Dahi Divine, also known as Sleepy Dah, is a composer, producer and saxophonist from Philadelphia.
After studying at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, the multi-talented artist has designed his unique sound over the years.
The Philadelphia-based artist got the opportunities to play for major artists. Indeed, he played the sax solo on Ellie Goulding’s cover of “Tessalate”, performed with Rihanna at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, at the Guggenheim with Solange Knowles and more.
Dahi released his first project “Soundsmith” in 2000 followed by “Soulful Stoner. Vol 1″ released in 2017.
He is now releasing a new music video for the single “On A Wave”, produced by Dahi and Lord Vega from the Jack of All Waves music collective.
My name is Dahi Divine aka Sleepy Dah aka the SoundSmith.
Tell us a little bit about your childhood. What were the things you were passionate about?
I remember as a kid I was really into basketball and science as well as music. I started playing the saxophone at 11 years old and in high school those were my two biggest hobbies. By junior and senior year I was a professional musician.
Growing up, what were your favorite records to listen to?
I listened to a lot of different people, R&B and jazz. First record I ever bought was Cannonball Adderly’s Fiddler On The Roof. In high school I was really into Robert Glasser and Kanye.
When did you start making music?
Around 16, I wrote my first song.
What is the first instrument you ever learnt to play?
The piano and drums as a youngster, and the saxophone at 11.
When did you know music was more than just a hobby?
I was 16 going into 11th grade playing 2 or 3 times a night… getting called to play gigs for money… at that point I became a professional musician.
What did your time at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music teach you?
Generally… patience. Good practice habits and how to apply my studies into real life situations on a bandstand or in the studio.
You released a few projects under Sleepy Dah. How did the Sleepy Dah project come about?
I just had all these beats looping for somebody to rap on them. Then one day I just decided to do it myself. It was about 3 years ago when I put out my first mixtape… a Bandcamp exclusive titled Lift Off.
How did your sound evolve since your first release “Soundsmith”?
I would say I’ve grown as a writer. Lyrically I feel I’m learning how to express more of my personality.
What did you learn as an artist and as a human being since your first release?
How to survive taking care of myself.
You’ve just released your new project under Dahi Divine. How would you define Dahi Divine?
Dahi Divine is my name. When I’m not tryna go under any nickname or alias just my honorable name. Before I started rapping, all of my music was released as Dahi Divine.
What’s the story behind “On A Wave”? Who did you work with?
The idea behind on a wave was a nice trap bop… a quick beat made by me and my boy Lord Vega, a fellow Jack Of All Waves artist and producer.
Where did you get the inspiration for the music video?
It was all spur of the moment.. All of the LA shots were improvised as well as everything shot with green screen. The aesthetic was made in the post production video editing.
You’ve got to play for major artists as a saxophonist, do you have any favorite memory?
Working with Rihanna at the VMAs was cool. Working with Solange at Radio City Music Hall and opening for Dave Chapelle, who I got to chill with backstage.
How does jazz music influence the music you are making today?
It’s the foundation of everything I’ve learned about music.
What advices would you give to young musicians?
Attention to detail is crucial. Confidence is key. Be a student of your craft.
Any upcoming project?
I have a very special project coming out next summer… a full length album.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
A lot of things. But, if I could say one thing that should go into effect ASAP, it would be for people to have more than two days every week to refresh their souls – from their jobs and school… give people more time to spend with their loved ones, or more time to pursue their dreams. The world can really wear you down. Our country’s ways can wear on you physically and mentally. It’s truly a dog-eat-dog world out here for real. I think if we had that time to energize, people would be less on edge and treat each other and the world better.
What’s your purpose?
To take care of self and my family. Inspire future generations.
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