Dave Wonderz is a rapper and singer. I first caught wind of the 21 year-old Boston, Massachusetts native when I came across an Instagram video of his record Baby Face Killah. The beat, the lyrics and his overall aesthetic (and good looks) made me press the ‘like’ button. And now, to celebrate his 22nd birthday, Dave is releasing his first-ever album titled Dave Wonderz Presents Baby Face Killa. I chatted with the birthday boy to find out who Dave is, why he chose hip-hop and what he’s bringing to the music industry.
HTT: How did you come up with the name Dave Wonderz?
Dave: So in high school I used to go by D – Real and overtime that got corny to me so I cut it to just Dee, but then that also became boring and cliche, so one day, before uploading a song in my friends basement where I recorded older songs that are no longer existent in the public lol, I asked him what I should change my name to, and he said he didn’t know, so a few minutes past and as I was wondering… an imaginary light bulb lit up above my head and I immediately thought wonderz, because my lyrics make you wonder, and it just felt right for some reason so I went with it. Also, me being a rapper, I decided that a “z” would be more appropriate ha ha so yea that’s how it came about.
HTT: You’re a young rapper but when I listen to your music it reminds me of some of my fave classic hip-hop artists, who is your musical inspiration?
Dave: I grew up with a lot of wayne, drake, J Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Logic and everything hip- hop really, I am a student of the game and am always up to date with new cats, cats before my time and all that so a lot inspires me, which also made me as versatile as I am.
HTT: How much does the east coast impact your music? How would you describe your sound?
Dave: I would say it definitely inspires a lot of my sound, being from the east coast, an area where hip-hop originated, I was brought up on using lyrical ability to tell stories, and being witty with it as well, also rapping with cleverness using punchlines/metaphors because I like having fun with it as well because it doesn’t always have to be so serious all the time.
HTT: Did your upbringing influence you to become a hip-hop artist?
Dave: Growing up I was raised by two half american and half Vietnamese parents (Surprise, yes I’m half Asian lol), until my parents split so my mother raised me for the most part. Therefore in an Asian household, hip-hop isn’t typically something you were raised listening too, but I sing as well and I definitely got influenced to do so from all the Vietnamese karaoke I grew up singing with my mom and our family. For as long as I can remember, I was into hip-hop, but I have to give major thanks to my cousins Andy and Alina for getting me into it. I became a hip-hop artist because it gave me a voice, especially because I was so quiet in school and got picked on a lot, it gave me power to say what I wanted to say.
HTT: When you first decided you wanted to be a rapper, what was your ultimate goal? ie to be famous, to sell out arenas, sell a certain # of albums?
Dave: I aspire to inspire as cliche as it is, i want to make people realize that you don’t have to do what society tells you to do, and that you can chase your dreams if you have one and be who you want to be as well as getting paid for it, but in order to accomplish that you need to be passionate,consistent, and persistent, and that’s what I’ve learned. All in all, I just want to be respected, as well as be able to take care of my family financially too, that would make me happy the most. I’m not so much into the whole fame idea BTW but that comes with it so I can adapt.