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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Duv
Monday, April 04, 2011

If you’ve ever been to the Bowery Poetry Club you’ve met Duv. Not only does he greet everyone at the door with his position as a club’s bouncer, but he also graces the stage on a regular basis as one of New York City’s top singing talents. I’ve been wanting to feature Duv for a while now, but every time I see him he’s working. This week I finally caught up with him while he was off the clock and found out more about his musical past, which actually includes a lot of dance, his regular appearances as a part of the Symphonics Live events, and one of the rare occasions someone needed to be removed from the Bowery, and how Duv’s singing may have helped.

Adam Bernard: Start everyone off with some background info. Where are you from and when did you first become interested in singing?
Duv: I was born and raised in The Bronx. As far as my first interest in singing goes, the joke used to be that I came out of my mother's stomach with a mic. To be honest, I don't really remember ever not being interested in singing, or some kind of performance, art growing up.

Adam Bernard: What are some of your earliest memories of performing?
Duv: My earliest real memories of performing are from junior high school. During my junior high years I went to a school called The Bronx Dance Academy and every day was half academics and half ballet, modern, or jazz dance. I always felt comfortable performing on some level, but being there for the years that I was, with the people that I was there with, did so much for my strength and comfort as a stage performer, even as a singer. Every year we would have a few performances that took place on a large stage in a theater. The experience was amazing. There was a time in my life when I thought dance was going to be the career I was going to pursue.  

Adam Bernard: I know a lot of people are glad you ended up pursuing music, including those who attend the Symphonics Live series of shows. You’re a mainstay on that bill. Tell me about those shows and how you came to be involved with them.
Duv: Symphonics Live is an event that I genuinely love! It's put together by a very talented man named Shawn Randall who has an amazing ability to build relationships with people who are just as talented and know how to put on a great show, just as he does. To be honest, I don't think I even remember how Shawn and I met. I do remember having some kind of musical interaction early on in our friendship, doing some improvisation at an open mic with a guitarist and a beatboxer. The chemistry and respect for each other's artistry was unquestionable. From that point on I was a part of every Symphonics Live event, at least during the improv section at the end of the show, and at other times also doing my own sets with the band. We've rocked at some really wonderful performance venues such The Blue Note, The Bowery Poetry Club, and The Zipper Factory, to name a few.

Adam Bernard: Other than Symphonics, where might people have heard your work and seen you perform?
Duv: I've done some shows at various places over the last few years; The University of Massachusetts, Pianos, South Paw, of course The Bowery Poetry Club. I've also done some events as part of the 14 person beatbox orchestra called Nu Voices, which is run by the founder of Beatboxer Entertainment, Kid Lucky. I'm featured on the soundtrack of a 2009 independent film called The Empty Hands, which was directed by Steven Watkins, and I’m featured on Baba Israel and Yako440's album Beatbox Dub Poetics. Baba and Yako also produced my debut album Urban Artistik, which was released in 2008.

Adam Bernard: 2008 was a while ago. Is there another album in the works?
Duv: We did just start recording for my second album. I think the plan is to have it done at some point this year, but we don't have a deadline or anything. People can definitely expect to here some new songs in the next two months or so.

Adam Bernard: In addition to your music, a lot of folks know you as the world’s greatest bouncer over at the Bowery Poetry Club. In what ways do you think having that position has helped your singing career?
Duv: The world's greatest bouncer?! That's a pretty big statement. Maybe one of the friendliest. It is a great job for my art, though. I'm very fortunate to work in a space where a large variety of arts, artists, and people in this city, and in many cases beyond this city, are at a very continuous flow, and I'm the man at the front. I get to interact and speak with everyone that walks in. I'm not positive, but I probably met Shawn (Randall) there. There has been more than one case where I'd meet someone at the Bowery and then collaborate with them, or be invited to do a show, shortly after. Just being at that door as often as I am, if used right, can be a great networking tool. Aside from it being a space to meet people, if you’re an artist working at The Bowery Poetry Club, which almost all of us are, it's a place to perform. In 2008 the Bowery housed the album release party for my debut album. It was a great event and I wouldn't have wanted to have it anywhere else. That stage is one of my musical homes.

Adam Bernard: Do you have any especially fond memories of seeing an artist first, watching an artist grow, or meeting someone special there?
Duv: There are so many amazing people and performers that walk into that place and bless the stage. Coincidentally, the one that comes to mind first is also a frequent part of the Symphonics Live shows. Her name is Grace Kalambay. This woman has such an amazing voice. I am truthfully a fan. I have certainly seen her grow as a performer over the last few years. I very highly recommend that any/everyone look her up, hear her sounds and check out any shows that she might be a part of. You'll be glad you did.

Adam Bernard: Finally, have you ever actually had to bounce anyone? Do you have any wild moments to report?
Duv: Ya know, it definitely doesn't happen as often as it does in a lot of other clubs and bars, but it does happen, and to be honest, most of the time, removing someone from the space is as easy as telling them they need to leave and walking them out. Some are a little more memorable, though. One time that comes to mind happened a few years ago at a rock show. A customer started a fight with one of the band members. Typically we would remove both parties involved in a fight, but I happened to be standing there and the performer clearly wanted no part in the confrontation. The man just grabbed the hat off the band member's head and tried swinging. I, and I believe the manager, grabbed him and pulled him outside. He spent about 20 or 30 minutes after that trying to argue his way back in. Then he said he was going to wait out front until the show was done to finish his fight. Finally he tries rushing his way in through us, which made no sense because he was a pretty good amount smaller than me, and two of the three guys at the door with me were almost twice my size. Anyway, I had to put him on the ground. He ended up with his back to street with my knee to his chest and my hands on the collar of his jacket until he calmed down. Then I helped him up, told him it was nothing personal, he apologized and wasn't any more of a problem. The reason this came to mind first is because the joke at the Bowery was that I sang him to the ground and then sang him calm afterward.

Related Links

Website: SubphonikMusic.com
CDBaby: CDBaby.com/cd/duv
Facebook: facebook.com/duvsings
MySpace: myspace.com/duvmusic

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