Welcome to our newest on-going feature for Weareregalradio.com, the Creative Corner, which features WARR.com editorial director Kyle Means in extended interviews with various creative people across the media spectrum.
In our opening episode we featured musician Zo! of The Foreign Exchange, in our latest edition we have another DIY expert and multi-hyphenate who has not only made his mark as an emcee in groups and on his own but has also dipped his toe in the New York comedy scene, sharing stages and headlines with some of the most hilarious figures in show business.
Of course, it doesn’t stop there with @Donwill, most famously known as 1/3 (and currently 1/2) of seminal underground favorite Tanya Morgan. If you’re frequent the borough of Brooklyn you can come across Don in many capacities — maybe rocking the mic on stage or DJing a fun hip-hop trivia party or working out a bit with the likes of Wyatt Cenac at one of the city’s coolest comedy showcases, Night Train, which has also been turned into a series for NBC’s Seeso comedy streaming service.
“I’m always around comedy,” Donwill said. “A comedy room, they welcome the weirdness, you can be as full on you as you are… (in) rap, you might be weird.”
For Donwill, the act of creating often provides the same thrill that for other artists would come in promoting a work or in reaping awards from it. A true self-determined creator, Don’s often at work in the lab, doing things to better understand the music he’s working with and how to use that music to get himself better across to audiences whether as an MC, a producer or a DJ. Even at the beginning of this interview he was at work better getting to know his turntables.
“I enjoy the process, I enjoy creating a thing more than I enjoy a thing once its created,” says Don. “If we’re making an album, dope — when the album is out I have nothing to do but go make another album.”
A native of Cincinnati, Donwill has made moves across the country with TM and its extended family known as the Lessondary, a collective of rappers and producers and visual artists who’ve bonded over the last decade-plus either through hometown ties, school or meeting online. From this union spawned the group’s first album “Ahead of Schedule,” which dropped over the summer.
More recently Don released an ep named “stop.waiting,” which he alludes to in this interview done before its release. Its been a minute since he’s released music putting his voice first, to that end Don tells Creative Corner that he’s “right now fighting the battle of making sure people remember that I make music.”
“That’s my current axe to grind, making sure that in the coming months there is music and there is content that isn’t me at a party DJing or giving commentary at a comedy show or doing a beat for somebody. Like, I got bars, and I’m still out here. Still very much out here.”
You can hear “stop.waiting” and listen to an episode of Don’s podcast “Bad With Names” describing the background of the project at Don’s Soundcloud account.
Of course, as waiting on as any project Don is involved in is the follow-up to TM’s last album, 2013’s “Rubber Souls.” Don assures Creative Corner that the next TM album will be released in the coming months. That word was backed up by TM’s label, HiPNOTT Records, which in a release for lead single “The Record” this week stated that the album “You Get What You Pay For” will release in the winter and after a Tanya Morgan EP to come in November.
Listen to more newness from the group at Tanya Morgan’s Soundcloud. And listen to this interview for Don giving more on the new projects, his history in the rap game and continuing to maneuver through it, the best advice Questlove has given him, observing the likes of Jerrod Carmichael and David Cross on stage, writing for The Village Voice website, De La Soul’s latest project and even more than all that.
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