Dem Atlas is the pseudonym of Joshua Turner, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based artist who started rapping during his late teens and soon thereafter made a self-released debut that led to a long-term affiliation with the Rhymesayers label. Turner's Rhymesayers support was solidified with the DWNR EP (2014) and continued with the charting full-length Bad Actress (2018), released amid an assortment of guest appearances on tracks by the likes of Atmosphere and YYY. A versatile MC and singer, Turner aims to comfort and uplift and writes about a broad spectrum of emotions, including mental health and perseverance.
Joshua Turner was born in Akron, Ohio and moved during early childhood to Minnesota, living first in Minneapolis and eventually Eagan. Occupied with an assortment of creative pursuits, including acting, painting, writing poetry, and fronting a band, Turner didn't start rapping until after he finished high school. His newfound talent developed quickly, documented first in 2013 with a self-released EP titled Charle Brwn. Turner signed with the Minneapolis-based Rhymesayers, and in 2014 made his label debut with the single "All We Got" and his second EP, DWNR. For the next three years, Turner headlined only a couple additional Rhymesayers singles — "With a Smile" in 2015 and "In the Mud" in 2017 — but was featured on numerous tracks, including labelmates Atmosphere's "Finer Things" and "Next to You," along with YYY's cover of the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice." In October 2018, Turner was featured on another Atmosphere recording, "Drown," and shortly thereafter released his first proper full-length, Bad Actress, which reached number 32 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart. ~ Andy Kellman