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Meet Alexander Dunn of Dephree in Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexander Dunn.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alexander. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My love affair with music started as a toddler when my older sister would raid our parent’s CD collection when she was babysitting me and we could listen as loud as we wanted to. We would dance and sing to the Beatles and The Gypsy Kings with the freedom from self-consciousness that only a child could have. I think these are my earliest memories but as I grew, my connection with music did too. I remember when Napster came out, I think I was in fifth grade. All of a sudden, I could explore all the music I wanted to without my mom having to approve a CD before she bought it for me. Wyclef Jean’s “Gone til November” changed my life. I fell in love with Hip-Hop. Fast forward to high school and I got a guitar and learned a few chords. All of a sudden, I had an outlet to create and I began writing my own songs. Only problem was, I wasn’t very good at guitar and I couldn’t really sing. Everything I played sounded like rap. I was scared to rap because I was white from the Ohio suburbs and I didn’t feel like I had a right to. I ignored this feeling for years but I have a fierce aversion to being controlled.

I decided I am not going to be ruled by fear and made the decision to be true to myself. I shed my families expectations, dropped out of college and followed my instincts westward to Los Angeles. Mixtape after mixtape, I kept doing what I love and making sacrifices to do it. Slowly, people started to notice my work ethic and passion for music and I have been blessed to work with some really talented people who helped me elevate my sound. Music is meant to be shared with others and I have found the more I bring people in, the more success I have.

Failure, homelessness, drug addiction have all proved to be obstacles to making my dreams a reality but music has always gotten me through. I put my headphones on and write and all of a sudden, there is hope again.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My biggest obstacle has been my own knuckleheadedness. I’m the type I have to make the same mistake over and over again before it finally clicks. I am in recovery now, but getting sober has been a long hard road. I have a tendency to make extremely poor choices not only in addiction but also in sobriety. I am impulsive and have a hard time standing still. I often spend years building up a beautiful structure around me only to burn it down in a day. I have been arrested many times. I lived outside on Van Nuys Blvd for about a year and a half. I think the most challenging part of my journey has been learning to let go of shame and hold my head high, owning my story and my struggles as a part of me. Overdoses, car accidents. Today, I’m proud of who I am. I have fallen down countless times, but I keep getting up. I might be a knucklehead, but I have a heart.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
Dephree strives to be a fearless messenger for love and positivity. Alexander has a tendency to be too serious. I’m too empathetic and I feel the pain of the world deeply. I see the problems of the world and the lack of our leadership to do anything about it and it makes me angry and hurt. Dephree is who I want to be. Dephree delivers a message of hope with humor and reminds us to enjoy life. DEPHREE LOVES YOU and believes in you. Dephree believes in us. We can change the world. We can do anything we want. THEY CANT STOP US! Just go for it baby and try to lift your brothers and sisters up along the way. Why not? Fight pollution not eachother.

What were you like growing up?
I was always attracted to feeling free and I would get that feeling by any means. When I was a little kid, I was always doing dangerous things because I liked the feeling of being close to the edge. Later, I found drugs but music gives me the same feeling. I now know that I was searching for a relationship with the Source.

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