Champagne Duane. I’m originally from Guyana, but raised in Miami, Fl. Now residing in Portland, Oregon.
How did you break into the music industry?
It’s always been a hobby since high school, all through college, and in the back of my mind during my professional years. I put it down for a while, but started recording again back in 2012. Since then, I’ve started doing a few shows and hosting listening parties and events where my music can be played.
Choose one adjective to describe your music style?
Your rhyming ability is incredible, how did you learn to rap?
I’ve always been a huge fan of hip hop and other great music in general. For me it goes back to the days of Underground Airplay and Sondbombing mixtapes. I used to write out lyrics to Talib and Nas in high school, and bump Jay-Z religiously. It was BlackStar’s Definition that first made want to put pen to paper back in high school. Between that and Nas’ If I Ruled the World, I started studying great lyricists.
Who is your ultimate inspiration?
My family. Hands down. I talk about them a lot in my music. The biggest influence on my creativity as of late is how I want to be remembered- with style, integrity and optimism.
Do you write your own songs? If so, what are your songs about and where do you draw your inspiration?
I write my own songs, even most of the melodies that other people sing on my records. My life experiences inspire me. My family and the well-being of those around me play a large part in what I create. Where I’ve been, who I know, and where I’d like to be all shape my music. In my records, I reveal the fact that I’m a thinker. As opposed to the popularity of simpler rhymes, I try to exhibit that my mind is always working.
What project are you currently promoting and is it available for purchase?
I recently put out a new video for my single, Need, which you can find on iTunes. The song is just that, everything I need. It reflects on what’s most important to me, from pleasure and experience to success, justice, and family. My other single,Vegas Baby 2 [http://youtu.be/FelU76mjUic], has been out since December 2013. There’s a whole blog to go with that release as well. [http://vegasbaby2.com].
Are you looking for an independent label deal or a major label deal?
I’d be open to either if it represented me properly and where I want to take my brand. In the meantime, I’m just soaking up as much information as I can.
How would you define the word “success”?
Success is the opportunities you create for those around you.
What is your biggest career embarrassment?
I haven’t had one yet. But I do wish I had begun taking it seriously a long time ago.
Most memorable moment in creating one of your records?
The highlight of my career so far has to be working with Talib Kweli. One of my favorites, he was able to grace me with a verse for my upcoming project. We recorded him in his hotel while he was touring and he later gave me props on the concept.
Who has been the most influential person in your music career?
I’d have to say my brother, Denzil. He’s been behind me from Day 0. I know I can always bounce ideas off him and his belief keeps me inspired to do more.
Who is your celeb look-alike?
Can’t say. I’ve gotten anything from 50 Cent to Kanye to Will.I.Am. Ha! Neither one of those people look like each other, so I don’t think I have one.
What was your first job?
I worked at Athlete’s Foot in Cutler Ridge Mall. Not surprising being that I’m a Footwear Designer. My favorite job was being a Ballboy for the Miami Heat. #HeatNation
What is your worst Fear?
What is your guilty pleasure?
What artists would you love to work with?
My wish list includes Nas, Jay-Z, and Outkast. And Swizz Beats. And, and, and…
Any advice or lessons learned in the music industry that you would like to share with other indie artists?
Just try to have fun first and foremost. Do your homework before you go putting resources towards this and learn how to be efficient. As an artist, try not to force creativity. Wait for the moments when you’re feeling most inspired. Make sure YOUR personality is involved. Staying transparent and true is what allows me to draw upon topics that are distinctly me.
What is the number one thing you hope people get out of your music?
Accomplishment. I want people to feel like they can accomplish something or that my music fits their own accomplishment already. I want them to listen to my accomplishments and feel empowered. I want them to celebrate those accomplishments. Everyday is an opportunity to feel enthusiastic about where you are, what you’re doing, whom you’re with, and what your potential is.
Where can people get in touch with you?
Best way to keep in touch is sign up at http://champagneduane.com.