Mix it up
At 19, most of us were fresh out of high school, considering employment options or higher education, trying to figure out what we were going to do with our lives. At 15, we were concentrating on getting our driver’s license and knocking boots with a sweetheart, while fame and fortune remained a wishful dream reserved for Hallmark movies and reality TV shows.
DeSaint Reed, local hip-hop and R&B artist, however, realized early on that music was a natural passion of his. At 15, he was recording his first mixtape, which was entirely self-produced and completed when he was 16, financially supporting each of his projects with his own money.
“It was a lot of work, but it was a creative process I needed to learn,” said DeSaint, now 19, shedding light on the appropriately named mixtape, The Struggle.
The following year, he went on his first tour, hitting six major cities and opening up for relatively big-name acts, such as Travis Porter and Young Dro from T.I.’s Grand Hustle label.
Since then, DeSaint has earned more recognition in the hip-hop community with the release and consequent tour of his second mixtape, Flight Plan, and his single “Wha, Wha, Wha,” a club banger full of addictive synth instrumentals, heavy bass, and the Miami-born artist’s vocals.
“I was in Atlanta [during my first tour], and all these guys were coming up like Roscoe Dash and Waka Flocka, and they were really blowing up, so I wanted to drop another hip-hop mixtape, too,” said DeSaint.
He created the Flight Plan mixtape in between shows of his first tour and completed all the writing and recording within two months. Reaping the benefits of the creative process he learned from The Struggle, DeSaint was able to mix, master and gain digital distribution within five months—a fraction of the time dedicated to his first release. The mixtape ended up being much more successful than his first, earning him some widespread exposure and radio play on some hip-hop stations.
In order to further promote the mixtape, DeSaint began an international tour immediately following his return, which gave him the opportunity to share the stage with heavy hitters like Bun B, Wiz Khalifa and Baby Bash.
DeSaint has accomplished everything he has due to a strong work ethic and dedication to his craft and he hopes for a lasting career following his musical passion.
“[Music] is a life project—it’s what I want to do,” said DeSaint. “I want my music to reach people everywhere and be heard on a global scale.”
He offers his music up for free download on his site, and has also made it available on sites like DatPiff, Napser, iTunes and REVERBnation.
While hip-hop is DeSaint’s first passion, he says he “refuses to be stuck in a box.” He is constantly trying different styles of music and learning from various genres ranging from folk to rock to R&B.
His next mixtape and current project, E.L.E.V.A.T.E., will have more emphasis on the R&B and pop genres. Expecting to drop at the beginning of next year, DeSaint is already planning his next tour to accompany the release of the third mixtape.