Recognize that face?
You may know Dontrell Burgess as “that guy from the ‘Gamecock Rap’ video.” At least, that’s what people have been calling him lately.
Dontrell, a fourth-year student in social work, is a singer and songwriter whose appearance in Dinobrite Productions’ controversial “Spurrier Rap” has made him a person-of-note in Columbia.
“A whole lot more people who weren’t exposed to my music before started recognizing me afterward,” he says. “I went to Sandy’s one day just to get a hot dog, and the guy kept looking at me. I heard him say, ‘I told you that was him,’ to his co-worker, and she was like, ‘Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh!’ I couldn’t believe it. These people really know who I am?”
In the “Spurrier Rap,” Dontrell can be seen singing on the roof of the Sheraton Hotel on Main Street, close to the start of the video. He sings the catchy “Rock out (with your Gamecock out)” hook line.
Joey Thompson, co-producer of the rap, says he met Dontrell at USC Orientation four years ago and heard he had a good voice.
“It was an easy choice for us,” he says.
“It’s definitely gratifying,” Dontrell says about being in the video and his success afterward. “I’m working toward an end, and this is the first step, ‘cause now people recognize me. Even people at my apartment complex stopped me on my way to pay rent and wanted to take photos.”
He is part of a gospel group called Raihn and also performs at church, gospel conferences and weddings. He focuses his music on R&B and neo-soul, but he loves jazz.
“It’s my favorite genre,” he says. “I try to utilize it in all my music.”
Dontrell’s industry name is Signature – “I do everything with my Signature persona.”
He’s been in the finals for USC Idol all of his three years at USC and has won first place in many different shows on campus.
Dontrell’s a bit of a nerd and thinks people would be surprised to learn he likes to draw, watch anime and read in his free time.
“I might finish a whole book series in a day or two,” he says.
Dontrell is working on his first demo to send out to record labels and, not surprisingly, hopes to one day make it big.