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Doubling Down on Mental Health with DubbaD

Today I had the pleasure of talking with someone I am lucky to call a friend. Darian aka DubbaD, is someone I know from my days in New Orleans. We get to find out how he started, what he has coming and we get raw about mental health and the industry. Check out the interview below; he is definitely a force to be reckoned with as he is taking over lineups throughout the New Orleans and Lafayette scene.

Tell us about yourself and who you are, where are you based and style of music you make.

My name is Darian, I go by the name of Dubba D. I have producing for 9 years and DJing for 7. I’m based out of Lafayette, Louisiana, and I create EDM ranging from house and future bass to dubstep and riddim.

How did you get into this wild world of music and what has kept you in it?

I actually started playing piano in the first grade and did that all the way through 8th grade. Then from there I switched to drums, and I joined a metal core band. To this day I still drum in my indie punk band Jessica Daye as well as every Sunday at my church. I’ve stayed in music because it’s something that I am passionate about. Music is a surrogate for self expression that’s just as unique as the person who is creating it. It allows us as people to communicate with notes, chords, movements, and dynamics what words can sometimes fail to encapsulate, and I think that that is not only beautiful, but necessary to us as people.

What have been some of the obstacles that you have had to overcome on this musical journey?

The hardest part of becoming an established musician is starting up, especially in a place where what you do isn’t popular. There’s nothing more disheartening than playing out to 3 people, two of them being employees.That along side the struggle of once you actually get some kind of notoriety, wondering if you’re good enough when you’re going through those moments of quite from your fans, it can be really discouraging. It can take a huge toll on your mental health.

Who are your top 3 artist inspirations?

My number one is always gonna be Skrillex. He literally revolutionized music and took it in a direction that was new and interesting and it was so incredible.

The next would be Zomboy, just because he is so talented and he is always pushing boundaries in his music, and it’s CLEAN.

Lastly, my friend Lauren Daigle. Although she’s not even in the realm of EDM, she has worked SO HARD to get to where she is and it’s super encouraging for me in that I know that if I keep working towards my goals that it will pay off in the end.

A lot of what I want to do with this blog is to highlight artists but also get raw about mental health. What has been your experience with mental health especially in regards to working in such a demanding industry? 

My mental health has always been a battle for me despite my incredibly cheery disposition and kindheartedness. I struggled with depression and suicide in middle and high school, and although I’m quite frankly blessed to be where I am today, there are times where it comes out of nowhere. And it’s always the little things, too— stuff as small as my friends being successful while I’m in a dry season, or a set not going quite as well as I want it to, or just not being able to get that sound to sound right after hours in the studio. The worst part is that we as a generation love to put up a façade, so we stuff what we are feeling deep down and just dwell on it alone in the dark for hours at a time and it can become super lonely, and I personally think that that’s super unhealthy.

What have been some of the ways you have coped with the stresses that come within this industry? 

I have dealt with my struggles in many ways in the past, and not all of them have been healthy. But as of late I’ve started to combat all of my negatives with positives every time. So for every negative thought I have, I’ll bring up a positive thought to counter it! Sometimes it’s hard, but ultimately focusing on the good things always helps. That along side having a loving, supportive girlfriend, supportive parents, and encouraging friends makes things just that much more palatable.

How do you think we can better help artists and the onslaught of stress that can exacerbate mental health? 

I think that hiring someone to do social media is a wise idea for starters, we don’t realize how deprecating the practice of consistently being on social media can be. Also taking off days to just be a normal person for a little bit is important too, just to relax your mind and give it a break and allow yourself to just enjoy something else for a change.

Lastly, what do you have going on? Anything you'd like to plug or new releases coming from DubbaD?

This upcoming Saturday I’ll be playing Loft Club at Santos in NOLA and I’m excited cause I’m delivering a special house set! It’s gonna be super exciting. I’m also working on new music and I can’t wait to finish up everything I have in the song bank right now.

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