By Belicia Luevano
Creating music takes a lot of work to produce something great. Some people can fly their fingers over a guitar, command different parts of their body to master the drum, and some can race up and down the keys with ease. But for those like Dali Kasshu, the magic comes from within. Rappers like him posses the ability to expel verses and rhymes with ease all the while making cool beats, while most stumble with the simplest tongue twisters.
When younger, he started his musical path by freestyling at lunch tables, park benches, parties and family affairs. Then in 2013, things got more serious as he started his own crew with JJ Savant. “We met through mutual friends from the same area and started working together. We also knew each other’s friends and linked up and started a discussion about making music,” says Kasshu. Since then he’s performed and collaborated with groups like Magic Chronson, RE90SPECT and KNIFEWORK.
Throughout the years of rapping he’s seen the hip-hop scene and his own skills grow. The rap and hip-hop scene may not be as prominent as the rock scene, but as someone on the inside, he says it’s growing and gaining more exposure. As for himself, the years of collaborating and performing helped him evolve his music and place in the scene. “I’ve definitely see some major progression through mainly networking and putting out a lot of work at the studio, projects and South By Southwest shows.”
The location of shows ranges from house shows, venues and co-ops, but every performance has good vibes. “It’s amazing, there are always great people and great energy and vibes you want to match,” says Kasshu, “it’s electric, it’s mad electric. That presence is so invigorating and you just want to release and rage.”
When performing, one of the most impressive feats is Dali’s ability to freestyle flawlessly. There’s no series of steps to learn how to freestyle, it all comes from within. “I can’t really describe it, I don’t know how I get the words myself. I just go in and hiss and if it appeals to me then I roll with it,” Kasshu says, ”it’s that gravitational pull and it just comes off, it’s indescribable.”
While freestyling is one of his skills, Dali is also well versed in lyric-writing. His style ranges from dark and labyrinth-like, in a sense that you don’t know where you’re going but every corner something great, or mystic, is waiting. “My music is alternative in a sense. It’s ominous and dark, like an adventure, an alice in wonderland kind of trip.” says Kasshu, “it’s dark trap and emotional.” To write what really comes from within and get rid of any falseness, he says one has to “know what you really want. Once you choose what to write about then open. Some inner demons may open but accept it, you’ll see so much things,” says Kasshu.
Some of his new work, C.W.A.$., has been released and performed that hints what one can expect to hear from his upcoming EP, Y.A.N.A, an acronym standing for “You are not alone,” which will reveal more rawness than previous works. Dali is part of a rap community here in Austin where support and collaboration are necessary for all to thrive. Along with Y.A.N.A., Dali wants to continue helping the other artists around him prosper. “You have to support and recognize who’s around you. When you get opportunities and flourish you should lay the ground below with soil for others to grow, you got to be that Venusaur.”