Meet D Smoke, Inglewood's Hometown Hero
Daniel Anthony Farris, more commonly known as D Smoke, is the Inglewood rapper that’s quickly dominated the scene in 2019. The morning after the finale of Rhythm + Flow aired, D Smoke stopped by the office at Milk NY. With his humble attitude and strong sense of self, it’s obvious as to why Farris was one to watch from his first audition on the Netflix show. We sat down with the rapper to discuss what he’s listening to, the slow and dedicated path that’s gotten him this far, and what he envisions for 2020.
We met the morning after the finale of Rhythm + Flow aired – a lot has changed for you since then. One thing for starters, you’ve gained 1.5M followers! How have you dealt a million more people wanting to know who you are and what you’re about?
It’s been a slight adjustment but it’s been exciting. More people recognize me practically everywhere I go. Most of the time people will say that they were rooting for me from the beginning and that my story is one many people relate to, so it’s inspiring. The beauty of that is that people genuinely feel connected to my journey — it’s always positive energy when I run into fans. Let’s just say I take a lot of pictures these days, and I do so gladly.
What have you been up to since then?
Since the release of the show, I’ve had a couple spot dates, including performing at the weigh-in for the heavyweight championship boxing match between Deyontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz at MGM Grand in Vegas. I also performed alongside my brother SiR at the Soul Train Awards, which was an epic moment for us both. There’s nothing doper than sharing the stage with your brother at that level.
I’ve also got some calls to feature in some prominent artists’ projects. Game just released his album Born 2 Rap and only 20 days before he released it, I got invited to be a part of it. We went in the studio and he played me the entire project. After that, we bounced around some ideas and he laid down the “Cross On Jesus Back” hook and it was the one. Once I heard it, I knew I couldn’t leave the studio until I blessed it with a verse I was proud of.
I’ve also been meeting and strategizing with my team for our first quarter release of my next project. Inglewood High was just the appetizer to a full course meal that we plan on serving all in a matter of months. Oh! and I’ve also shot 2 videos that will be released before the end of the year.
I watched the interview you did with Real 92.3 — you mentioned that you’ve been preparing to gain your following (no matter how long it would take) since you could remember — what steps did you take in the past that have helped you transition to where you are today?
In the past, I focused a lot of energy in helping other artists get on. As a general principle, I believe that when you give freely without expecting anything in return, the universe rewards that. There’s no formula that can add up to what I’m experiencing now. Fate and providence got me to this point. I believe that once I began to understand myself, my creative advantages and build my team, things outside of my control began to align as well.
Have you had any problems/interesting encounters maintaining your privacy now that you’re such a public figure? How have you dealt with that?
Only a few. There was only one time I can remember that I postponed taking a picture with a fan. I was walking back to my seat in the MGM Grand at the fight and I had my hands full with a chicken sandwich and fries on one side and a large cup of water with no top on it. Someone recognized me and was like, “Can I take a picture?” I looked down at my sandwich as my stomach growled at me And for the first time, I replied, “Now isn’t the best time.” He must have seen the hunger in my eyes because he just responded, “No worries bro, enjoy that sandwich!” We both laughed.
The overwhelming majority of people are genuinely good and come from an honest place, so I just take everything in stride and try to have and create genuine memorable moments as often as possible for people who are now invested in my journey.
What’s are some of the most meaningful responses you’ve gotten from fans?
The most meaningful response that I’ve gotten thus far is that what I’m doing is needed. I’ve always aimed to be impactful in whatever work I do, whether it be music or teaching, so to be able to use music to both entertain and shape the lives and perspectives of others is a beautiful responsibility.
Can you tell us about the origin of “Supa Good”? And the origin of “D Smoke”? How did you come up with the name?
I’ve been D Smoke since a teenager. I didn’t smoke at the time, and no longer do now, but I had a big homie Ray who went by Smoke. He used to look after us and let us hang at his house after school because he didn’t live far from Inglewood High. I guess he saw something in me because I became young Smoke. I just dropped the “young” added the “D” from my name.
As far as the “Supa Good,” years ago, my brother Davion started calling me “Supa Good Smidoke,” which was borrowed from a line in Drake’s song “Over.” He said Super Good Smidoke, package of some swishers. I did it overnight, it couldn’t happen any quicker.” The irony of that is that happens to be the case for me as well.
What comes after Inglewood High?
After Inglewood High, we have a full project coming with several visuals. We’re gonna release it in February, with singles coming out in January 2020.
What’s your day-to-day musical practice like? (Growing up playing piano, for me, I know that it’s something that I need to do daily – you can grow rusty quick.)
I practice the piano at least 4 times a week. I like to get some hours of practice in as often as possible. I also like to write raps just as often. I gotta stay sharp. There are lots of people who’d love to be in my position, so I value preparedness.
How do you keep music exciting?
I keep the music exciting by staying open to challenges. I accept challenges from my team, from the producers I work with and I also listen to the fans when they say what type of song they’d like to hear from me and what features they’d like to see.
What are you listening to right now?
Right now in this very moment, I’m listening to Cee Lo Green, “Who Cares.” He’s brilliant and can recreate himself creatively. That’s something I value.
I love to listen to music with a lot of instrumentation. I love the music from an artist/producer/pianist extraordinaire named Anomalie.
I always go back and listen to early OutKast when I want to remember why I started rapping. I think they got it right on so many levels.
What’s your 2020 vision?
2020 is mine. I release a project, I release videos every month and I tour the states and the world. I’m ready for it all.
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