Davey has just released his latest music video “Wet Dream’. This is the first single off new EP ‘Get Hard’. You can check out the video for this latest single below.
Who is Davey Duzit?
Davey Duzit is Australia’s first gay hip hop star. But there’s more to Davey than just his sexuality. He’s a hugely talented songwriter and rapper – and all round nice guy too.
Hip hop is a notoriously homophobic conclave within the music industry. It should also be pointed out that as a genre, hip hop also has well known and documented issues with perceptions of sexism and misogyny too. So on first impressions, hip hop doesn’t seem to be the most welcoming and inclusive of musical genres.
But the world is changing. And it’s changing in part, due to people like Davey Duzit, Australia’s first gay (or at least, first openly out) hip hop star. The very fact that he’s out, open and honest about who he is, is changing people’s perceptions and breaking down barriers not only in hip hop, but in the broader music industry as well. Hopefully as the world continues changing, in five years time, articles about Davey will only mention his sexuality in passing, if at all.
Because first and foremost, Davey is a hugely talented songwriter and rapper. Focusing on his sexuality over his talent does him a disservice. I first came across Davey hearing (and liking) his music. I didn’t even realise he was gay. It was only later when I read an article about him, that I learnt that.
But being the first of anything means that an unfair burden is placed on your shoulders. Being the first intrigues people, because it’s something that hasn’t been seen before. So in my chat with Davey, I did ask him a few questions about his sexuality, and his take on the state of homophobia in hip hop, simply because he’s so uniquely placed to talk about these issues.
But I also want to delve into his music. Because bottom line – Davey Duzit is one seriously talented dude. His first EP, ‘Lost Boy’ was released in January 2015. Just over a year later, Davey returned with sophomore EP ‘Demon’s Demise’. His second EP shows his considerable growth and maturity, lyrically and vocally as well.
One of the best things about Davey’s music is that it transcends the genre. So even though I wouldn’t consider myself a huge hip hop fan (my hip hop taste it limited to old school stuff and I got into the hyphy movement about a decade ago), I still really enjoyed Davey’s music. His lyrics are relatable, smart and catchy.
Davey is also a genuinely interesting person, as my chat with him quickly revealed. He’s smart, honest and charming. Check out our interview below where Davey opens up about his early years (including his turbulent teenage years which saw him living on the streets), the state of homophobia in hip hop, how he deals with body image issues and his thoughts on love and finding Mr Right.
Little Gay Blog – You cite your early music influences as Tupac, Biggie and Lil Kim. Growing up in Australia, do you remember how you first came across hip hop/rap, and what was it about that style of music that appealed to you?
Davey – I discovered hip hop on a school camp in grade 8. A friend was playing Westside Connections’ album ‘Bow Down’ and I guess I was instantly intrigued.
Hip Hop has always been quite a big thing in Adelaide and I guess the culture was growing at the time. I fell in love with everything about it, The fashion, graffiti, dance, people and of course, the music. I always had a huge obsession with America since I was a kid as well, so something about it just stuck.
You got into music at the age of 26. What were your life/career plans before then?
I never really had a clue what I wanted to do growing up. As a kid I tried pretty much everything. I feel there is so much pressure on youth to know what the want to do in life.
After school I tried my hand at youth work, but felt I was too young to be able to help other young people. I then got into personal training. I always had a burning desire to be creative and that side of me was re-ignited when I started making music.
Was staying in the closet ever an option for you, considering that in some ways, being gay can still be seen as an impediment to achieving success in the music industry?
Well I was 17 when I came out, so it was well before I started making music. I wasn’t able to go back into the closet even if I wanted to. Growing up in Adelaide, I definitely thought I would stay in the closet forever though, so if I never moved interstate, I’m not sure If I would have come out.
I think times are changing and we are seeing more openly gay musicians and actors. There is still definitely a level of “too gay” in the entertainment industry.
How inclusive is the Australian hip hop scene, and if you could see one change take effect in the industry to make it a more open and inclusive place, what would that change be?
I only really started listening to Aussie hip hop after I started making music myself. I personally think it’s one of the more homophobic of the hip hop genres, so i don’t really feel as though I’d ever really be included in it.
You hardly ever hear the word “f*g” in American hip hop anymore, so I guess I’d like to see that change in Aussie hip hop. In saying that, there are some really cool new Aussie rappers coming up who seem a lot more open minded, which inspires me.
Alright, let’s talk about your music. One thing that always fascinates me about creative people is where their inspiration comes from. So do you, for instance, start off with a beat or music riff and then add lyrics to that, or does a lyrical idea pop into your head and then you craft the song around that? What’s the creative process like for you?
I’ve done both. Honestly I prefer to hear a rough beat first though as I get a feeling of what the song should be about. I usually have an idea for a hook come to me first, could be anything, and then I will write the verses/bridge after that.
I like to write lyrics alone as I don’t like distractions. I then will structure the song lyrically and work with the producer to structure the beat and add or change anything that needs be. I also write 16 bar verses when I’m bored at home sometimes that end up becoming songs.
You’ve said that your EP ‘Demon’s Demise’ is a lot more personal than your first. Is there a particular track that holds special meaning for you?
Definitely the title track ‘Demon’s Demise’. The lyrics speak for me personally, but also about someone else I grew up with that has the same demon. It’s a day by day struggle but I’m learning to keep myself in check.
‘Tick Tock’ seems to be about the pressure to look good when you’re in the public eye. There’s also a lot of pressure to look good in the gay community (whether it’s muscly and buff, or twinky and young). Do you in a way, experience the double whammy of those two combined sets of expectations, and how do you deal with it?
Yes definitely. ‘Tick Tock’ is that clock that is ticking away telling you that you are not getting any younger. The gay community is very superficial and I feel there is lots of pressure to look or even “act’ a certain way to be deemed attractive. It’s definitely a double whammy when you start your music career later in life and you feel you need to make things happen before you get too “old”.
My favourite track on ‘Demon’s Demise’ (which I have been listening to non-stop) is ‘Old and on the Pension’ because it seems to taps into your romantic side. Do you believe in true love and that there is a Mr Right out there for you?
Aww thanks. I’m glad you say that as it is often the track that gets over looked on the EP.
I wrote that song about my first love and then all my experiences with dating after that.
Most people that know me wouldn’t believe me, but I definitely believe in true love. I am not someone who wears their heart on their sleeve though so It can be hard to break down my guard.
I definitely believe there is a Mr Right out there for me. I just haven’t met him yet.
And lastly, what is one thing even the most hardcore Davey Duzit fan might not know about you?
I guess probably something that a lot of people don’t about me is my struggle in my teenage years.
I moved out of home at 15 years old and was definitely going down the wrong path. I made the move from Adelaide to Melbourne shortly after moving out of my family home, but due circumstance ended up homeless. I spent the next couple of years living in youth refuges and transitional housing which definitely made me resilient.
I’m lucky that I came out the other end the person that I am today. Everyone has a story so I feel it’s important not to judge others until you know theirs.