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5/29/18 - Special Guest: JDVBBS, The Live-Looping Producer/Rapper/Singer/Songwriter

Thanks to JDVBBS, the talented live-looping producer/rapper/singer/songwriter, who grew up in Reston VA, for hanging out with us in the studio this week! 

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  1. ***Viva la Noche, by Q the Turn Up (Techno, Electric)

  2. Wait & See, by JDVBBS (Pop, R&B)

  3. ***Karnival - Remix, by RDGLDGRN, JDVBBS (Pop, Hip Hop)

  4. ***Private Room (feat. JusPaul), by Footwerk (Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop)

  5. ***Alien Funk, by Cosmic Romp (Hip Hop, Funk)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

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For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!


DC Music Rocks Festival at 9:30 Club on Aug 18 News:
Our first 2 sponsors for the festival are on board!
1) Arlington Independent Media - is a non-profit and huge supporter of the DC music scene by airing DC region artists on their radio and TV stations, and educating the community on all types of Digital Media
2) Roxplosion - One of DC's premier music photographers.  We hope you know him, if not, we hope you start following his work.  It's incredible!  


  • Queue - Float Away (Indie Single, RIYL The Cranberries)

  • Flasher - Who’s Got Time? (Rock Single, RIYL Duran Duran)

  • Karen Jonas - The Circus (Country Single, RIYL Brandy Clark)

  • The North Country - Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Rock Single, RIYL OK Go

  • Virginia Creep - Dark Corners EP (3 Song Metal EP, RIYL Jesus Lizard)

Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows!

Fri Jun 1
Justin Jones @ The Soundry, new venue out in Columbia MD by the same people who did The Hamilton (RIYL Rock)

Sat Jun 2
Karen Jonas Music @ Pearl Street Warehouse (New Album, Country, RIYL Gillian Welch)

Sun Jun 3
Surprise Attack @ The Boomerang Pirate Ship (Funk/Jam Band, RIYL Phish
North Country @ Union Stage (RIYL Rock)


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

We're Looking For Advertisers/Sponsors

We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?


Video - Bio - Links - Transcript



I make Pop/R&B music with hip-hop sensibilities. Imagine Pharrell Williams and Missy Elliot had a baby, Justin Timberlake was his godfather and Kanye West his high school bully.  On stage, I'm a one man band. I recreate my tracks on the fly, live looping bass lines, guitar riffs, beats, grooves and vocal harmonies. It’s production meets performance in a way that’s interactive, improvisational, and impressive AF. Read More




Brian:               On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. J Dubs makes pop R&B music with hip-hop sensibilities. He describes it by saying, "Imagine Nick Jonas and Kehlani had a baby, Drake was his godfather, and Kanye was his high school bully." It's funny how high school bullies can be so influential.

JDVBBS:            You know?

Brian:               It really is. Onstage, he's a one-man band. He's recreating his tracks on the fly, live-looping basslines, guitar riffs, beats, grooves, and vocal harmonies altogether. It's production meets performance in a way that's interactive, it's improvisational, and, of course, it's freaking impressive. I first came across J Dubs when I started the show. God, it's been at least a year and a half or more since I first stumbled across your music. Ever since ... It was ... "Cinderella" was the track that I ...

JDVBBS:            Oh, yeah. Probably.

Brian:               I'm not going to lie, I totally had that one on repeat for at least a couple weeks. I've been a fanboy for a while so it's a treat for me to now have you here with me on the show. Thanks for being here, man.

JDVBBS:            It's good to be here, man. It's good to be here.

Brian:               This is cool. Now, talk about ... If you're a one-man band, then what's it like when you perform? Talk about that.

JDVBBS:            All right, so here's ... I think it's misleading because I have my laptop on stage and a bunch of gear underneath my laptop, so it looks like I'm a DJ. What I'm doing is all the songs or everything that you hear in the song, that you hear of mine, I'm just reproducing on the fly. With a song like "Wait and See," I'll hit a button and that starts the clock, if you will, so you hear the ticking in the background. I'll play the keys and I'll loop them, and then the keys will loop. Then, I'll sing the background harmonies and then those will loop. Then, I'll play the bassline and all the little ... Like the kick and the snare and all that stuff, and get them programmed where I want them, but I play them all live on stage. You're watching me do that. Then, I start the song and then I'll turn certain things on and off.

Brian:               Oh, I see. That's ... I think many people have seen either guitarists or other people with the looping pedals.

JDVBBS:            Yeah, like Ed Sheeran.

Brian:               They ... It's like the looping pedals kind of look they might have seen before but, for you, it's a laptop and more of a DJ look and set-up, but same concept. You're looping and stuff.

JDVBBS:            Yeah.

Brian:               That's cool, man. How did you come ... How did you start doing that?

JDVBBS:            Well, I have been ... I put out my first single probably four years ago. I've been playing and I've been playing with DJs and it's just ... I think it's difficult to organize things with people. I can just leave it at that. It's difficult to organize things [inaudible 00:02:27].

Brian:               Organize things with people. If I do it all myself, I don't have to organize with people. That's fair. Yeah.

JDVBBS:            If I do it all myself, then I don't ... I was paying for recording space and people weren't showing up. I was paying for rehearsal space and people weren't showing up. I was buying pizza for rehearsal ... That's extra pizza for me so I guess it's a win-win, but ... Or ...

Brian:               That was the one you weren't bitter about. You were bitter about all the other ones.

JDVBBS:            That's the one I wasn't bitter about, but the other stuff ... I'd show up to shows and people were like, "Oh, we have a show today?" I'm like, "Yeah. I'm here. You were supposed to be here an hour ago." That was ... That was straw number one. Straw number two was I had a few exec meetings, A&R meetings with a few mid-tier recording labels and they were like, "You sing good and you rap good but everyone sings good and they rap good, but you also wrote these songs? If you can get this musicianship across in your performances, I think they would really, really, really hit." I was like, "Huh. How would I do that?" I started watching a few videos online of people doing them.

JDVBBS:            A buddy of mine from New York, his name is Mike, he also goes by the band Tall Tall Trees. He's a banjo looper.

Brian:               Oh, man.

JDVBBS:            He does all these things I've never seen anybody do on a banjo. He'll take a violin bow and bow on it and put the effects pedals. It just sounds awesome. He'll take a drum stick and he'll beat on it and it sounds dope. I was like ... I hit him up and asked him a few questions, and I watched a few videos and started buying up some gear. Then, last February was my first looping performance. It was a little rough but we've since ... It was in the beta testing and now I think we're in version one, 1.0, at the moment. I bought up some new stuff. Hopefully, version 2.0 will be coming soon.

Brian:               Got it. There it is. Most of that is contingent ... Do you find it's more contingent on the gear or is it more on ... Is it really you and the amount you've practiced or is it the gear or all of the above or ...

JDVBBS:            I think it's probably ... The tools are only as good as the person who is using the tools, so I think there are a few things here and there that make things a little easier but there isn't anything I think I could buy, gear-wise, that would make ... There's still ... It still takes hours and hours of practice because there's so much stuff going on. It's almost like you're playing for four people, five people, six people sometimes, depending on the song.

Brian:               Right.

JDVBBS:            It's a lot going on, but the learning curve is not as steep because all the sounds that I already made in the song itself already exist, so it's not like I have to ... It's not like ... I'm not covering my own song, per se.

Brian:               I see.

JDVBBS:            All the stuff is already there, I just have to play it correctly.

Brian:               Just have to get it timed right and launched right and all that stuff.

JDVBBS:            Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brian:               Now, where does the name come from?

JDVBBS:            J Dubbs is probably 50% what my friends called me in high school, or J Dubb, JK Dubb. I was ... I went to high school in the early 2000s and that was when the J.Lo phase was rampant. You would take the first letter of someone's name and then however you decided to pronounce their last name. It's what you would run with.

Brian:               Got it.

JDVBBS:            In college, people called me Juicy J, which is a rapper in a group called Three 6 Mafia so I couldn't ...

Brian:               Okay, I was going to say. Juicy J, I know that name. All right. Got you.

JDVBBS:            It wasn't something I could by and so that's what I ended up defaulting to, J Dubbs. It was just with a U before I started really taking it seriously, that my mom calls me one day, trying to boot up Netflix on our Xbox, and my Xbox gamer tag had it spelled with a V. It's been that way for as long as I've had an Xbox gamer tag and I was like, "Oh." She heard me gasp on the phone. I was like ... She was like, "What even?" I was like, "I ... It's just a little bit of an epiphany that I had." That's kind of what it's been since 2014, 2013 maybe.

Brian:               Oh. It was your mom booting up Netflix on the game ...

JDVBBS:            On the Xbox, yeah.

Brian:               On the Xbox that gave you your artist name.

JDVBBS:            Yeah.

Brian:               Oh, my God. That's an amazing artist story. I hear so many great ... I love the story behind artist names because sometimes they're so funny, and that one is hilarious. Thanks, mom, for the artist.

JDVBBS:            Yeah. It's a little ridiculous.

Brian:               That's how ... That's ... Oh, god. That's amazing.

JDVBBS:            The girl did the logo and made it ... It seemed like we put so much more thought into it. She sent me maybe three different mock-ups and I was like, "That one. This one works." It looks nice and clean and professional, fits in a lot of places.

Brian:               Now ... If you don't know, when you spell it, It's J-D-V instead of the U, so if you're [crosstalk 00:06:44] J-D-V-B-B-S. That's JDVBBS.

JDVBBS:            Yes. Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brian:               There we go. What ... Describe your connection to the DC's ... You're in Arlington now, you mentioned earlier. You moved to Arlington. You've lived all over the place. What's your DC ... What parts of DC are you connected to?

JDVBBS:            I probably connect myself best to Fairfax County because that's where I grew up, that's where I can drive around without my GPS.

Brian:               Got it. I guess that's really a status nowadays, is where can you drive where you know the roads so well that you don't need GPS.

JDVBBS:            That you don't need GPS. Reston, Virginia, for sure.

Brian:               Okay.

JDVBBS:            It's probably what I connect to best. I lived in DC for a little bit. I lived in ...

Brian:               What schools did you go to out there?

JDVBBS:            I went to South Lakes High School and I went to Herndon High School, which is kind of a ...

Brian:               Oh, the rivalry. Okay.

JDVBBS:            Yeah, they're rivals, so I went to ... My older brother went to South Lakes for all four years and my younger brother went to Herndon for all four years. We moved in the middle of my high school tenure and my mom was like, "I'm not driving you to South Lakes every day. We live right down the street from Herndon High School. You're going to finish your senior year."

Brian:               Oh, man, so you moved in your senior year.

JDVBBS:            It was just one year, it was my senior year. We campaigned real heavy for me to keep going to South Lakes. It did not go down that way.

Brian:               Oh, wow. There we go. I love it. Now, what's your earliest memory with music?

JDVBBS:            My earliest memory that is tangible ... My mom used to record these cassette tapes of us just hanging around the house, listening to tunes. Not necessarily recording the tapes off the radio, but it's us listening to the radio. My earliest, I think, most tangible memory is listening to Onyx "Slam," like "[hums 00:08:20] Let the boys be boys." There's a tape somewhere at my house of me, four years old, singing along with that. That song and ... My little brother's name is Chris. I would sing to Kris Kross a lot and the little call and response, so I'd try to get him to say the lyrics with me.

Brian:               Warm it up, Kris. I'm about to do. Warm it up, Kris, just was I was born to do.

JDVBBS:            Yeah, exactly. Warm it up, Kris.

Brian:               Yeah. Oh, I remember.

JDVBBS:            Those are probably the two most tangible, my first, first musical memories.

Brian:               Oh, that's fun. Oh, I love it, man. Now, what about you on the personal side? Outside of music, what kind of hobbies are you in your personal time? What do you do?

JDVBBS:            I am a big NBA fan. I am not ...

Brian:               Well, there's a lot going on with that right now. Or you don't have a stake in it.

JDVBBS:            There's a lot ... I don't have a ... I'm a Chicago Bulls fan, so, no, not really.

Brian:               Oh, I see.

JDVBBS:            We're probably going to be ... I wouldn't say bottom-feeders, but we're going to be looking through the windowpane of the glass to the playoffs. We're not going to be in the back where we can't see it but it's going to be a while until it works out in our favor.

Brian:               Yeah.

JDVBBS:            I think it ... As a product, there's a lot of good players and a lot of people say that a lot of teams are stacked, this, that, and the third, but it's a lot of good talent in the NBA. I think the NBA playoffs were fantastic to watch this year. It sucks that they're going to end in a little bit.

JDVBBS:            I'm also a big tennis fan, and the French Open just started so I spend most of my day doing that.

Brian:               Wow. Do you play these sports, too, or do you just watch them?

JDVBBS:            I ... In high school, I had to make a decision, and I was never really good enough at basketball for me to even ... I probably wouldn't have played Varsity basketball in high school. I got out of football really, really early. I played on the same team, on the same Little League football team, as Eddie Royal, who is a receiver in the NFL, and so nobody else ever got to touch the ball ever. I was like, "Nah, I'm good. I don't need to play that sport anymore." I played one organized season of it and that's ... Both my brothers played in high school and I was like, "Nah, I'm good. I'm straight. If I'm going to have to compete against that guy, it's not going down."

Brian:               Oh, [crosstalk 00:10:07]. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah. It's not ... I'm good, but I'm not that good. Okay.

JDVBBS:            I'm not that good.

Brian:               Yeah.

JDVBBS:            Also, I take my Mario Karting very seriously.

Brian:               Oh, stop it. For real?

JDVBBS:            If you're listening and you want smoke, it doesn't matter what ...

Brian:               Can I get in on this?

JDVBBS:            I'm ... GameCube, the double dash, I'm not as good at, but N64, I'm the king. Ask the kids in my dorm, James Madison University. I used to run it.

Brian:               Is it GameCube or is it N64? Oh, my God. I take this challenge. Jeremy, I take this challenge, man, because I used to run it when I was younger, as well, man.

JDVBBS:            All right. Cool. [inaudible 00:10:41] N64 at my house. I know we have a Super Nintendo at my house. I'm not as good at the one in Super Nintendo.

Brian:               This is ... Okay. Let's make it happen. All right. I was going to say, Super Nintendo ...

JDVBBS:            The latest one on the Nintendo Switch, I am very, very good at it.

Brian:               That's amazing. All right, so Mario Kart. Listen. Bring it. Bring it when you see JDVBBS next time.

JDVBBS:            Yes. When you see me in the streets, let's do it.

Brian:               He's game. A good friendly rivalry will be happening, and I'm going to fuel this rivalry because, oh, yeah, it's on. That one and GoldenEye. Those are the two that I can ... I can talk some smack.

JDVBBS:            GoldenEye, I wasn't as ... GoldenEye, I was [neh 00:11:07].

Brian:               Yeah.

JDVBBS:            I could hold my own.

Brian:               Right. Yeah. I got you.

JDVBBS:            I wasn't going to be the first one to die but I wasn't going to be the last one, for sure.

Brian:               There we go. Oh, my God. It's so good. All right, so a little bit of gaming and a little bit of sports going on.

JDVBBS:            Yeah.

Brian:               I love it, man. Now, what about ... What's ... Biggest success moment that comes to mind?

JDVBBS:            Biggest success ... I just finished a tour. I got home in April. It was one of ... I've only been on tour maybe twice, maybe twice, because I don't know if the first one really counts. It was a little bit of a struggle. The biggest success that comes to mind, performance-wise, is probably ... I did a show at Washington University in St. Louis. It was the first time I'd ever been to St. Louis. I didn't get to see enough of it but that's kind of what happens when you're on the road.

Brian:               [crosstalk 00:11:51] on tour.

JDVBBS:            I started playing my first single ever, it's called "War Paint," and I started the ... I started all my sets on tour with that. Right from when the claps started going, all these college kids came and rushed the stage and they're singing the words. I'm like ... It's the first time ... I'd probably done maybe five or six college shows by that point on the tour and it hadn't quite happened yet. It was definitely a win over crowd and, from when the beat dropped, I was like, "Oh, my gosh." I took some time from the loop station and filmed the kids because I was like, "People won't believe me, that this is actually happening. I need to have this memory in my pocket at all times."

Brian:               Yes.

JDVBBS:            That's probably the biggest ... That's the most rockstar I think I've ever felt on stage.

Brian:               That's amazing.

JDVBBS:            There were like ... It was probably 1,000 people at the show. It was crazy.

Brian:               That was in Missouri, [inaudible 00:12:34]?

JDVBBS:            Yeah.

Brian:               God, so a bunch of people you've never seen. You've never been out there.

JDVBBS:            Never seen. Never been out ...

Brian:               They all know your music and they know the words.

JDVBBS:            Yeah. Invited a bunch of them on stage to come perform with me. It was a blast.

Brian:               That's awesome, man. I love that. Now, by the flip moment, then, what's the funniest moment that comes to mind from performing?

JDVBBS:            What's the funniest moment?

Brian:               Yeah, funniest moment.

JDVBBS:            Huh. I was doing a show, and this will probably lead in great with what we're going to play next.

Brian:               Okay.

JDVBBS:            I was doing a show in Richmond with some friends and this band called Red Gold Green. It was the first ... I'd played some shows with them way back in the day but it was the first show as JDVBBS. I did my own original stuff. The show ... It was maybe a Wednesday or a Thursday and it was an earlier show. My DJ, I just ... It was a kid that I knew from Richmond but I had never really, really performed with him, so I gave him a JDVBBS shirt so he could rep the brand.

JDVBBS:            He was DJing before the show starts and the booker for the show ... I went to ... I was supposed to go on at 7:20. 7:35 comes around and people are just really starting to come in. I was like, "Hey, what time am I supposed to be on stage?" He was like, "Oh, no, that's your set. Aren't you on stage right now? That guy has a shirt that says JDVBBS so I figured ..." I didn't even let him finish ... Didn't even let him finish his words. Ran on stage. I was supposed to have 20 minute set. I probably did eight or nine minutes.

Brian:               Ran on stage. Oh, my God.

JDVBBS:            Ran on stage and I was like, "Hey, I'm going to do half of four songs. Please hang out and have a blast." I ripped through my set in eight minutes and I was super-worried, super-frantic. I could see that the guy was going to be mad and he made it seem like he was going to cut the mic but everyone was enjoying themselves and so it was like ... I took it out on a risk. He's like ... After the ... After I got off stage, he's yelling at me in one ear but my merch table was mobbed and I'm like, "This was the right choice, man. This is crazy." It's always funny that ... Normally, those things are just a mess and it's always a cluster F, if you will. I would rather ... It normally doesn't work out where it's something you can laugh about later, but it was really, really funny, I think, at the moment.

Brian:               Yeah. Now, my favorite question to ask, and I always ask it, is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

JDVBBS:            If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to write something hilarious on your tech rider.

Brian:               What does that mean?

JDVBBS:            Like, super detailed and specific. A tech rider is if you go and play a venue, they're like, "Hey, what are your sound needs?"

Brian:               Okay.

JDVBBS:            I always give them a stage plot. I'm like, "Hey, I need these two chords to go into my system and that's it," and I have ... I [crosstalk 00:15:06] my own mics and everything.

Brian:               You have the simplest plot, yeah, yeah, yeah.

JDVBBS:            I always am like ... I always want to know what wireless stuff they have, what kind of speakers they have, and what I write on mine is, "I want to ... Also, if you happen to have a green room," and most people don't do this. One ... The Howard Theater has done it for me. No one else has does this. I write, "I need strawberry cheesecake Ben & Jerry's ice cream in my green room," because, if it happens, then you know they read your whole tech rider and everything is going to sound the way that you think it's going to be sound.

Brian:               Yeah.

JDVBBS:            But, if it doesn't happen, then you never know what you're going to get into.

Brian:               Yeah, this is true. [crosstalk 00:15:40].

JDVBBS:            For real. That's the ... It seems like a little bit of a snooty advice but stay true to it because that's how you know ...

Brian:               That's how you know whether they read it or not.

JDVBBS:            That's how you know if the promoter is going to give you the cash on the spot or a check or if they're doing to duck you. Every single thing that's going to go wrong, you can tell by how in depth they read your tech rider before you got there.

Brian:               There you go. How prepared they are. Now, one more time for those folks who want to find and follow you and what you're doing, where do they go?

JDVBBS:            Instagram, I think, is probably where I'm most active right now. I've been doing ... I've been trying to get the angles right on my selfies and things like that. Yeah, @JDVBBS everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I just deleted SnapChat because I think I waste my time on it.

Brian:               Fair. Yeah.

JDVBBS:  , If you just type in J-D-V-B-B-S, you will probably find me.

Brian:               It's all JDVBBS.

April 25, 2017 - Special Guest: Dior Ashley Brown

Thanks to the incredible, Ms. Dior Ashley Brown for swinging by this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. War Paint by JDVBBS  (Pop/R&B)
  2. W Street Clean by Dior Ashley Brown (Hip-Hop/ Funk)
  3. Natural by Colie Aziza (Jazz/Soul)
  4. Djinnie by SoundProof Genie (R&B/Neo Soul)
  5. Keeping my eyes on you by Nia Simmons, Aaron AB Abernathy, Dior Ashley Brown (R&B/ Soul)


**During this episode, Dior couldn't remember the name of the boy band from way back that was on her sleeping bag as a kid, she remembered after the show, it was New Kids On The Block!**

DC Music Summit - Saturday 4/29  -

Music Venue Acre 121 is closing - Last Day, Saturday 4/29 - I’m gonna miss that stage, that staff, and those Barbecue Wings!  What will you miss?  Last night will feature rockin cover band, The Perfectionists

Funk Parade
Day fair, parade, and music festival // U St. // 12noon-10pm // Sat May 6th
70,000+ attended last year
They have an App this year for smartphones


The Duskwhales - Sorrowful Mysteries

Den-Mate - Entropii

Lookout Gang - Shadow Chasers


Go to and check out the local music calendar to see the full list we have of all the great upcoming local shows.  There’s so many good ones all over the region, here’s my highlights from the calendar for the week.

Fri 4/28
Turtle Recall   @ O’Sullivan’s   IN Arlington, VA

Sat 4/29
JDVBBS   @ Dr Clock’s Nowhere Bar   IN DC
Black Masala   @ Caddies On Cordell   IN Bethesda, MD
Sub-Radio   @ Sauf Haus   IN DC

Wed 5/3
JDVBBS   @ Iota Club & Cafe   in Arlington, VA

Thurs 5/4
Lookout Gang & District Skypunch   @ RNR Hotel   in DC
Tempercrush   @ Evening Star Cafe   in DelRay, VA

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-





Dior Ashley Brown is a Performing Artist, Entrepreneur, and Co-Founder of REformance Art. Her disciplines include Hip-Hop Emcee, Actor, Poet, and Host. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts and University of Maryland College, Park Theatre Arts Programs. Destined for Greatness Performance Arts Coach to formerly incarcerated Youth at the "Level Up" Program. Co-Founder and Organizer of the "First Annual DC Music Summit." She is a Proud of St. Augustine Young Adult Association, at St. Augustine Church. Celebrity Interviewer for the Legendary and Historic Howard Theatre to Include: De La Soul, Marsha Ambrosius, Curren$y, Charlie Murphy, Eric Roberson, Gregory Porter, Raheem DeVaughn and others. A recent Co-Host to the "BoxCutters Podcast," broadcasting at One Love Massive Studios, alongside Nicky Chinito and DJ Chalant. And performs live all over the DMV and beyond as "Dior Ashley Brown & The dAb Band," She is a lover of life, community curator, and a driven humanitarian.

Dior is a passionate in creating ways to inform and involve her community. Her most recent accomplishments include: Paneling the "Diggin' DC" Hip Hop Theatre Festival at The Arc Theatre, Subversive Artists Hip Hop Panel and first two years of "The Annual Black Theatre Symposium" At University of Maryland, College Park; debuting in the theatre production "It's What We Do," directed by Pamela Nice a play based on IDF soldiers testimonies in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as part of the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival, Hosting the 2015 & 2016 Annual Ward 7 Business and Community Festivals; Co-Organizing, Co-Hosting, Co-Creating and Co-Curating "The Accelerate with Google First Annual DC Music Summit 2016," traveling to SXSW 2016 in Austin, Texas to one of the largest music conferences in the country in which she raised money to be an Ambassador for the arts collective Mousai House and DC creative community, Panelist at the Building the Music Capital Conference, and has most recently invited to panel the 2017 “Sounds of the City” D.C. Music Arts and Interactive Festival.





Brian:    Dior Ashley Brown is a performing artist, entrepreneur, and co-founder of REformance Art.

Dior A. B.:       Yes.

Brian:    She is a hiphop emcee, an actor, a poet, and a host in the DC area. She is a graduate or Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts.

Dior A. B.:       Whoop whoop.

Brian:    And the University of Maryland's Theater Arts Program.

Dior A. B.:       Go Terps.

Brian:    So aside from performing live all over the DMV and beyond as Dior Ashley Brown and the dAb Band, some of her inspiring work with the DC art scene includes working with formerly incarcerated youth at the Level Up Program and rubbing elbows with the stars as a celebrity interviewer for the legendary and historic Howard Theater.

    She is a lover of life, community curator, a driven humanitarian and a passionate. She is passionate about creating ways to inform and involve her community.

Dior A. B.:       Indeed, indeed.

Brian:    I first came across this amazing woman when I was at the Building the Music Capital Summit last year. She just had some really cool things to say. That presence, every time I've seen her, she's got that presence on stage that is just kind of magnetic. It's an honor and it's with great pleasure that I get to formally introduce Dior Ashley Brown.

Dior A. B.:       Thank you so much for having me, that was beautiful.

Brian:    Thank you for being here. Talk about, where did the dAb Band come from? Did it start as just you and then it was a band? How did that happen?

Dior A. B.:       It did start as just me, Dior Ashley Brown, and then the whole dAB band came out. I was like, those are my initials; my boy was like, "You've been dabbing Dior." A shout out to Primary Element for that one. The band, we were jamming for about a year or two at the MOUSAi House and at the 411 Arts Collective. Some of my classmates came and started vibing, I'd been out and doing their respective things. We kind of came together and starting doing this funky thing, and started collaborating.

Brian:    Yeah, okay and it came together as the band. Now for those who don't know, you mentioned those places; the 411 Arts Collective. What were those things in case they don't know what that is?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. 411 New York Avenue Northeast, we were inside of an artist loft, a huge building that had about 50 or more artists actually in the space. Then we would have about 200-300 more artists coming inside and out of that space. Unfortunately we were pushed out by a $15 million contract for another boutique hotel, which is right next to a hotel. That's what happened, that's the story behind 411.

Brian:    These are the glory days, back in the day. Now I brought up a lot of things when I was introducing you. When you think about the main things that you're involved in, when you're describing yourself, because I brought up a lot; what comes to mind when you're saying that? Who is Dior Ashley Brown to you when you're thinking about it?

Dior A. B.:       That's a great question. I feel like I'm this creative community curator, this historian in a sense that's trying to hold on to the pieces of DC and making sure that the community that I'm from is acknowledged and still represented or still being told. My granddaddy had a bike shop on 14th Street, on the corner right there and my church is St. Augustine. We were right there on 14 and V, we grew up over there riding our bikes all the time, going to The Carryout, getting mumbo sauce and wings and french fries.

     It's just crazy how DC has changed, but we want to make sure to cultivate a lot of the businesses and community that existed before. I feel like that's what I'm trying to do.

Brian:    Got it, community curator. That's that one, I dig it. Now I brought up, how did you get involved in, there was the underprivileged youth I talked about and also the Howard Theater. How did those two things come about?

Dior A. B.:       Honestly, everything that I'm in has really been organic. I've been the type of artist that wants to submerge in my creativity and my talents, and I had to in a way to pay the bills. I had to really attach myself to other things and I was like, "Wow." I ended up having a good time in it and just fully being in those moments. It would strengthen a lot of those tools. Friends would be like, "Dior, you would be an awesome teacher. Why don't you try working out in this program?"

      At the time, those were the jobs that we could get during the recession. There were a lot of opportunities to work with kids and I ended up really loving it. I've been doing it for maybe five or six years with these formerly incarcerated youth doing one on ones, taking them outside of their peripheral that they knew and taking them to the museums, and having them work on my shows as being part of my event staff. They got that one on one opportunity.

Brian:    Got it, that's cool. The Howard Theater?

Dior A. B.:       My friends were like, "Yo, will you come and host?", and I said yeah. I've never interviewed and I was super nervous about interviewing. I think my first one was Lyfe Jennings and that was a tough interview.

Brian:    For those who don't know Lyfe Jennings, who's Lyfe Jennings?

Dior A. B.:       Lyfe Jennings is an R&B hip hop artist. He's definitely dope, he's been out for years. I actually also interviewed the late and great Charlie Murphy.

Brian:    Wow, Charlie Murphy.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, Charlie Murphy is something else.

Brian:    Good gracious. Now talk about you outside of these things. You're involved in a lot of these things, so on the personal side; you got any hobbies? What do you do outside of work per se?

Dior A. B.:       You know, that's a really good question. One of my things, I do binge watch. I'm in love with-

Brian:    Binge watch? Share with us.

Dior A. B.:       Oh my God, Netflix.

Brian:    What does that mean? What's the latest?

Dior A. B.:       I'm all over Netflix Marvel comics. Oh my gosh, I started off with Luke Cage but then I got into Jessica Jones. I was calling people like, "Did you know that this was connected?" People were like, "That's been there for years." I'm like, "Oh, wow." I'm super into it, Jessica Jones, Daredevil. I love it.

Brian:    That's amazing.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, I'm a binge watcher.

Brian:    Okay, so binge watcher. Check it out, if you want to know what's happening on Netflix, talk to Dior when it's not busy. When it's busy, that's why it's binge watching because there isn't always time.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. House of Cards.

Brian:    When there is time; oh yeah, let's do it.

Dior A. B.:       Absolutely.

Brian:    I dig it. This kind of cool career that's evolved doing all kinds of things in the community, what comes to mind as the biggest success moment so far when you think back?

Dior A. B.:       Oh wow, that's a great question. I'll be moving through a lot of things, I have to take more time to celebrate those things and celebrate with my peers, those movements. When you're in a high impact city that's changing like DC, you're just moving, moving, moving.

     Right now I would say to even do the DC Music Summit again. The first time I did it, it was just that I wanted to bring resources to my community. Then 500 people registered and about 300 showed up. I was like, "Oh my God."

     To just do it a second year and get even more support just from the community, and 8th Street Corridor, and the CD government; I'm like "Wow." It is a lot of energy, oh my gosh. I'm doing it 24 hours, 7 days a week just organizing this thing. I will tell you that it's so fulfilling, it's so fulfilling.

Brian:    That's wild. The music summit is the success story that comes to mind?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, absolutely.

Brian:    That's really cool. I hope folks are able to join you for that one because I'm looking forward to being there, that's for sure. It's all my favorite people in one room

Dior A. B.:       That's what I'm saying.

Brian:    Everybody's getting together, it's like a big party.

Dior A. B.:       Bringing the community together.

Brian:    If you don't know, local music is a great way to meet people. Some people talk about DC as being unfriendly or it's hard to meet people. One of the things that is amazing is if you go check out these local music scenes or you go the DC Music Summit, you start to see these same faces. Then everybody becomes familiar and you make new friends. It's an awesome thing.

Dior A. B.:       We gotta blow up DC, we got to have the music scene on fire. People need to know that DC is where it's at.

Brian:    That's what I'm working on with the show too. I don't think people understand just how incredible this local music scene is, it's unreal.

Dior A. B.:       It's something else.

Brian:    Unreal. What do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Dior A. B.:       Oh my goodness, that is a good question. That would surprise you? I've been currently listening to Keke Palmer. She's got a song, what is that song called? I've been playing it on repeat, I should know. I've been listening to Keke Palmer. I listen to a lot of alternative. There's a song, the song is called "Frozen Creek".

Brian:    Frozen Creek?

Dior A. B.:       What is their name?

Brian:    I can't place it.

Dior A. B.:       I listen to absolutely everything so I don't know what's really going to surprise ... Oh, Jason Aldean, I've been listening-

Brian:    I was going to say, country and all that stuff too? Aldean?

Dior A. B.:       I listen to country.

Brian:    Get out of here, that's awesome.

Dior A. B.:       I've been listening to a little bit of everything. I'm like, "Yo, people are going to think I'm crazy." If you listen to my iPod, you're bound to hear anything come out of that. Don't judge me.

Brian:    If they pull up next to you at a stop light in your car, they just might get the most random stuff and see you rocking out to it.

Dior A. B.:       Absolutely.

Brian:    I love it.

Dior A. B.:       I love music, man.

Brian:    What are your earliest memories with music? You say you're loving it, where did it start? Go back to that for us.

Dior A. B.:       My father. My father, he sings. I was singing when I was really, really young. My earliest memory, I remember doing a school play at St. Augustine. This was when my parents were overseas, both of them served in Desert Storm. I remember having to sing the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot". I remember singing it and then everybody coming to me later like, "You have such a grownup voice. It's powerful and that was beautiful."

Brian:    How old were you at that time?

Dior A. B.:       I was in second or third grade.

Brian:    Wow.

Dior A. B.:       My teacher was Sister Stevens and she did not play.

Brian:    Sister Stevens, huh?

Dior A. B.:       Sister Stevens did not play. I remember that, I remember second or third grade. I also remember listening to Whitney Houston and then my parents just having to listen to "I will always" over and over. I used to love singing, through the house and in my room just on full belt.

Brian:    Nice. What were those artists when you came up? You've got Whitney Houston, any that stick out in your mind that were?

Dior A. B.:       Oh yeah. Tevin Campbell, telling my age. I loved Tevin Campbell, "Brown Eyed Girl". What else was I listening to? SWV, Xscape, oh my God. I loved SWV, "Get Weak". When I got that CD, I screamed. My mother had it sitting in the kitchen, I was like "Ahh". She thought something was wrong with me, I flipped out.

   Oh my God, I used to listen to ... Who were the boys? The Backstreet, not Backstreet?

Brian:    Boys II Men?

Dior A. B.:       No. Yeah, Boys II Men of course, definitely. Before NSYNC though, there was another group, I had their sleeping bag. Oh my God, I just told that on the radio. I used to listen to all of that stuff. Color Me Badd.

Brian:    You've got to think about it, what's the one you had the sleeping bag of? That's what I want to know, what was it?

Dior A. B.:       I know. It was a boy band and I'm trying to remember what they were called. It was before Backstreet.

Brian:    Before Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees? Then it was, I'm going back. I can't believe we're talking about this on DC Music Rocks. We'll cut that off. Email Dior later and she can look up, because I want to know what the sleeping bag was. We'll follow up with that, I'll see if I can add that in the notes for the show later. You can find out what that sleeping bag was.

Dior A. B.:       Early memories of music.

Brian:    That's it, earliest memories of music. Now, talk about when you started performing then. Where did that begin?

Dior A. B.:       Like I was telling you, a little bit in elementary school. I remember singing with my father too, we did a song, it was an Aladdin song. I remember that for an event that the military base was having.

     It was elementary school and then middle school, I had a really tough teacher who was just very serious about my acting skills and wanted me to speak on my voice. When I think about the direction he was giving me when I was in fourth or fifth grade, I started doing one woman plays when I was a kid because I had a serious teacher. I started really young, like grade school.

Brian:    It was acting, or singing, or was it everything?

Dior A. B.:       Acting. It's crazy but acting and singing have always been parallel in my, since I was a kid. In Germany they had little rec centers on base, so these rec centers would have an acting coach. Nobody would be in there, so I was like the only kid that took the class. Then I would have that class.

Brian:    It's always been that? Was there a time where you went and thought you were going to have a different career path or it's really always been acting, and singing, and community organizing?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. I think the only other job that I ever wanted was to be a lawyer. I was watching movies and the lawyers were just so convincing.

Brian:    It looked so great in the movies, doesn't it?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. I just knew I was going to win the case. That was the only other job that I saw. Everything else was always arts, always arts driven. When we lived in Germany, I had the nickname Schauspieler, which is a show player. My godparents named me that when I was a kid. I was going to be an artist, I felt it, I always felt it.

Brian:    You've talked about a lot of places; you said you lived on base, you mentioned Germany. Where all did you live? It was all over the place?

Dior A. B.:       Back and forth overseas to Germany, like two different times. In the Midwest, I lived in Colorado, Texas, and back and forth to DC.

Brian:    Got it, that's cool. One of my favorite questions that I always love to ask is; if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dior A. B.:       I know it's cliché, but go as hard as possible at what really hits your soul. Not in someone else's dream, not something that you know was confused through media. Just something, whatever speaks to your spirit, just trust it and go hard. You're going to have plenty of opposition because it's so outside the norm. Go super, super passionate at your dreams, at all costs.

Brian:    You said "Speaks to your spirit", how's it that one? How do you know that's it?

Dior A. B.:       When it brings you joy, when you can't wait to get up in the morning. When it can keep you at a desk or on a phone for hours. You're passionately going and making sure that you add it into your life every day, that is to me is what you need to do.

Brian:    That is the one.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah.

Brian:    Go after it and don't quit.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. You know, you might like to skateboard and you should skateboard. You know what I'm saying? Go hard.

Brian:    They definitely do.

Dior A. B.:       Yes.

Brian:    One last thing, for those folks listening who want to find out more about you and all the cool things that you're doing, where do they go?

Dior A. B.: That website, that's my website. I try my best out here, go to I try to put as much as possible on there. My handles are @DiorAshleyBrown, Snapchat is BAshleyD, that's my little secret Snapchat.

Brian:    Got it, secret Snapchat. Which one are you on the most, Instagram?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, Instagram. I love Instagram.

Brian:    Instagram's the one. All right, that's where it's at. Check her out. You had mentioned that there's something exciting, the Box Cutters Podcast. Talk about that real quick?

Dior A. B.:       Two guys, Nicky Shinito and DJ Chalant and I'm dabbing to love. We have a podcast that we do on Sundays. We try to go outside the box, so it's called The Box Cutters Podcast. We're broadcasting right now at One Love Massive Studios. We're having a launch on Sunday, it's going to be free, super laid back and chill. I'm going to perform.

Brian:    You say a launch, does that mean like it's a live show but then it gets put out as a podcast?

Dior A. B.:       It is a recorded podcast and we put it out on iTunes. When you come to the launch, you'll find out how to get a hold of it.

Brian:    Nice.