“Do what you want. Do whatever makes you happy. If you’ve in love right now, don’t be afraid of how that makes you feel.” Alt-rocker DE’WAYNE is a man of the people, and if you’re not already paying attention to him, you need to as soon as you’re done reading this interview. His music has elements of modern pop punk, mixed with ’90s grunge and hip-hop, all while having his own sound. DE’WAYNE gains inspiration from The Strokes, The Ramones, and the Buzzcocks, and you can definitely hear that in his own music.
While recently sitting down with us in Queens, NY, we caught up to talk about his newly-released track “GOOD MOOD (featuring grandson).” The longtime friends met up for some coffee and listened to some of DE’WAYNE’s unreleased music. After listening, grandson wanted to stop by the studio the next day. “He got on on the mic first and my eyes got wide. I was like, ‘Am I about to have a song with him?!’ We did the song in 20 minutes and just went back and forth. He got on it first and then I did the first verse; and then I came up with a hook and he sang under it. I was so emotional.” This isn’t the first time he’s worked with other artists, especially friends. DE’WAYNE has collaborated with the likes of POORSTACY, Chase Atlantic, and Awsten Knight of Waterparks. Though he has a long list of collaborations under his belt, he’s not done yet. DEWAYNE’S collaboration wishlist includes Matty Healy of The 1975, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.
Being from Houston, there are many other artists who also grew up there but one DE’WAYNE is a big fan of, despite their music being different is Travis Scott. “He was a weird kid who came from Houston, and you don’t do that, you have to go somewhere else. If you don’t make a certain type of sound there, you literally have to move out.” When speaking of that certain sound, DE’WAYNE said, “it’s car music. Like trill music, even chopped and screwed. Just stuff that I do not do and that’s why I moved out to LA when I was young. I was like, ‘I’m going to have to do something else to figure out my life.'”
The now-LA rocker has finally figured out his life, as he’s currently on his first headlining tour in the US. “It’s been really eye-opening and I’m finding myself getting really emotional because all of the kids there know the words and it feels special. It still feels small but really special.” His career also really took off during the COVID pandemic, as that’s when he got his record deal with Hopeless Records. “It gave me a lot of inspiration to be great. It was the first time I could work on music full-time. It was when everyone’s life was turning upside down, so I took that as I should take this shit very serious. It’s been really inspiring, I don’t want it to go back to what it was before.”
If DE’WAYNE is hitting your city anytime soon, we recommend you checking him out. In his own words, he says fans should expect “one of the best and rawest rock shows they’ve ever seen. Just pure energy.” After seeing him earlier this month, we can attest to that. For more info on where he’s touring, head to yeahdewayne.com.