The musical debut of Iraq war veteran Damian Deluxe (aka DMAC) has arrived in the West Coast. Damian served four years in the United States Army, including 16 months in Iraq. He received an honorable discharge in 2005 and began working on his debut album Fallin’ Soldier, which was released in August of 2006.
Born and raised in southern California, Damian Bujanda Jr. has adapted the stage name Damian Deluxe after his ordeal in the US Army and his deployments to Germany and Iraq. Performing free style both in his home base in Germany and his war base in Balad, Iraq he provided hours of entertainment for those all around him. In his own style listeners often say he reminds them of Tupac Shakur with his vocal style and the meaningful messages in his songs. Hip-hop and rap music is a constant evolution of style and Damian’s new approach draws comparisons to the most successful rap artists on the charts today. The experience in Iraq inspired him to come home and write some of the most powerful wartime music ever written. It is rare that an artist who’s seen the harsh reality of war will put that experience to music. In the genre of rap music, it is a first.
The Damian Deluxe debut CD Fallin’ Soldier features at least three songs that should be remembered for a long time. The title song “Fallin Soldier” sounds like something you’d expect to hear in a movie about the brave men and women fighting in this war. While people all over the world remain bitterly divided on the war, Damian’s honest and unique perspective allows him to rap about it without alienating or offending people on either side of the debate. He starts by quickly listing all branches of the military and thanking all of those who serve in times of war then descends into a haunting whisper “can I kill, can I kill, can I kill”. That serves as an introduction to this powerful musical story of how he was trained to do just that. The song’s chorus dares to ask even more poignant questions like “Why do our soldiers die? Why must our families cry? Why can’t we just go home?” “Why are the letters sent saying that our lives are spent fighting a war that no one condones?” All of those in the Armed Service both now and in past wars can identify instantly with the words of this riveting and haunting song.
The first track on Fallin Soldier, titled “Peace of Mind” is about the challenges veterans face in readjusting they come home from war. Damian draws upon more of his own reflections and experiences in bringing this to music. For him, it included turning on the television and seeing the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. He incorporates that into the song in the same hard-hitting way that makes the entire album something special that people will want to listen to over and over. After listening to the lyrics several times the astute listener can quickly identify with the thunderous powerful feeling behind Peace of Mind.
The song My Baby tells of Damian’s love for his daughter born while he was away at war. Another haunting introduction features a young girl saying “My dady’s a soldier. What is war? Where is Iraq? How long will he be gone?” The lyric tell the story of heartache and love while the hook performed by Walker tugs at the heart strings. This moving song has been known to bring the listener to tears when hearing it for the first time.
DMAC is also interested in writing for movie scores and all media sources. He has approached Universal music library to have his unique music available for movie producers from MGM studios, Paramount studios, Universal studios, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony records and more. Songs like the title track, Piece of Mind and My Baby seem like a perfect fit for the big screen.
Under his own independent label Breaking Point Productions DMAC is performing and promoting himself primarily in the Pacific Northwest. He’s earned a local following with several concerts in Port Angeles, WA and the next show is scheduled in his current hometown of Sequim on November 24th. Performing in local clubs his following is impressive. With the demographics ranging from young teens to World War II veterans, he is truly reaching a uniquely diverse audience. Women listen and feel his music while men grab hold of the words with their unbridled poignancy. Damian is six-foot-two and of Hispanic-Caucasian ethnic heritage. While striking in appearance he portrays a charisma that quickly draws people to him. When people first meet him, they’re often surprised to learn how friendly anhd approachable he is. When performing on stage he fills the club with an overall persona that keeps the listener riveted to the stage.
DJs spinning his music are getting requests for all of his cuts. One such DJ, Dan Erwin of Port Angeles wrote this one day after getting the CD and seeing Damian perform for the first time:
“From the opening track it feels like Pac is resurrected. Damian transforms hip-hop out of the ghettos and onto the battlefields of Iraq. His words are deep and his flows are infectious. The songs that relate to the war are truly great, but it's not all about the war. Ass Clocks is already one of my favorite dance tracks ever. I've listened to this CD 15 times in the past 30 hours. All 11 tracks are great. It's all-original with no sampling or covers. Tracks that are guaranteed to get asses shaking on the dance floor and meaningful music that the world needs to hear. Walker delivers sweet vocals on Piece of Mind, Fallin Soldier, My Baby and Nightlife. Every song on this CD is worth talking about.