Juneau County's Teenagers of Today: Dante Spence

by Teen Reporter - Becca Bruss

Dante Spence is a 17-year-old who attends iLEAD Charter school in Mauston. I asked him what school activities he takes part in and he told me, “I'm the men's section leader in the men's choir, concert choir, and acapella choir. He also plays guitar in jazz band.”

I asked him to tell me about himself and things he enjoys doing and he stated, “I enjoy music, whether it be performing, writing and producing or just listening. I love politics, fashion and comedy.”

Dante is very involved with music and actually just came out with a song called “Bucket Gang,” I asked him how he got into music and what he has completed so far/what he's working on, Dante explained, “I would always play around on my dad's piano when I was little, but it wasn't until halfway through freshman year when I taught myself how to play guitar and piano. I think a big part of it was just thinking how cool it would be to be able to play those instruments, I didn't think anything of it becoming my biggest hobby. I would practice almost every day.”

Dante went on to say, “I started writing my own music about a year later and began producing music with professional equipment the beginning of my junior year. Last year was my first year in choir and solo ensemble and I made it to state in all my personal events.” He also told me how he has performed at several local locations recently, including a paid performance by the library this past summer. Dante has also been contacted by several studios recently, offering internships and he has been offered to write melodies for people as a job!

Dante then told me about his group “Bucket Gang” and how it came to be. He started with telling me about the group name, “So, the group actually formed because one of my friends was wearing a cool bucket hat, and I found out they were on sale at Kmart for only $3. So, a couple nights later, which was homecoming night, our homecoming group decided to all go get matching bucket hats. Then that night I wrote the song Bucket Gang as a joke off the song Gucci Gang. That next day, Thomas Houy said we should form a bucket hat group, and I told him about the song I wrote—and we made it into an actual song with a video that took like two days total.”

Dante elaborated, “We made it to parody other rappers, and it actually gained a bit of attraction, almost all of the people that were in the video like to rap and we kind of decided to form Bucket Gang into an actual rap group those next couple days after the video shoot.” Dante added that he wrote, recorded, and finished the entire album for Bucket Gang in two to three weeks, and it will be released on Thanksgiving. After the release, Dante plans to work on a more serious solo album and hopes to have it out by spring.

I then asked Dante if he has any fans yet and he replied, “There has actually been a lot of hate to the song and group because they didn't understand the joke; but, we have also gained even more supporters and a large audience for a small town. We have actually had people buy the song on iTunes, and plan on buying the album. Recently, Dante performed at Cinco de Mayo in Mauston, he told me it went really well, and he played an hour long set of songs, singing while he accompanied himself on the guitar or piano. It was also his first time playing one of his own songs live. Dante informed that he is currently in contact with a manager who is going to start booking him shows once his album gets released.

I concluded by asking Dante about his plans after graduation which he said, “Currently, I plan on attending the University of Chicago for political science, and I will also continue to do music. If my music gets big, that will become my career.” Dante said “Bucket Gang” and the whole album will be available on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google, SoundCloud and Amazon Music.