Dudley Music breaks into a bit of his new song “Art of Music” while he rehearses at Dream Recording Studios in Bellmore for some upcoming gigs.
“I like to blend the influences of funk, jazz, R&B, reggae and hip-hop all together,” says Music, who also hosts the monthly “Swing Sessions” night at Treme in Islip. “Right now, I’m working on new music that will be coming out this summer that’s a blend of all those things.”
Though he released his debut “On My Way” (Dudley Music) in 2016, Music has been landing some high-profile gigs, including an upcoming slot at the Great South Bay Music Festival with his full band and a solo show at Rockwood Music Hall. Part of his recent success has come from opening gigs with the likes of his inspiration, Talib Kweli, who he calls “a good role model of what a hip-hop artist should be.”
“It was three nights in a row and it was just an incredible experience to be around him and the band day after day,” Music says. “I remember being at that performance and I’m singing songs about Long Island — Brentwood, Long Island where I’m from — and I realize I’m in front of all these people who were there to hear Talib, but I’m telling them about Long Island. It’s a super-cool opportunity to be able to do that.”
He hopes to do the same when he opens for Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony at Brooklyn Bowl on Aug. 21. “The work they’ve done in hip-hop is crazy,” he says, adding that he is looking forward to hits like “Tha Crossroads.” “I’m a performer, but sometimes I do shows like that and I’m also a fan. This will definitely be a time when I’m both.”
Music laughs when asked why he remains in Brentwood rather than moving to a place like Brooklyn with far more venues where he could play. “It’s hard and I ask myself that every day sometimes,” he says, pointing out that Roosevelt’s Public Enemy and Amityville’s De La Soul managed it. “We have such a rich history and culture, but we don’t always pay attention to it. I truly believe that hip-hop and jazz are an integral part of Long Island and I think we need to recognize that and help it flourish. And I can’t do that if I’m in Brooklyn.”
Dudley Music plays Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., Manhattan, at 8 p.m. July 11. Tickets are $10 through Eventbrite.