Get To Know: Deem Spencer – New York’s rising star talks new track ‘Wife Wife’

Taking it back to the beginning, who were your biggest, musical influences growing up? Where did you grow up and what was playing in the background at home?

50 cent & Eminem were my favorites when I was a kid. I grew up in Jamaica, NY. My mom loves hip hop and R&B and always played the hits. Til this day. My grandma listens to country music very loudly when she does her weekend cleaning. When I was in high school, Kendrick Lamar dropped a lot of classic music and that shit changed my life.

When & how did you discover your love of creating music? Was there one individual that really pushed or inspired you to pursue music?

I always wanted to be a performer. I remember watching award shows with my mom. All the performances and all the big artists have always fascinated me. I started recording songs in 2010. I bought a microphone with Christmas money and started recording raps at home.

My grandparents are religious & I was always nervous about them walking in on me rapping some dumb shit. So I started bringing the mic to my friend Spenser’s house. He and I would talk every single day about making it one day.

Wife Wife’ is a dope new single produced by Coach Wave. Do you have a trusted group of producers that you like to work with regularly or do you prefer to link up with new guys as much as possible?

Coach Wave is a friend. He sends me beats all the time. Over the last year, I’ve worked closely with only a few producers. My new project has production from Coach Wave, Big Flowers and Frank Leone. These guys are all talented as hell. I feel honored when they send something.

‘Pretty Face’ was a massive release and one that has only improved with age.  I got to ask how you came up with the idea for the album cover? who created it with you and what was the concept behind both the cover and the album as a whole?

The idea behind the fake moustache is feeling like you’ve gotta be something more than you are to impress someone. A baby-faced kid trying to look & act more mature. I told my manager Steve the idea and we pulled up these pictures of Hall and Oates for reference. He got a bunch of moustaches, we did a whole shoot and he made that cover. 

Your beat selection is always so eclectic and draws on inspirations from the jazz world and classical music elements. What beats grab your attention most today? Are you exploring a particular type of sound at the moment or are you always experimenting with a large range of beats and genres?

I like all kinds of beats. I’m slowly getting back into producing again. I want to make some strong, dancy music next.

Is there a particular era of music or perhaps country that you enjoy digging around for inspirations/samples/ideas?

Right now, I’m inspired by 80’s pop, 80’s-90’s reggae, and this one Afro-boogie song that stays in my head.

Who else in the game is making interesting alternative hip-hop that you enjoy at the moment?

I don’t know if I listen to any alternative hip-hop. New Vince Staples & Tyler come to mind. Is it alternative hip hop or is it just hip hop?

Before we wrap up here bro i gotta grab your desert island disks so, what are 3 albums and 1 book that you would take with you if you were stranded on a desert island.

Blonde, Mama’s Gun, To Pimp A Butterfly. The book would have to be Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat.

Lastly Man, if we were to come to your home town and wanted to see the real heart to the area, where would you take us to get some good food and to see some dope live music?

In Jamaica, Queens, I recommend the good Caribbean food. Me and Spenser would walk a mile to either Jamaican Flavors. My family used to eat at The Door after graduations and stuff.  There’s no major music venues. Most of New York’s live music venues are in Manhattan and Brooklyn so we’d take that J-train.


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