West Coast-based alternative pop artist Dog, aka Samuel Wilton, recently released his album, Monster (Deluxe), via Cleopatra Records. Monster (Deluxe) includes two additional tracks, “Burnt Down Farm House” and “Sleep Talking,” that were not on Monster.
Dog began making music at the age of 14, producing beats under the name dogdick. As he and his sound matured, he dropped several albums of pop-flavored hip-hop between 2019 and 2021, including All Dogs Go To Heaven, Into The Dogger-Verse, and Popstar, followed by 2022’s Monster and Monster (Deluxe).
Difficult to pigeonhole, Dog’s music blends rap and pop into a sui generis sound unlike anything else, yet deliciously melodic and laced with expressive lyricism.
Intrigued and impressed, Tattoo.com spoke with Dog to find out more about the person behind the music, why “Burnt Down Farm House” didn’t appear on Monster and his ink.
What three things can’t you live without?
3 things I can’t live without: The internet, my swag, and my friends.
What inspired your new album, Monster?
I made ‘Monster’ like a year or two ago, and during that time I was hanging out with all these artists who were kind of not the nicest people in the world. We were on demon time, which consequently put me in a dark place. I was practicing unhealthy habits as well. Those were my biggest inspirations behind ‘Monster.’ I also wanted to make something different from my previous bodies of work.
Monster (Deluxe) includes the track entitled “Burnt Down Farm House,” which wasn’t included on Monster. Why did you decide to include it on Monster (Deluxe)?
Honestly, it didn’t make the cut because I didn’t think it was a good fit. That song was more aggressive and more rappy, whereas all the other songs are slow and singy-songy. My team came to me and suggested that we should release a deluxe of ‘Monster,’ which only included two new songs. I felt that it might be kinda fye if ‘Burnt Down Farm House’ made the cut.
Of the 13-tracks on Monster (Deluxe), which means the most to you personally? And why?
All of the songs are very near and dear to my heart, but the first song that comes to mind is the song titled ‘Subtract.’ I made that song for all the friends of mine that have passed away throughout the years. It reminds me of them.
One of my favorite tracks on Monster (Deluxe) is “Tombstone.” How did this song come about?
That’s so fyeeeeee! Such a deep cut from ‘Monster,’ I am so excited that you picked that song. That song came about pretty fast if I remember correctly. It was one of the last songs made from ‘Monster.’ I guess that song has levels to it. I kinda like to think it’s about the drugs doing you dirty, you feel me? So, it’s like you are doing yourself dirty. Like you look in the mirror and you realize it was you the whole time. Or it could also be about people in your life doing wrong by you.
How did you get started in music?
My parents were always really into music and would take me to live music shows when I was young. That’s how I got super into music and started listening to like everything I could find on the internet. But when I was a child, I didn’t wanna play sports because I thought and still do think, they were dumb. So, my dad told me I had to have an after-school activity since I wouldn’t play sports, so I decided to take drum lessons. My drum teacher was super old and cool as fuck. He owned a liquor store, I super looked up to him. He is one of the reasons I wanted to make music. After that, I started to make beats on my laptop, but no one would jump on them because they sucked ass lol. So, I said fuck it and just started singing on them. Here we are now.
Where are you from?
I’m from Choctaw, Oklahoma. It’s very rare. A really desolate area. I lived on 6 acres of land with my mom dad and brother. But I left when I was 18 and moved to LA and never went back.
Did your hometown impact your sound?
Oklahoma in some ways probably had an impact on my sound. I mean, it’s where I’m from and that for sure shaped who I am today, I wouldn’t say it inspired me much. But I would say the things in my day-to-day life really shape my sound. My friends, the trees, the clouds. Those are the things that inspire me the most.
If you had to explain your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?
I am always so bad at answering this question. But I would say alternative pop. I wouldn’t ever say I was a rapper; I always get so embarrassed when people call me that hahaha. People will pretty much just call you a rapper if you have tattoos on your face. At the end of the day, I’m an artist tho.
Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?
My sound always evolves naturally, I think that’s how it works for everyone. I always experiment and try new things with my sound. You gotta break out of the comfort zone and try new things, otherwise, you will just keep making the same thing over and over again. I wouldn’t force a new sound to happen, it’s something that should just occur one day. But I do deliberately try to capture a certain feeling or moment happening in my life with my music.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?
I used to read a lot of poems written by the native Americans, that honestly really helped me write the album, ‘Monster.’ I obviously take inspiration from my favorite artists too. Usually, the things going on in my life really inspire me. I try to capture moments so I can remember them through song.
What can you share about your writing process?
It always changes, these days either Hottub Johny or I will start a beat and then we will just vibe on it and let the beat speak to us. That’s how we have been writing songs as of recently. You have to let the beat speak to you; you have to let the beat breathe.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
All my best friends are killing it right now! All my friends over in Yards4le, my homie named Jomie, Spookybands, Love Jai, Hamilton, Yvncc, E_Death, Ashes, 33life, Fats’e, and the legend Hottub Johny!!
Do you have any ink? If so, how many, and which is your favorite?
I have hella tattoos, I literally couldn’t tell you how many I have. I’m pretty much fully covered, or I’m getting close. My favorite tattoo I have would probably be my Popstar one. That tattoo really changed my life.