Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Up Close and Personal with Rising R&B Star DēP By Shelah Moody

            “Think deep; and nothing is happenstance.” This is the motto of a former gospel singer, currently hot on the R&B scene, who goes by the name of DēP. As a songwriter, background vocalist and opening act, DēP has worked with the likes of Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, Dave Hollister, Kelly Price, Avant, Brian McKnight, Scarface, Dwele, Solange Knowles, Michelle Williams, Fantasia, Fred Hammond and more. He has embarked on a successful solo career with songs such as “Something More,” “Contract” and “Celebrate” A southern gentleman, with a honey dripping accent, the sultry tenor hails from Houston, Texas.
            “I’m from the ‘souf’-- with an F,” he said.
            For the past three years, DēP has lived in Los Angeles, where he’s been recording and also working as a film and television actor.   
Shelah Moody: How did you come up with the moniker, DēP?
DēP: I started out doing gospel music, and I went under my given name, Donald Page. When I went over to secular music, I started using my initials, Phonetically, I wanted it to read ‘deep,’ and no matter how I spelled it, people called me ‘DP,’ so I added the ‘e’ with the accent over it. One of the definitions of deep is an extended level of meaning and understanding of any subject matter; and I wanted it to correlate with my music as a songwriter. 
SM: Streetwise Radio is currently playing your hits, “Something More” and “Contract,” which are in fact, deep. What inspired those love songs?
DēP: First of all, I really appreciate Streetwise Radio’s support. I love the Bay Area and when I come to there, it’s off the chain!  I appreciate the love that y’all have for artists who are doing their thing. I definitely will be back out in the Bay Area soon. I’m going to keep bringing you music and entertainment. We are bringing R&B back to the forefront and I am helping that movement. “Something More” is one of my early releases. When I wrote “Something More,” I was on a plane on the way to Los Angeles for a show. I was just thinking about relationships and what we can learn, and being told, at my age, what relationships are supposed to be.  As artists, are we supposed to use themes like baby, baby I want you; and I want you back?   I just felt that, as people, we experience more in life. I wanted to have a song that talks about something more. In my relationships, I want to have more than just  a lover, as the song says, ‘I need more than a friend, more than a sister, I need all that you can give, I need more than infatuation, I need your heart and your mind, I need our souls to intertwine.’ That seems to be one of the most popular songs that I’ve done. I can’t seem to shake it. 
SM: What inspired “Contract,” another soulful ballad?
DēP:  The obvious conversation in “Contract” is that in relationships, we end up in these situations, as I call them, where we don’t know where it is; is it your boo, your marriage, your relationship, or are you just kicking it?  A lot of times, people get emotionally involved and one person is feeling something that the other isn’t, and there’s a fall out, because you didn’t really agree on what the relationship was. The song talks about recognizing what it is that we want from each other and what the relationship is supposed to be,  writing it out and signing a contract so that we can be on one accord and  move forward.
SM: What was it like working with Fantasia, another incredible artist from the “souf?”
DēP: Fantasia is a beast; she’s just raw. I actually got to open for her. It was cool, just being able to set the bar. It was a great experience.
SM: Where can we buy your music?
DēP: My music is all over. If you go to www.thinkDē and click on the ‘hear’ tab, you will find various links to my songs. The last single that I released earlier this year is called “Celebrate,” a party anthem that talks about celebrating your accomplishments and taking time to enjoy life. It’s a good club song. I’ve also been touring; I just came back from Jackson Mississippi, where they used “Celebrate” as the theme song for Greek Weekend. I am actually a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
SM: In terms of male R&B, singers, who are your influences?
DēP: My favorite contemporary artist is Tank, who is really representing R&B right now. I also like Anthony Hamilton and Tyrese. I Iove those singers who go for broke, who go all the way. That’s something that I emulate. My favorite male vocalist of all time is Donny Hathaway.