Get to Know Early Adopted

12 Dec

mikeWhen Mike Dunphy (aka “Early Adopted”) walked into Marc Anthony’s of Wareham for an interview with us, he didn’t look any different from any other regular at the well-known pizza joint. “What’s up, how are you?” he asked, shaking my hand with a confident and bright smile. Down to earth, outgoing and friendly, the rap artist was far from the norm: he wasn’t self-obsessed, wasn’t flashy, but definitely wasn’t camera shy. The minute that record light came on and he started talking about his passion, it was easy to see there was more to Mike than just being another Wareham kid in Marc Anthony’s.

I sat down with Mike for a good forty-five minutes, picking his brain. Take a look at what’s inside..


Emmalyn: So Mike, tell me where your stage name, Early Adopted, came from.

Mike: Early Adopted is actually just a spinoff of the term early adopter, which is a trendsetter. It’s pertaining to being ahead of the curve in terms of music.

You grew up in Wareham. What was it like for you having such a big dream in such a small town?

I don’t know if I ever really thought about it. I think just my drive I had..a lot of kids stopped doing it and I just really kinda fell in love with it. And I don’t know if that matters where you’re from, I’d probably be doing it wherever I was at. It started as a fun thing, and people started to catch on and actually enjoy what I was making so I kept doing it. There’s nothing too exciting going on around here.

Have you received a lot of criticism for choosing to take this on as a career?

Yeah, more from my mom (laughs). Criticism, yeah, I think when anyone tries to do something out of the ordinary it’s inevitable that people are going to talk about that. I don’t know if it’s a sense of jealousy that those people didn’t pursue something that they really loved or wanted to do and were nervous to do it. A lot of it is indirect I’d say, I feel like I have a good intuition of what people are saying behind my back, and it’s okay; I’ve accepted that. I’m really happy where I’m at now in my life and especially with the music, it’s really progressing. I was told that if you’re doing the right thing as an artist and being creative, people are going to talk about you. It’s a good sign of progression.

Your latest album, No Thank You Myla, is coming out on December 14th. What was your inspiration behind the name of that album?

Part of it is because the name Myla to me is a nice name. The album is loosely based on a relationship that I’ve had with a woman, and Myla is not that girl. Myla is a 2 year old that the woman that I’m speaking of was a nanny for. She was a really sweet little girl, and I used to go visit them in the city when she was working nannying. My friend, the woman I’m talking about was very nice and soft spoken and she used to always say to Myla if she was misbehaving, “No thank you, Myla”. As in, “Don’t do that.” I guess in short the album title at least is a tribute to that way of thinking and positivity rather than when people yell at kids. It became something that we would say, and I thought it was catchy.

So how do you think that this album is different than Let’s Be Honest or Chilling Will Kill You?

I tried to make this album like my first one, Let’s Be Honest in terms of production. It’s got a real 90’s, east coast basement type feel with the production and beats. I feel like people for whatever reason responded better to that album, so I tried to take it back to that. When that first album came out, I feel like maybe I couldn’t even rap or wasn’t anywhere near where I’m at now.  As far as subject matter goes, some of the songs I wrote for Chilling Will Kill You but I wanted to wait on it. There’s a lot of stuff that’s on the new ablum that was during a very hard time in my life, so there’s a lot of real, maybe darker songs. The album is actually pretty dark overall. The difference there too is that I recorded this all in my house- Let’s Be Honest I went to the studio, and since then I’ve learned that you don’t have to do that if you know what you’re doing. I do it all in my house now, and it’s the same quality. I have an engineer that mixes everything. It’s more organic, you’re not rushed-I’m in my bedroom in basketball shorts and I can drink a coffee with my shoes off and take my time to do it, rather than when I’m in a studio, I’m like, I paid $60 bucks for this and I’m rushing, I’ve gotta get out of there. So it’s definitely more of an organic feel.

You said some of the songs on this album are a little bit darker. Is there any specific song on this album that means the most to you?

They all mean a great deal to me. I tried to explain to someone the other day there’s no real concept to the album, other than the realationship loosely tied in.  It took over two years to make this album, and had a surplus of songs that I cut out. That was the first time that’s ever happened, and I really hand chose everything to make sure that it’s appropriate for this. Whatever has happened in the past two years of my life, I’d like to think that it’s all encompassed in this project. There is one song that stands out in my mind, it was probably the hardest song for me to make because it just became okay for me to talk about. And it’s not going to sound as serious to anyone as what it was to me, but there’s a song on there called “The Lottery” where I thought that I won the lottery off of scratch tickets, and I didn’t. That was the last song I wrote because it was so hard to do because of the range of emotions. You think you’re at the top of the world, then it’s just gone not to mention the embarrassment you feel.

What kind of major struggles have you run into in the production of this album?

Just recording an album alone is tedious. But I think I tried this time around to really not rush it. I’ve made mistakes in the past where I rushed the project and set a release date where it’s not even ready yet. It’s funny, I think I’ll always run into problems. I tried to set it five months in advance where I thought it was ready. Two days ago, it still wasn’t ready. I think a part of that has to do with just me being an artist. Anyone that makes art knows that whether it’s subconscious or not, letting it go and putting it out in the universe, finding that balance of is it really ready, is it time to let it go is a constant struggle. You always run into snags when you’re working with other people and engineers, you’re working on other poeples’ schedules sometimes but you know I’d like to think that I learned from my mistakes in the past. This one went relatively smoothly.

For example, you had some of your fan merchandise stolen.

Yeah, I just did a show. That was tough because I didn’t get paid for the show-which is fine, they were friends of mine and I was thankful enough to even be there. But I just got my T-shirts, I’d never even had T-shirts before and I had two designs and I was pumped and I put them out. It’s my fault, I should have been sitting there or had somebody sit there, but yeah I came back after my set and no one was at the merch table and someone just took a cd and the two t-shirts.

Were you flattered by it, or more disappointed?

I wasn’t furious but I was a little mad at first. Then I thought about it and I was like well if they wear it, that’s cool. It’s just no one has those t-shirts yet, so I wonder if I see him should I approach him? Just be like, “Hey man, you owe me 10 bucks”..or just shake their hand, I don’t know which one I would do. I guess it is flattering a little bit.

Switching gears here, I want to talk a little more about your first tour coming up in January. You funded the whole thing through Kickstarter. How did you come up with the idea to use that?

Well, I’ve seen a lot of my friends that are musicians have done it and they’ve been successful, but it was kind of out of desperation in a way. There’s no way I could tour without these peoples’ help, there’s no way I could have pressed a thousand copies of this album by myself and now all those things have happened. The first album I had to work at a grocery store for six months to come up with it at $8 an hour, paying rent, you know everyone’s got bills and we try to do this and it’s all out of pocket. Sometimes people need help, and I definitely needed help. The hardest part was getting over the fact that you are essentially begging people for money. You talk about criticism, there’s criticism there, people were saying, “Mike’s asking for money, what?” Some people don’t like that, but I had to get over that obstacle of just overcoming that thought process and then the fact of maybe failing. I didn’t really even think or know that it was going to get funded. Luckily it did, and I’m super thankful and can’t help but be inspired by how many kids that I don’t know wanted this to happen across the country.

To me, having done this on my own from day one, it’s crazy. I have the internet to thank for that to an extent. It’s really just a matter of people hearing the music, which is one of the hardest things to do. It got to a point that enough kids heard it and wanted to make the tour happen. I’m 100% grateful and I can’t thank people enough that put their money, the money that they go to work for, for me to go see them. It’s happening, and I can’t wait. I’ve never been anywhere, so if anything it’s a cool road trip for me and my friends.

Is there any one place you’re particularly excited to go?

Austin, TX. From what I’ve heard, it’s supposed to be the coolest city ever and there’s a lot going on there. They have South By Southwest there, and there’s just a lot of culture there. I was told it’s really not like (the rest of) Texas, it’s this secluded hub of culture and art. We routed it weird too so we could go down there, it’s me being maybe selfish, but Austin is somewhere I’m really looking forward to seeing.

What is your means for transportation on this tour?

We’re taking a 1983 Chevy Shasta, which is like a big-a** Winnebego. That’s the plan, my friend Mike Balzarini (he goes by Defiance) -he’s in my group Loud Neighbors- he acquired this beautiful vehicle from a family member. He gave it to me for super cheap, because he’s involved in music to such a high degree that he just wanted to help in any way he could so without him doing that I don’t know what we would have done. To rent a van for a month is three grand at it’s cheapest, and not to say that I haven’t put some money into this Winnebego. I think it will make it, I drove it the other day and it’s old, but it’s good too because we’ll save money in hotels and sleep in that thing. As far as I know the shower works..I mean it’s old but it’s crazy, really big it’s like a straight up Mack truck.

So “Loud Neighbors” is very supportive of this tour.

Yeah, absolutely. If they could, those guys would come with me but you know it’s not easy to walk away from-everyone has jobs and obligations. I’m lucky enough at my life in this time that I don’t have obligations to that degree, I can go. Will I be able to go do that, I don’t know, in a couple years? Maybe not. So, yeah they’re 100% supportive and if they could, they would come.  Anything that I do, reflects them and comes back to them to a degree because we’re always going to make music together. Wether or not it’s every day, they’re my best friends, I grew up with those guys. If I do good, then everybody does good, the team does good. I’m just the one going out there representing for everybody.

 Now there was one person who wasn’t very supportive. What happened with Trevwar?

Well, I’m booking this tour all on my own and I don’t really know what I’m doing, I’m just kind of emailing. I’ve got a few leads and friends that are helping me, but there was this kid named Trevwar in particular, and he just wasn’t too big into helping me. Apparently he only helps people that are in punk rock bands. Which is fine, if he doesn’t want to help that’s okay..a lot of people aren’t gonna wanna help me, but I think it was funny that he said punk rock bands because in my eyes, music is supposed to be a community, encompassed. It was just funny because a lot of punk rock kids maybe even like my stuff more than the hip hop kids do. He just doesn’t like rap music, which is fine, a lot of people don’t. But yeah, shout out to Trevwar, whatever. I wish him the best of luck, hopefully he ends up happier later on but he’s not happy right now. I don’t know why.

You had mentioned online that you couldn’t imagine what it would be like planning a tour without the internet, without Soundcloud or any of the sites that had helped you thus far. Do you think that you would be where you are right now without those things?

The internet is something that really is still so new, I haven’t figured out the maximum capabilities of the internet because it’s that powerful. I’d like to think that talent wise, I’d stand alone or with those that deserve that recognition. But, the internet is just something that if you’re not on it, you’re gonna have a really hard time I think. I’m the type of dude where I used to get mad at stuff like that. ‘Nah, this shouldn’t matter. YouTube views shouldn’t matter.’ But do they? I mean, they look at YouTube views now that if you’ve got a million then you’ve pretty much won a Grammy or something. A part of it is just kinda changing with the times and playing ball. The internet is really important in music these days, and I’m not ignorant to the fact that you have to have a presence there to maybe be seen at all.

You do have quite a presence, as you have quite a few music videos out there. Is there any one in particular that was the most fun for you to shoot?

Probably the Ralphy Mae video, because that was me and my friends kinda wiling out and there happened to be a camera there. That was the most stress free one because we were literally just partying, if you will. Usually now when I do a video it’s more structured, it’s kind of tedious and that one was just “Oh, we have all this footage, let’s just put it together”. That was the most fun.

 One last question before we go, what song on this album do you plan to do the next music video for?

We’re actually filming a couple right now. I’m going to try to get a couple out before the tour. There’s a song I did with Chris Campbell, who is in a band called Vanna, he’s an amazing drummer and he did live drums on a song. We’re definitely going to do a video for that one, there’s a few others that I really think should be made into videos and I’m going to try to do that. I also have the Florence video coming out from the Let’s Be Honest record, and it’s cool that people want that to come out but it’s taking longer than expected just because that one’s really important to me. So I’m really making sure that one’s right, but definitely expect a few new videos off the new album hopefully before I leave for the tour.


Early Adopted’s album, “No Thank You, Myla” drops just in time for Christmas on December 14th, and he will be hosting a release party at Michael’s in Plymouth this Saturday to celebrate. Get all the details here:



%d bloggers like this: