HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Dakota Kruz. I’ve always loved music. I don’t mean that in the general sense. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the process of creating it but it took me a very long time to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to take that creative leap. I had to come to the revelation that there was no pressure to perform. Develop a certain freedom to explore different things creatively; free of judgment. When you start making music as an adult, the initial reception from those around you is always interesting. Getting over that hurdle and really becoming free to love and enjoy the craft is key.
HCM. To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Dakota Kruz. As a child, all I listened to was either Motown or 90’s dancehall mixed with contemporary (at the time) conscious reggae. Shabba Ranks, Sizzla, and Smokey Robinson. There was no in-between. That was primarily in my pre-teen to early teenage years. Needless to say, I’ve since expanded my tastes tremendously.
My teenage years were a lot of R & B. Really specifically, Jaheim, Raheem DeVaughn, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and India Arie. I want to backtrack from what I said earlier, an exception to the rule. Jaheim has been one of my favorite artists for as long as I could remember. Smooth and neo-soul rappers have always had this melodious appeal to me Common easily takes the cake as one of my favorite lyricists.
Some of my favorite contemporaries are Smino, Ari Lennox, Brent Faiyaz, and H.E.R.
HCM. On your upcoming release… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
Dakota Kruz. Upcoming project in the works with one of my closest friends, and fellow artist from my hometown, J. Santonio. We toyed with the idea of developing a duo for a decent amount of time. At some point, we mutually decided that collaborating on a sizable project would both push us creatively and allow us to really see working collaboratively would entail.
HCM. What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing your music?
Dakota Kruz. I’m more interested in evoking real and authentic responses than I am tailoring an impression. Love it or hate it. I’d rather have an engaged negative reaction than something lukewarm any day. Art offends. You can’t please everybody. But whatever my music makes you feel, I aim to make it memorable.
HCM. What are your plans for the near future?
Dakota Kruz. I am working on a number of exciting projects, some unrelated to music that is looking very promising. Things are a bit cooled off for most of the world right now. Follow me and wait for things to pick back up! You might just be pleasantly surprised.