I had the pleasure of attending the Duckwrth Press Conference and learning the magic behind the process of his latest album, “SuperGood.”
Duckwrth is a rapper and songwriter from South Central Los Angeles, California and he’s been on tour with Billie Eilish and Anderson .Paak.
This incredible Q&A, led by Kadijat from 1824 will undeniably draw you into the exciting world of Duckwrth that allows him to always make music that is super good.
“I’m a Smoothie in the best sense.” If I had a super power it would be take what’s happening in the outside world and be able to take it in regurgitate it out. – Duckwrth
Question: What was it like growing up in LA and how has that influenced your creativity as well as your music?
Duckwrth: Growing up in LA especially in the 90’s and 2000’s it was beautiful, always sunny the beaches are always cracking, poolsides is a common thing out here. It’s kind of like it’s own little weird utopia but in the same flipside it was a lot of trauma, gang activity that was happening in the 90’s so a lot of my youth was learning how to survive whether that be ducking bullets by drivebys or going to Inglewood High School. There are blood members, it’s the affiliation season where they have to put the little homie on so they have to jump random people and I remember them, I just remember that trauma in high school. But I will say that roses grow from the concrete, diamonds come from like the roughest types of situations so I think by being raised specifically in South Central Los Angeles it gave me a backbone so when I deal with corporate America I don’t take no bulls**t because I learned how to survive ducking billets. I stand with a straight spinal cord it just taught me all the methods that I need as an artist, as a man, as a business man.
Question: Has 2020 influenced the way you wrote the album or how you think the album would be perceived by fans?
Duckwrth: Ironically I wrote the album January, we finished all the songs in January, like the end of January. Covid was just like popping up and nobody was really taking it as serious until about like later February, so when I was writing it I was like oh this 2020 its a new decade this my year like we about to go stupid. My thoughts and ideas of it was so much more different from the 2020 that we know now.
Question: Do you think it will change the way that it is perceived by fans? Do you think some of the lyrical content will hit differently in terms of when nobody is allowed to leave their homes?
Duckwrth: I think more so because a lot of it has to do with me taking this girl out on a date and going to these different venues and also different fantasies I have of her before we actually go on the date. It’s more of a story like if you were watching a Netflix show or something like that. You may not be living in that story but it’s a story to take you away from your current situation but further than that it’s more so the tone and some the messages of the album is once again to make you feel good. It’s like audio medicine pretty much.
Question: What do you intend the audience to experience when we are consuming “SuperGood?”
Duckwrth: To take you away from your current situation. It’s also a rhythm project so I want people to dance, to groove, to bop, to move. It’s an album you play when you are in the car or an album that you play when you taking a shower or an album that you play when you are making love. I want it to be very much a lifestyle project.
Question: How do you decide on the album art?
Duckwrth: I feel like my covers have always been a bit of like fantasies in certain ways. From “An Xtra Uugly“ mixtape to “The Falling Man” where I was like playing the character of this king that falls to his demise because he doesn’t know love. It’s like the cover is a little bit darker for this one it’s mainly about love what happens when a character does fall in love so it’s like the yin and yang to the falling man and I feel like they all reflect each other really it’s just showing the growth in the artist and for this one I just really wanted to explore. I really feel like the 70’s especially for black people was a time for celebration. We just came out of civil rights and black people starting to gain certain freedoms and it was a celebration. Within that when black people started going back to who they are in their original essence a bit of magic happens. The 70s that’s why you saw such an eclectic style their sound, their music was so colorful and the album colors were so beautiful you know so I kind of wanted to tap into that. We’re coming into that same energy in the 2010’s/ 2020’s. I really wanted to tap into that magic.
Question: Which song was most difficult to write ?
Duckwrth: New Love Song. I had the idea to do it before the album. In the sample of the song is the Clark Sisters, Jesus is a Love Song. I remember one time I was on IG live and it was in the background and I was freestyling to it and I was like I should turn that into a song. I wanted to give a nod to Gospel music because that’s some of the earlier music that I remember from my childhood so I was like I wanted to do two songs that could give that nod. I recorded the rap part of it and then we did the bridge and then I sat on it for like three weeks I didn’t know how to finish it. I wanted to do the whole Jesus is a Love Song but I didn’t want to say Jesus because I didn’t want to be particular to religion but I wanted to still do the whole love tone. So I was like I need to find a group of girls who could give respect to the Clark Sisters but then like find a different phrasing. The theme of the album is just like this relationship that I have with this girl and it’s like how I want to ask her on this first date so I wanted New Love Song to be the foreshadow of these characters are going to fall in love by the end of the album. Alright cool I was like maybe it’s not Jesus is a Love Song maybe it’s you are my new love song and I didn’t figure that out till maybe like the fourth or third week of January.
Question: How important is it to you maintaining your authenticity both in your music and appearance ?
Duckwrth: I’m a creative overall so I feel like anything I touch creatively I can excel in not to say boastfully but I really feel like that’s my DNA, art creativity. If I’m going to be doing music I want to show a healthy artist. You see so many times the most genius of artists are insane they are egotistical or they are drug abusers or physically abusive to their spouse. It’s a whole rockstar lifestyle and they end up eventually inevitably bringing to their demise and I really don’t f**k with that image and I feel there’s a way to portray a healthy artist. That’s through being true to yourself and I think that’s how you make the best music and that’s the music that lasts for a long time. That’s the music that becomes people’s favorite albums and a lot of music today is like fast food, just like fashion and they don’t really last too long but the artist that are true to themselves that speak with conviction is true. Those are the ones that truly resonate if I’m going to be an artist I want to be as authentic as I possibly can. I remember when I was in church when I was little this lady put her hand on my shoulder and said you’re anointed and she was like there’s a calling on your life. I remember that and it always stuck with me and I’m not particularly Christian but I know there’s something I’m supposed to be doing with my life and it’s supposed to be helping people.
Question: What music inspires you the most ?
Duckwrth: The music that inspires me the most and I’m saying two sides. The music that inspires me the most in the studio is Soul, Jazz, Gospel. Certain core progressions really resonate in my soul. The genre that inspires me when I’m performing is strictly punk. One of my favorite bands is called Bad Brains.
Question: What’s your outlook on racism and politics during 2020?
Duckwrth: I feel that 2020 and Donald Trump, everything happens for a reason and if you zoom out of life and you pull out and you just look at earth for like its history and everything. I just feel like a lot of racism was swept under the rug and it was very passive and sometimes it takes these energies whether they are light or dark to dig up the sh*t to be able to show for face value to show what America actually is because for so long we treated it like we progressed you know but it’s like America is just as racist as it was back in the day. It’s just they found a new way to do it and it’s like slavery still exists it’s just in prison systems and it’s in consumerism. To tell you the truth I f**k with politics but I don’t f**k with politics because it’s kind of corrupt but I like more local politics and local legislation things that you could do in your community. For Me I feel like every artist speaks for their community. Chance is for Chicago, there’s people for New York, for me I’m from Los Angeles I’m specifically for South Central because that’s the place I was raised in, so I got to see first hand the issues and the problems of South Central. I feel like if everybody handle things like a village then we will be able to as a whole uplift. I’m not saying I want to save the whole World I would like to but first I got to start with my community so that’s mainly my outlook on politics. I’m hoping that things will get better soon but I know things are going to have to get dirty and bloody for it to get to that point because that’s what America understands. America understands war and it understands consumerism. When you f**k with peoples pockets or you f**k with their lives that’s when people pay attention and it’s sad to say but that’s really what it is. I’m hoping that things work out better but I’m also preparing for when things get worst but every storm is temporary and we will eventually get through it. We’ll get to a better place and I’m happy that all the disgusting-ness that has been swept under the rug is now in our face so we could deal with it straight up.
Duckwrth is extremely soulful, creative and has a unique ability to blend several genres of music together to create a feeling of calamity, peace and Super Good music! Stay tuned because Duckwrth’s music is for everyone.
Stream the album today.