Interviews rhêtorík (Dan Pracopyck)

Published on October 6th, 2018 | by Jerry Doby


Meet rhêtorík, Music’s Human Venn Diagram!

rhêtorík - Behind Closed Doors (artwork)

rhêtorík – Behind Closed Doors (artwork)

Back Story – Born and raised in southeastern Virginia, rhêtorík credits hometown heroes like N*E*R*D and Timbaland for really expanding his musical mind beyond genres as a kid, but it was his time being broke and occasionally homeless in New York City that truly defined his character and story. In 2017, rhêtorík released his self-written, produced, and mixed debut single “Shelter” which candidly explores the true feelings of mental instability that go along with not having a permanent home. rhêtorík hopes that with his writing and music he can give an honest and brutally transparent take on the range of emotions, both happy and sad, that we experience as complex human beings.

“Shelter” may have been his first single, however, it was far from his first dip into the music industry. Backed by almost a decade’s worth of experience as a DJ, and working alongside some of the biggest talents in the music industry today, rhêtorík has truly written, produced and recorded himself into a lane of his own. Although he had humble beginnings playing guitar and singing in coffee shops in his hometown of Chesapeake, VA, rhêtorík dropped the guitar his sophomore year of college to devote all of his attention to DJing, hoping that one day it would give him the platform to return to his true passion. “I never intended for DJing to get this big” says rhêtorík, “DJing was always meant to be means to an end – the end being to release music and have people and fans that actually cared to listen.” After 5 years of touring alongside artists Logic, Jon Bellion, and Mac Miller (RIP), to name a few and working on projects with FX’s Atlanta writers Steve and Donald Glover (Childish Gambino), rhêtorík feels he has finally reached the end of that means – and then some.

The Hype Magazine got rhêtorík to weigh in on a few things:

rhêtorík (Photo Mike Holland)

rhêtorík (Photo Mike Holland)

From the outside looking in, who is rhêtorík as an artist?

From the outside looking in, Rhetorik is like a human *Venn diagram. In the middle is my message, and the circles that intersect are the mediums in which I spread it. Every approach is unique, but the purpose remains the same.

What brought you to the entertainment industry, music specifically?

The freedom is what brought me to the entertainment industry. I’ve always been super self-driven, and very opposed to anyone or anything telling me what I should do. I think they have a word for that called “stubborn.” I loved learning and doing as a kid, but I didn’t like that school told me what I should learn and do. Entertainment – and more specifically being a musician – is the one profession that I felt would give me the freedom to express myself that I had wanted for so long.

Can we get a breakdown of Future Alternative Rhêtorík Arena Pop?

F.A.R.A.P. is the label that I kind of fell into after people tried to get me to describe my sound. At the end of the day my songs have a pop skeleton, but the sounds are huge like they should be heard in an arena. The “arena pop” labeling didn’t come until I performed “Shelter” on this past tour in arenas. I was so excited to see that the sound was translating to the big stage. Then I call it “future alternative” because it doesn’t really fall into a specific lane that exists now. And all of it sits with a nice warm blanket of rhetorik style over it.

Tell us about your current project and what it means to you in the grand scheme!

My debut EP Behind Closed Doors is a foundational project. From the sound all the way down to the art and hidden themes, this EP is what you’ll be able to trace everything else back to. This is the creation of my own universe for everything else to live in. I’m a long-game type of guy.

Do you still get it in on the 1’s & 2’s?

I occasionally break out the turntables, but really only if it’s for the creation of some of my music. My full focus is on getting better as an artist right now, and after seeing how much dedication and focus it took to progress as a DJ, I know I need to do twice as much for my artistry.

What was the first joint you scratched with?

The first doubles I had were “In Through The Out Door” by Led Zeppelin. The first thing I blended in Serato was the CREAM acapella by WuTang over the ‘93 til Infinity instrumental by Souls of Mischief. I still have it recorded somewhere, and it was awful haha.

For new listeners, what song of yours would you pick as an introduction to you as an artist?

As far as the message goes, I’d pick “Shelter” – and I did pick “Shelter” as my introduction to the world. It just tells my most specific story on the project and kind of gives insight into what led me to this point of releasing music.

From a purely objective standpoint though, I’d pick “Not The One”. When I was making that song I didn’t care what anyone thought. It’s the most entirely me from both a sonic and lyrical approach. The first verse is open sounding with literal writing, the second verse is a glitchy hop rhêtorík type beat with a full poem as the verse, and in the final hook, I rip a guitar solo over an EDM drop. By the end of that song, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for as far as my style goes.

What makes you tick OUTSIDE of music?

Outside of music, I think my family and friends make me tick the most. Anything that can make me feel fully present and in the moment honestly. Music is the one thing I do that I’m completely present, so I tend to gravitate toward anything else that can give me that same feeling. I love hitting baseballs and pretty much any athletic activities too. Oh and dogs. I’m top 3 dog people you’ve ever met. Man, that answer was all over the place… Can you see why I enjoy things that help me zone in and focus?

Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” aka WTF?! moment…

I’m not sure this is what you’re going for, but the biggest HOLY SH*T moment in my life was emergency landing on a flight on the way to Puerto Rico one time. I vlogged the whole thing. Nothing like not knowing why your airplane is going down to put life into perspective. I’m actually typing this from an airplane right now, so I don’t want to go into detail for the sake of my mental health… I know you were asking for more of a WTF, but I live and breathe NYC so not too much phases me on the WTF scale anymore.

rhêtorík online:


*A Venn diagram uses overlapping circles or other shapes to illustrate the logical relationships between two or more sets of items.

Featured Image – rhêtorík by Dan Pracopyck

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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