Mumbai, 24th May 2022 – Rapper, singer-songwriter, composer, music producer, storyteller and YouTube sensation, Dino James has announced his eponymous debut album which will serve as his grand introduction to the global music industry and will be released worldwide via Def Jam India, the iconic global hip hop label.
Titled ‘D’, the self-titled entrance album spans across 13 tracks and features first-time ear-pleasing collaborative efforts alongside talents like Emmy Award winning producer Aakash, singers Kaprila and Nikhita Gandhi. The energetic self-reflective album uplifts Dino’s diasporic life by spotlighting his creative evolution and professional accomplishments, making it his most conscious album.
A showcase of exemplary perfection, from the vocals to the music production to the lyricism, Dino attempts to set a brand-new benchmark for modern day melodic hip hop songsters with this sonically mesmerizing masterpiece that can be upheld as the prototype for the pop rap genre sound.
Check out Pyaar Pyaar here:
Sleek and sassy wordplay, aggressively electric vocal style and vulnerably honest lyrics infused with flawlessly constructed commercial melodies and raw hardcore hip-hop soundscapes, the album brings to the forefront Dino’s transformational experimental style of pushing convention with a polished and inimitable approach to hip hop. The rapper lays the foundation for the conceptualization of the experimental motif throughout his entire first album with the rhythm-based hip hop sound aesthetic at its nucleus.
A self-made burgeoning talent, Dino who frequently credits most of his success to his mentor- his mother; unflinchingly pays a modest tribute to her on the album by featuring a prayer in her enthralling voice whilst also paying homage to his South Indian roots and culture.
Mapping his street-to-the-skyscraper evolution, the accompanying music videos, shot across Kerala, Goa and Mumbai and directed by Himanshu Nisha Tyagi put forth Dino’s stand-out versatility and flair of translating thought-provoking lyrics into an equally commanding visual narrative.
Dino James expands, “I’m indeed ever so grateful to be releasing this album at such a significant juncture in my life and having the opportunity to mark not just mine, but also Def Jam India’s first ever album. This album is really precious to me, not only because it’s my maiden outing, but also because it represents my untold story which was private up until now. People grow, evolve and change but this album is about not forgetting where we come from.”
The announcement of the album which marks Def Jam India’s first ever artist album was preceded with the release of Dino’s tracks ‘Lost’ in March and ‘Chosen’ in April which raked up top spots across all streaming platforms and served as the first taste from his highly awaited album.
The stellar musicianship of the album solidifies Dino James as one of the leading forces of the millennial hip hop generation who’s ready to retrieve the hip-hop crown he truly deserves. Truly a work of art, ‘D’ is angsty, spirited, and authentic. The album introduces Dino’s self-made journey in Indian hip-hop and how he has musically evolved by creating his own unique sound that fuses rap and melody, thereby evolving the Indian hip-hop scene as well.
Def Jam India is a Universal Music India’s new label division within India and South Asia dedicated to representing the best hip-hop and rap talent from the region. Def Jam India follows the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture for more than 35 years.
D N Me is about standing up for yourself when no one is rooting for you. Self-dependency and self-belief is what shaped Dino James music career and earned him the title of a successful solo warrior. The track reflects on the adage of ‘how it started v/s how it ended up’ and focuses on the hustle and hard-work backing the merit. Dino also reflects on his dual sides, his public moniker and his personal profile
Dhundhla touches upon the complexities of differentiating between real and phony. Dino raps about how everything is blur with no precise clarity, whether in love or governance.
Chosen is about following your life path and passions when you have a belly full of dreams and ambitions. It’s about realizing that you are the Almighty’s chosen one and you are here for a purpose that is tailormade for you. With this track, Dino attempts to bring out his love for old school hip-hop, while fusing his South Indian roots with underlying Indian classical vocals and also shot the music video in Kerala to pay tribute to his motherland.
Lost is a bittersweet breakup song, where Dino reminisces the feeling of being in and out of love and about an ideal relationship that went sour.
Pyaar Pyaar is a fun filled track that captures how an ordinary girl doesn’t understand the celebrity lifestyle that an artist lives. Inspired by Afrobeat, the track shows how a boy is ready to sweep a girl off her feet while being fluid and fun.
Jealous ft. Kaprila focuses on jealousy. Dino reminisces on the fond memories on how he loved this girl who is now committed to somebody else and his desire to win her back.
Arambol ft. Nikhita Gandhi was written by Dino when he was in a spiritual bent of mind in Goa. Inspired by the non-conformist vibe of the café he was seated at, he penned the tropical laden track with a vision of detoxing from the materialistic world.
Sabka Rapper Ek sees Dino flexing his strong grip on melody and bars which is unique to him whilst he conveys that he is born to rule the throne through the lyrics
Supercop is a fun take on the so called ‘studio gangsters’ in India. With so much political hierarchical drama unfolding up in the Indian hip-hop system, Dino is portrayed as a ‘Supercop’ who is keeping everything in ‘check’.
Higher sees Dino spitting bars on his come up and how everything is so overtly publicised and glamourised in hip-hop. He stresses on the need of coming from a more evolved and elevated state of being and being more authentic to achieve your true worth and innate potential.
On The Rocks narrates the true story of Dino and the one defining moment that changed his destiny. He was sitting on the rocks at Versova Beach in Mumbai and was introspecting on how his life didn’t pan out the way he had envisaged and was contemplating moving back to his hometown for good. Suddenly a street singer randomly approached him with a guitar nudging him to singalong. In that moment he received the clarity he was seeking on music being his ultimate calling and path to redemption. Song is about where he was a few years ago and where he is now.
D is an ode that Dino pays to his mother, Rani James who has been his day one support and motivation throughout his entire career that had its fair share of ups and downs. He credits his growth and success to his mother’s prayers and blessings.
Rani (Outro) is a prayer in Dino’s mother’s voice who has played a great part in Dino’s success. The track serves a gesture of good luck and blessings that a mother bestows on her child on a brand-new outing