We had the good fortune of connecting with Da’Vae Dukes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Da’Vae, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I look at risk as a necessary component of my career. I take a risk with the experimental instrumentals I use for songs, the raw lyrics I include, and how I present myself to the world. Taking risks has allowed me to drive through any challenges that have stunted my growth previously. I took a risk with releasing my first song, “Neon Brown,” since I was never taught how to sing or play the guitar. I haven’t looked back since. All the risks I’ve taken in my life have only pushed me forward.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe what sets me apart from various artists is how many genres of music I can create. I personally don’t think I have a limitation to what my voice can do. So far, I’ve made rock, house, R&B, electronic, alternative, and trap records. I find that I am more inclined to create music that I was not exposed to when I was a youth.
I got to where I am today professionally through endless hours behind a computer screen. And if I wasn’t behind a screen, I was behind a trumpet, guitar, or piano. Getting to this point was definitely not easy, but I never expected it to be. I saw it as if I want to be successful; I have to put in my “10,000 hours”. I overcame many of my creative blocks by allowing myself to break the rules I’ve set upon myself. Once I realized there were no rules, creating became a whole lot easier.
A crucial lesson that I learned the hard way was that my reality resulted from my actions. I was too hard-headed to pay attention. I learned that if I wanted to become something, either I put in the work or don’t. It’s as simple as that. I want to be amazing on stage, so I hired a vocal coach. I wanted to get better at writing songs, so I studied my favorite songs and learned what elements made them my favorite. Realizing my reality is caused by me only enabled me to see how limitless I am and how I have complete control over my life.
I want the world to know that I stand on the backs of those before. The list of people that have pushed me forward is incredibly dense. I couldn’t get here by myself even if I had all the time in the world. KGUTF (Kids Grow Up To Fly) represents life and mental elevation. We start as Kids, then we grow up and fly mentally.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If it was a week-long trip, I think we would end up in a different borough of New York almost every day. New York is so spontaneous that there is always something to do even when we could be doing nothing. Every day out of that week, we would HAVE to hit up a park. The city is fun but draining, and getting grounded with nature is such a surreal feeling from NY’s chaotic energy. I know a bunch of parks in my town that would be cool to hang out at afterward. Much of my recording equipment is portable, so I could easily make songs with them in a park. The beach is also one spot we could go to. Watching the sunrise is probably one of the top ten best things to do.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shoutout to my father, the man who inspired me to pick up an instrument and sing. For as long as I’ve been musically active, my dad has been there every step of the way, pushing me forward. I get almost all of my musical influence from the years he has played various genres of music. I don’t think I would be as creative, aware, or determined if he wasn’t there along the way. He was the first person I played my first song to, and seeing his eyes light up was why I released it. I’ll never forget that moment from my first fan ever.
Brielle Dukes (@pic.souls) – Pictures 1-5 Brittany Hinton (@lunathesnob) – Pictures 6-8