Dino Smokes is a young producer from Newport News, Virginia whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing at the start of the year in January. We talked his sound, influences and the then upcoming album Since ’98, which was released on March 2.
It’s safe to say that Since ’98 is an overall vibe. The five track album is bass filled and head-nod worthy, with one slow and wavy track. He showcases his abilities to write, rap and produce.
The album starts with OneLifeFitness. This track in particular showcases his ability to write. His lyrics and punchlines are solid and I appreciate the comedic moments. He keeps the bass knocking with PatentLeatherCoach, one of my favorites due to the creative approach to the flow and it has a smooth, laid back vibe. AtTheFunction shifts the album and is more fast paced, with slight EDM and futuristic sounds. The next track, SPEED embodies a slow and sensual RnB element. The final track, NASCAR is a great track to wrap the album up with. We get all of the previous elements in one. It’s not too fast, not too slow, not too much bass, but just enough.
After our initial interview, I was anticipating the release of Since ’98. I had to reach out to Dino to get the inside scoop on his debut album:
T: What is the backstory on your album art for Since ’98?
D: It’s funny ’cause that wasn’t the original cover. The official cover came about while editing the original. My bro Dion (photographer) and Johnny (model) were doing a shoot at a building my school was tearing down. Every time I see the photo I think about my childhood, the color way and the scenery just embodies the steez of the album.
T: What does this project mean to you?
D: This project is me at the current stage of my life. I feel unstoppable, as though I can only get better. This album is me telling myself and everyone else, I’m here and I’m meant to be here.
T: From your perspective, what is the overall sound/vibe of the album?
D: I see too many people in a box, I don’t have a particular sound I really just go in the studio and make whatever comes to mind. My album is me breaking the box. I would say the sound of my album is contemporary Hip-Hop and RnB.
T: What are your plans for the future in terms of releasing new music?
D: For the future I don’t plan on dropping any mixtapes just singles, EPs and albums. I have my name on major projects coming up!