Featured Artist: Dustin Prinz

New York – Dustin Prinz, is a one-man wonder out of Oklahoma, whose acoustic ballads betrays more passion than the average heart can hold. Prinz has been chipping away at his musical endeavors for most of his life,  attuning himself to his craft with the same passion as he tackles life’s ups and downs.  Dustin Prinz is the real deal; wading through the industry with purer intent. His work reflects his passion, and his  long discography wins affection with steady precision.

Recently signed to the Brooklyn-based booking agency Leesta Vall, Prinz released his third studio album, Eleven, on January 1st.  As fans wait for more material to surface, Prinz spoke candidly about his latest release, his life’s trajectory and what he’s got in store for us next.

Liz Rowley: Tell me about how you got into music, and your path as a musician.

Dustin Prinz: At fourteen, I was attracted to electric guitar; I was listening to punk music, if you can even call it that. I grew up out in Nebraska and when I graduated high school my father gave me an acoustic guitar- that’s when my whole perspective on music changed. I started playing with musicians that I met when I went to college for audio production and engineering, which was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I met a ton of musicians, learned a lot from them and went out on the road with them. I moved to Colorado for six plus years, and I lived in a garage for the first year and a half. I made my living entirely on music, and really kind of honed my chops during that time.

LR: You made your living on music while you lived out of a garage. That’s incredible.

DP: (Laughs) It was an amazing experience, and an amazing time of my life. I learned a lot. I had been writing a lot of other material while I was with other groups, but I was kind of too scared to show some of that stuff. I started a solo career in Oklahoma, and did that for four years.

LR: You mentioned that when you were considering going solo, part of your reservation was the fear. I think that’s something a lot of musicians encounter. You don’t have the comfort of saying “we,” or “the band,” it’s all you. How did you tackle that fear and make the decision to go solo?

DP: To tell you the truth it was my family; their support is what helped me tackle that hurdle. I started going to open mics in Oklahoma City and performing, and he reaction that I got from strangers was more than enough to make me realize that I owed it to myself to continue. The biggest mistake for musicians who are trying to do it is just not doing it.

LR: Could you describe for me your music, genre-wise, for someone who has never heard it before?

DP: Indie-alternative-acoustic. Sometimes I get comparisons to the standard singer-songwriter, acoustic stuff like Dave Matthews Band or Jason Mraz, but I’ve never really listened to that kind of music. I get a lot of my inspiration from groups like Beck.

LR: Tell me about  your process for the  most recent record, Eleven.

DP: I do a lot of raw and looping stuff live, and this record is a mixture of that and a mixture of full on production. I went into the studio and tracked the drums, the bass, vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, revisiting the timeframe of my life when I went to school for audio and recording.  It’s a fully-produced album, and I’m incredibly proud of it. . There’s  a lot of history in this album, which is the case for a lot of artists. Sometimes you don’t finish a song or a handful of songs until you’ve actually lived a little bit more life and until you’ve experienced those things that now will be the missing piece for that chorus or verse that was just sitting there.

LR: I like that the album has as many tracks as it does, I feels that’s a rarity these days. If you had to pick one song off the record to single in on and share a bit more about, which would you speak on?

DP: There’s a song called “Delivered In Tears.” I’ve got some friends that I’d consider to be my saving graces, and I go to them when I’m struggling from time to time. I take a lot of what I learn from them and I write about it. I had the intro to the song and a chorus, and then last February a friend of mine passed away. He was an amazing musician, he inspired me from the first time I saw him playing guitar, and he was phenomenal. When he passed, that inspired the rest of that song. I dedicate it to him every time I play. I kind of feel, I don’t know, that it’s his song. Every time I play it, it gives him a bit of extra energy wherever he is.

LR: You said that you’re working on some new material now. Are you writing for a new record or are you planning on touring anytime soon?

DP: There’s an agency I just signed with, a Brooklyn-based agency called Leesta Vall. The touring thing is going to be a reality more so now than it has been in the past. I’ll also be releasing some singles, to give my fans a better idea of what they’ll hear when they come see a live show. For the remainder of the year, everything will be live- just me.

LR: Are you listening to any new musicians of late that have really floored you?

DP: When I heard Alt-J, it got me pretty excited. Sometimes I go back to the classics- I’ve been listening to a lot of The Who lately. Rilo Kiley stirred me up a lot, too. Alt-J, though, their work is just so different, the arrangements and everything. I used to be a drummer, which is why a lot of my music has a percussive feel to it. When I heard how Alt-J’s drummer worked with those arrangements I thought it was so awesome, beyond badass and so inventive.

LR: To wrap up- what’s happened since you decided to become a musician?

DP: I feel like my entire reason for being here is to influence others to find their passion and to take a chance at it. There really isn’t anything more gratifying on this planet than waking up and wanting to wake up, as early as you can, just so you can start working on something because you know it’s what you’re supposed to do. When I get messages from kids from all over the world and they’re telling me about a song of mine that made them want to pick up the guitar, that’s the reason I do it.

BestNewBands.com is pleased to present a series of articles about worthy artists that came to us via our Artist Discovery program with ReverbNation, the website that provides over three million music industry professionals with powerful easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper online. Look for additional artist profiles in the weeks and months ahead!

Liz Rowley

Liz Rowley

Born in Mexico and raised in Toronto, Jerusalem and Chicago by a pair of journalists, Liz comes to BestNewBands.com with an inherited love of writing. After discovering a niche for herself in music journalism and radio while at Bates College in Maine, she always keeps a running playlist of new music to soundtrack her place in the world. Liz is passionate about helping dedicated, talented musicians gain the exposure they deserve. A recent transplant to Brooklyn from Hawaii, she is plagued by an incurable case of wanderlust and cursed with an affinity for old maps and old things like typewriters and vintage books. She adores photography and running and is very good with plants. Having come of age in Chicago, Wilco speaks to her soul. If she could be anything, she would be a cat in a Murakami novel.
Liz Rowley