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DESDUNÉ TALKS DEBUT SINGLE “WORK IT OUT” & PASSION FOR COOKING

May 4, 2021

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Desduné is the definition of a multi-faceted individual, a celebrity chef by day and artist by night. As the son to the legendary Regina King, it’s no surprise that talent runs in the family. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the singer-songwriter got his start DJing around the city, creating his own sound and breaking down the barriers of musical genres as a whole.

He states, “I definitely consider myself a person that’s for the arts. A lot of different art forms I’m down for, that’s my dharma. I’m a pretty laid-back person, pretty groovy. I listen to a lot of different music. I like to dance so really if I’m having fun and can create art, I’m happy.”

With an unwavering love and appreciation for music, Desduné first discovered rock, listening to the greats from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Led Zeppelin. Soon after, he’d find himself immersed in hip-hop, listening to the likes of Biggie and A Tribe Called Quest. From making beats with his pencil in school to making beats on GarageBand to now coming into his own as a recording artist, the sky’s the limit for the rising star.

Fast forward to 2021, Desduné gears up to release his funky new debut single titled “Work It Out.” Beyond the music, he paints and aims to get more into acting, boasting a standout cameo in the film One Night in Miami.

Flaunt caught up with Desduné who was cooking dinner (apricot-glazed salmon, olive herb rice, and carrot reduction) for a private client, with hopes of opening a restaurant within the next 3 years. Read below as we discuss his biggest influences, his bubbly personality, the release of his debut single “Work It Out,” what to expect from the Clementine EP, studio essential, where his passion from cooking stems from, goals, and more!

Photographed by Henry Ammann / @THEXXGUY

Biggest influences coming up?

Coming from LA is pretty amazing. The schools I went to and moving around a lot, I got to be friends and be in a lot of different circles and different types of groups. I definitely like changing it up, changing the scenery. Most of my time in LA, I’ve been in the Eastside. Being an Eastside kid, I was really huge on Low End Theory, people like Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer. I was going to Low End Theory all the time, since I was about 16. I had my fake ID ready to go. I wanted to get in there. That’s the scene I was coming up on.

I listened to about everything, my mom and dad were big music people. My dad was a tour manager for A Tribe Called Quest. I started DJing in the 8th grade. I started DJing house, a lot of funk house, new disco type house, afro. That already set me apart from what a lot of other cats were doing. Especially being a Black man in LA, you’ll get a lot of people trying to scratch. Very hip-hop influenced, but mine was definitely from that Paradise Garage type feeling, Big Larry Devan fan, David Mancuso fan. When I was DJing, I wanted to create events and different parties like that. In high school around my senior year, I started doing that with a group of cats, creating some art events that were a mix of fine art, a little bit of food, then DJing and music. So my musical influences jumped around, how I wanted to portray my musicality. You’ll definitely hear that in this EP and the single coming up. You’re not going to really be able to put one genre to what I do, it’ll always be evolving.

With Regina King being your mother, did you ever feel any pressure to go down the acting route?

You know, I did not. The funny thing is I went to a performing arts school for a little bit, which was really fun. Being a personality is more of my thing. Being her son, I have to definitely be a personality. If you’ve met my dad, he’s a huge personality as well. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve been interested in going in that route. Not going in that route as a career, but letting it be something fun I do. I love so many forms of artistry. I was in her last movie she directed, One Night in Miami. I had a little cameo scene. It was awesome, I was so stoked to do it especially because I auditioned for it. It wasn’t a “here, take this role.” The casting director and everybody picked me, so that felt really good to be able to do.

Debut single releasing soon, how are you feeling?

I’m feeling good. To be honest, I’m definitely nervous. It’s the first one. I was definitely more on the production side of things when I started making music. I did some things for Murs, a rapper named Cojo.

I love Murs! 

Murs is the best, he’s definitely the big homie. He’s been forsure supporting me getting out my own projects, so that’s been really good. I’m getting a lot of support from everybody, but you still have that nervous energy. You become so much more of a perfectionist when it’s your music, I’m so much more critical now. But I’m stoked, it should be great. I hope people are wanting to groove and dance to it. I’m happy things are opening back up with this first single, because it’s definitely a dance joint.

What’s one thing you want fans to get from “Work It Out”?

I definitely can be a sad boy sometimes. To be able to have that mood and know there’s music and dancing you can use to release all that energy and get back on your path, get back to feeling good because that’s really what the song is about. It’s specifically towards a relationship side of things. Doing the song, it was me telling myself “fuck it, I’m not gonna dwell on anything. I’ma work out the situation and my sadness the way I know how to,” and that’s by playing music and dancing to it. A lot of my friends, we’re a dancing crew. Whenever anything is bad or something’s going on, our group chat will be “Let’s go dance. Let’s go out. Let’s go to Dirty Laundry, let’s get down.” I want people to feel that and rock to it. I love to see people dance to my music. Even when I was DJing, I liked to see people dancing to the cuts I was playing. This one, I want straight, pure, raw energy release.

I got to hear “Clementine,” that one’s fire too. Talk about creating vibes.

Vibes can sometimes be a tricky thing because you don’t want to try too hard. As soon as you’re trying too hard, you’re going to lose the vibe. Don’t try too hard. Like any musician, you can lock yourself in, but you have to experience life then document it. That’s really what music is: journaling all your experiences. I definitely developed these songs. It was a direct reflection of how I was feeling at the time. Even from the sonics of the actual production itself, I produced all the beats and music myself. I was going through a breakup which is what the EP’s about, and you can really hear that. You’re gonna for sure connect through it.

Each song tells that story. With the first song “Work It Out,” it’s trying to let go. With “Green Eyes,” that’s definitely a song where I’m really in my sadness. Me really feeling like, “Damn, I’m really getting played right now. This fucking sucks.” With “Cold”, that’s that part in a breakup where you’re getting into your savage mode. Doing a lot of drinking, definitely looking for a rebound. Fuck it, I’m for the streets now! Then “Clear Patch” is my favorite song, I love that one. It’s seeing the sun again. Making that song, I was reading this book from a monk named Thích Nhất Hạnh, it’s called No Mud, No Lotus. That whole thing is about [how] you need the mud in order for the lotus to grow. You need to go through all the bad in order to see the good. “Clear Patch” is about letting that rain come down, just to see a rainbow. To see the sun come out again, which will make it that much better. Everything’s definitely a reflection of how I was feeling, this EP is a journal.

When do you plan on releasing the Clementine EP?

Releasing in June, for the summer. Definitely going to have people rocking for the summer, but keeping a couple wintertime vibes with “Green Eyes” and some of those tracks. It’s definitely some summer vibes.

3 things you need in the studio? 

Some beer and some whiskey, not gonna lie. I’m going to need my dog. My dog’s a nut. I have two dogs: Cornbread and Earl. They’re so much different. My older dog Cornbread is super chill and sits there, listens to me making music. Earl’s a wild dude. I can tell what a certain beat is like based off of Earl’s energy. If Earl’s real excited, I’m usually making a really lit song. He’s jumping around, jumping on me. If I’m really getting super vibey, he’s chillin’ right next to me, putting his head on me. It’s cool, it’s a lot of feelings going on with dogs. It’s a tossup. I either need my candle, something to give me a good vibe and visual, or incense. It used to be weed, but I don’t smoke weed anymore.

Talk about being a celebrity chef and where that passion comes from.

The cheffing thing didn’t come up out of nowhere, but definitely more recent when I started really chasing it as a career, separate from the music. My mother and my great grandmother, even my grandmother are amazing chefs. They’re able to create things and cook with a lot of love. I’d always need to be in the kitchen with them, or washing. My mother being who she is, I was able to travel a lot. Most of the times we’ve travelled, food was the biggest part. I remember eating a wide variety of foods for a long time. At 4 years old, I was eating sushi. I definitely liked to try things.

About 2 years ago, I was really starting to create a lot of dishes. My mother said “yo, this shit’s insane!” I didn’t go to culinary school, I was cooking things up and making really creative dishes. Once the pandemic hit, with the girl my EP’s about, I started up a little delivery business doing Sunday brunches. That let me know “oh, I can do this.” I started getting more ideas, having more recipes. Once that happened, I started getting into private cheffing and wanting to create more experiences around the cooking. Right now, I’m developing something called SU Casa, which is a private dinner party hosted in my home in which I adapt the menus based upon seasonal ingredients and local farm resources. Hopefully I can take that to being a restaurant soon.

Favorite dish to cook?

I have this awesome duck I did not too long ago. It’s a Moroccan and Chinese flavor profile with it. I do a little butternut squash puree that it goes on, and a banana curry. I definitely do a lot of Asian fusion, Asian food is so dynamic.

Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?

My biggest goal is to keep on developing my artistry and my connection with the art I’m doing so that I’m able to connect with people on a really spiritual level. I say this all the time: humanity is its own religion. There’s certain music, certain artists like Jimi Hendrix, the Fillmores, Janis Joplin, Jamiroquai—all those types of people when you hear their music, when you hear certain songs from them, it almost feels godly. You get to a whole entire different level of consciousness and being. I really want to be able to do that with both my music and my food. I want to be able to have people not even feel like this is worldly, but taking worldly things and showing how much power we do have as a human race. Let the music that I make be the gospel for the church of humanity. Let it be songs that we sing to get ourselves to the next level of love, of happiness, and understanding of ourselves.

Anything else you’d like to let us know?  you want to let us know

Definitely be ready for a lot of dope experiences. Gonna be creating a lot of events and art shows around this music, around the cooking. I really want everybody to enjoy it and be there. Be ready to have fun. Be ready to be present.

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