Growing up in Chicago Illinois, D Dukes had been the sort of kid who was hesitant and would not talk much with others. It was then that he started writing in order to express himself. Gradually, he stepped into the field of music. He produces hip hop, rap and freestyle music which is more about storytelling. It is warm, inspirational, and the best thing about it is that it is upbeat. As much as he is into music, he gives to charity too. He donates clothes and other stuff to various charities, regularly. He also donates once or twice a month to Goodwill and the Salvation Army. He believes in bringing a change.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
D Dukes: I have been doing music since I was 6 and now I am 27 so haha a very long time and counting! I started rapping over video game instrumentals I would be playing donkey Kong on snes and just start saying words and just expressing myself through music.
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
D Dukes: Cassidy was a strong influence for me his punch lines and attack on music pushed me and a whole different lane as a youngster doing music. Also watching young at the time rappers like bow wow, Lil Wayne and etc.
- Which artists are you currently listening to?
D Dukes: I listen to a lot of independent music so Big Krit, Gherbo, Chance the rapper, Meek Mill and Joyner Lucas.
- What pushes you to wake up every morning to create music?
D Dukes: My kids, and the life to make my passion my paycheck, I have a certain lifestyle I want and I have to think about that every day god blesses me to wake up for an opportunity.
- What do you think separates you and your music from the crowd of artists emerging right now?
D Dukes: my music is on the positive side at times. Also I write about daily acts that I see and go through in life, you can hear a hunger in my voice. Since I don’t do what today’s artist do I know I gotta work harder to get heard. So standing out is a huge deal for me.
- Do you have a song in your catalog that is very special to you in some way, and why?
D Dukes: A song I wrote called “Don’t Go” at the time I was stressing and thinking about quitting music for good. And writing that song was very emotional for me because I didn’t know if it would be my last or the start of something epic. As you can see I’m still pushing I wrote that in 2011.
- What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?
D Dukes: Success, I like to make music that can uplift people. Put people in a different Mindset and also want to win.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or high point in your career or life so far?
D Dukes: Doing my first live TV performance, it was a great moment for me I feel accomplished and it also gave me just a burst of motivation to keep pushing and achieving more accolades.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?
D Dukes: Staying consistent, and not focusing on my career as much.
- What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your songs?
D Dukes: To stay positive and grind hard. And keep pushing!
- Do you have an official website that our readers and listeners can visit?
D Dukes: Yes you can go to www.ddukesmusic.net that is my official website to stay updated with me.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
D Dukes: Just being able to own everything I release and just the investment in myself is worth much more. The discouraging side is of course money and the process of the competition of today’s artists. But at the end of the day we will all win.
- How do you market your music? Do you have a team to help you or do you do and control everything by yourself?
D Dukes: I have a team. “New Hitz Artist Flow”. We are a family so the chemistry is strong. We market from iTunes to all streaming platforms, to covers to everything. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.
- Where can people find you on social media?
D Dukes: instagram@dukeboii, Twitter @iamd_dukes, Facebook-i;mddukes and Soundcloud.com/d-dukes
- What Advice do you want to give to aspiring artists?
D Dukes: never give up and stay consistent, work on your craft every day and network because there is a lot of people out there that does something in the industry.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?
D Dukes: I love it. I feel with today you can market your music all over the internet. People can google your name and all your music and success will pop up. I am on every social site and will continue to use it to elevate.
- Tell us something about your debut release and where fans can find it.
D Dukes: My recent release is called “Smokey Robbinson” you can find it on YouTube and Soundcloud also my single “Morning Light” which you can find on iTunes and all streaming sites.
- What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music? Do you have a video you would recommend fans checkout?
D Dukes: I feel with today’s music you have to have lots of visuals. I have some material coming real soon which I will flood the music scene with visuals. People can listen to the radio all day but if they can’t put a picture with that voice then you stay unknown. Right now I would recommend my latest track video called Smokey Robbinson. https://youtu.be/57LuVHsg100
- Do you prefer working and creating in a studio environment, or performing live in front of an audience?
D Dukes: I love both but I prefer performing it makes me feel like ; different person also I can express myself and interact with new supporters, the studio I can hear my creations which puts me in a different vibe also.
- What’s next on the upcoming agenda for D Dukes?
D Dukes: Right now I am working on my EP/Album called “DUKESOLOGY” and then its show time. I plan to tour some states and push out more projects. And stay consistent with material so you will hearing a lot from me real soon!