Canadian Rap Artist, Author, Guinness World Record Holder (longest freestyle rap) and Motivational speaker Duane (D.O.) Gibson recently released his new album Still Driven on October 1 via all streaming platforms.
The album celebrates the 20th anniversary of Duane’s first professional album release Stay Driven, and includes production and collaborations with JUNO Award Winning artist JRDN, Mitchell Bailey, Myer Clarity, and 80 Empire amongst others.
As a companion piece, Duane also released his new book On This Grind that details life lessons learned from his experiences in the music business and being an entrepreneur in Hip-Hop. Having assisted over 100 artists with successful grant applications, this book is a way for him to share his knowledge with emerging and established artists alike.
A fifth-generation Black Canadian, Duane, has also been delivering powerful, motivational presentations to schools centering around Black Canadian History for nearly twenty years via his Stay Driven motivational tours. An international hip-hop artist in his own right, as well as a successful record label executive and a socially active community ambassador Duane has sold tens of thousands of albums, hit #1 on U.S. College Hip-Hop Radio charts and travelled the world performing for sold out crowds.
Additionally, Duane is Co-Founder of the Northern Power Summit and the February 2021 session was called Black 365 and highlighted black excellence in Canada and abroad. The series continues to provide education and tools, as well as access to individuals to help Canadian artists and industry professionals develop their careers.
We had the opportunity to chat with D.O Gibson about his latest album release, the life lessons he shares in his book, and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new album “Still Driven”?
D.O Gibson: I started my career twenty years ago to this time – back in 2001 with my first recording Stay Driven. At the time I was idealistic about my dreams of being a rapper. For twenty years it’s been my career and full time job so I wanted to document this two decade long journey, but also say “I’m not stopping, I can’t wait for the next decade.”
Kat: What do you hope fans take from the album?
D.O Gibson: I grew up on 90’s Hip-Hop, but I don’t want to stay stuck in that era – or the 2000’s era. So I take the inspiration from those times but look to combine it with newer styles of the 2020’s.
Kat: You recently released your new book “On This Grind”, what was the most challenging part of the process?
D.O Gibson: It took so long! Just when I thought I was done, I would write more. It was kind of like recording an album, because you feel like “hmm, something is missing, I need to add something”. But at the same time, I probably already have enough ideas for a sequel down the road.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
D.O Gibson: In my book, I talk about “Made It Moments”. Times in life where everything just seems to click. It’s hard for me to pick just one of those. I think about when I set a Guinness World Record or when I performed in Tokyo or Singapore. Or attending the Grammys. It’s been a wild ride – I love the journey and I’m glad that I’m still on it.
Most of all, I’ve learned to enjoy the journey – there are going to be times where you are unsure of the next step in your career, but I’ve learned to just keep going.
Kat: What’s next?
D.O Gibson: More shows, more places to go. I’m excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID. I can’t wait to get back on the road rocking shows!
For more on D.O Gibson, visit: https://iamdogibson.com