We talk videogames, music and South African media with Dan Bull
Our feature here is going to be a bit different from the norm as we’ll be focusing a little less on asking Bull how he got to where he is and how exactly he wound up on YouTube creating game-themed rap.
If that’s what you’re looking for, we suggest you check out these two interviews in audio form on Bull’s channel.
Once you’ve listened to those, scroll down for out questions about the current the state of YouTube as well South African music and games.
htxt.africa What’s been the biggest highlight in your career as a content creator?
Dan Bull Rather than a specific moment I think it’s just the amount of new and interesting people I’ve been able to speak to, from different backgrounds all around the world. I grew up in a small town where everyone was fairly similar so it’s cool to experience all this new stuff.
htxt.africa Which game has the single best soundtrack?
Dan Bull I still love the soundtrack to the original Grand Theft Auto game from 1997. It was mostly made by one guy, Craig Conner, who created the radio stations in the game and the brilliant theme tune. It’s partly what got me into rap.
htxt.africa You’ve stated before that publishers and developers reach out to you to make a song about their game, but have any of them asked you to make music to be featured inside of the game? Could we expect a game OST from Dan Bull in the future?
Dan Bull It has already happened – I made a song that appeared in the 2015 game Volume, by Mike Bithell Games. It was a cool opportunity for me and I would love to do something like it again.
htxt.africa Many of the content creators we’ve interviewed have found a following on Reddit. What’s your relationship with the site like?
Dan Bull It’s a good site for easily finding content about whatever your specific interest is, and seeing different viewpoints on the same topic. The Reddit experience seems to have gotten worse in the past couple of years though.
htxt.africa Have you at all suffered from the recent wave of advertisers leaving YouTube and the demonetisation that many content creators are begin hit with?
Dan Bull I haven’t suffered as much as some YouTubers as I’ve been trying to earn my revenue through MP3s and streaming services such as Spotify too. YouTube has never been a reliable source of income!
htxt.africa Have you listened to any South African music before? Some of our exports you may know include Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and, for better or worse, Die Antwoord.
Dan Bull Well, it’s hard not to know about Die Antwoord. I do like them, and many years ago I used to listen to a female rap group called Godessa. Er, as you can see I don’t know much South African music at all, I better get exploring. If anybody wants to send me recommendations feel free.
htxt.africa On a similar note, how often do you listen to music in other languages? We’d love to introduce you to Kwaito.
Dan Bull I love language, words, accents, dialects, slang, and anything to do with the way we communicate really. South Africa is brilliant for that because of the amount of cultures that have combined in one country. I like listening to rap from any country really, in fact without being able to understand it, it’s easier to concentrate on the flow and the way the rhymes sound. I don’t know what Kwaito is, where shall I start?
htxt.africa Staying with South African content for one more question, could we ever expect a rap based on a game from our shores? The most famous is probably Broforce, but there are others such as Stasis, Viscera Cleanup Detail and Desktop Dungeons.
Dan Bull I’ve played Viscera Cleanup Detail, I thought it was a great concept to set a game in the aftermath of what you’d normally be doing. If I enjoy a game, it doesn’t matter to me what country it’s from. If I want to make a song about a game I will just make it!
htxt.africa What games and music should we be paying attention to right now?
Dan Bull I’m quite behind on current trends as my first son was just born last year. I’ve spent a lot more time with him and less time gaming. I did recently do a marathon of the Assassin’s Creed series which is really fun if you’re interested in history. I wonder if there will ever be an Assassin’s Creed game set in South Africa, I imagine it could be awesome.