Hailing from the sun-kissed landscapes of Southern California, DSL is not your average songbird. Born into a Moroccan family, she encountered the mesmerizing power of music at a young age, a magnetic pull that eventually shaped her into the force she is today.
As an artist who effortlessly infuses her melodies with a distinct valley girl spice, her story is a testament to resilience, encapsulated by her decision to reclaim the high school epithet “DSL” and channel it into a musical ethos of empowerment. The momentum behind DSL’s burgeoning career is undeniable, with her singles amassing over five million global streams and earning features on Spotify’s “Feelin’ Myself” and “Pressure” playlists.
Last month, she took a leap into the world of AI, revealing a groundbreaking music video for her single “Ready Set Go,” created using the first-ever video-to-video AI platform, Runway. It’s clear that DSL’s journey is just beginning, and the world is poised to hear more from this dynamic artist. Check out our interview below.
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with your musical career? Growing up in Southern California, have you always known you would be an artist or do something creative?
It must feel like everyone in Los Angeles, born and raised or transplant, has a starlet aspiration—it might be the forever aura of Hollywood/being in such close proximity to the Hollywood sign or something. That being said, growing up slightly outside of the city diminished the urge of stardom and allowed me to really hone in on my passion for music in an unadulterated way. b
Ever since I can remember, music has always been my driving force. It was seriously the only thing I would rather do—I would gladly skip out on mall days, kickbacks, parties, etc., just to sit in my room and sing or record.
What inspired you to lead with and embrace the name DSL?
I used to get lowkey bullied for having big lips when I was younger. I remember Brian Lee used to call me “DSL” in 7th grade and it caught on at my middle school. Looking back at it, that was pretty iconic and nothing feels more empowering than capitalizing on a name that used to haunt me.
Your latest single, “Ready Set Go,” is just a taste of what you have planned for this year. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the song and how it plays into what you have in store?
“Ready Set Go” was exciting for me because it has a slightly different sound from what I usually do—my favorite pastime is whispering into the mic, so making a whisper-centric song just felt natural.
I don’t like pigeonholing myself into one style, experimenting with different sounds/vocal styles is the most exciting thing to me when it comes to music. I’m all about pushing my music beyond the bounds of genre
For the promotion around the record, you used AI for the post-production of the music video and on socials, created content with everyone from Elon Musk, Joe Bidden, and Bill Gates. What’s been your experience with all this new technology so far?
There is a lot of politics surrounding the topic of Ai, but it’s ultimately our inevitable future—my way of coping with that is making light of the situation. Directing fantasy photoshoots with public figures and dead presidents is my comic relief.
Recently, there was an AI-created collaboration between Drake and The Weeknd that went viral on social media and gained millions of streams before it was removed from Spotify. As an artist, how do you feel about fans having unlimited access to not just create photos, but use and distribute the vocals of their favorite musicians now?
It definitely is a form of art, its musical pastiche. Being able to successfully collage vocals and have it sound musically compelling is just as much of a challenge as composing a song from scratch.
Also, summer is right around the corner—what fashion trends are you looking forward to?
Skirts being the size of belts and bikini straps under every top.
On TikTok, all your fans are always complimenting your looks and asking what you use. Beauty-wise, what are your favorite skincare and lip products at the moment?
Ruth Swissa, Ruth Swissa, Ruth Swissa! I’ve been perfecting my own lip gloss that’s the perfect shimmery coat to my forever lip combo… details to come!
Beyond that, what advice would you give to this generation in regard to being confident and building self-esteem?
Take everything with a grain of salt, nothing is that deep. Social media is such a transient and intangible thing, yet we treat it so concretely which has me thinking… there is almost a beauty to Snapchat, it was so ephemeral and shameless. If I was to embody a social media platform I think I’d be Snapchat.. or Formspring.https://open.spotify.com/artist/3ZfddMr5wPjHHJUCDtKysj