The Hip Hop artist spoke on his highly anticipated EP, his inspirations, and the process behind creating his unique singles.
Noah David Coogler, known as White Dave, is back with a new EP “Porch Sessions” Along with the EP, White Dave released the companion music video for “Hotel Motel,” the second track on the record, which follows him dancing through a variety of surreal backdrops. The EP consists of five new, tracks that demonstrate the versatility of the California rapper. White Dave’s best known for creating tracks for major films such as Black Panther (“Nervous”) and Creed (“Intolerant”), and most recently Judas and the Black Messiah (“Appraise”). His track “Bands” additionally appears on the NBA 2K17 soundtrack. While his music’s touched ground in different mediums, White Dave centers himself around his EPs and singles which he’s consistently released on 4/20.
The Knockturnal caught up with the musician to talk about his latest release.
The Knockturnal: You’re from Richmond, California. Would you say growing up there influenced your sound?
White Dave: Growing up here influenced probably my subject matter more than my sound. There’s a real specific sound out here if you listen to traditional artists that you’ll pick up on. My sound personally isn’t what you’d call a “Richmond” sound, but when you listen to the words that I use and how I rap then you can probably immediately make the connection.
The Knockturnal: What would you say are some subjects of your music?
White Dave: I talk a lot about introspection. I’m able to look back on a lot of life’s decisions and look at it with a more mature mind. I talk a lot about reflecting in my music. I talk a lot about accepting yourself and being more confident in who you are and I talk a lot about love too. That’s something that I haven’t really thought about that much. I talk a lot about love and emotions. I credit that to the artists that I look up to. They’re very open about the things that they go through and I follow in their footsteps as well. I feel like a good artist is able to talk about a multitude of things.
The Knockturnal: Who were the musicians you looked up to growing up?
White Dave: I’m a 90 kids so Kanye and Pharrell who I’m still a huge fan of. I’m actually a massive Biggie fan. The people who I really look up to and are inspired by are really pillars of Hip Hop. I’m inspired a lot by Master P and the West coast legends like E-40 and Snoop Dogg. These are the guys who will not only make timeless music but have made amazing business decisions. Those are the types of individuals that I kind of want to build my sound and my brand after. I hope to make music for a very long time, but also I hope to branch outside.
The Knockturnal: Your song “Appraise” was featured on Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album. The film is based on Black Panther member, Fred Hampton. Is advocacy important in your music as well?
White Dave: I actually make a lot of music that is politically charged. Not all of it gets to see the light of day simply because I’m very selective with the music that I put out. I was thankful and I’m glad that this record in particular was able to make it on the soundtrack. Not only that, but people are receiving it now because I had intense feelings and deep thoughts about what’s going on right now and how we can fix the situation moving forward. I’m not always able to put out records like that, but the fact that I was able to get this record out to people and that they’re enjoying it means the world to me. I feel personally as an artist, it is my responsibility to speak stuff that’s going on. I’ve recorded a ton of music that is politically charged. I’m not sure any of it or all of them will see the light of day, but I’m glad that “Appraise” did.
The Knockturnal: You’ve been able to work with your brother, Ryan Coogler, on songs for not only “Judas and The Black Messiah,” but “Creed” as well. How’s it working with him to capture the essence of a movie through sound.
White Dave: I’ve been making music for my brother’s movies for a long time. I provided my first score for one of his films when I was fifteen years old. Now, it’s just on a larger scale, which I think is amazing and beautiful to participate in. I always try to keep things in perspective as big a deal as it is, and I know it is a big deal. It’s still me providing music for my brother’s movie. Doesn’t matter how big or small the movie is. It’s my brother and it’s his movie. I’m gonna do everything I can to help and that’s how I approach it. The reception that the songs get and how they affect the general populace is really exciting to me. I’m really thankful for the opportunity. I’ve got music in all types of films all over the place.
The Knockturnal: How long have you been producing and recording your own music?
White Dave: I’ve been producing and recording my own music since I was 12. It’s crazy because I’m having just as much fun now as I did back then if not more because I’m more skilled as a songwriter, as an engineer, and as a producer. I still have days when I wake up and I can’t believe that this is my job. I get to do this every day. I get to wake up and make noise essentially and write some words over it. When I was growing up, I had a couple of different dreams. I had my realistic goal of wanting to grow up and be a teacher. Then of course my dream goals to play professional sports or be a rapper. I was able to actually pull off one of those things. I consider myself a musician, but I’m a rapper, and I can’t believe that I actually made this into a reality. I spoke it into existence. I try to wrap my head around it every single day. It’s really cool.
The Knockturnal: Your EP, “Porch Sessions,” drops on 4/20 and you have released music in the past on 4/20. How’d you come up with that idea?
White Dave: I did a lot of reading, and was reading a book talking about brands and what makes brands successful and what brands do to separate themselves for everyone else. I realized that in Hip Hop, people smoke weed and not just in Hip Hop but in the world. But, in Hip Hop it’s celebrated and I felt that what’s cooler than your favorite rappers putting out a collection of music every 4/20. You can go into 4/20 knowing you’ve got some new content. I feel like that helps me not only connect with my fan base, but it also reinforces my brand. One thing you can count on is whenever 4/20 rolls around, you got the new White Dave coming out, you got some new video coming out, and you got maybe a new merch capsule. It’s just something to get the people excited. Plus, as an artist, I just love putting out content. Nothing makes me happier.
The Knocktunal: How long have you been working on this EP?
White Dave: It’s weird how I record music. I just make it. As we know, 2020 was a year where everyone was just stuck around. I got the studio at the crib and so I’ve just been recording. I had made like 10 records that I felt were all unique in their own specific way. I make so much music that there are times where everything I’m making really felt like I made it all the same. I noticed that in my run of recording that those 10 records existed on their own. They had their own unique energy, they had their own unique feel, and I threw them in a playlist and trimmed them down, and I came away with five records that I felt should be packaged and delivered to the people. I didn’t necessarily think that it would be for 4/20 but it turned out to be useful. I linked up with some new producers I’ve never made records before. Obviously, I stayed in touch with Boom and he produced two records on there. But, I got a really distinct and unique sound on this EP and I’m excited because there’s gonna be some stuff that people haven’t really heard me rap on. I’m all for pushing the boundaries and pushing my limits and experimenting because at the end of the day, it’s just noise. I felt like these records themselves were good enough to be packaged and presented to the public.
The Knockturnal: What can fans expect from this EP?
White Dave: It depends on people’s introduction. I’m realizing with every drop I get a new batch of fans. Old fans are going to rock with this because it’s just me rapping. It’s like me giving you bars and it’s me not rapping about what everybody else is rapping about. It’s not hyper-thug rap, and it’s not all about weed. I think that’s what makes it even cooler. It’s unique and so old fans are gonna be like “this is clean,” and new fans are gonna be “this doesn’t sound like anything that’s out right now.” That’s always been my goal to try and push the sound forward. I love when I turn on a new artist I’ve never heard before and it sounds like something that I’m unfamiliar with. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered a new artist and it sounds like something that I’ve already heard of. I mean, I get it. That’s the blueprint, but as far as blueprints, I’m trying to be a trendsetter. I’m trying to be a pioneer. This EP for a new listener they’ll get that type of vibe from it.
The Knockturnal: Do you have any other projects that you’re working on?
White Dave: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got plenty. Definitely have an album coming out. Definitely have another EP coming out, and we’ve definitely got singles. I’m not going to tell you what the singles are, but definitely have things come out. I am more than excited to put more content out and connect to people. We got a lot of stuff coming out. I’m really excited.