Serial Entrepreneur, Desto Dubb Talks About His Journey, New Music and Future Plans
16 Oct 2023
Rising from a three-year prison term to selling apparel out of his van in Downtown Los Angeles, Desto Dubb has transformed into a serial entrepreneur with a thriving multi-million dollar enterprise. Hailing from Watts, California, Dubbs coined the name of his brand after a video of his arrest went viral. A cop exclaimed the famous quote, ‘That’s an awful lot of cough syrup, you must be sick or something’, with Desto responding by coughing profusely. This episode served as the inspiration for the distinctive moniker of his brand, ‘That’s A Awful Lot of Cough Syrup.’ The label has garnered extensive acclaim and enjoys substantial backing from global music artists including Young Thug, Coi Leray, French Montana, and Quavo.
Aside from his impressive achievements as a fashion designer, Desto has also established himself as a successful music artist. Collaborating with the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, 03 Greedo, Valee and many more, Desto’s sound incorporates elements of West Coast sound Following a prosperous runway debut at NYFW, Desto has dropped his highly anticipated single ‘Dead Homies’ featuring Detroit rapper, Veeze.
Desto Dubb! We’ve interviewed in the past but for our UK audience, go ahead and take the stage.
What’s going on people, it’s your boy Desto Dub from the gutter to butter, live from New York City during Fashion Week. I’m from Watts, California, that’s a little bit past Compton and I’m the CEO and the founder of ‘That’s A Awful Lot of Cough Syrup‘.
Can you tell us about how you got into fashion and the story behind the brand?
For me, I don’t typically call it fashion. It started as a hustle for me but I got into the world of fashion when I was younger. I couldn’t afford the clothes that I wanted and my mom couldn’t afford them so I started to make them instead. As I started making them, people started to recognise me as a designer. I’m just a person trying to use what I have to get what I want. I would say probably as early as thirteen or fourteen, I hit the fan and recognised that these clothes meant power. Shortly after, people started buying the stuff that I was making for myself.
Of course, everyone gets to a point where they realize that they’ve made it. With two stores now, your brand is very successful. At what point did you feel like, okay, I’ve made it?
Actually, I don’t use that too much because I feel like once you make it, you slow down. I’m always considering myself to be the underdog. I’m just trying to, you know, get there. Of course, I’ve made a lot of money, but whenever I do make that type of money, I always look at somebody with more wealth. It makes me feel like, okay, don’t show out because you got this amount of money because that’s really nothing compared to what you want to get. So I never feel like I made it and that’s the reason I keep going so hard.
How does it feel to have your first runway appearance at New York Fashion Week?
It’s nerve-wracking and it’s stressful but that’s the beauty of it. Anything that I’ve ever done that was nerve-wracking or stressful always came out pretty good. It’s a lot of hours of thinking because we’re not in LA. If it was in LA, it’d be different. I had to uproot my whole showroom and take it to another city, which is very expensive. Now I’m just trying to play this fashion designer because, at the end of the day, I’m more so a hustler. It’s a learning experience. It is very stressful but I feel like in the end, I’m going to be happy with the work I put in.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Thinking outside the way I was taught to think. That’s been the biggest challenge and this has been the most successful one, overall. Where I come from, a lot of people try to stretch a pin, meaning, we try to spend the least to make the most. You want to spend a dollar to make two, you want to spend a dollar to make ten. And if you’re spending a dollar to make ten, why would you spend two or three when you’re already spending one?
So it was hard for me, in the beginning, to invest in stuff as far as for my company. But that’s one of the biggest things that keeps my company going. But it’s hard because my team will be sitting here telling me we should get a new website or redesign. I’m like, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. They say you don’t have to think like that because even if it’s not broken, you’re supposed to be moving ahead. So really, I’m just trying to get out of my small-minded thinking.
Aside from your fashion career, you have a new single ‘Dead Bodies’ with Veeze. Can you tell us about it?
Oh yeah, so me and Veeze have been buddies for a long time. We made several songs but of all of them, this is one of the best ones that I feel like we made. It’s catchy. Every time I play it in LA, it goes crazy.
Who is someone else that you’d love to collaborate with on a song?
I’d love to work with Tyler the Creator. I mess with him a lot. I would love to work with Young Scooter, I would love to work with Baby Drill. I want to work with the people that I listen to. I would love to work with 50 Cent, get him a little skit on the tape, you know, a little cameo. But I’d love to work with him because the people I work with, I want the chemistry to rub off on me. So we can do a song together but I want that business mentality to rub off on me.
When it comes to music, how do you find your career in fashion and music complement each other?
A lot of the time I get dressed in the fashion to make the music. And then when I make the music, I talk about the fashion. So they complement each other, you know? I need the clothes to feel good, to make the good songs and you need the good songs to listen to when you got on the good clothes and you’re going somewhere. And that’s pretty much it. I can’t rap in some sweats and a t-shirt, I have to get fully dressed and I have to be feeling myself. I think that’s what fashion is to me – being able to put on a garment and it feels like a cape, a costume or something.
Yeah, 100%. And that’s how you’ve got everyone in, your brand. How did you start to build relationships with people like Thug, Coi Leray, Quavo and everyone else wearing the brand?
Social media. Seeing it all over the place, seeing my work ethic, everybody loves the underdog. As I said, that’s one of the biggest things that keeps me going. A lot of people see me as an underdog, even if I’m making more money than a lot of these people, I still carry myself as the underdog and being humble always attracts more people.
If you see someone really grinding it out and really hustling every day, really going ten toes down, people are attracted to that. I’m like a hustling alpha male. I feel like a lot of the people that I deal with that are more huge than me, or you know, seem to be more huge than me, they seen that fight in me and they just want to be a part of it because they could tell that this is going to be history.
What’s next for Desto Dubb?
Everything. You know, Desto Dubb himself is an entrepreneur, so I’m going to go wherever the money goes. More music. The thing about me, I love music because a lot of the stuff that I rap about ends up happening. So it’s kind of like people rap to make money but I rap so the raps can come true.
Yeah, to manifest it. And on top of that, it just opens up a lot more doors. A lot of these people are fans and a lot of the fans run businesses or they’re customers or whatever the case may be.
So a lot more music. Fashion-wise, I started with just t-shirts and hoodies. I’m trying to get out of that. So you’ll see a lot of more elevated pieces coming from the brand. From Joshua or Desto himself, you’ll see a few more businesses that I start at the end of this year and next year. I took a swing with Loose Leaf and we kind of hit a home run. I’m just taking that same recipe of branding and just trying to build other companies and other brands so I can just maximize and just really throw it all back into the close.
I’m super excited to hear the new music and see the collection for sure. It’s going to be super dope.
Thank you. Shout out, Sophie. An awful lot of it.