Because there are so many talents out there, be careful not to miss out on something that may lie right beneath your nose. With the many outlets available to find new music and new aspiring artists, tools like Soundcloud have become a friend to music heads like myself. Some of the best undiscovered unknowns can be uncovered there, and we found one in R&B hopeful, Dale Thompson.
“…I’m not in it to make a million tapes before I start getting noticed you know? I’m tryna come in with a statement you know what I mean? Like I’m tryna kick down the door and come in like, ‘This is Dale Thompson, this is my world, it’s about to get popping.’”
In the era of music which we live in now, full of fickle fans who want as much music and content from their favorite artists as quickly as possible, many fail to realize that at the end of the day, there’s a real human being behind the music, who lives their life and goes through up and downs just like anybody else does. Such is the case for 23-year-old Brockton, Massachusetts native Dale Thompson, who finally returned onto the scene yesterday with his new single titled “Paradise“, produced by fellow Greater Boston native Humbeats.
“Paradise” is Thompson’s first drop since track “Dirty Diana“, a track he released way back in January 2016 and has so far accumulated nearly 500k plays on Soundcloud. “Dirty Diana”, which also features impressive production from Humbeats, had been the only track listed on Thompson’s Soundcloud for nearly two years, leaving many of his fans to wonder the reasons behind his hiatus.
Other than “Dirty Diana”, not much can be found on Dale Thompson when you search his name. You may also find this video titled “Hennessy” (see below), a 90-second visual with his vocals in the background.
We decided to reach out to Dale Thompson and his manager Devin “Dev” Ryan for the interview below just before he dropped “Paradise”, and were able to uncover some of the things you may not have known about the artist. Like the fact that the video for “Hennessy” was the intended concept the entire time, inspired by Jay-Z’s Magna Carta album which reminded Thompson that there were “no rules to music.” Or the fact that he actually got accepted into Harvard out of high school, but never enrolled or even finished the acceptance process because of the cost of attendance there.
So if you were wondering if there was more to Dale Thompson than “Dirty Diana”, the answer is yes.
Dale: It’s funny cause a lot of people say that Brockton’s like “bad” like a lot of people hear about Brockton and they’re like ‘Yo it’s a crazy place to go to yadda yadda yadda’. But for the most part, I guess everybody’s witnessed a little bit of “bad” and stuff like that, and it’s just so many characters and stuff in Brockton; and so much potential like so many charismatic and motivated people. I mean, I kinda enjoyed growing up in Brockton; like the people that I grew up with are still my closest friends to this day, and still have the same vision and stuff.
Okay, so how did you get into music? Is it something you always wanted to do or something you just ended up in?
Dale: I’ve been making music since I was like, honestly like 8, 9, 10. I used to do a bunch of Boston shows, like talent shows in Boston and get like 1st place, 2nd place all the time. And my mom used to push me hard, she would drive me to sessions and stuff like that and my sister’s boyfriend would drive me to sessions in Boston, and I would record, things like that. I would always perform every week or every 2 weeks at the talent shows.
Like I always loved music and stuff, and I always was writing, even in middle school. But I would say I started taking it a little more seriously again, probably like senior year. I dropped this EP my senior year [of high school] and I was freestyling over a bunch of industry beats, and it got a pretty good turnaround. I got like 10,000 views on the tape and back in the day that was pretty good–.
Dev: With no promo…
Dale: Yeah. Nothing. We just dropped it and it did pretty good, and then after that I went to college, and I realized that it wasn’t for me. I went to [UMass] Amherst for a semester, and a lot of people don’t know about this but I had like a 4.0 in high school, like I did really well. I got accepted to Harvard but they sent me a letter back like, ‘We could accept you but you have to take this PSAT 2 test or whatever.’ But I was just being lazy about it and was like ‘Hey dude I got accepted into Harvard’ you know what I mean? But I couldn’t really afford it, so it was just good to know that I got accepted.
But yeah, I went to Amherst for a semester then left and went to Florida, and I was trying to get in school there. And while I was there, my friends Danny and Barry, who were my two producers, we all lived in a house together and working on another tape that I had in mind called So Far From Gone. And we wanted that to be the tape that was gonna like put us on.
So, Drake influenced it right?
Dale: That’s definitely a big influence for me, I love his music and stuff.
Who are some artists that you’re influenced by, whether it was growing up or even now?
Dale: Two people that influenced me are definitely him and The Weeknd, like I would say I got most of my influence from back in the day like 08-09 when they were doing sh– together. The sound they were creating together was just like madness. And after Drake dropped Take Care, that sound just kinda left you know what I mean? ‘Cause like The Weeknd kinda went to his own lane and then Drake kinda went to his own lane, but that sound just got stuck and I was like ‘Dog, this sound is so pure and so amazing and so new and like, somebody needs to take this sh– and run with it and kill that sh–’.
And I have my own influences too, you know like just like growing up in Brockton and listening to other artists. And being me, I know I can bring it to my own lane and my own wave.
But yeah, I was living in Florida for like a year and my mom hit me up and she needed help at home. So I ended up coming back to Brockton, and I planned on moving back down to Florida, but while I was out here (Brockton) I got my girl pregnant and was like ‘Sh–…life is real now’ *laughs*. So obviously you know I had to get a job and sh– like that; so I kinda put music on hold for a little bit.
So how long ago was this?
Dale: 4 years ago.
Dale: Yeah, this was like 2013, I took a little break and stuff cause I had to get like my own apartment. My mom was like ‘Yo, you got a baby you have to leave the house like get ya own.’ So I had to do the man stuff and the family stuff, and once I got the dad routine situated I was like
‘Alright, let me start getting back to music.’
And that’s when me and Devin started to link and really get stuff popping, ‘cause he was always tryna work with me. Even before we were friends, he was a fan like, ‘Yeah you know you make vibe music, you don’t make music like anybody else’. So we always had that mutual understanding, and he was actually managing my friend and we have this team called Newbury–.
Yeah I was actually gonna ask you guys about that after but continue…
Dale: Yeah, there’s like two other artists in Newbury, Zacc Starks and my friend Tevin. He [Devin] was managing Zacc at the time, and Zacc has a kid now so he took a little break too *laughs*. So I was like, ‘alright let me start focusing on my stuff,’ and Devin started managing me too. And we did a couple shows back in 2015. Then we dropped this really quick “Hennessy” video at the end of 2015 and dropped “Dirty Diana” at the beginning of 2016. And ever since then we’ve been working on the tape. A lot of people have been like ‘Yo why haven’t you dropped?’ and I’m not saying that I haven’t been sidetracked–like last year I was a little sidetracked ‘cause I lost my job and just like, other sh– in life happened, so I was kinda sidetracked off music a little bit last year.
But that’s understandable cause a lot of people don’t realize that there’s a real person behind the music, you know like the fans only care about getting the music sometimes…
Dale: Yeah! A lot of people were just like ‘Yo, where’s the music?’ and I’m like, “I got a kid, I’m the sole provider for my family.’ So if I wasn’t working it’s a problem, like a big-ass problem. How are we gonna pay rent? How are we gonna do this and that? So I had to focus on that, but while I was focusing on that we’re seeing the numbers of “Dirty Diana” go higher and higher and we’re like ‘Sh–…”
Dev: A lot of people calling….
Dale: Yeah a lot of people were contacting us and getting us to shows and interviews and stuff like that. And we kinda realized the impact that we could really have, and I feel like this first tape is gonna be something that will put me where I wanna be.
And about “Dirty Diana”, it’s the only song that’s on your Soundcloud, but it has damn near 500 thousands plays like how did it get to that point? Was it real natural or like did it get retweeted by some major artists?
Dale: Nah honestly it was kinda natural and I noticed one bump that it kinda did get was when it was at 20k and the next week it was at 50k. And we’re like ‘Holy shit how did it do like 30 in one week?’ Like we did some research with Soundcloud Pro and it was on like kanyetothe or whatever and on a couple playlists. And I guess those two playlists helped a bunch you know like nothing was paid for; no crazy crazy promo it was just ‘Here’s some music, hope you like it.’
Dev: We got the team behind us but–
Dale: Yeah we got the team behind us like obviously we’ll tweet and stuff but other than that we weren’t really tryna reach out.
Dev: Like it was played by a few like DJs and stuff. Like quite a few DJs hit us up that I knew were going down to SXSW so I believe it was probably played a lot like during that year ‘cause when we looked at the numbers on Soundcloud we were actually very big in Canada, Texas, and Los Angeles. Miami too.
And the beat and the overall sound to the song is amazing like that was produced by Humbeats right?
Dale: Yeah it was produced by Humbeats and he’s taking over most of this tape. Dale: Like there’s probably gonna be like 3 or 4 songs that aren’t produced by him but for the most part he’s taking over like most of the tape cause we kinda like built that sound together, you know what i mean?
Yeah you know that’s cool how you guys truly got that real producer-artist relationship cause really you see that a lot nowadays…
Dale: Yeah it’s been a little hard ‘cause he has his own studio and shit now and other clients but any time I go there it’s like….we already know what it is like ‘Let’s get it poppin’ you know what I mean?
Right right. So let’s go back to this Newbury Movement, everybody who’s ever been to Boston would think you’re referring to Newbury Street but I’m assuming there’s more to it than that right?
Dale: It’s funny cause Newbury’s not about the street in Boston it’s actually about Newbury Street in Brockton.
Dale: Yeah me and my brother moved there, like we’re originally from Boston and we moved to the south side of Brockton when we were like 6, and moved to Newbury Street in Brockton when we were like 7. And that’s where we grew up; we were there till my senior year [of high school].
But yeah that’s where I grew up like everybody that’s in Newbury they can all say like ‘Yo I’ve been to that house and had like, one of the craziest times of my life’. Like my house was kinda like one of the turn-up houses back in high school and my mom was mad cool and she worked overnight and let me have my friends over and shit like that. And we had like a liquor cabinet and she didn’t give a damn; she was like ‘Yo, as long as y’all staying in the crib and getting drunk y’all straight’.
Damn that’s hella lit…
Dale: Yeah she’s cool as sh–, like that’s my mom dukes I gotta give her everything; she held it down. And that was the kick spot like we had all the girls come thru; like all the crazy nights happened at that place even the dramatic times we had when we were kids you know? All those times just kinda happened on Newbury Street and it was just a group of us and we were like ‘Yo, it’s Newbury nigga’. But we weren’t a gang or anything like that, like that’s just what we claimed.
Yeah it’s real interesting how that’s what Newbury means because when I researched you and saw that you’re a Greater Boston artist, the first thing i think when I see “Newbury” is, ‘Oh he’s talking about Newbury Street in Boston’. But really it’s a Brockton thing…
Dale: Yeah I know a lot of people are gonna think that–
Dev: Tons of people have already asked…
Dale: Yeah a lot of people have already asked and that’s why that whole name is really funny.‘Cause even when we thought of the name we weren’t even thinking about Newbury Street [Boston]–
Dev: Newbury Street in Boston is cool…
Dale: Yeah like even when we made Newbury we weren’t really taking it serious, but when we actually did somebody just brought it up like ‘Yo you know what’s funny? Everybodys gonna think we’re talking about Newbury Street (in Boston)’ and we were like ‘Oh shit!’ like we didn’t realize that.
But it’s real real cool though how it’s like, your neighborhood and you’re really tryna put your neighborhood on the map like that…
Dale: Yeah and honestly I know a lot of people think I’m talented and I’m grateful for that, but the other two artists in Newbury are just as talented as I am. Like we have big plans, and it’s funny cause there’s a bunch of groups out right now where you can tell who’s the head honcho and who’s second in command. But I feel like when we drop and we’re established people are gonna be like ‘Nah, I don’t know who’s better’ you know what i mean?
Yeah definitely and here we are now where it looks like #DaleSeason is finally getting in effect so…”Paradise”, is it a track, a project?
Dale: It’s a track and as for my project; I’m not announcing it yet but it’s gonna be called Dreamland, and I plan on releasing it early next year, like within the first three months..
And you plan on putting out songs from it till then? Like is “Paradise” gonna be on it or is it just on its own?
Dale: “Paradise” will be on it and I’m probably gonna release like three or more songs till the tape drops.
Dev: Maybe like two visuals….
Dale: Yeah like two visuals and three new songs.
Okay and the tape is it gonna be a full-length project or just like a 5-track EP or something?
Dale: No it’s gonna be like 10-12 songs; I want it to be fuller you know? Something that like…I know it sounds far-fetched and stuff but I want it to be that one that like…takes off and gets me on Apple and gets me to the right ears and in the right hands. Like I’m not in it to make a million tapes before I start getting noticed you know? I’m tryna come in with a statement you know what I mean? Like I’m tryna kick down the door and come in like, ‘This is Dale Thompson, this is my world, it’s about to get popping.’ Like I’m tryna have all eyes on me like ‘Oh shit what’s this kid gonna do?’
Dale: Oh yeah definitely, like we made “Dirty Diana” and probably like three or more songs that are gonna be on the tape at The Soundlab in Brockton and a lot of people like Latrell James are pioneers there. And I definitely loved that environment and seeing every artist in every room and everybody was so like…music-inspired.
And there’s a bunch of other cats in Brockton like these young dudes called Bandits the Label; they have a movement and they’re more of like the trap scene you know what i mean? And there’s this dude named Patrick Michel; he’s very good at music like he’s nasty he dropped a tape called Side Effects and it’s doing really well too. Like he’s definitely getting it popping.
But yeah just seeing all that motivates me like obviously seeing Stizz and everybody in Boston blow up is definitely motivating. ‘Cause everybody thinks it’s like…so far-fetched sometimes but it’s not ‘cause seeing Stizz and everybody like bro, that shit is right around the corner. Like you can walk out your door, take a left, and that’s where stardom is. You just gotta do it right and approach it right.
And work hard.