23 year old Mark Dunning has been into music since a young boy, he is nostalgic of watching skate videos and hearing all the different musical genres used on them. “I would watch the credits to see who the was by in that particular video part. Hearing all of those different genres of music really shaped me on who I am today.”
He also played the trumpet, and in the 7th grade began devloping a passion for rap music. “the one person that made me wanted to make beats was J Dilla. The way he constructed his beats and used his machine was really fascinating at the time. I’ve never seen anything like that before. So that summer of 2010 I downloaded FL Studios and the rest is history.”
Mark grew up as a navy kid, moving around frequently he ended up living all over the world. “All I did as a kid was read comic books, skate (which I still do), play video games, and listen to music 24/7.” Upon moving to CT he experienced a bit of a culture shock, but after getting used to it he developed a love for his town. Groton however, isn’t immune to the growing opioid epidemic, this has left Mark surrounded by addicts and poor environment. Luckily he uses these negative stimuli to fuel his drive and create better music. “On the bright side I grew skating this skatepark in Groton and that made me the person who I am today. I literally lived at the at place. I was there almost everyday. The skate culture there was dope back then. Just skate with your friends and do mischievous stuff. But of course things change but that’s where I was all the time. I never went to parties. I never talked to girls. I just skated and made music.”
When he was 14 he began making music, and by the time he reached 18 the young artist took it a lot more serious. Whether its boom bap, trap, or experimental Dougie loves the hip-hop sound and enjoys diversifying his music.
He definetly has created his own sound and there is nothing but originality found in his songs. “be open minded!!! expand your listening and listen to other sub genres or rap. Who knows maybe you’ll like something!!”
When he first became open about making music Dougie wasnt taken very seriously, and people actually drove him to the point of almost quitting entirely. Nobody wants to watch their peers succeed at something outside the norm, so instead of supporting they talk down and hate. “There were artists that disrespected us and it sucked because we were different and we didn’t follow the typical rap trend that everyone does. But I use that motivation to get better and to prove to everyone that I can make fire beats and anyone who hates they’re just mad that they couldn’t come up with something that’s rad.” Luckily the young artist has a strong mindset and spent hours upon hours honing his craft and finding his sound.
When we asked about his inspirations Dougie said, “J Dilla, Knxwledge, Tyler, The Creator, Pete Rock, Lucki, JPEGMAFIA, Madlib, MF DOOM, 9th Wonder, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Daft Punk, Kaytranada, Toro Y Moi, Q-Tip, Childish Gambino, David Bowie, Just Blaze, Poptartepete, Dibiase, Flying Lotus, DJ Paul. Dilla and Tyler is the biggest ones. Tyler made it cool to be a weird black nerdy kid in America. I used to get called white boy because I was into different things and listened to different music and it really bothered me. But when I got into T, it was cool to see someone like him have the same interests as me cause back then in 2010 it was super rare to see so I thank him for that. And Dilla is the reason why I started making beats. Seeing the way made a beat changed my life forever.”
One day he aims to create music that saves people’s lives and make a huge impact in the music industry. When Dougie creates he prefers to be alone, finding it easier to concentrate and get into his zone. He draws inspiration for the productions from different genres of music he is hearing, using the energy to create something of his own. “I stay in my small room and I just go in. Spend hours chopping samples, finding the right snare, it’s a huge mind fuck but when I get the end result it’s satisfying.”
“Black Burbs is the team. Those are my brothers. We’ve been together for 5 years I believe. We came out with our first tape last year and people liked it. We’ve had our ups and downs but we still here so that’s cool. Exodus Freeman, who’s the leader of Black Burbs asked me to join because he heard I made beats and it was no question I joined. I’ve known these guys since I was 15 so we’ve been through a lot. I appreciate them so much man they’re great.”
Check out Dougie if your looking for a fresh, unique sound that easily stands out and creates its own wave. His debut project Dougieworld is going to be out soon, which will be a collaboration between artists from CT to Boston and Dougie himself of course. A year in the making expect a diverse soundtrack that anyone can find themselves enjoying. “I like to push myself and experiment. If you ain’t doing that you’re not progressing. Working on this album really helped me on that. I’m really excited where my life is going right now and I just hope for the best.”