We had the good fortune of connecting with Douglas! and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Douglas!, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m a firm believer in “bigger the risk, bigger the reward”. With that being said, I know each risk I take, especially as an independent artist, has to be calculated. Taking risks has played a huge part in my career because they’ve allowed me to elevate my notoriety, pickup game by being in new places, and grow as both an artist and a man.
When I first went to Old Dominion University, I went the safe route and majored in communication. I completely hated it because the courses were so bland. I knew if I was going to be somewhere for four years, I had to spice things up or it would be torture. So unbeknownst to my parents or peers, I switched my major to Fashion. I didn’t about what job I would or wouldn’t get after college, I just knew it was what I needed to do. Sure enough, it opened up so many doors for me in the future.
After college, I moved into my parent’s new home in Chester. It was hard going from the exciting city of Norfolk to suburbia. I was focused on music, but also had one foot in “the real world”, trying to work a decent job and make the family happy. I dropped a lot of music, but it was not my best work because I was uninspired. Once again, I felt that feeling that I needed a major change. Something told me to call my bro Ray, who still lived in Norfolk, and asked if he needed a roommate. Sure enough, he said yes, as long as I throw him a few bucks for the rent. That week, I packed all my belongings, left my little job at Marshall’s with no notice and moved right back to the 757. I was literally dead broke, but I told myself, I’m going to lock in in that apartment and make a hit. This was a pivotal turn in my career because the hunger made my music better and produced some of my biggest local hit records at the time.
The biggest risk I have ever taken was moving here to Los Angeles. The pandemic changed everyone’s life in 2020. People in Virginia are already a little crazy, so everyone was losing their minds, but still outside at the same time. I never spoke about it to anyone, but I was starting to feel waves of depression. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be with the music, Covid hysteria was in full swing, and I had recently lost my job at Virginia’s staple Round Two due to looting. That itch for something new kicked in once again. My right-hand men Steve and Lamar came up with a plan for us to all move to California. At the time, I was getting a little unemployment money, emphasis on a little, so I realized it could be done. I knew if I didn’t use this money as a deposit on an apartment, it would be spent on weed and food, so I told the bros that I’m in. We made all the arrangements in less than a week, and by that next month I was a Sherman Oaks resident. I’m happier than I have ever been now, and I’ve realized how much my move has inspired my friends. family and fellow artists back home. The risk was certainly worth the reward, because the music I’ve made since I’ve been here is my best work to date. It literally gives me goosebumps.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am most excited about my upcoming single “Watch”, and my debut project that will drop later this year. I have been pursuing a career in music my whole life, but at this exact moment, I am actually enjoying the process instead of feeling like a struggling artist. It has not been easy. I have made many mistakes, but I view them as life lessons that have made me grow stronger.
My brand, Douglas!, represents individuality, fun, culture, Hip-Hop, and doing whatever you want. I don’t put any restrictions on myself, and I want my supporters to live the same way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t have a vehicle here, so the first thing we’d do is put our money together for these crazy LA uber fees. Me and my roommates debate all the time about if LA food is good or not, but I’ve come across a couple of gems since I’ve been here. I love the street taco trucks, so we’d definitely hit one of those. My favorite place to eat lunch at is Mama Shelter in Hollywood because I love the view and the prices. All of my friends love soul food, so we’d probably take a ride down to Slauson and eat at Little Kingston or get some wings.
There are still so many clubs and lowkey spots that I need to discover, but I love going to Lock & Key. The vibes are always great. I don’t do too much dancing, but I’ll hit a little jig here and there.
I love exploring LA and spending time soaking in the different cultures. Some of my favorite spots to hang out are here in Sherman Oaks, such as the Mulholland Scenic Overlook or the Van Nuys – Sherman Oaks Park. I also get a kick out of seeing my friends exhausted from trying to jog to the top of Runyon Canyon Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many monumental people in my life that support me and give me a reason to live. Shoutout to my boys Lamar and Steve, my whole 400 family and my blood brother KD. Shoutout to Demel and Lo. Shoutout to Dawit, Xay, Tae, Alex, and Ju. Shoutout to Kam. Shoutout to BlackLiq. Shotout to the Simple Math Matrix homies. Thank you Based God. Thank you to my parents and family for constantly showering me with love.
Thank you to Everett Moon, Lasik, GoodPeeples Studios, Tyler Acosta, the homies at 2nd Street and everyone I’ve met in LA that has embraced me. Thank you to Holdingold. Thank you to 48thSt, EPT, Rome and all the 733 homies. Thank you to everyone who read this article!
photos taken by Helena Escalante