Within every industry, there are trendsetters and trend followers. Dante Tweaks, a visionary artist and engineer, is setting trends for others in the Connecticut music industry through his revolutionary music sound. He is also proof that success is within reach for all of us as long as you want it.
Becoming a trendsetter didn’t happen overnight for Dante. Originally from the Bronx in NYC, Dante moved to Connecticut because he saw a gap he believed he could fill. He started and grew Howell Records, which is now the best recording studio in Connecticut. In fact, it is the only one endorsed by Hot 93.7, the hip hop radio station of CT.
From the beginning, Dante knew he didn’t want anyone to run things for him. He started managing the business on his own and then hired a team along the way. Together, they have grown to what is now a powerhouse label within a short period.
At the same time, Dante is also an artist with years of experience. When he was just 19, Hot 93.7 played his single. His single “Plug Ran Dry” went on to #69 on the UK iTunes Charts, and Dante even received a plaque for it. Over the years, he has done features with legendary rappers and, even recently, a crossover with a dancehall artist.
As the Trap music genre gained popularity in the world, Danteand a producer he’d hired discovered what has now become his signature sound. A cross between rap and rock music, this new sound is called TrapRock and is a fresh feel distinct from the original Trap sound.
Dante pioneered the TrapRock sound in Connecticut, and it has now grown into a movement. On Spotify, Dante has gained 2,000+ monthly listeners, and the numbers are still growing. Besides music, his cannabis brand, Sleep Owl Cannabis, is doing great.
So, how did a kid from the Bronx become one of the biggest music icons in Connecticut? The first tool on his arsenal was focus. When he was beginning, he didn’t have a team, a sound, or a distinct brand. Creating those things took time, and he did that while expecting a child. Looking back, he says that all he could do was, “Look up.”
The second thing was pursuing his dream relentlessly. He admits that nothing in life comes free, so you must show grit. You also won’t buy your dream with money. He adds, “Show respect, show grit, and show ya teeth. That’ll make you the Big Dawg.”
Thirdly, he learned how to invest well. As an independent artist, no one would sponsor him, and he had to devise a way of earning fast. He hustled hard and then looked for the right way to invest. As he realized, “Life is a chess game; all you gotta do is try to play it well.”
The last thing is having a great team behind him. When building his brand, he dedicated different people to doing different things. Each of them had a distinct responsibility and purpose, and Dante’s work became easier because all he had to do was oversee what they did.
Although he likes being the boss and doing things his way, Dante also appreciates others in the industry for providing him with a community. Belonging to one has always been important to him, and Connecticut gave him that sense of belonging.
As a result, he is releasing his latest album, TrapRock: Volume 1,independently through Howell Records, his Connecticut-based label. He believes that will enable Connecticut to be the powerhouse for new music.