Magic City uplifts local artist
Local musician Dakotah Poitra, who performs under the name Dakotah Faye, has seen recent success with his music career. Poitra is proud to be from Minot and has been using his platform to uplift the community.
Poitra started making music at 14 in 2008 with his friend Eddie Mack. He reminisced on how he used to idolize rappers like 50 Cent who drove big Escalades with butterfly doors and wore gold “dookie chains.” He said one of his fondest memories making music was recording in his closet with nothing but a hanging blanket for noise cancellation and a rudimentary computer microphone to rap into.
His interest in rap music was fostered by his mother Bev Vondell who would listen to rap when Poitra was a child. Today, his biggest music inspiration is hip hop R&B artist Drake. Poitra said he was drawn to Drake’s ability to rap and sing in his songs, which Poitra leaned into heavily to emulate the artist in his own music.
Poitra is open about his pride for his hometown. “Minot is like, my favorite, you know what I mean? Everywhere I go I always love to tell people where I’m from and they get all these weird looks on their faces, ‘Where is that?’ But it’s the best. It’s where I started doing all my shows.”
He reflected on his first show, which he said was in the basement of another local artist’s home with no shoes on, looking at the floor and scared to make eye contact with the audience of 10 people.
Poitra is celebrating nine months of recovery from cocaine and alcohol use. He said he was so caught in the cycle of trying to catch up on sleep and sanity, he stopped answering his phone out of embarrassment. Poitra would go on to use voicemails from loved ones checking on him while in active addiction in some of his songs.
“You never think it’s going to be you, that you’re like ‘Oh you know, I just do it once a month or occasionally’ and then it’s ‘I do it every weekend’ and then you’re doing it on weekdays and then you’re missing work and it just snowballs. All of a sudden you’re like, ‘How did I get here?'” Poitra said.
Poitra said he had always wanted to become more involved in uplifting the Minot community. With his newfound sobriety he has the time and energy to dedicate to fundraising.
In April he held a charity concert in Minot to raise funds for unpaid school lunch balances which garnered about $3,000. He later partnered with Sharon Tedder and her Food for the Summer Program which provided bags of food to families experiencing food insecurity during the summer. Since school has resumed, the program has refocused to donating funds to pay outstanding school lunch balances.
Three months ago Project BEE, a nonprofit organization that provides anti-poverty programs to rural areas, invited Poitra to join their fundraising committee. He said he feels out of place among the business professionals on the committee but that he’s honored to be part of an organization that helps the community.
“It’s another one of those reasons I fell in love with making music – my ability to be able to help other people with it and that’s another thing I kind of discovered this year about it. It’s awesome to be able to do anything to help the city.”
This coming March Poitra is set to perform at South by Southwest (SXSW), a prominent music, film and interactive media festival held in Austin, Texas. SXSW is an immersive festival for artists to gain traction and network with other musicians, which Poitra described as a rite of passage for underground rappers.
Following his SXSW tour Poitra will go on a music tour through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Poitra’s ultimate goal is to be able to pursue music as a full-time job and to make his mother proud.
“Being able to repay the person that supported me no matter what and allowed me to make mistakes in my life, that’s for sure. Just being comfortable where I’m at mentally and financially, being able to make a living off music and not have to have other jobs, that would be great – just being able to focus on that and be happy with it, you know, still enjoying it.” Poitra said, “Twenty years from now being able to still fall in love with making music – that would be my goal – not getting tired of it, not making it too much of a job.”