Input on how he came up with his name

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Welcome back to the Name Game, the periodic Backbeat feature in which we check in with a local act and ask members to share the story behind their nom de tune (if there is one) to find out how and why they chose their handle and to spell out any special significance the moniker might have.

Gustavo D'Arthenay has one hell of a story. A few months ago on the eve of the release of Never Heard of Ya, his collaboration with Broken and the first of two releases, we caught up with the rapper, known otherwise as Input, and he talked about everything, from how he was a student at Columbine when tragedy struck more than a decade ago to how he was so obsessed with rap that he used to hustle print outs of porn to kids at school to fund his habit to how he hooked up with SupaHotBeats, the lauded Atlanta producer he worked with on his latest effort, Bombs Over Everything, which just dropped last week. One thing that we didn't include in that original interview is how he came up with his name. Keep reading to see the first video from Bombs and find out how he coined the name.

See also: - Input on SupaHotBeats convincing him to share his harrowing Columbine experience - Input on Fameless Entertainment and making a mark outside of Colorado - Fresh hip-hop: New track from Input, with Caleb Slade

Westword: So how did you come up with the name "Input"?

Gustavo D'Arthenay: Oh, man, this is a funny story. So I was in community college at Red Rocks, and I was taking a music class. I was in this, like... it was like the dungeon of the college. It was downstairs in this creepy ass corner. What they used to do is there was an elementary school near the school, and they would always -- you know, the community college is very art-oriented; they do a lot of arts programs and stuff -- they display a lot of elementary school kids' artwork. So they had one wall dedicated to a third grade class, and then there was a fourth grade class. And they'd have pictures or drawings or whatever these kids made.

So one day I got up and went to the restroom, and I'm on my way back to class, and I'm just walking down - and this was at the point in my life where I just started making music, and I was like, "I really need to come up with an identity." Nothing was clicking at all. I couldn't think of a damn thing. So I'm walking down the hallway and I'm looking at all these pictures, and then I look and right at my eye level, there's a picture of a computer monitor, and in just some huge, bold print it just says "input" on the computer screen, that this kid wrote.

And so I'm looking at it, and right then, it just hit me. I was like, "'Input' - damn, that's dope!" So I walked in and started graff-writing it on my notebook. I was like, "Yep. That's dope. I'm keeping it." And then it turned out that it was perfectly relevant with my stories because it's just like my own opinion -- storytelling is like my input on life in general.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.