Dawaun Parker
Rolling into the game like a thunder storm, Dawaun has quickly made an enormous impact on the hip-hop world. With hits like “Crack a Bottle” and “We Made You” by Eminem as well as Jay –Z, Busta Rhymes, and now working on Dr. Dre’s “Detox”, Dawaun proved he is here for a reason. Trust me! You will be hearing a lot more from him. Check out this exclusive interview…
interview by Thato Dadson

WHO?MAG: What makes your sound different from other producers?
DAWAUN PARKER: My style is a mix of the east coast sound with a gospel background. I’ve gained a lot from being an apprentice of Dre, so I think I became real rounded on both ends of the spectrum sound.

WHO?MAG: How does the hip-hop scene mesh with Berkley?
DAWAUN PARKER: Most of the students are big students of it and with the past few years, they’ve been trying to mix it in with the curriculum. They’ve hired people with back grounds in mixing and mastering and that was where I really honed my craft before I joined Aftermath.

WHO?MAG: How did you end up being an in house producer for Aftermath?
DAWAUN PARKER: I had a chance meeting with an A&R at Warner in 1999 who I had never spoke to again. Then he became an assistant to Dre. Dre had put out a notice he was looking for people for his production team, so they found me in school as I was graduating. So they searched me out I showed him what I could do. Six months later I was working for him.

WHO?MAG: What is the #1 thing you learned from working with Dre?
DAWAUN PARKER: I would have to say work ethics because even though he doesn’t have to work, he still wants to give the fans good music because he loves it so much

WHO?MAG: How is Eminem in the studio?
DAWAUN PARKER: He is a very cool and focused guy. I enjoy working with him a lot. When he hears something that he likes, that will draw a line out of him. You will instantly see him go into that mode and before you know it you’ll have a full song.

WHO?MAG: What makes “Relapse” better than any other Eminem album?
DAWAUN PARKER: I would say it is overall better musically because when “Marshall Mathers” came out it, was not only big musically, but culturally. So now people are used of EM. It’s now really focused on the music.

WHO?MAG: How was the production process behind the song “Legend of the Fall Offs” and how did the idea of using the sound of shoving dirt make it into the song? How was Busta in the studio?
DAWAUN PARKER: He was super animated and had a lot of energy and made his presence known as soon as he entered the building. He is very great to be around. He really lets you know when he likes something. The dirt sound was just one of them things that just came to me. I don’t know how to explain it but its how my whole thought process goes. And production, like I said, was very fun and enjoyable.

WHO?MAG: What was the strategy behind “Crack a Bottle” being it peaked at #1?
DAWAUN PARKER: I don’t know if there was a strategy involved. As history tells us, is that a demo version of the song was leaked so when people got it, they were playing it anyway and circulating it around with no promotion, marketing, or label support. We wanted the people to have the real version out so after we released it the fans were the ones that really pushed the song around.

WHO?MAG: How did you end up producing “Why You Wanna?” for TI and how was the production process behind the song?
DAWAUN PARKER: I got on that session because of Mike Karen who is the Vice President at Atlantic. They heard what I was doing with Dre and my group “The God Body”. So they called me up and asked if I wanted to get on the session and I happen to be in the area and came to the studio. We worked on the track and they actually released it which was great. I’m a big fan of T.I.’s work so it was really great to work with him.

WHO?MAG: How was the production process behind “30 Something” and how is Jay Z in the studio?
DAWAUN PARKER: Again it was the same type of situation like T.I. and Busta. They called me up and we got cracking on everything. I can definitely say he is real cool in the studio and all the rumors of him being a brain man were true. I never saw him pick up the pen. It was an amazing sight to see.

WHO?MAG: What equipment do you use when producing?
DAWAUN PARKER: I’m about mixing around trying something new. My regular choices are the keyboard and the MPC. I’m all about finding something new. I’ll go to guitar center looking for new instruments and what not and basically whatever I can find to give me inspiration.

WHO?MAG: How the working atmosphere between you and the other producers such as DJ Hi Tek, Sir Jinx, etc trying to craft “Detox”?
DAWAUN PARKER: We don’t do much together. They do all of their work on their own.

WHO?MAG: Any “Detox” updates?
DAWAUN PARKER: We’re working on it right now but, no updates yet.”

WHO?MAG: What’s next for Dawaun Parker?
DAWAUN PARKER: I want people to continue looking out or me on Aftermath and I look out for the group I got “The God Body”. We will be putting stuff out next year so I just want people to keep on googling my name and watch out.