[Spotlight] Dopey Graham
By: Jasmyn Brunson
For Crysta Wiggins aka “Dopey Graham,” it all started at Matty Sheets’ open mic at New York Pizza on Tate Street.
“[My friends] signed me up and I was really mad at it at first, but ever since then I never stopped,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins moved to Greensboro from Fayetteville to further her education at North Carolina A&T but also to start her rap career. She always had a passion for music and songwriting, but when she was in her first year at A&T, she said she found that motivation she needed to become more serious about her music.
Wiggins has multiple artists that she looks to for inspiration, but some of her favorites include Drake and Young Thug. Wiggins loves how creative they are and how they are introverts in the music industry. She said she “strives to be as well-rounded as they are” with her music.
Wiggins co-founded a group of artists called Dutches & Sunsets Artist Collective, which includes everything from dancers and rappers to photographers. Co-founder Ellie Kay created the group so that lesser known local artists of every sort can get more exposure, and one day get paid to do what they love.
Wiggins has performed at multiple venues throughout the area, including the 2017 Greensboro Pride Festival and more recently at Common Grounds on May 31. Wiggins is also an activist who has done multiple benefit shows where all donations go to funding local nonprofits. “I have done more benefit shows that regular shows, which I don’t mind as long as it is helping someone,” she added.
The thing that makes Wiggins stand out from all other artists is her charisma. She takes a lot from an artist that she idolizes and puts a spin on it to make it her own.
“I listen to a song I really like and study that song for a while and incorporate that into my own style.”
Wiggins has four songs out, which were released on her digital album called OG Dopey back in August 2017. She is working on producing new music with local artist/producer Sham Lee, who was apart of a band called Bloody Molly.
Wiggins also is taking part in multiple other projects as well that aren’t necessarily related to music. She is the co-founder of a cooking show called Food Crush, Inc. where she and her best friend, Christian Thornton aka “C-Money,” take different dishes and compete against each other to see who can make the best original version. The audience decides who the winner is at the end of each show.
With the recent passing of local Greensboro musician/artist Taylor Bays, Wiggins remembers that Bays was one of her first supporters.
“Thank you, Taylor Bays for putting me on my first flyer and paid show,” Wiggins said. “That was the first time I felt like a real artist. Rest in Power!”
Follow Dopey Graham on Facebook (@dopeygraham). To listen to her music, visit Bandcamp and ReverbNation. Follow Food Crush, Inc. on Facebook (@foodcrushinc) to stream all episodes and vote on your favorite dishes.