Official Biography (courtesy of dwayne)
"October 26th 2007. My first show in New York City. You couldn't tell me two years from that date, I'd have a record out," dwayne recalls. " I was so new to the whole band idea, harmonies; just a lot of things. I may have not known how to convey certain things, but I always felt I'd finally turn those ideas into tangible items. I am just a kid with a dream."
With production starting in June 2008 in NYC and completing in September 2009, Looking Glass, the singer's fully furnished independent debut release , is a project that was met with many setbacks but emerged from the ashes like a rising phoenix. If the native Long Island, NY singer/songwriter/arranger/musician, whose music is heavily influenced by the 70's soul and funk era, knows anything, it is rising above. A product of a single parent household, his mother raised three children to her best ability while neutralizing with elements of drugs, crime and violence outside their home. Relying on the arts in school, dwayne tried his hand in everything; dancing, theatre, painting, sculpting and singing.
After high school, the singer went on to Five Towns College, where he graduated in 2007. During his time there, he began working with up and coming producers and musicians, seeking to be apart of something but to no avail. The experiences gave him the ingenuity to branch out on his own, completely. He knew he wanted to sing, have a band and start performing. dwayne set out to do all three, booking steady gigs throughout New York while building a fan base and honing in on his craft.
Fast forward to 2008. Feeling secure with the material he had, dwayne reached out to Mike Judeh, a college friend and engineer working out of Dubway Studios in midtown Manhattan, to record a demo. The idea was to recapture the essence of the live shows; recording was done in the same room, only doing a handful of takes for each song. It was quick, convenient and budget-friendly; get a good mix of everything, press up some copies, hand them out at shows, you know, get the momentum going... That was the idea, but it needed something, something more. "I remember having a conversation with Mike. This was just after we laid down the basic tracks in the studio, and he asked me if I just wanted to leave the tracks the way they were or make a record. When I got everyone in the studio, my intentions were just to have something I can send out to venues and post online so people could hear what the music sounded like. I wasn't prepared financially to make such a commitment. I have not seen a more consistent person then Mike. I owe a great deal to him for helping me create this record. But when he asked me that question, it all clicked and we gradually made it happen." Gone, were the polyphonic sounds only to be replaced with pulsating fender rhodes, Jimi Hendrix-styled guitars, heavy and aggressive horns and now, reaffirming vocals. Essembling an all star cast of New York's brightest musicans and vocalists, their sheer dedication are the elements in which Looking Glass is based upon. No song sounds alike or similar. Each track is its' own entity; showcasing its' unique brand of flavor but all remaining lyrically and creatively aesthetic. Gritty, raw, funky, honest and empowering, there is something for everyone. "All Nite," the EP's opener, is an infectious early 80's soul groove designed for you to dance your worries into the morning light with its' call and response powerhouse vocals.
"Feenin'," the set's only love song, takes yet a more unconventional approach to the typical love song, donning a Curtis Mayfield-like style of arrangement. Perhaps, "dwayne's Lament," the set's most personal song; unveils the singer's own personal demons coinciding in a world where indidivuality isn't promoted. How do you continue to just be, when so much of the world is jaded, one dimensional? How can you merge your passion and your career into one? Belief. "I knew that once I starting believing in myself more, that transition would be easier to endure. That belief was the reason I was able to work two and three jobs and still carry the weight of my career. It was reason why I continue to move forward when I had nothing concrete. I had to believe that regardless of what was being said about me or to me, the choice was ultimately up to me how far I wanted to succeed. The person I was two years ago is an entirely different person. I told myself I want to become a reflection of what I always dreamed about. It's attainable and I know that, and one day everyone else will know too." You'll know. You'll know...