Los Angeles-born left-field rapper/singer Duckwrth (born Jared Lee) has been making waves since he released his debut solo mixtape, I'M UUGLY, in 2016. Showcasing his expansive musical taste, playful lyrics and his mailable vocals and flow, the successful project led to a record deal with Republic Records, an opening spot for Anderson .Paak and a loyal, ever-growing fan base. An XTRA UGGLY Mixtape followed in 2017, with several tracks getting TV and film placement, including the ecstatic "MICHUUL.," which was featured on "Insecure" and "All American."
In May 2019, the "Bernal Heights" artist dropped THE FALLING MAN EP and now, this month, he'll be releasing his highly anticipated debut studio album, SuperGood. As he recently told us, the album has been a long time coming and now the timing is just right.
"I actually had the name for this album since 2013 and just the feeling of it, I've had it since 2013 but I never was in a right space with myself mentally and energy-wise to be able to present an album that felt like a celebration."
GRAMMY.com continues their Up Close & Personal interview series (from home, via Zoom) with Duckwrth. Watch the full conversation above to hear him share more about SuperGood and its lead singles "Coming Closer" and "Find A Way," as well as his love of Issa Rae and "Insecure" and some of his dream collaborators (Rosalía is on the list!).
The "Crush" artist also talks about his vision for creating more Black animations (watch the music video for "Find A Way" below) and how the entertainment industry can better support Black artists.
"I think musically, [what's needed] is just respect for Black artistry and being able to be placed in different places, like more Black artists in pop. That would be major. For me, I'm not heavy on pop, listening to pop all the time, but I do understand the importance of seeing a Lizzo in pop.
"That's important, and [so is] seeing more Black faces in pop music because that opens up the door for other artists to come after them and it becomes a norm. It doesn't have to be this conversation of, 'Oh, you can't put them there because they're Black.' It's that plus just circulating dollars in the Black community and helping them grow," Duckwrth added.