Desmond Kwasi Blackmore popularly known as D-Black is a rapper cum businessman who made his music debut four years ago and is still making it big in the industry. The rapper has many hit songs including ‘Vera’, ‘Black Clouds’ with Waje, ‘Carry Go’ featuring Davido, ‘Change Your Life’ featuring E.L, Woara’ with Kesse and many others. The Black Avenue Muzik boss has been nominated for many local and international music awards recognizing his good works including the most prestigious BET and Channel O Africa Music Video Awards.
Bra Chef, host of the mid-morning show, ‘Brunch2Lunch’ on Radio Univers 105.7 had a one-on-one section with the father of one on Tuesday, December 10 to know how he started, what he has been through and how far he has come as a musician. D-Black on the show talked about how music started for him, his life as a womanizer, how he met Kwaku T and what led to their split. The award-winning rapper was not allowed to leave the studio without revealing why he was sacked from Pope John Secondary School and some information about his record label Black Avenue Muzik.
D-Black whatsapp with life? How have you been?
I’m very fine thank you very much.
You’ve been traveling too much off late. What’s your secret?
I walk around because of work. You’ve to expand to other places and try to make impact there as well. I’m in my fourth year of making music so next year I’m celebrating my 5 years so I’ve to expand to other places and make impact there as well.
Let me make you a personality interview. Let’s find out more about D-Black. I know you’re Desmond, you tell us me more about you.
My full name is Desmond Kwasi Blackmore so that’s where D-Black came from. When I was looking for a name to be a rapper, I didn’t get one so I decided to shorten my name instead of taking the full name like Kanye West because people might even say ‘Brackmore’ instead of Blackmore. I will turn 28 next month (January 2014).
But you don’t look like a 28 year old guy. People say you’re from a worthy background, is that true?
Me? No! OK my father used to be worthy but things didn’t go well along the line. My dad is of blessed memory, he passed away two years ago but I grew up with my mother and she is also a civil servant. So I grew up with my mother, my sister and grandmother in North Kaneshie. I went to Pope John Secondary School then to UCC and after two years I transferred to Legon to do BFA here. So right after I finished Legon about 5 years ago then I met Kwaku T and we released our first song a month after I completed Legon called ‘Move Back’ and now we are here.
Take us through your education. We all know that you were sacked from school but the reason, we don’t know.
The reason why I left UCC was I really wanted to rap and Cape Coast there was nothing like that there and everything was happening in Accra. My story is very interesting. Let me start from here.
When I was in S.S.S, I was kicked out of school. I was a boarder in Pope John. I always run out of school to Accra and record, chill and do other things and they caught me like three times and for the third time, they sacked me out of school. That was like three months before S.S.C.E. I wasn’t going to write S.S.C.E so I wrote Nov/Dec. After everybody wrote in August, I wrote in November but my family was very upset, in fact very very angry but I passed. My mother said it was because of rap that’s why you were coming to Accra then you will never go to Legon, you will be at UCC. Well, I had no choice than to accept to be at UCC because I had been a bad boy and kicked out of school and had it not been my mother, I wouldn’t have written the Nov/Dec and, I would have been a school dropout. So I was studying Economics at UCC. In fact I didn’t want to do that Economics so after my second year at UCC, I told my mother that my interest is not in Economics. I wanted to do film directing and study music and she said why I don’t go to NAFTI instead. I told her she should allow me to transfer to Legon and do BFA because I can do music, Theater Arts then I take it from there. Fortunately for me, she agreed somewhere along the line. So I stayed in the house one year before coming to Legon and during that period I met Reggie Rockstone, Kwaku T and peer pressure. Then I came to Legon.
How did everything start with you and Kwaku Tee?
After my two years here at Legon, Kwaku T and I had recorded five tracks together. I told him we should make our music commercial because we were both rapping in English and there was no one in the industry going that way and even apart from that, I didn’t have the money to go solo likewise Kwaku but we could pull money together and produce an album, so he agreed on that.
So we went to Jay So and recorded ‘Move Back’ and ‘Breath. We did a small photo shoot and an art work and we released ‘Move’. The plan was to become popular so we named the project ‘target Practice’ so that we use the fame to continue. After we released move, we got nomination for Channel O and even before that, we were not getting any shows in Ghana unless free show. So we were very happy then.
GYO of Phamous Film shot ‘Breath’ video for us for free because I supported her sister when she had a problem at a night club and her sister told him about me.
What made you guys go separately? People kept on speculating that you left Kwaku T because of money, women and many other reasons. ‘D’ tell us, what really happened?
There wasn’t any problem between us. From Channel O things started becoming better for us so we decided to work on our solo albums. I found a guy at Labone called Waxi who wanted to record my tracks for free. So I used that opportunity to record lots of tracks, like 33 songs. Me and Kwaku planned that we were going to release our songs on the same day but when I was ready to release my first single ‘Somebody’ which features Kwabena Kwabena, he wasn’t ready so I released it and a month after he did same. I shot my video for it he didn’t, I recorded my second single with D.Cryme and that’s how we split. It’s not like me and Kwaku T fought. He is even a radio presenter in South Africa now. We are cool.
You’re track with Kese, ‘Woara’ is a classic song, what led to that highlife collabo?
I didn’t want to be in one box on my album because music had change from the time I wanted to be a rapper during my school days till now. I just looked back and saw all the chances in our music industry from when I was a kid to now so I wanted my album to have a little bit of everything in there. I like that highlife song so much that I shot a video to it for people to know that the album was just not ‘Vera’ but there was also a highlife song on it.
Why did you choose Kese for that track?
I had that beat for a long time and I thought the right person for the song was Kwabena Kwabena but I didn’t want to repeat D-Black featuring Kwabena Kwabena again so I was waiting for the right person whose voice will suite that beat. I heard Kese singing a tribute for Atta Mills on this station (Radio Univers) so I called him and we did it.
Lets fast forward to ‘Vera’, I remember you said it’s a personal experience. Tell us more about it.
The base of ‘Vera’ is a personal experience but you know when you are writing music, you have to spice it a bit so a lot of things were made up. The only thing that was true there was her father passed away and the concept but lots of things were created to make the song interesting. If all those things happen to one guy then he will die.
Let’s move away from music to personal life. We’ve heard that ladies worry you a lot, is that true?
Ladies like me and I also like them. I’m cool with everyone so I love everyone. I’ve said this over and over that I love ladies.
So how many girls have you dated? Are they countless?
Oh no. I’ve not dated more than six.
People keep saying musicians usually ‘bang’ ladies when they go for shows. Have you encountered that before?
It comes with the job so you have to know how to behave yourself. I used to do that but I’ve stopped that thing. The thing is, when you get to a certain point in your life you need to focus on your career and forget about the other side of it. For a while now I’ve been focusing on being a better musician, a business man and a better person. A time will come you will find the right one so we need to leave that life for the younger ones who are coming.
You’ve been traveling a lot off late, what business do you have doing there because I hear you’re business man aside music?
Everyone I’m working with now has been my friend from childhood. We are about 10 people now but about 8 of them are my friends I grew up with at North Kaneshie and they all have their talents so when I make a little revenue from music, I push it somewhere they can also benefit so it won’t be that I’m the only person enjoying among them. So my advertising firm, clothing line and others are all because I want people around me to also get something into their pocket so that I won’t be the only person traveling and getting all the money.
Your last words to your fans before you go.
Thanks for your support because without you I wouldn’t have been here for these five years.