Born in the Mountains of North Carolina in the quaint, tourism driven artistic community of Asheville, SquarerootZ (nee') Dewan Aiken has always had music play in a large part of my life. My singing background comes from the same place as a lot of other musicians does, church he says. My Great-Grandmother made sure I was in church every Sunday. There was no I'm sick or I don't feel like going. She made sure that I used my voice to the glory of GOD. I cannot thank her enough for that. There was always music in my house, from Gospel to my uncle's Funk record collection to running home from school to watch Yo! MTV Raps". His fascination with the arts became more evident while performing in several High School plays. Being cast as the Scarecrow in the Broadway hit The Wiz and as Jim in the Mark Twain written Big River helped to give RootZ his vocal and stage performance chops.
After High School, SquarerootZ moved to South Carolina were he linked with like-minded, talented individuals. Until I met those guys I hadn't really attempted to write or recite Rhymes. I mean in school I would write poetry all the time, plus I have always been a Hip-Hop head. I grew up in the Grand Master Flash, Melle Mel days / Kangol, New Edition / Fresh was the phrase / Plus the thing to be, to everything it applied / From ya gear to ya kicks, ya fade and ya ride ... (Copy written lyric, so sucka don't bite it). I was no stranger to Hip Hop, but being with those guys and going to my first real concert (Wu-Tang) took me there", he adds. Square eventually helped to form Full Circle an offshoot branch of the larger Hood Threat clique. Speaking further about his first rap crew Square says, After that, all I wanted to do was rhyme. Remember now, this was '95, before everybody and they mama was trying to get a record deal. I would sit for hours with the fellas and we would write and recite and write some more. My boy Lok (What up Lok?!) had an ASR Pad that he would sample and loop with. Our crew was real deep and we would all pile in his apartment, listen to the track, write the rhyme on the spot and take our turn on the mic. I know we had to have recorded at least 40 actual songs that way. We had it all from Verses to Hooks, Bridges to Breakdowns."
When asked what happened to his Full Circle crew all he states, "Long story short things didn't work out. If you take a bunch of hungry emcees with little financial resources and give them an opportunity to record for free they will put up with a lot of unprofessional things just to get an album done and be heard. From lackluster beats, bad recording and mix downs to the group being pressured into signing a contract that hadn't been looked at by an entertainment lawyer or witnessed by a notary and gave away all artistic control and a good portion of any money generated to the group's production manager and booking agent." SquarerootZ says it took a year and a half to record the Full Circle album, but even with it being finished there was no established plan to market it nationally or even in Carolina at the very least. To make matters worse Square's refusal to sign the unprofessional contract strained his relationship with the production manager. Everyone else in the group wasn't feeling how things were going but I was the Unofficial spokesman. At the time, I was reading everything I could get my hands on concerning the Music Industry. I took one look at the contract and knew I was not signing it. Every question I asked about the contracts terms, point breakdown, where the funds for shows came from and went to were: either A. never answered, B. glossed over or C. met with hostility. Therefore, I refused and all production on my solo effort halted in retaliation." Shortly after parting ways with Full Circle, frustration with his first bad taste of the Industry, left him at a crossroads.
Square took stock of his life and joined the Military going on a six-month deployment to the Middle East with the USS George Washington. To escape the monotony of ship life RootZ spent his spare time writing; only this time instead of Hip-Hop he focused more on R&B ballads. I started thinking about where I was in my life and wanted to express it a different way. Though I am a Hip-Hop head, my background musical influences have always been varied and eclectic. Right now R&B and Gospel are calling me now that I'm saying Hi to 30. While on his deployment the GW sponsored a talent show for the crew. Square immediately entered and asked his Shipmate Dubbs Lane (nee' Christopher Laneheart) to collaborate on a song for the event. On a large ship like an Aircraft Carrier you have a group of people from all walks of life that come from any and every part of the US and other countries. So it's only natural that you will find other talented people there. Square was impressed with Dubbs' rhyme delivery; Baton Rouge bred accent and his Louisiana swagger. After writing an original R&B song with Laneheart supplying an incredible eight bar rhyme to sum up Square's verses, they now needed a track and somewhere to record it. Enter another crewmember simply going by the name of Ghost. He too was involved in music and had even brought his microphone and PC with music recording software on board the ship. By now, the word had spread that RootZ wanted a track and was looking for a producer. Two weeks before the talent show Square became acquainted with Kenny Pratt of Prattman Productions on the ship's mess decks. The two started discussing music and Pratt agreed to use his Motif 7 keyboard and his talent to bring the song to life. Three days later the song was completed and entitled Rock It, Shake It, Bounce It. "The night we recorded, it was like magic. The planes had stopped launching off the catapult so we didn't need to worry about that noise ending up in the background and I was in the zone. It only took me two takes to get the vocals laid and the ad libs in place. Lane really came through for me on it too. With his touch on it the song stands out way more than it would have with just my lyrics."
In the future SquarerootZ plans to finish his solo effort tentatively titled Strictly for the Masses and says it will display his love of Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz and Funk as well as his songwriting skills. He will also continue his Web-based marketing using various sites that cater to Indie artists in search for a production deal and management.
For Booking or more info contact:
Dawn Mitchell-Aiken for TwoAries Creationz at
email@example.com or www.myspace.com/twoariescreationz
Make sure to also check out:
Ok, I do music...R&B to be exact. So why wouldn't I do it live? Maybe I'm not understanding the question right. As far as where..anywhere...I sing from the stretch up morning yawning to the butt crack of dawn.
Musiq Soulchile, Donnie, Vikter Duplaix, Charlie Wilson, Governor, Rashaan Patterson, Raheem DeVaughn, Cee-Lo Green, Al Green, Donnie Hathaway, D'Angelo, The Roots, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, M.F. DOOM, Little Brother...the list goes on
The greatest equipment of all....the Human Mind.
Give my partner Dubbs Lane a listen @ http://www.myspace.com/dubbslanehoodflame