cousins were listening to, and whatever my sister was listening to. That included a huge range of Rock and Hip Hop genres that were popping on Much Music at the time. Now I listen to anything fresh. Don't care if it's Punk or Bolero or Pop or Hip Hop or whatever else. If it hits it hits.
Which artists have influenced your sound today?
What are your favourite pieces of music gear and why? (Pick 3-5)
My fake rusty Fender Mustang because it sounds like ass, my recorder because It also sounds like ass when I play it, and my record player because sampling is fun.
What is the first venue you want to play when shows come back?
I wanna play outside somewhere secret in the city, for free.
Who is your dream collaboration with an artist or band?
Hmmmm... maybe Carti or Uzi? Not even sure how it would work though.
What was your favourite album in 2020?
Probably Heaven to a Tortured Mind. It's a beautifully put together record.
What does 1-844-4DEAR-GOD represent to you as a project in whole? How long did it take to put together?
This EP was a long time coming. Most of these songs were made like 2 years ago because we had to sort out some dumb industry shit for a while before I could put it together. It represents my stupid arrogant 18/19 year old self. Every aspect of the creation was fun and a learning experience for sure. The recording of the songs and videos were full of great moments and great people.
Stella Artois. My dad put me onto that. I'm not a huge beer drinker but I'd say that if anything.
Going for walks. Walks keep me alive. Real shit.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
More substance. More raw. More blood.