Q1: If you had the opportunity to get a inspiring message across to a large amount of people, what would your message be?
A1: My messages to get out to the world would be Love & Light. Time is short and you have to use time wisely. Make sure you keep good people around you, stay positive, stay strong, stay humble, stay grateful. Make sure that you exercise your mind as much as you can for the greater good. Constantly be creative in your thinking and be dynamic with your actions.
Q2: How did you get started with your music? And if you weren’t an artist/musician what would you want to be doing?
A2: I actually got started with my music when I was exposed to the world of Hip Hop via like Beat-box. I thought it was cool, I got shown how to Beat-box and that gave me that Rhythmic Pattern, I needed. I’ve always got involved in music, my dad was involved with music heavily, so he would always play it around the house. It wasn’t actually until, I was given a piano/keyboard at around age seven, from then I fell in love with composing and found it was easy for me to play by ear, I started to get creative through that, there was some drum pads on there, so I would say from seven I got started. From seven I got the basis of the keyboard skills and then it fell into place, from then.
A lot of my music is very keyboard and piano based, in regards to composing strings from the classical training that I received through wanting to know more about the piano. If I wasn’t doing music, I would probably be dealing with the financial market more, property market, these are things that I diversify into, but I really liked the composition of music and the communal aspect. It brought a lot of people together, whether it be me performing or putting together events. So I would be doing a lot more property and financial stuff which is not too much different to what I am actually involved in, but I love writing lyrics and making music.
Q3: What or who keeps you motivated and inspires you?
A3: New artists inspire me, different producers inspire me, anything from outcasts to some UK artists, whatever is happening in the world of music inspires me, not one particular person. When I hear an artist on a track, I think WOW… Like that artist, did the whole track themselves, but it wasn’t just them. It was produced by, it was written by someone else and they was a feature. I would say music as a whole inspires me because I never know the origins of how that track came about, so it would be wrong to specify. Naz, Buster, Outcast… Shout-out to my UK artists as well and the people that are supported by USH. Anyone that I have booked to perform, I feel, if I didn’t name you it doesn’t mean there’s no love, there’s a long list.
Also my son motivates me like nothing else, just to create music and be joyful and love it, he is at the stage of life where he is discovering a lot and I get to discover it with him. I get to compose a different type of soundtrack now.There’s a lot of things happening in the world and I get to relate to that, but they are hard hitting serious issues. Amongst those issues you still have to exist, music reflects life so much and you can’t just be one dimensional, I believe. So I like to create an array of emotions, so my family definitely inspire me, friends, and the people that come to support anything I have done. Depending on how you carry and conduct yourself. I try to keep my music to a realistic level, the stuff I talk about and who I am as a person. For someone to get into that they kind of get into me and that’s appreciated. So I put out music, I think is going to be appreciated and I appreciate those who appreciate me. I am inspired by the world as well as other artists and other music within it
Q4: What is the most memorable experience of your life/career so far? And what have you learnt from it?
A4: The most memorable experience of my career so far, was when I got paid when I was signed to BMG. I got £3,000 for a beat just on the strength of who I was managed by, that’s when I realised the political aspects that surround music. It wasn’t about my ability. It wasn’t about how good I was, it was just this person speaking on behalf of this person commanding certain rates for me, that was nice. It was memorable for me because it made me think more about the business aspect of things.
There are more memories that are more memorable for other reasons. For example in 2014, I got to play Caz Fest which is a festival for a lady named Caroline who passed away, I got to perform, met her parents. It was quite touching as it was an occasion for a cause. Also my son got to see me perform, he was in the crowd, he’s never seen or experienced this before. So that was memorable because my son got to see me perform for the first time. So somewhere in the middle of the love and the business make good memories for me.
Q5: Would you go back and change anything in your journey so far? (If no, why)
A5: No, I wouldn’t because everything that I have been through has helped me with the perspective I have towards music, towards the world and my artistry. I don’t think that I would probably appreciate anything other then the realism, which I am able to deliver at this point through the life I have lived. So I wouldn’t change anything in my journey, I had to learn these lessons.
Q6: In the next two years what do you ASPIRE to have done?
A6: In the next two years I would aspire for USH to have grown more and be more recognised. I would hope USH could’ve helped more artists. I definitely hope that in two years time we would of fed more homeless people, which is another charity I aid under USH as well as Macmillan Cancer Trust. So I hope with every-ones donations and the USH events we put on throughout the years, this is achievable… Also I hope to put out some more music, a new album, writing is my diary anyway so that’s probably going to happen, regardless.
Q7: How much of your life and background have influenced you to become a songwriter/musician?
A7: Quite a bit of my life influenced me to become a musician/songwriter. If I didn’t have basketball training, I would find myself going to the piano room just learning, some more piano and just practicing, trying to get better, so I could say a lot of my life has influenced me to become a musician. As a songwriter I didn’t start writing until later, I composed first, and everything followed. The thing for me was the beats I made were given to other artists, they would then make a song and give me something back that I didn’t feel envisioned what I felt fit the music. With music you have to go with your gut feeling and I ended up saying to them you need to be doing it like this. The more I did that the more I got to improve at that aspect, and that’s now what people have come to know as my own style and my way of delivery in my artistry. More of my life producing then writing but still a lot of my life doing both.
Q8: What lyrics mean the most to you and why (ones you have written and or ones you didn’t write)
Q9: If you could collaborate with anyone who would to it be and why?
A9: If I collab with anyone it would of been my father because we never got to, he was a good musician in a band called ‘The Investigators’ which was a Lover Is Rock band which started in the UK. Love Is Rock encompasses Reggae Roots music with Swing, it’s a real kind of distinct sound. I guess I would of loved to collaborate with him. Him not being around anymore is a big influence on me but if there was anyone I could’ve collaborated with, it would be my father. He always used to guide, so we did collaborate in that sense.
Q10: What is most inspiring message you have internalised in life so far?
Q11: What is your motto in life/what do you live by?
A11: Words to live by, to keep you living… I live by the motto ‘Love & Light’ and I really do live by that motto. With love in your light, love in your heart anything is possible and light sheds reality into dark matter. I think, it allows you to see what you couldn’t before. Love and then light those together, are very powerful things. So that is my motto ‘Love & Light’.
Q12: What is currently on your playlist?
A12: Favourite song at the moment is Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. It’s production is phenomenal for me, I like Bruno Mars as an artist and Mark Ronson as a producer, I think together they made a classic. That’s going to be played for years to come, it’s a real timeless piece of music, real great production. So that’s currently on my play-list as well as some Up Tempo, some dance music, Animals by David Garrix, Hip-hop wise, well I’m working on my album so I’m zoned in on that and plus I get sent a lot of stuff from USH which I listen to but Uptown Funk is the anthem at the moment.
Q13: If you could have a song to be the soundtrack to your life what would it be and why?
A13: At the moment the soundtrack I would chose for my life would be James Brown ‘Paid The Cause To Be Boss’ it’s the kind of super fly era, that type of music which has horns in it which I love. James Browns voice is very distinct and the message in this song is; I worked hard to get where I am, so I think that song would be apart of the soundtrack to my life. There would be a few other songs that come to my mind but that song is the most relevant, at the moment, that and my track ‘Where I Call Home’.
Q14: What are your biggest dreams? and what are your biggest fears
A14: My biggest dreams change, when I was younger it was to have a pair of Jordans and play Mario on an Ninetendo that I owned, that was the dream. Now being mature in my approach to life, my biggest dream is making sure that my son can have opportunities in life. My biggest fear is the opposite, so yeah my world is driven differently now I am older.
Q15: What is next for you/your plans for the next year?
Q16: What would your advice to be to those out there who want to live out there dreams?
A16: My advice would be to live your dream man, what else. A lot of people are going to tell you don’t do this and you can’t do that. Forget them people because they probably didn’t do what they wanted to do at some stage, so they tell you that you can’t do it. For that reason you just have to do it, I’m not going to hit you with the clichés life is short etc we know this, but to live without a dream, no… Why would you? When you could live with it.
So I think my advice to those people who want to live out their dreams, would be to educate yourself in exactly what it means to be living out your dream, and sustaining your dreams. Some people can only envision their dreams up to a point and they are not educated enough to maintain what they need to do. So instead of maintaining within that dream, they wake up. So you want to stay in that sleep, so you can continue dreaming, you want to be comfortable enough , soft pillows, the things you need to have a comfortable sleep, to have a good dream. Metaphorically speaking what ever you encounter, every toss and turn, you will know you are adjusted enough to continue your dream even with a few knocks as you go. So educate yourself and surround yourself with the necessary tools, to live, maintain and sustain.
Q17: Lastly, for those who don’t know where can people follow your career?
A17: My website http://www.duaneflames.com I try to update it as much a I can, I mean I ain’t got games on there for people, but theres music you can download.You can watch my video’s, and read about me. Through that you have links to my company and through that you can find out what I am doing. That being said, just google me. Love & Light.