Anyone who is obsessed with music and is willing to go out of their way to create platforms in order to help new artists begin their careers deserves to be praised, especially emcee, Mista-E. We caught up with Mista-E (Dale Thomas) to hear all about his record label and artist platform, as well as his own musical journey.
Who is Mista-E?
“My name is Dale Thomas, also known as Mista-E. I am 32, even though I do not feel it. Well, I do when I watch my kids growing up! I was born in South West London and music is something that is blood deep in my family”.
“If you don’t know any Jamaicans, just know most of us have massive families that extend beyond ridiculousness. Just to mention a few, my extended family consists of deceased reggae singer, Dennis Brown, Rochelle Humes, singer in The Saturdays, and singer, Rosie Gaines”.
“My sound is a cross between old school authentic hip-hop, grime and trap. I guess it helps that I was listening to rap music from the womb, which helped with my writing, counting of beats and poetry, as well as English and history in school”.
“My mum argues that I’m a grime artist and claims me and my friend, DJ Score 5 (these days the BOY Better Know tour deejay), were among the true founders of the grime style and sound but I don’t know. We did manage to build a reputation of clashing anyone we came across”.
“My influences were N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan, all of Def Jam and Death Row. Also Pay As You Go Crew, So Solid, Heartless Crew and so many others. I based my style on staying real to myself and being real to my audience”.
His Musical Background:
“Previously I was in a crew called Trench Kids that rebounded to Trench G.A.N.G. The same manager that got K Koke signed to Rocnation tried to sign us before Suspect Gang, but the others said no. As much as it was a waste it wasn’t”.
“One of the members is now known as Mr Flakes of Flakes Beats, another is a singer and DJ Score 5 I touched upon earlier is now one of grime’s biggest deejays. I got into music listening to Wu-Tang Clan, Inspectah Deck and Method Man set it off for me”.
“It was about freestyles battles at break time in my school. I kept it a secret for a while until my parents heard me freestyling to my sister who was a few months old to help her go to sleep. I actually used the same technique with my son and my twin daughters”.
“The two hardest forms of emceeing for me at the time were garage and drum and bass. Then I started freestyling over it because writing was even harder”.
Is He Signed?
“I’m not exclusively signed. I have a non exclusive distribution deal as a solo artist to Protect Ya Neck Records, which is ran by Wu-Tang management. As well as having my own label, BoundByMusic Entertainment, which happens to be distributed by Alms Intl Music Agency, an affiliate of Harry Fox Publishing. Plus I like to be in control of what I make and when I make it”.
“I have two new songs available this month. “Next Chapter”, by DJ WIZ featuring Eternal, myself and Max Millz (Rebel Nature). This track has received such positive support so far from Wu-Tang deejays, as well as Cappadonna”.
“DJ Flipcyide of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition told me that it’s going on his next mix tape! I also have a self released song, “Started From Nuffin’”, featuring myself, Max Millz, Keyzo and Likle V, which is coming out to on the 23rd of March”.
“Well, I’m planning on doing an EP for Protect Ya Neck Records, that I may call ‘Wrath Of The Angry Mantis’, just to remind people that I still have fire in my belly and I am not to be fooled! I’m also working on an album that I want to call ‘This Is Life Presented By Dale Thomas’”.
“It has my views of being in love, the rap game, life as a whole and other things that are personal to me. I don’t know if it will reach the heights I’d want but you never know”.
Where does he record his music?
“I tend to record most music in London at Rebel Nature in North Wembley. I love that place, have some great memories there. I’ve used Music Ape Studios in Bristol lately as it’s local and the booth is like a third of the size of my living room. I have a tendency to write music anywhere, as long as I have my iPad or phone I’m good to go”.
What does he write his music about?
“Whatever I have on my mind I write about. My mood sets the tone. People tend to know if something got to me by what I write and how I rap it out. If I’m passionate about the subject it has more meaning. Right now I’ve been in the battle mindset and trying to influence the youth aware from crime and violence”.
His Career Highlights:
“My career highlights are all happening as I’m typing. A song with a Wu-Tang affiliates, placement on coast2coast mix tapes, international contacts willing to collaborate and having Cappadonna from Wu-tang Clan say “Next Chapter” is a hot track. I’m living my dreams daily, hoping for the bigger ones to come soon”.
“The struggle of being an independent artist/label owner is that you have to try even harder to be seen. I’ve never attended an award show let alone won an award. Being recognized enough to have my music placed on big mix tape sites and with big deejays has been my reward for my hard work so far”.
“I have struggled just to even get acknowledgement for what we do but that Stateside love is letting me know that I’m on the right path”.
His Proudest Moment:
“My proudest moment is probably winning the case to be able to raise my twin daughters. That’s more powerful that any praise I’ve ever received. I love them to bits, they’ve inspired a song and a children’s book, called ‘Bath Time With Nan’, which was written by my mother, Cauline Thomas-Brown”.
“What I also have going is an artist platform, called Lyrical Advisory, which provides a webpage, distribution to all major digital stores and VEVO with no subscription fees or binding contract. It’s just a platform for artists made by artists, which enables them to get to places where they’d usually have to have a serious social media presence, or a deal with a major publishing company”.
“I’m trying to change the game and the rules that go with, while giving artists full control of what they want to create”.
“In the future, I’m hoping to collaborate with Lost Confusion, a boy band from Liverpool, they are something else! I wish I’d discovered them myself. I’d love to wake up and hear myself on every radio station not just local stations in Bristol”.
“My goals are to establish BoundByMusic Entertainment and Lyrical Advisory as permanent fixtures in the music scene. Not only do I want success as an artist, I want it as a businessman so I can pursue other things, like cooking and fashion. Love cooking Jamaican food especially”.
Words by Mia Woloszczynska