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Duckwrth On Why He Has “No Chill,” Roots In South Los Angeles & Being Called James Dean

December 6, 2021

Read the full interview on SheenMagazine.com!

Duckwrth is a whole vibe! Beyond just the music. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, the recording artist arrives with his own unique style, swag, and sound, straddling the genres of R&B, electronic, funk, soul, and everything in between. This isn’t just feel-good music for the soul, this is music that audiences all around the world can enjoy and dance to.

After grinding and building his fanbase independently, last year Duckwrth unleashed his major label debut album called SuperGood, via Republic Records. Fast forward to this year, he just wrapped a soul-out headlining tour across the country in light of his new album titled SG8*, and was even revealed to be opening for Billie Eilishe’s Happier Than Ever Tour next year.

Being the music, Duckwrth is a fashion icon. Having worked with many amazing brands and campaigns, Duckwrth stands for individuality, reminding fans to stay true to themselves and the rest will follow.

Sheen Magazine caught up with Duckwrth in the press lounge at Day N Vegas to discuss how he prepares for performances, new release “No Chill,” shooting the video in Paris, what South LA means to him, being featured on Space Jam soundtrack, opening for Billie, new album SG8*, collaborating with Hunter Boots, his fashion, and more!

How does it feel here today at Day N Vegas?

Crazy, but awesome. Grateful, thinking  of all the adjectives. [laughs] I love being on stage, being in front of hell people. Going stupid, going crazy.

You have a late set! How does that feel?

I love nighttime sets, it’s a totally different energy. People are all nicely intoxicated, so I’m ready. [laughs] I’m so excited.

How do you pregame for your performances?

We do some vocal preps, maybe watch some other live shows from the 70’s or 80’s, little study. How to be great really, to get me in the mindset.

“No Chill” out now. How are you feeling?

Let’s go! I feel good. We did that shit on the fly, we were out there for Paris Fashion Week. We were like “fuck it, lets just shoot some shit.” So that was pretty tight. 

 

How does it feel to be flown out to France, dancing through the streets of Paris?

It was crazy. I said it in my post, but I’m a Black man, South Central. Being able to be front row at fashion shows, talking to head designers, dancing in Paris, that’s a lot. A lot of people from my area don’t make it out of the hood, so once again grateful. A bit surreal.

Talk about being a role model, showing if you can do it other people can do it.

I feel like I got a purpose. It gives me a purpose. It makes me wake up and go. Sometimes I don’t want to get up, sometimes I don’t want to do shit, but I’ve gotta do it. It’s not just for me. 

What does South Central Los Angeles mean to you?

South Central is… great question, I’ve never been asked that question before. South Central is home. It’s what I know, it’s what I grew up with. South Central gave me a spinal cord so I could be in a lot of these crazy boardrooms. When you feel somebody trying to put an “okey-doke,” you can be like “nah bro, I sense your bullshit.” South Central gave me a spinal cord.

When did you realize you have “No Chill”?

In high school, when I was 17 years old. I was wearing fucking striped tube socks, I had a mohawk and I skinned my sides. I was going up all the way, that’s when I found out I had no chill.

What did it mean to be on the Space Jam movie soundtrack?

Crazy, once again another surreal moment. Being in a theater and hearing the music playing is insane. I never knew how to place myself in those situations, all I can do is cheese. [laughs] 

That’s huge! Space Jam is legendary.

Yeah, it definitely is.

Do you take time to celebrate these moments?

Never enough. They just happen, [snaps] and you keep moving. Hopefully one of these days I get a chance to take some time and celebrate. 

How does it feel to be able to open for Billie Eilish?

Insane. We did 3 dates in 2019, that was fun. I’m familiar with their whole setup and stuff. Of course, she’s grown to another level. The energy’s going to be insane. I’m trying to train right now, like an athlete or some shit. Just be ready, but I’m excited.

What is your favorite song to perform in a set?

3 songs, one of them would definitely be “No Chill.” Actually 4 songs. I have a song called “Too Bad,” those two ones are really good energy. “Kiss U Right Now,” because the fans really like that one. It’s upbeat mixed with R&B. Then we have this little secret song at the end where we go fucking ballistic. 

You get to dance and wild out?

Exactly, that’s the name of the song! “Wild Out,” you hit it right on the head. 

What was the inspiration behind SG8*?

Shit, 8 great songs. It was wild during COVID: a lot of my thoughts, feelings. Especially shit opening and being in a function, being hella anxious in a function and still trying to shake some ass. It’s fun, but introspective for sure. 

What does the asterisk resemble?

Because the next one is SGX, so that’s 10 songs. The asterisk is for right now it’s 8, till the next one. Subject to change.

What inspires your fashion?

Today… everybody keeps calling me James Dean, so we gon’ say that. We gon’ call me James Dean today. [laughs] It feels good. It feels like I’m in the right place because I’m in Las Vegas.

How was it collaborating with Hunter Boots?

It’s fun. It was very unexpected because I don’t wear Hunter Boots. I’m from LA. We said “let’s go to a place where it would make sense.” If you shoot Hunter Boots in LA, it don’t rain in LA. Let’s go to the Arboretum, it’s a botanical garden. I could dip my feet in the water and run around in nature, so it makes sense. I like that it was a challenge, and we figured it out.

What’re you most excited for next?

Probably skiing in December. [laughs] I don’t know where yet ,my friend wants to go somewhere so we gon’ go. For Christmas, so I’m very excited for that. And definitely for more touring.

Anything else you want to let the people know?

Listen to SG8*, out now. Go up! 

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