The music industry is a cornerstone in the vast world of entertainment that has thrived as a huge international marketplace for generations. Most people are familiar with the mainstream types of music on the Billboard charts; however, the underground music scene has been equally as prosperous at least in spirit, if not more so some would argue, despite the lack of “exposure” or “recognition”. Nate Earsley, better known by his stage name DED STARK, has been using his presence to encourage aspiring artists, and reach anyone struggling to fit in or find a purpose in life, through his music and poetry.
Born in California in the early 90s, STARK has dedicated most of his life to music and art. At nine years old, he started playing the guitar and would only grow in skill from there. Throughout middle school and high school, he performed in bands as the guitarist and lead singer. By the end of high school, the young musician picked up production and engineering. From there, he would get influenced by different sounds and artists.
These influences would become the inspiration for DED to mesh many styles together and create a collage that would eventually become his signature sound, which people have described as a sound that comes across as sad and melancholy but introspective. It is indeed its own alternative version of underground hip-hop, for lack of a better category. Over the past 3 years, he has incorporated his many eclectic influences and experiences to forge his own path and build an artist brand that stands apart as unique and refreshing to listeners searching the underground for something different.
DED STARK is on par to become some kind of poster child for the frustrated and rejected artist of the social media era. He is an entirely self-produced independent artist and one-man-show. He provides a fresh sound to the already alternative sounds of the new underground.
In a world where musicians produce music with teams and still dub themselves as independently produced, DED STARK makes good on his word to fully produce his own songs. The independent musician creates his own samples and plays all the guitar parts and other instruments, excluding drum samples, and he engineers the songs himself. Since the end of 2019, DED has left the city life to live in the woods in isolation.
DED STARK is known for being a proverbial loner in the underground music scene, where collaboration has been the trend. The rising artist has built a reputation as a real outcast, talking the talk and walking the walk, creating music about being alone, and dealing with the problems of being an awkward artist, living as a frustrated musician, and functioning as a neurotic, antisocial misfit, all of which he struggles with.
The independent artist has a sound that’s difficult to pin down, and he doesn’t like the label “rapper” or even hip-hop artist as he feels that it’s limiting. DED STARK’s library of original music is like a grab bag of different vibes that consist of elements from classic rock, blues, grunge, alternative, pop, reggae, and even hints of international music, but it’s all mixed with the new 808 style, which is what makes it tricky to categorize.
DED has built a presence in the music, meme, and aesthetic culture communities that can be found in the depths of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Using mainly sad or melancholy “mood clips” or “aesthetic edits” to tease his music online and posting satirical, sarcastic and sometimes sophisticated sad memes or vague posts, STARK has managed to amass almost 60k likes on his Facebook fanpage which is growing fast. His other socials seem to do well with what seems to be a growing cult following as well.
Since launching his brand in the early stages of 2018, DED STARK has released a catalog of over fifty original songs that includes a series of EP’s and an album. He has also released over twenty music videos, many of which he made all by himself, that have been released on various underground YouTube channels over the past 3 years. With a couple big hits like DED (1.7 million streams + and counting on spotify) or DED END (almost 1.4 million streams and counting on spotify), STARK is due for another, bigger hit, any day now.
DED STARK has most recently released a single titled “JADED,” which will be featured on his final album this year. Titled “STARK STASH,” the album is set to be released on December 8th, with another single titled “BACKWARDS” on November 24th. DED also has a few unreleased music videos ready and more in the works to release alongside the album. After that he is planning to release another EP to kick off 2021, which will be followed by another album, both of which are already finished. He just launched his website dedstark.com, where you can find updates,news, social media info and now new brand merchandise. Be sure to tune in, so you can find out what the enigma known as DED STARK is up to next.