Some individuals identify as “boundary-breaking entrepreneurs” and others see themselves as “soul-searching artists”, or even philanthropists. It’s rare to find all three in one person, but Dash Mihok appears to be these things. Fans have noticed brilliance in every note he’s played, in every line delivered, and now in his latest single: “Fire” ft. Desi Valentine.
Though he’s most prominently known from his acting roles—Dash currently plays “Bunchy” on the hit TV series Ray Donovan—music has always been the mural through which he communicates his artistic brilliance and, simultaneously, pushes for change. With a palette of raw emotion, Dash conveys powerful and poignant messages about our divided nation. This time, the colors he advocates for are inclusion and love.
Here, the actor goes “off script” and tells us all about his new single “Fire,” about the message behind it, and about the important role music has played in his life.
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To begin with, tell us about your single “Fire” and the message behind it.
My new single “Fire” was originally inspired after the tragedy in Charlottesville and my soulful, desperate need to say something about what had happened. Over time it evolved into a number of different messages, but originally it came out of my need to speak about the discord in our country and about childhood and how we deviate from each other as we grow up.
Are you always inspired from current events happening in the world, or does your personal life also play into your art?
Oh, for sure! You know, I always say I’m kind of an eclectic artist in that way, it could be a current event that spoke to me, it could be something that happened within my family, it could be a moment that I had with somebody in the street. So, I’m kind of all over the place in that sense, but certainly the current events that are all going on right now are certainly very juicy to dig into, so it’s a little bit easier.
Do you have a specific creative process?
I do but it depends. Sometimes I like to write lyrics first. Sometimes I really need to sit down and I’m hearing a melody in my head at some point, and I just need to put that down first and then the words just flow after. But I can’t say. I just try to listen to my gut, to what it is telling me, and put it on the page.
They say that the best artists are able to stir and generate strong feelings inside their listeners. What impact do you want “Fire” to have on your fans?
Oh well, I want it to have them ask questions. The most important thing for me is to have people have a discussion, and to be able to watch and listen to it more than once and have it move them or not; have it change their thoughts or make them think of something outside their own box. We all walk through life with our own set of goggles on, and I’m always trying to put different people’s goggles on to see how they see life. When we do that to each other the world is a place of more acceptance and less discord.
Most of your fans know you as “Bunchy” from the hit series Ray Donovan, but tell us about your musical background, how you got started, and the role has music played in your life.
Well, I grew up in the City in an artist’s housing building, so I kind of grew up in this space of mad people, but also geniuses. They were everything from actors and entertainers to studio musicians, so the halls and walls on that building, and what was behind them surely sparked my imagination as a child. Then my mother got me a drum set when I was 8 and I just started taking lessons and learning different rhythms, the rhythm of the city and the way people walk and their strut and my strut. I was always very imaginative with the sounds of the city and the sound of the street, but then also I was in an environment where my mother played almost all classical music and my father played almost all big band jazz so I had lots of different tastes of music. I think growing up with that really sparked me wanting to do this professionally, it just took a little while.
As a multifaceted person – artist, producer, rapper, award-winning actor and philanthropist – where in this spectrum do you most identify yourself?
Ha-ha it is impossible to answer that question. It drives interviewers crazy because they are like, “just give me your favorite.” I am not a favorite kind of person. It depends on my mood that day, or what happened that week. There is nothing more that I love than going out and supporting and caring, public speaking, or doing something to change a kid’s life. There is nothing more rewarding than that. But if you could do that also through your music and acting and writing, well, the more people you can reach the better.
Season 6 or Ray Donovan recently ended, and you just wrapped your new single. What’s next for you?
Yes, I will be releasing another single soon and then I have an album that is ready to go. So, I will probably be releasing that very soon as well. There will be a new video coming up, too. And then I will start the new season of Ray Donovan in New York sometime in June. And it looks like I may be doing a play in the fall. Hopefully on Broadway in New York. But yeah, musically, you can expect more music and some shows probably. It has been a while since I played and now that the single is out, the band is gearing up. It is going to be fun to get out there.
And can we get a preview of your new single?
It’s called “Flawed or Flawed by Design” and it features Kerris Dorsey, who plays my niece in Ray Donovan. She has a beautifully haunting voice. It is kind of a relationship song. It speaks to a lot of things that people don’t change. They evolve but sometimes, relationships won’t move forward because things have been swept under the rug for too long. You are staring at the person and you know it. Everybody has been through it; that this is over, but you can’t say goodbye yet. It is an acoustic song; it is different than a lot of things I have done so I am excited to have people hear it.
Here at BELLA, we believe that beauty is defined by each. What does beauty mean to you and how do you find it?
Beauty to me is visibility. And I mean that in an eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul, staring into somebody’s soul. Beauty to me is that everybody feels visible.