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13 questions for Dina Rae: an exclusive interview

06.03.09 | Emblog | In Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, Dina Rae kindly accepted this interview. I’d like to thank her for that. Dina Rae is familiar to many people for being “track 13 girl” on Eminem’s albums. But the amazing artist has also a lot of collaborations with the Detroit underground hip hop scene at her active. She has done a lot of music of her own. Besides her music skills, she is also a gifted dancer. Often envied for her sexiness, the talented female singer has made a name in the music industry. Listen to what Dina has to say:)

1. What motivated you to become an artist and how did you get started in the music industry?

I was trained as a dancer at a young age, so that always gave me the creative outlet, but my musical career evolved because of me having a serious spine injury that halted my dance career and pushed the singer songwriter in me more to the forefront. As I child I always enjoyed musical theater, so I always knew I had it in me to sing. My vocal coach Cydney Davis, who has worked with many great singers such as Marvin Gaye, Barry White, and Joe Cocker trained me since the age of nine, so I was well prepare for my future as a vocalist. One day at Fat Lip of The Pharcydes crib, he began playing this loop on his turntable and heard me singing this hook I’d just wrote. Right then and there he demanded that I lay it down and record it and that was it for me!  It was over then! I knew at that moment songwriting and singing was all I wanted to do. I felt like I found my nitch.

2. Define your musical style within a few words…

2.  I hate to pigeonhole myself but if I had to sum it up I’d have to call it edgy Pop mixed with R&B. My sound is very Hip Hop influenced, so I also like to call Hip Pop. I like to curse alot in my music, but I think I’m pretty melodical and lyrical too. I love really hard beats as my musical backdrop, so I guess that’s why you can’t just call it your traditional R&B.

3. Can you enlighten the readers about your solo work?

 I would definitely say that I’m a mouthpiece for women. In my music I like to say all the things women can’t sometimes say because were either scared to, we’ll lose our jobs or we gotta “play our positions” as women. I have a bluntness in my music that if you know me personally, it’s how I would have a regular conversation with you. I would say that my explicitness and hardcore production draws the male fan base also.

4.You also did some interesting choreographic work…a few words about it?

I love choreography and dance that’s the root and the backbone of everything I do. My favorite experience with choreography was a show I did when I was young with Tina Landon and Janet Jackson’s dancers based out in Los Angeles. Currently, I’m in dance rehearsals with my latest material, choreographing my new show.

5. Most people know you as the Track 13 Girl on Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP…I myself discovered you thanks to the Drug Ballad song.
Your vocals create the softness into the rough addiction universe of the song.
Can you tell us how you got to meet Eminem?

I made a promise to myself never to answer this question again, but I’ll make this one final exception; lol! A mutual friend from Interscope Records basically linked us up at the time, when I ran into them picking up food in LA somewhere.

6.  You actually made impression on Eminem. How is it to work with a like him? Does he put working standards to a very high level?

I admire Marshall’s work ethic immensely and I have been inspired by it. He expects nothing but perfection when you’re in the studio with him; but he doesn’t mind if I get a little high from time to time. Just kidding, haha!!!

7. You also did some interesting collaborations with Detroit underground rapper Mu. A few words about them?

 Mu is one of the most lyrical and articulate rappers I know. He has co-written a couple of songs with me on the R&B tip. He’s a very talented artist.

8. You do have other Detroit underground emcees collaborations at your active…what is your personal insight on the Detroit hip hop scene?

 I keep up with my close friends and family in Detroit, but I haven’t been back to The D since Proof’s funeral. Everyone was and is so devasted by his death, I don’t know that Detroit s Hip-Hop scene will ever be the same without him. We can only keep his legacy going. I know I will.

9. What is the most difficult challenge you had to face as an artist?

As an artist I’d say that trying to release an album after working with an artist of Eminem’s caliber has been the most trying. There’s this misconception that because I sang on all these records with him I’m automatically straight, you know? But it actually works quite opposite. Don’t get me wrong I’m so grateful for the experience and opportunity of making history with him, it’s just that your identity is always next to, or compared to his and that’s hard to overcome. I don’t do what Em does; I do what Dina Rae does. Always have, always will.

10. Which ( mainstream or underground) artist earned your respect and why?

I’m really into Lady Gaga right now. She’s got that edgy dance thing, and seems real honest and integral with her art form. She was a hustler too and I respect that.

11.. According to you, what makes you appear as unique in the world of music?

I’d say I’m unique because of my diverse influences, in life and in music.

12. Besides your obvious musical skills, your sexiness is certainly a great asset too. Did you experience some envy or jealousy?

I think any halfway attractive female is going to get jealousy and hate from other females. For me I guess it was a lot of envy from Eminem’s female fans because he was grinding on my butt onstage while we were performing the song Superman during The Anger Management Tour Lolll!!!!!

13. Any upcoming musical projects/ collaborations for 2009?

Yes, I’ve formed my own label Purple Diva, Inc. that will be launching all my new music this year. I’ll be releasing a digital EP entitled The Return of The Real this summer, followed by my solo debut, Purple Diva, dropping in the fall. If you know what I’ve done and know what history I’ve been apart of, then you already know what you’re about to hear; nothing but hits! Dina Rae-The Purple Diva signing off.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling
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« Eminem’s music through the years- viewed and reviewed like you’d not expect it…
» Wandering through the dark tunnel of addiction: an in depth analysis of Relapse’s narrative side