Though he is relatively new to the local music scene, singer/songwriter RAYTHEON DUNN of the indie rock band DEAR ADAMUS has a beautiful voice that needs to be heard. His simple and sweet acoustic songs are complimented by his soft, mellifluous tone, which echoes tranquility on each track. With one EP completed last year and another in the works, Dunn is definitely a need to know artist from the Virginia Beach local music scene. We spoke with Dunn regarding how he balances his musical priorities between DEAR ADAMUS and his personal art and music, his influences and how they are inspiring his new music, as well as his hopes to collaborate with other local artists in the near future.

When did you start writing your own music?

Around January of last year. The band was going through some changes, and I had some songs that I really needed to get out of my system. It was a very therapeutic process for me, and I recorded them all on my own. I recorded it through garage band and spent several months tweaking it, going over it on my own and sharing it with friends until I got it exactly how I wanted it.

Who are some of your primary influences?

That’s a beautiful question! First and foremost is Anthony Green. He is why I got into music in the first place, and he has inspired me to think out of the box in terms of my songwriting. Claudio Sanchez for his lyrical content. I really love the concept of his band, and how he has been able to write a comic book based on it. That’s something that I might want to do in the future as a musician and an artist. Jesse Clasen, because of his lyrical content, whether it’s through HRVRD or THE BEAR ROMANTIC, his music just makes me wonder goes on his head to create such a beautiful story that I want to keep listening to. I love his melodies. John Legend because growing up I listening to a lot of R&B artists, and when I was about 14, I listen to his album Once Again sort of by accident, and that album became one of my most played albums of my life next to CIRCA SURVIVE’s On Letting Go. I just loved his voice and how beautiful the record sounded. I felt something when I listen to that album, and I remember singing his music and dancing as if I was him.

On your Bandcamp page, the most recent song you posted was “Wait & See”. What is that song about?

When DEAR ADAMUS played at The NorVa, I met a girl named Morgan, and I had never met anyone before who was into our music and had felt such a positive response from it. I got to know her really well, and she told me that she had Asperger’s and Autism and that she was bullied in high school because of it. I was so compelled by her story that I wanted to surprise her with a song for her. It took me a month and a half to write it, and when she listened to it she told me it made her cry. Her parents wrote me a letter telling me how thankful they were for taking the time to write it. That’s why I do this. I feel like it’s my job to put healing music out there to help other people through what they are going through.


Do you have an EP or full-length album in the works?

I definitely have something in the works, but I’m not sure when I will release it yet. I’ve been working on some music similar to the artists DAUGHTER and CLAMS CASINO. It’s gonna be a mix of indie and dark electronic. I am also working with the drummer/guitarist of LINA to get it out possibly this winter or in January. Right now DEAR ADAMUS is the priority, but the ideas I have for this next record are so amazing. It’s going to be very eerie, and I think people will like it a lot.

How do you balance your time between DEAR ADAMUS and your solo project, and how do you determine which songs you write to use for each?

I never really sit down and say that I’m gonna just write a DEAR ADAMUS song or just a RAYTHEON DUNN song. I just write songs, and I bring them to the guys. If they like it, maybe we will use it for the band, and if not, then it can be a RAYTHEON DUNN song. There is really no median between the two. The band is of high importance to me with our new record coming out this summer, and my songs are more therapeutic. I think of it like writing a journal or diary per say. My songs allow me to choose to expose myself to let other people know where I am coming from, or to keep them to myself.

Other than the drummer of LINA, is there anyone else in the local music scene that you would possibly like to collaborate with?

There is a long list of people. I would like to work with as many people as possible in the local scene and beyond to expose myself to other artists and bands. I would also really like to do a band’s album art. That stuff really matters to me. In my opinion, all creativity is good creativity, and I want to do whatever I can for the local scene.

Not only are you talented at music, but you are also talented at drawing and illustrations. Do you design and create your own album art?

Yeah, I think that DIY is really beautiful, and I love the rawness of going about it by yourself. I did the photography for the album art for “Wait & See” and A Place To Stay on my iPhone. It’s a fun way to get out there and express myself as an artist and musician.

Do you have any plans to perform your solo music in the near future?

Hopefully in the winter I will be playing some shows in Norfolk, and I might try to get onto Your Music Show, which helps out a lot of local bands, and even helped out DEAR ADAMUS when we were just starting. I love being on stage with just an acoustic guitar, singing my heart out, but until winter, it’s DEAR ADAMUS everything.

For more updates on RAYTHEON DUNN, send him a friend request on Facebook and check out his music on Bandcamp.

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