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Cuerators Radio #7 – Diggs Duke ‘Right Now’

Cuerators is proud and honored to present our next guest’s radio show as we are fans of his work. Diggs Duke commands a very interesting mind which shines in his work and results in unique songs that caught our attention some time ago. If you haven’t heard the tracks we have of his, do a quick search of his name and you’ll find the nuggets that made us take notice. Cuerators had a chance to speak with Diggs Duke and ask him a few questions:

Excerpt from Soulcial Circle interview:

How would you describe your sound?
I make soul music from the viewpoint of a jazz musician.

Who or what gets your creativity flowing? What inspires you?
Within the last year, I’ve realized that after living in urban and suburban areas for all of my life, I don’t like big cities. So, a few months ago, I decided to move far from them for a period of time, to coastal Maine. Right now, I’m inspired by the landscape here. The vastness of the ocean is awe-inspiring. Every single night, I can walk out onto my porch and see a sky full of stars. It makes me realize that I am very small in the grand scheme of things and that I need to create something to make an impression on the world.

CUERATORS INTERVIEW WITH DIGGS DUKE

“Among millions of robots, there is still an animal alive!!” – Bigfoot 

Cuerators: You tweeted, ”Essentially, we are all about 80% the same. So, a creative person’s duty is to just give us that other 20% in the music.” How do you go about that personally?

Diggs Duke: I try and have different experiences from other people.  If I want to do something or go somewhere, I find a way.  I interact with people who are different from me on a regular basis and try to live an original life.  Of course, learning to be one’s self is difficult, no matter what.  But, your personality will come out in the music, like it or not.  So, I use my knowledge of composition to make my songs that are like my life. 

C: Can you talk about the song you wrote about people who won’t scoot over on the subway when seating is limited?

DD: I try to come up with song concepts everywhere I go.  I often get ideas from the simplest of encounters.  The subway seat dilemma just happened to be a recurring theme in my commute, no matter what city I was in.  I like to challenge myself, as far as songwriting goes, to keep from straying into cliché territory. 

C: You also tweeted, “I think the musical reason I’ve grown disillusioned with Hip-Hop is there are just too many words in the songs…”. Were you alluding to simplicity over complexity in song writing or is it something else? Is it specific to hip-hop?

DD: I was literally talking about there being too many words.  If I was talking to a rapper about songwriting, I’d say, “I can’t process your whole life in one song.”  So many musicians don’t value every word they say in their tracks.  But, rappers are especially notorious for this.  They even grunt on every song and act like it’s cool.  The goal of songwriting is to say in 1 word what everyone else would say in 10.

Diggs Duke broadcasting from coastal Maine:

Selections

  • Flying Lotus – Mmm Hmm
  • One Be Lo – enecS eht no kcaB
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Always Waiting
  • Robert Glasper – Fever
  • Gretchen Parlato – Weak
  • Elephant & Castle – En Memoria
  • Jose James – Equinox
  • Leon Ware – Orchids for the Sun
  • Columbia Nights – As You Are
  • Diggs Duke – Patiently, We Bloom
  • Emily King – Every Part
  • Bilal – Is This Love?
  • Suite for Ma Dukes Orchestra – Untitled/Fantastic