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The Daily Wildcat

 

    Student label signs locals

    Jake Lacey / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sociology sophomore and Chief Executive Officer Jason Wadsworth of Chase Recording Group signed his first artist, local rapper Leonardo Leon.
    Jake Lacey
    Jake Lacey / Arizona Daily Wildcat Sociology sophomore and Chief Executive Officer Jason Wadsworth of Chase Recording Group signed his first artist, local rapper Leonardo Leon.

    Two UA students who established an independent record label in February have signed their first musician: local hip-hop artist DaVinci.

    Sociology sophomore Jason Wadsworth and music business sophomore Chris Hudson started Chase Recording Group in hopes of helping local artists break into the music scene, and so far that is exactly what they have been doing.

    DaVinci, whose real name is Leonardo Leon, has lived in Tucson practically his whole life and feels like he can help Chase bring national respect to Arizona musicians.

    “”My music represents Tucson and what we do here,”” DaVinci said. “”It’s definitely Southwest.””

    His “”Southwest”” sound is something Wadsworth says makes DaVinci special.

    “”The dude has style,”” Wadsworth said. “”He has a style that reflects where he is from. If you’re from Arizona, you can dig what he is talking about.””

    Although he admits that coming from a city like Tucson makes it harder to break into the music scene, DaVinci said it only makes him work harder to put Tucson on the map.

    “”It’s kind of untouched, you know what I’m saying?”” DaVinci said. “”No one has put a stamp on it yet.””

    DaVinci said signing to Chase was exactly what he needed to break into the music scene, and he’ll make his college radio debut on KAMP Student Radio on Friday at 2 p.m.

    DaVinci has been into music his whole life, but he began rapping 10 years ago after seeing a close friend get shot. He wrote his first rap about the incident.

    “”I felt like I needed to express it in that way,”” DaVinci said.

    He enhanced his skills by imitating artists such as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Nas before finding a sound that was uniquely his own.

    The distinctive sound comes from DaVinci’s ability to sing his own hooks.

    “”You don’t find a lot of rappers who can do that,”” DaVinci said. “”(Singing) is an advantage.””

    Adding to his credentials as a rapper, DaVinci has opened for hip-hop artists including Devin the Dude, Baby Bash and Too Short.

    After DaVinci’s sister saw a Feb. 6 Arizona Daily Wildcat article about Chase Recording Group, she e-mailed Wadsworth, president of Chase, and told him about her brother.

    “”I met with him and liked the music right off the bat,”” Wadsworth said. “”I liked his flow.””

    Something else Wadsworth liked about DaVinci was the fact that his album was already complete.

    “”He has club bangers, something for the ladies and political stuff,”” Wadsworth said about DaVinci’s different styles of music. “”He hits you from all those fronts.””

    The album, Leonardo: the Artist and Grand Famous, is set to drop May 19, which not-so-coincidently is the day “”The Da Vinci Code”” arrives in theaters.

    “”I though it might give it an extra boost,”” DaVinci said.

    The first single off the album will be “”Hydros”” followed by Wadsworth’s personal favorite, “”Arizona Ways.””

    An album release party is scheduled for sometime before the end of the semester, Wadsworth said.

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