SANTA BARBARA, CA – On an outdoor lot on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, California, there resides an independent concert venue. It was started by a group of like-minded individuals who all wanted a place to display their various art-forms and to share a unique style of music with the world in ways that aren’t well represented through mainstream media. One of the key partners in this endeavor is Aphiah Ce-Jude, better known by his stage name Duals. To hear him tell it, the venue is one that is a perfect extension of who he is as a person and what he wants to represent as a poet and musician.
“We wanted to have a gig of our own to put shows on whenever we wanted and to create a movement around the community,” Duals said. “We’re not trying to copy anyone else’s style. We’re trying to stay very pure to our vision. There’s a void – especially within the hip-hop genre – of different truths. But I’m not afraid to be weird or wild. I’m not going to be so formulaic with my music. I’m creating a lot more free-flowing poetry, but still packaged into something that people will want to listen to.”
His most recent album is a good example of his own unique style and approach. It’s called “Kidnapped,” and Duals said he’s currently in the middle of a Kick Starter Campaign to try to raise funds to do a full digital release through a distribution company. The campaign ends May 19, and his hope is to release the album May 26, with a live show at his venue as a kind of launch party for the album.
The songs within “Kidnapped” are created intentionally to tie in metaphors of the grand scheme of how the world works and the perspective of an enslaved mentality. The beginning of the album starts out with wild raps, though with an element of poetry. As it progresses, the songs become a little more fun with a more cathartic vibe, before eventually breaking down into a more poetic side of things. The album ends by picking up with more upbeat songs and concluding with an attitude of conquering the world.
“The whole idea of the album is about fighting for freedom,” Duals said. “Whether that’s rebellion or resisting bureaucracy, or even things you personally trap yourself in – such as a bad community or drugs or anything else you can trap yourself with. It’s not as abstract as some of my previous work, though it does still have that element. But there are a lot of songs on there that you can just vibe out to.”
Two singles from the album have already been released and have been getting positive feedback from fans. “Milk Carton Kids” and “Watch Me” are both available on most digital download sites. Another single, “Gangsta Ass Mama” is currently in the final mixing stages and should be released before the end of the month, as well. Duals also recently launched a music video for yet another single called “Figure It Out,” and he hopes to follow that up with a video for “Watch Me” later this summer.
To listen to Duals’ music or to follow him on social media, please visit the following links: