Valley Noise: Rapper Dadadoh breaks post-punk mold, becomes producer

Tempe rapper Dadadoh has only called the Valley home for the past six years but has already become one of the scene’s most visible performers. Aside from rapping, Dadadoh (birth name Bryan Preston) also keeps busy producing records and running his own label, TVLiFE Entertainment.

Growing up in Virginia, Preston said he was into punk before getting into hip-hop and was influenced by bands such as Blink-182 and At the Drive-in.

“My biggest influence was Blink,” he said. “I used to lie and tell people I was from San Diego. I’d be like ‘Yeah, I’m from San Diego,’ and everything I knew about San Diego was from their music.”

Preston said he was part of a post-punk band and got into hip-hop after the band broke up. At first he was drawn to the production aspect of hip-hop, he said, inspired by Kanye West’s production work with Common on his album “Be.”

“(Kanye West) was using a lot of live instrumentation, but he was also using samples and loops,” he said. “The type of music he was making was bringing not just people in the rock world that I knew together, but people in my family as old as my grandmother to as young as my little cousin. Anybody can get down with Kanye."

After a four-day visit to the Valley in July of 2010, Preston said he sold all his belongings in Virginia and got on the plane to Phoenix with only two bags on his person.

“When I first moved here, the first two years were so hard for me,” he said. “I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t go anywhere, I didn’t do nothing.”

Preston began producing for other artists before creating his first project “Refugee of the Commonwealth” (initialed R.O.T.C) in 2012. He said the mixtape explored the reason why he left his home state (officially named “the Commonwealth of Virginia) to come West.

“I felt like I left Virginia because I felt that I didn’t really have the support in this new stuff I was trying to do,” he said. “I wanted to make hip-hop music and people were like, ‘You play rock music, don’t do that.’ So I moved here, feeling like a refugee from my home.”

Preston attributed the formation of his record label TVLiFE Entertainment to the people he met through the Valley’s music scene. Currently, the roster is a diverse mix of genres, including folk-punk rocker Andy Warpigs, chillwave artist Wolfzie and experimental goth electronica band Militia Joan Hart.

“The individual is less than the whole in this thing,” he said. “No matter if I’m at the head of it, whoever’s down with me, I’m going to go harder for them than I’m going to go for myself.”

As for Dadadoh himself, the rapper released the single “Do It” in February as prelude for a new album in May (Preston said he wants it to be a “summer record”) as well as a music video for “Do It.”

Dadadoh will perform alongside Andy Warpigs and Militia Joan Hart at Pho Cao in Scottsdale on Wednesday, April 6.

Related links:

Valley Noise: Jerusafunk is Phoenix's premiere klezmer funk band

Valley Noise: Despite setbacks, Phoenix punk-rockers Sundressed expand beyond Arizona

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