Get to know Don Elway

Posted on May 14th, 2018

Some choose this life. Some are chosen. Don Elway falls into the latter camp. At just 9 years old he penned his first rap before meeting now best friend and fellow San Diego hip hop artist, Adonis Da Hottest. That friendship became the catalyst that took “Way Way” from a 9 year old dabbling with a pen, to the recording artist he is today. Don Elway approaches the music game like a quarterback, hence the moniker, as well as the title of his recently released album, Audible. Don shows his versatility here and passes the mic to highlight those he respects as well, featuring Mitchy Slick, Adonis Da Hottest, Oso Ocean, Shawn Rude, and more. Don Elway took a moment to give the play by play of where he’s from, where he’s at, and where he’s going in 2017 and beyond. Enjoy.

GVSD: Who is Don Elway?

Don Elway: Don Elway is a still a work in process, always evolving as I gain more understanding – whether it’s music or life in general. At the core, with my music I hope to teach, motivate and learn as I take listeners into my thoughts and experiences, and see how they react and share feedback to it. As I said, I plan evolve, so it may be a totally different answer if you were to ask me that a year from now.

GVSD: Well, I hope to touch back in with you in a year then! Okay, so, “I just know she see this vision…“ are are some of the lyrics to the chorus of your recently released track, “See The Vision” featuring Lil Knoc. What is the vision for Don Elway in 2017 and beyond?

Don Elway: Learn from mistakes. You know, just trial and error. Work smarter and harder. Gaining and keeping momentum is key, so I’ll be working and looking for new ways to get this snowball rolling.

GVSD: Dope. Okay, let’s back up a little, just to give readers a little insight into how Don Elway came to be who he is today. How did you get into making music?

Don Elway: My Closest friend, Adonis Da Hottest, is who motivated me to engage in music seriously. I was 9 and he was 8 yrs old, and he was already doing shows, recording on protools and all. Seeing him at that age with so much passion really inspired me in ways I can’t explain. I randomly wrote my first rap a few weeks prior to meeting him…lol, maybe it was meant to be.

GVSD: Okay, so that’s the “who”. Let’s talk a bit about the “where”. In “That’s Out,” you highlight the Normal Heights area visually; how has coming up in the hip hop scene in San Diego shaped your music?

Don Elway: Normal Heights/City Heights is the part of San Diego I grew up in. Coming up in San Diego shaped me to a point where I can use experiences and paint those pictures in my music. It has also made me more resilient, being that there are barriers that are yet to be broken for my city. Breaking, or helping to break them, motivates me also.

GVSD: Let’s get into the music now. How does it feel to have recently released, Audible, your strongest body of work so far? How has the response to the album been?

Don Elway: It always feels good to release a, album, song, or video. Or to jump on stage for the people. I think I get a similar rush from all the above. It’s like getting in the kitchen, whipping up your specialty, and then watching the eaters enjoy it when you serve it to them. I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback and support with the “Audible” album. We got more on the way soon tho!

GVSD: Earlier, I mentioned that “See the Vision” features Lil Knoc. You have quite a list of features on Audible, as well as on past projects – both having others on your tracks and others having you spit a verse on their songs. What has been the most exciting, or fulfilling, or check off of the bucket list-type, feature so far? Why?

Don Elway: I couldn’t just pick one. But as a kid, names like Mitchy Slick, Black Mikey, Big June, Ecay Uno were all to be reckoned with in my city. To get older and have the chance to create with them was a real pleasure, and somewhat of a milestone for me. I did a song wit Big Wy from Inglewood also, another artist I grew up listening to.

GVSD: There are obviously high highs, like releasing an album, or collaborating with someone you respect, but there are definitely low lows as well as you move toward your goals in hip hop. What keeps you believing in your vision when you find yourself faced with adversity?

Don Elway: Faith mostly, and knowing what I want and not stopping ‘til im satisfied. In reality, I may never be satisfied, that’s what keeps me going. It’s a feeling, and I think all the greats of this world had this feeling. Adversity is just an opponent. If you can’t face and beat your opponent then you won’t win.

GVSD: With the perseverance inherent in your last answer, opportunities are sure to come up. What are some of the recent opportunities that have presented themselves, both in response to your recent videos and album dropping, as well opportunities where you’ve been able to share your music from on stage?

Don Elway: It depends on what you look at as an opportunity. It’s not like my phone ringing off the hook for bookings. I look at everyday as a big opportunity. But doors are opening for the kind of opportunities I think you’re asking about.

I imagine venue doors are opening up as well; what are some of the venues/events in San Diego that you’d like to play/be a part of in 2017? Why should readers come out and support Don Elway when he hits the stage this year?

Don Elway: Honestly, a lot of the events I will and intend to play will be out of town. I have shows lined up in Arizona, Texas and Atlanta in the next few months. SXSW should be fun this year too. If you like to see a good stage presence and be moved, come see Don Elway perform. It’s one thing to get on the mic and rap, it’s another thing to actually perform.

As we wrap up your interview with today, I’d like to give you some space to shout out those who are on Don Elway’s team as he marches down the field, callin’ Audibles on his path to success.

Don Elway: Yea, S/O my camp Uncontrollable Entertainment, the whole Dangerous Gang and FREE ADONIS DA HOTTEST!

Finally, where can readers go to support Don Elway, to stay in tune with you, your music and your movement?

Don Elway: and you can pretty much search my name in almost any music outlet. Stay Tuned for Don Elway in 2017! “Audible” The Album in stores Now!!!!