Davey Duzit may not be a household name in the LGBT community, but the out Melbourne, Australia based rapper/songwriter is paving his own path down under despite a still homophobic industry and a small but growing queer fan base.
Duzit released his first EP Lost Boy for free download on bandcamp in January 2015. The offering enjoyed wide play on community radio across Melbourne and the first single and title track was featured on the DownUnderGround Mix Tape Volume 3.
In February, his second EP Demon's Demise was dropped featuring the infectious "Popcorn Pop" and its sexy video, both released late last year.
#Boom Media had a chance to catch up with the Aussie trailblazer to talk his new music, coming out, and surviving in a not-so-welcoming industry
First question - most gay men in America find the Australian accent totally hot. So does the American accent do anything for Australian gay men?
Yeah, definitely. I mean obviously you guys have a lot more diversity in your accents but I personally find your accents very sexy.
This is good to know. So you're a self-described Australian gay hip-hopper. How did that come about?
Well, I grew up listening to hip-hop in high school - sort of everybody where I was from was listening to hip-hop, and it's just something I was always into. When I turned about 25, I was already writing poems and songs, and I guess I gained a little bit more confidence and I decided to get into the studio and started turning those poems into songs. That's where it all started.
Your new EP dropped in February. Tell us about it.
I've been working on it for about nine months, it's my second EP. The first one [Lost Boy] I released in January of last year. This EP is a little bit more personal, it's called Demon's Demise - so basically the theme behind it is the feelings that we all have and basically putting into and I guess moving on and letting the past go.
I loved the video for "Popcorn Pop" - it's very polished, very artistic and I love the black and white, the pops of color, the leathermen - what message were you trying to convey with that video?
Obviously the urban inspirations are always going to be there, but I try and sort of stay away from anything that is cliché hip-hop. It's supposed to be inspired by the movie Sin City and the song, if you listen to the lyrics, is the story of the debaucherous night. Everybody in the video has basically their own story and it's sort of all connected in one crazy night of debauchery and sex, drugs and hip-hop kind of thing. So we've got a trans actor and a cis model in the video, there's obviously me, who's gay; and then we've got a straight actor and model. I just wanted everybody to be represented and sort of have a diverse cast of people. So I wanted to cover all bases in that aspect as well.
A few years ago you came to New York and worked with a variety of producers. What was that experience like for you?
It was amazing. I wanted to spend some time in New York and obviously that's where hip-hop was born. I had been there a few times before, but not to do music. It was just great - I met a lot of people, I gigged, I recorded out in Brooklyn and all around New York, actually. So, yeah - It was a great experience and I just got to soak up the culture. Definitely coming up I'd like to go back and do it but this time, obviously, keep more and really get myself out there.
Who or what inspires you as an artist?
It's not just music, I'm inspired by a lot of film as well. But surprisingly, a lot of my inspirations don't come from other rappers. But I love the 90s, I love Madonna, I love Ga Ga, I love Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Yeah, I've always sort of had a dark undertone to everything I do, but it's kind of like when it's dark it's dark and when it's light, it's still dark.
How does the Australian hip-hop scene compare to what we have here in the states?
It's definitely its own genre, it's called Aussie Hip Hop and I guess it's starting to evolve a bit in the last few years. But typically, it's probably in my experience the most homophobic of all pop genres. I don't actually know of any other gay hip-hop artist in Australia. There's obviously a queer hip-hop thing happening in America with Mykki Blanco and lot of others but the queer hi-hop scene has really yet to come down under here. If you were to compare, I would probably say it is a little bit more progressive in America.
How has your experience been as an out gay man in hip-hop? We still have a lot of homophobia and transphobia in the industry here in the states.
Oh, absolutely. I'm definitely aware of that. I think that's just hip-hop in general, but I think for me, I think it can be hard when working with producers. Sometimes I struggle with having to come out to a producer when it's not really relevant, but when I want to speak about what I want to speak about the producer I'm working with has to be okay with that. Obviously, I'm not going to work with a homophobe, that just defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to do. So I find that a lot of the criticism I get on social media and stuff like that for being in hip-hop is always directed towards the sexuality and not the music itself. It's definitely it's own struggle, but I always knew that was going to be the case when it comes to being gay in hip-hop.
Tell us about your coming out?
I guess I always knew I was different as a kid. A little after puberty, I realized I was attracted to guys. I thought I was attracted to women as well so I guess in my head I told myself that I was bisexual. I grew up in a relatively small town and I didn't know any other gay people and I always sort of told myself that I would never come out. Then I moved to Melbourne when I was 16 from my small hometown and I met a whole new crew of people - a lot of gay people - and realized that not everywhere had that small-minded homophobia. I actually was a little bit drunk one day and stumbled across a gay bar and went into that gay bar. I was 17 and wound up going home with a guy. I woke up the next morning and he'd jumped in the shower and I ran out the front door without saying goodbye and it took me about a month to digest what I'd just done. Then a month later, I was out of the closet and told my sister, told my friends, and the rest is history.
Are you involved in LGBT activism? I know the marriage equality fight is still going strong in Australia.
Yeah, I think personally that I am. I mean obviously I've got my views on things. Hopefully when I get a little more of a following I can get more active in that sort of thing. But it's definitely something I want to be involved with as an artist.
How can our readers find and follow you and hear your music?
Basically pretty much all my social media is Davey Duzit. You can find me on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, obviously. My music is on bandcamp and Sound Cloud. I'll have a new video coming out and a majority of my updates are on Facebook.