By Ann Irvina Ravinther on Friday, August 25th, 2017
EAST COAST BAE
DUVV wears her heart on her sleeve. As told through a mixture of alternative R&B, hip hop and pop, her voice sings ballads of personal stories we can all learn from. And we dare say, connect with. Her music has been featured on Earmilk, Hypebeast, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Spotify and Fader — so it’s not just us who thinks her talent is not a question.
Originally from New York, the singer/songwriter now spends her time in Seoul. The very city that sparked her drive for music. In 2013, she made her first trip there and in the last week, she discovered her love for singing. You’ll find her exploration of Seoul’s music scene evident in her latest project, WITH YOU IN MIND which features Seoul’s most exciting producers, B R L L N T, APRO, and Smells & Reno, among others. The mixtape is a rather existentialist idea, where she sings on the nature of human existence, pain and love. Like Aloe Vera to a cut, her mixtape provides soothing comfort to your ears and heart.
So, if you’re unfamiliar with the name DUVV, we suggest you get acquainted.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU IN SEOUL THAT YOU DECIDED TO PURSUE MUSIC?
I didn’t always want to be a singer/songwriter, and my first trip to Seoul wasn’t even about music. One of the things that inspired me was meeting people who were interested in pushing boundaries in their respective fields. It was great to meet other creatives with open minds, creatives who were thinking about how to do what they love and change the game in the process. That matches my mindset so it resonated with me.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE MAKING MUSIC IN SEOUL.
Challenging, for sure. I moved here and a lot of changes were coming at me at once. (Language barrier, cultural differences, etc.) There were times when I felt overwhelmed and let stress get the better of me. This time around, I was taking pretty poor care of myself. I wasn’t sleeping well, eating well, etc. I was putting my health aside to work on music. It wasn’t a good call. Other than that, making music here has been great. I worked with several talented producers on my next project so that was an eye-opening experience. I’ve been learning about different elements of music such as sound design. I’ve also gotten the kick I needed to start exploring production.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE STRONGEST INFLUENCE IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
God, undeniably. This whole thing started because of God. The interesting thing about making music to me is that the creative process isn’t just about creativity. Sometimes the focus is on translating one thing from one medium to another. Putting thoughts on paper so to speak. My music is who I am, it’s how I live, it’s what I believe in. My relationship with God impacts what I sing about; it impacts how I write and how I sing.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
I’m the happiest when I’m in harmony with the important things in life. It was a long while before I realized that I was the source of my own sadness. It then took some more time to accept that. When you’re hurting or sad, sometimes you don’t want to say, I’m sad because of me. I had preconceived notions about happiness, about control, about many things. And what happened, was I caught myself making myself miserable. I’m still working on some things, but I took serious steps toward cutting that negativity out of my life.
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
One amazing piece of advice I received was from this wonderful woman who’s like family to me. I was expressing my concerns about something, and she said something along the lines of “You can’t believe in God and be afraid at the same time.” And I was like whoa. I had to sit with that one for a while, because I’m thinking “Sheesh, what exactly am I afraid of?” And I’m thinking about those things in my head. And then I get to thinking. What if I had no fear? Just everything all to God. Some of the greatest moments in my life happened because I let go of fear. We all have one life on this planet. We’re all going to die. Why be afraid?
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHT TO DATE?
Seeing how much my dad supports me and my music. My dad was not initially on board with me pursuing music. He supported me, but I think the idea made him a little nervous. You know, I graduated college and then plot twist, decided to pursue a career in music. It’s not necessarily the most comforting thing to tell your parents. But, my dad has been an amazing source of support. Things like hearing my dad playing my music in his office or in his car. Highlight for sure.
IN YOUR INTRODUCTION, YOU MENTIONED GOD AND MISTAKES. TALK US THROUGH WHAT WITH YOU IN MIND MEANS TO YOU.
I wanted to open up about my faith. I wanted to talk about my mistakes. Sometimes I slip up and use them as reasons to not love myself properly, and then on the other side of that is God. I wanted WYIM to be a source of comfort to people who are going through a hardship. I think many times when people want to relinquish pain, they turn to something that feels instant, something carnal, something that makes the body feel good and puts the spirit on the back-burner. I’ve done it before, and I wasn’t better off. I wanted to challenge the human penchant for temporary fixes. We’re not alone on this planet, and I wanted this project to be a reminder that love heals. It will always exist. It’s the only thing we can really count on. I used to push thoughts of God to the back of my mind when I was having a hard time. I would just zoom in on my mistake or on something negative that was going on. It was like it was all I could see. That was a mistake. I really hurt myself by doing that. So, I’m thinking, how many people do I pass on the street that don’t see past their pain right now? How can we heal together?
LASTLY, WHO IS YOUR NEXT BAE FEATURE SUGGESTION?
Kilo Kish. She’s one of my favorite artists. She sings/raps/designs, etc., I think her work is fantastic.