Welcome back to another Choppin’ it up session! This time around, I will be chatting with David Casto, from El Paso, Texas. David is not only a hip hop artist, he is a music producer that records himself, as well. This seems to be a common thing here in El Paso. I first met David at a show on the Eastside, it was late 2018. He was performing with another artist, and I remember David because of his sound, which was very boom bappy. It reminded me of that good ole 90’s hip hop. So fast forward to now, and I am scrolling through Instagram. I see David has dropped a new album, called “Time”. I immediately listen and reach out to him, asking if he would be down to chop it up with me about what he currently has going on. So ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you “El Paso’s Rza” David Casto.
Where are you from?
Far East El Paso, Tx.
Did you know some people refer to you as “El Paso’s RZA”? How does that make you feel?
I didn’t know that; those are very huge shoes to fill, but I understand. Humbling really. Damn, that actually took me back bro.
Back to where?
Oh! I mean I was wowed you know, taken by surprise.
Who/what influenced you to make music?
Music and sound, in general, has always been a part of me, for as long as I can remember. There was a point in my life where I felt like I needed an outlet, so I’d pray for God to speak through me. That’s where my first songs came. Come to think of it, I believe God influenced me to make music.
How would you describe your music?
Who are your top five favorite artists of all time? Why those artists?
Can I pass? Lol, really, that’s a tough one, because there are so many; from The Artist (Prince) to MJ, all the way to Kanye and Eminem. So hard to pick 5. The Beatles alone would be 4, lol. I just love the art.
What do you enjoy the most about being an artist?
Why this album? Why now?
It wasn’t planned, it’s what had to be. All my albums are a reflection of what I’m going through, so this is where it lined up in the course of life.
On this album, do you have a favorite song? If so, which one and why?
No favorite song, but if I had to pick, it would be “Grow”. I listened to that song any time I was dealing with a bad time in life, and it reminds me that it’s all a part of my growth. All moments are a part of our greatness, so we need to trust in the work God is doing in our lives. Good and bad times are both seen as water to me.
Are you open to collabing with other artists? Is there a reason for no collabs on this album?
I’ve collaborated with others, but on my solo albums, I’ve made it a point to do it on my own. The reason was to cement what will be my legacy. Nobody can take that away from me, even if they tried.
You produced the entire album yourself. What made you want to produce?
Necessity. I never knew any producers, so I would write to any instrumental I could find, whether it be on singles or a beat I would find off the Napster dial-up days. Eventually, I knew I would need to take on the task till I found a way. The story itself would be a short story, but I’ll leave that for another day.
Who are your favorite music producers?
Although my style may not reflect it, I’ve always loved Dr. Dre, Alchemist, Rza, Timbaland, Madlib, Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, J Dilla, (and) so many others; but those are the first that come to mind.
What is this current project about?
Time. Each song is either a moment in time, or a reminder of the times. It really becomes story after story.
When creating music, what is your personal purpose or goal?
No goal or purpose. I just am, so I will be.
What draws you to your preferred genre?
It was the expression and my upbringing. Hip-Hop is the genre, but as a culture, it’s what I was born into. Not so much a preference, but more of a default, I would say.
Do you enjoy recording and production? Which do you enjoy more?
Was about to say production, but I find them both equally soothing. Feels amazing to be able to express who I am, in all forms.
Where was your current project recorded?
I have a home studio that I built and tuned. As much as people love the studio experience, I’ve come to find that the greatest albums and groups were born in garages and basements, so I keep it minimal.
So, a home studio? Are you open to recording other local artists? If yes, how do they reach out?
Yes, they can reach out to me via my Instagram.
If we were to take a look into your current studio, what would we see?
If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?
Do what you feel, and never feel the need to apologize for expressing your life and the way you see it.
Thank you for your time, man. Truly appreciate it. Look forward to hearing more from you in the future. Make sure y’all go check out David’s new release, “Time”; available on all streaming platforms. Also, if you looking for studio time or looking to collab, reach out to David. All links are below: