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Exposure is something Dave Patten wants and is working hard to get. The recent Temple graduate is combining his film education with his love for music and creating a sound unlike any other. With hip-hop beats and a rock ‘n’ roll edge, his music is being recognized by fans and other musicians.
The Philadelphia native began playing music in high school, and before graduating, he released his first album. Five years later, he has six. His most recent album, “Exposure,” was released in December 2010.
Patten began his college career at Penn State University but realized it was not the right setting for him or his music. He returned to Philadelphia where he jumped into the music scene and began collaborating with local musicians such as hip-hop artist Meek Mill.
After returning from a trip to Los Angeles, Patten talked to The Temple News about his new music, his booming online presence and his “struggling” dance moves.
The Temple News: You just released your new album, “Exposure,” in December. How does it compare to your other work?
Dave Patten: It’s similar. I’m always kind of developing and experimenting with new stuff. One thing I can’t stand is when a new artist comes out, and their first album is awesome and then they put out their second album [and] it sounds exactly the same as their first one. I want to get out there and develop as an artist. I would like to think that I progress into a new style with each album.
TTN: What kind of music do you generally listen to?
DP: Mostly a lot of rap and hip-hop stuff, but I like everything from Maroon 5 to Taylor Swift.
TTN: Do you think those artists influence your sound?
DP: Yeah, I would definitely say so. Kanye West is one of my favorite producers in hip-hop, and he’s definitely had a lot of influence on my music.
TTN: You’ve been playing music in Philly since you were in high school. How has the city influenced your music?
DP: Being in a city like Philadelphia just offers so much opportunity. There are so many people here – so many awesome musicians to link up with and people to team up with and that’s pretty much exactly what I did.
TTN: Do you play a lot of live shows in the city?
DP: Recently, I haven’t. I want to do a college tour in the spring and the summer though.
TTN: Do you direct and produce your own music videos?
DP: I direct and edit everything and my producer is David Ricks. It’s pretty much a team effort. I started a production company called South9 Entertainment. It’s pretty much me and him, but we have a bunch of interns and some other crew members that help out a lot too.
TTN: You’re a hit on YouTube, having more than 2 million views. How has the website helped you gain exposure?
DP: Oh, like crazy. It’s just a huge outlet because everything’s online now. You have to be online. You have to have an Internet presence. It’s something that I’ve always been working really hard at developing and YouTube is the perfect place for that.
TTN: Wyclef Jean heard your adaptation of his song “Sweetest Girl” and invited you to open for him at Atlantic City’s House of Blues. What was that like?
DP: That was ridiculously awesome. I got a call from Columbia Records, and they asked if I wanted to perform with him while he was on tour. The audience was between 4,000 to 5,000 people. It was a crazy experience, and I loved it.
TTN: You throw out some dance moves in the video for “How Good.” Can we expect to see you on the dance floor at any Philly clubs?
DP: Hell yeah. I try to be out there whenever I can. My dance moves are kind of struggling, but it’s a good time.
TTN: What’s in store for 2011?
DP: On the music side of things, I’m just looking for exposure, to kick off the college tour and to keep pumping out music videos. On the film side of things, I’m shooting some of Meek’s music videos. The bigger people he works with, the bigger people I’m going to get to work with. I’m excited. It’s definitely going to be a big year.
Tracy Galloway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.