Put Your ‘Dukes’ Up

Briefly, before their show at VinylATL on May 20th, the Dukes of DaVille found time to offer insight into their creativity.

The first time I saw the ‘Dukes’ was at Atlanta’s historic Cotton Mill Lofts in the summer of 2009. I knew then, I’d never be able to forget them. It wasn’t because of their hypnotizing wave of high energy nor their infectious cover of Frankie Valli’s 1967 classic, “Beggin’.” I’m not going to lie, it was their hair! One of the ‘Dukes’, Ricky Balboa, sported an exaggerated Elvis reminiscent hairstyle.

Dukes of DaVille

As wacky as it was, it totally worked for them and appetizingly fed into the experience of watching them perform. It’s “not just a LIVE show,” they chuckled, “it’s all in the name of entertaining.” I loved it and was hooked. He and, fellow ‘Duke,’ Jimi Smalls were refreshing. In the midst of what music Atlanta had glorified and in the absence of Outkast, hell, I needed the ‘Dukes’!

“We get the Outkast comparison often…we’ve definitely learned [from them] to experiment with different sounds.”

In a market where technology rules, attention spans are short and everyone wants to be famous, you have to put up a great fight to stand out.

“A couple of thousand dollars and folks can get their own [equipment]. The most challenging thing is to get the listeners [to notice you] with so much [music available].”

Experimentation is immensely important now because “it doesn’t take much to [make] music now-a-days”. You can become a star overnight and disappear just as quickly. They definitely learned this early when they were signed with Capital Records. In December 2007, their A&R at the record company, “died from a heart attack.” Soon after the tragedy, Jason Flom, the former Chairman, resigned and Capital “was bought out by a foreign company,” which led the ‘Dukes’ to their current home with Trakkaddixx Recordings.

Fortunately, their resilience and intuitive risks have paid off with features in big name films, like Halle Berry’s “Perfect Stranger” and Ashton Kutcher’s “What Happens in Vegas”. Currently with 6400+ followers on Twitter, appearances in a dozen or more magazines, and constant touring across the nation, their audience is expanding rapidly. A genius blending of genres and hopes from fans for them to “bring back music”, these country Georgia boys called the Dukes of DaVille “don’t approach music just to be different, but to inspire others and have fun doing it.”

For updates from the Dukes of DaVille, follow them on twitter @dukesofdaville or visit their Facebook fan page. They will also appear at the Mall at Stonecrest along with B.o.B, Travis Porter and in association with 95.5 the Beat on Saturday May 22nd at noon. Please see the SONIC ECLECTIC Events tab for more information.

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