People You Should Know: Donte Thomas
This week’s person to know is the type of guy who will creep up on you. Not in a scary episode of SVU way. He’s just an unsuspecting type of individual. Never too loud, doesn’t try to be the center of attention. He just exists, joins conversations when he sees fit, shows up sporadically and then the next thing you know, you’re listening to his music and anxiously waiting for his next release.
Donte Thomas surprises me at every turn. I actually learned a lot more about the young Portland artist in reading his responses than I expected. I’ll let you discover him for yourself….
Who are you?
My name is Donte Thomas
What do you do?
I make the music that touches your soul, opens your chakra, enlightens your mind and stimulates your aura. Right now I’m working on my sophomore project entitled “Ghetto Gospel”. I’ll have a couple surprises before that is released though. I don’t want to spill all the beans but in due time.
I also design clothes. I’ve been working on an independent brand called “STRAY” which stands for “Success That’s Recognized At Youth.” It’s more of an urban brand, but for more of a fashionable audience. I’ve designed shirts, hoodies, women’s apparel, you name it.
I’m also working on another independent line that I want to do. The name is a secret for now.
When did you start?
I started designing clothes in the 6th grade out of my composition notebook. As far as music goes, I started seriously rapping at the age of 14 back in ’09. It was always an outlet for me. I used to get bullied from 4th grade all the way until my sophomore year of high school. I didn’t really have too many friends. Times used to be hard. My mother struggled at times to pay bills, but she taught me to keep faith and to be myself. I took her words of advice and used them in a positive way.
Music is the only thing that kept me going. Day in and day out, it was always about music. I was an only child for 15 years of my life, so I became accustomed to being solo. I never felt alone when I had my music. It made me want to pursue a career as an artist. When I was 14 at De La Salle High School in the year of 2009, I started to show off my talent of freestyle rapping. The reaction I got from it was something I didn’t expect. People actually respected me. They told me to keep doing it.
Years later I started doing music as a solo artist. With the help of many friends, I recorded music over industry beats, original beats, pretty much anything. I thought I was the best thing out of Portland off of my confidence alone. Later down the line, I discovered Portland’s music scene. I felt as if I could be the best. I wanted to be the best. I wanted respect. I wanted to be heard. There were times that my cocky attitude would get me into a lot of mischief with others in town. I said a lot of things that made a lot of people dislike and hate me.
Now I’m 20 years old, full of knowledge, a perspective, my own lane, my own ambition, and I’m developing my craft. I’ve done shows in every venue of the city except for the Roseland Theater (which I plan to get into soon). I’ve learned a lot along the path of being an artist. I realized that I have to be humble. A cocky attitude is not good for business. So I had to get my act together.
Why should we like it?
You shouldn’t like it. You should love it. Why? Because I’m determined to be your favorite rapper before I turn 25.
“Determinded” is the perfect word to describe Donte. That boy just does not give up once he’s set his sight on something. It’s admirable. And I do look forward to seeing his career develop. It’s easy to become a fan of young artists because there’s so much room for growth and he’s defienitly responsive to cristism and takes everythign in stride. Keep an eye on this one.