WeArePSP
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WeArePSP

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
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"DAPPA AT SUMMER JAM"

Born and raised in New Orleans, Daniel “Dappa” Torregano is not only a rapper and singer, but a producer as well. Hardworking and on the rise, he has gone from dropping mixtapes such as Chocolate City Vol. 1 & 2, to being President of Palmyra Street Productions. Dappa’s hit singles include “Tip Toe,” “Win Again” and “Get Away.”

Urban Dictionary defines “Dappa” as “someone who looks good all the time, and is basically the top dog.” Did you write this definition?

[Laughs.] No, I didn’t write the definition, but if there was a picture next to it, it would be mine.

In all seriousness, where did “Dappa” come from?

I was in New York one time actually, I was in recording school. I always matched, was always fresh, so they called me “Dappa.” And my name is Daniel, so “Dappa Dan” was first, then they took “Dan” off. It’s corny. [Laughs.] It kinda stuck with me.

I heard you “accidentally” fell into rapping when you were 18. Can you talk about how you got started?

I was a DJ at first. I got with this record company and they needed a DJ. I wanted to get involved in any kind of way, so I started DJing, and I remember one day somebody didn’t show up to the studio. I said, “I can rap.” Everybody looked at me like I was crazy, so I said it again, “No, I can rap.” They were like, go ahead. So I did, and everybody’s eyes were like “Oh shit, that dude’s the one.” I was kinda pulled into it.

I accidentally started singing; that was the real accident. [Laughs.] There was a song called “You Got Me.” We were just playing around in the studio one day and I started singing, and I was pretty good. I remember nobody wanted to push the record because they were scared because it was so different. It wound up actually being pretty hot. That was the song that was on [local radio stations] Q93 and 102.9 on heavy rotation. That was the song that really stamped my name in the city, so I guess accidents are great.

In 2008, you opened for Lil Wayne on The Carter III tour. What was that like?

It was awesome. That shit was crazy. I’ve got a very good promoter friend of mine named Lady Brown, and she said, “I’m going to put you on a show with Lil Wayne in Lafayette.” She called me, and we smashed it. The first show was in front of like 10,000 people at the Cajundome. Two months later, she called me back, so we just tagged along with Lil Wayne for a few dates. That was around the country. It was crazy though. I couldn’t really explain it. There were like 12,000 people yelling at you. That was pretty hot. That was one of the biggest moments of my life.

You’re also a producer. Do you consider yourself a rapper first and a producer second, or vice versa?

I’m a rapper first. U-P is my main producer. U-P is the shit, my mentor. When it comes to my work, I let him P. Diddy it; I let him executive produce everything. He’s been with me since day one. Right now, I’m starting to branch off more as a producer. That’s pretty cool. A lot of people are respecting me for that, and are coming to me to write their songs or produce. It is more money in the bank, more exposure. It will allow me to do other genres of music outside of hip-hop.

Have you ever written anything for another artist and wished that it were for you?

All the time! It’s hard every time I part with lyrics. Every time I part with a track, a beat that we do, because I don’t make music halfway. I really give it my all, so when I finish writing a song, it’s like having a baby and giving it away. You don’t want to do that. You want to keep the hot stuff for yourself, but it’s cool to collaborate with people and see what they get to do. You give them your ideas and they put their talent and their ideas with it. Actually, it might blossom to become something better than you even thought of.

How have you seen the hip-hop community in New Orleans change? Has that change been for the better?

When I started, it was nothing like it is now. I think it’s changed for the best. A lot of people really are stepping up. The guys that are a little more advanced are taking care of the guys that are not advanced, helping them get out. We have a huge hip-hop scene, but I don’t think the masses really understand how unified we are, how big we are. It’s just as big as the jazz scene, but it’s a new scene. We have to get more of the city on our artists, following us, making sure to come out to shows. The New Orleans hip-hop scene as a whole is getting better daily. I’m glad to be a part of the beginning of it. This is the Renaissance period, and we just came out of the Ice Age. I’m really just glad to be a part of it, but I’ve been told I’m actually one of the look-up-to-guys, so that’s pretty cool. I hope that I can do my part in helping NOLA hip-hop become bigger than anything. This is our time to show the world that that what we’re doing is bigger than anybody. Right now New Orleans is really getting looked at, especially after Katrina and the Super Bowl and everything. Right now, it’s wide-open for all of us to just spread our wings and fly away.

How does being from New Orleans shape and influence your sound and style?

It affects everything. I always hear people say, “Oh man, you don’t sound like you’re from New Orleans, even when you talk. When you sing, when you rap. Your music doesn’t sound like you’re from New Orleans.” I’m like, how could it not sound like I’m from New Orleans? I’m from New Orleans. Anything that I make sounds like it’s from here. I wouldn’t want to be from anywhere else. It’s shaped everything. I am New Orleans. If I wasn’t from New Orleans, I guess I wouldn’t make the music I make, because I definitely have rhythms and melodies and different things that I pick up from New Orleans. Being from here has definitely influenced my life musically. This is a music mecca.

On Saturday you’re performing at Summer Jam. What is it like performing in your hometown?

Performing at home is always kind of cool and rough at the same time. It’s always cool to come home because you see all your friends come out. It’s a different crowd then going out of town. When you’re out of town, it’s new fans, older fans. When you’re home, that’s the people that help you get on. You have a bigger connection, so it’s always a better show when you’re at home. All your family’s there, and your friends. It’s cool. You get to be yourself.

You can catch Dappa at the inaugural NOLA Summer Jam 2010, a hip-hop, fashion and art festival presented by Supremestreet and Traffic Boutique. The festival takes place this Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. at Washington Square Park and features Dom Kennedy, Stalley, Aquaforce, Kashflow, C.O. The Hustla, A Levy, Bzy Bee, and many more. Admission is $10. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Sickle Cell research and Gulf Aid. Dappa performs at 3:30 p.m. - offbeat Magazine


Discography

Mixtapes
2007 - Extreme Dolla Mixtape Vol. 1 - 3
2007 - Chocolate City Vol. 1
2008 - Chocolate City Vol. 2
2010 - Hottest Mixtape Vol. 1

Singles
2007 - You Got Me
2008 - Can’t Let Go
2009 - Win Again (New Orleans Saints)
2009 - Tip Toe
2009 - Santa Baby
2010 - Money

LP’s
2008 - You Got Me [The Preview]
2009 - The Preview 2
2010 - The Starting Lineup
2010 - Mind Freak

Photos

Bio

PALMYRA STREET PRODUCTIONS a.k.a. PSP (WeArePSP)

New Orleans based Palmyra Street Productions (a.k.a. PSP) is a music/video/graphic’s production powerhouse lead by the talents of CEO Nadiyah “Skyy” Taylor who has just as much time in front the camera as behind it, which makes her an actor’s director. Lovell “U-P” Cooper, acting COO and head producer of PSP, is known as one of New Orleans most versatile and talented producers. With his relentless drive and persistence for excellence with no room for excuses or failure, Lovell has been the guiding force and inspiration behind their success.

U-P and Skyy have been in and around the entertainment industry most of their lives. Skyy’s mother (Beverly Taylor), a hard working Thespian, travels and does Musical Theatre (Voices in the Dark) and her father is the owner of Rosemont Records. U-P's entire family is engulfed in gospel music. His grandfather, Alvin Butler, was voted as one of the greatest gospel voices in New Orleans. His mother, Aldonia Cooper (Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir) and father Louis Cooper (The Christian Brothers) both work as musicians so you could say music is something he inherited.

Daniel “Dappa” Torregano (President and lead artist of PSP) is the face of the company. Known for creating music that appeals to a wide audience of listeners from urban radio to top 40 pop stations, Dappa makes sure the day to day business of PSP is handled with professionalism and diligence. Together Palmyra Street Productions has successfully worked on a number of nationally recognized songs, albums, graphic artwork, and music videos. Now partnered with Multi-Grammy winner Darious “Deezle” Harrison and his record label Drum Major Music, PSP is developing a widely respected and revered national presence.

DAPPA

Daniel Torregano (born December 20, 1983) better known as DAPPA, a young New Orleans emcee with the attitude, determination and swagger of a Hip-Hop legend has begun the unparalleled journey of becoming a renowned rap artist. As a rapper, Dappa is viewed as leading the next generation of Hip-Hop from New Orleans. After the success of his initial single “You Got Me” in 2008, Dappa has been constantly preparing his self titled album “DAPPA” with his producer and cousin Lovell “U-P” Cooper and now with former Lil Wayne Producer and Grammy Winner - Darious “Deezle” Harrison.

Dappa was born in the 6th Ward of New Orleans, the son of Louis Torregano, a guitar player who worked the music scene for years playing with Gospel greats from The Sunshine Connection to the world famous and Grammy Nominated - Zion Harmonizers. His previous releases “You Got Me [The Preview]” and “The Preview 2” are considered windows to what his total vision and freshman album will entail.

In a short time Dappa has gone from performing on stellar remixes of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” to touring with Lil Wayne on his “Lollipop” Tour and becoming President of Palmyra Street Productions where he helped coin the phrase “We Are PSP!” Dappa has the talent, the team, and the professional production behind him to truly become a household name on his quest to become a Hip-Hop Legend.