Local Talent Spotlight: Champagne Duane [Interview]

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Photo Cred // Michelle Pearl Gee

We’re happy to have had the chance to interview the Guyana-born Champagne Duane. Raised in Florida, he relocated to Portland to pursue his artistic gifts. Prior to the release of his album I thought this would be a great time to introduce him to our viewers.

503tv: For those that may not be familiar with you can you tell them a little about you?

Duane: Well, I’m a Portland transplant originally from Florida. Shoutout to Dade County! I moved out here 9 years ago for the footwear industry to fulfill one dream of becoming a shoe designer. I’ve worked for several brands and designed for a number of athletes, namely Dwyane Wade. I got back into music about 3 years ago. It started off as just entertainment, but I started feeling the growth, and it made me feel like I should keep going.

503tv: You came onto my radar when one of your supporters submitted your “Worst” remix video featuring Elin Skei. That post got hundreds of hits on day one, many of which from overseas. Any idea why it’s such a hit internationally?

Duane: Part of that may have to do with the following in Europe I picked up due to TF-1’s involvement in Vegas Baby 2.  TF-1 is France’s largest TV station. Elin’s also got international ties as well. She and I have an EP coming out Friday the 13th before Valentine’s Day.

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Photo Cred // Michelle Pearl Gee

503tv: You’re dropping your first full project this year. Tell us a little about it and why we should be checking for it?

Duane: My album is called ‘A Toast’ and it’s basically a salute to the sounds that inspired me growing up. Anyone who grew up in the 90s is a huge fan of some really classic hip-hop. So as a fan, I wanted to tribute and contribute to the music that shaped me. My influences are pretty clear. I’ve also got some exciting features on the project from amazing local talent like Jonny Cool, Jarrod Lawson and Saeeda Wright to some more known artists like Big Pooh and Talib Kweli- who sits comfortably in my top 5. But ‘A Toast’ is going to have something everyone can relate to. I think it really shows my versatility. Be prepared to move though.

503tv: If you could collab with any NW artist who would it be and why?

Duane: Sir Mix-a-Lot. I like big butts too… On a serious note, there’s lots of talent in Portland I rock with. I’m ready to work with anyone out here. Let em all know.

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Photo Cred // Zachary Scott Robertson

503tv: Where would you like to see your music career in five years time?

Duane: In general, I just want to get to a point where I’m consistent, evolving, and still inspired. Specifically, tons of radio play obviously, international shows and collaborations with some of my heroes. I’d like to have created my own brand of hip hop, where I can always make what works for me and not rely on what the current trend is.

Break out the champagne!

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