YEM Interview: Damez shares what it is like to be an independent artist

Damez is an artist. He most recently released a music video to UP DOWN, the latest hit single from his COVERBOY album. His single UP DOWN also sparked the viral #UPDOWNchallenge online. YEM was able to speak with Damez about what inspired him to become an artist. He also shared artists he looks up to, and what is next for him.

Young Entertainment Mag: Hi Damez, thanks for taking the time. When did you begin your career in music? What inspired you to become an artist?

Damez: Thanks for having me. My career in music began in 2014 while I was a sophomore in college at Georgia Southern University. I’ve always had an intense passion for music since I was about 4 or 5, and always dreamed of becoming a recording artist one day.

YEM: What was it like to be the Out Magazine’s Pride 2020 Cover artist?

Damez: It was a really dope honor. To be globally recognized for my art and my authenticity after years of putting in work, that felt really good.

YEM: As an independent artist, is it important for you to have control in decisions impacting your career?

Damez: It is very important for me to have control in every aspect of my career. No one can tell my stories or execute my visions like I can.

YEM: What was it like filming your documentary, GO HARD? Did it feel different having a camera around all the time?

Damez: It was a lot of fun and really rewarding being able to capture all those big moments in my life. I’ve been documenting my musical journey since I first started in 2014 with my first documentary “Journey to Midnight.”. I’ve gotten so used to that being a part of the “job,” that it almost feels second nature to me. I feel kinda weird if I don’t have a camera around these days.

YEM: What impacted your decision to partner with Revry to have an exclusive relaunch of your documentary?

Damez: I wanted to find a way to relaunch the docuseries with an even larger audience and more exposure for the episodes, so that we’re able to reach and inspire more people. Revry is a great platform that focuses on LGBT+ content and is widely accessible via different TV apps and services, so when they reached out expressing interest in the docuseries, it felt like the right move.

YEM: Were there any inspirations in the creation of your *EP, COVERBOY?

Damez: The EP was inspired by the magazine covers I had the honor of landing during and after the release of my ‘D Money’ album in 2020. Having to pick myself back up after the lockdown and various personal struggles, the EP represented perseverance and a continued celebration of being yourself.

YEM: Now that you are flourishing in the Atlanta music scene, have you thought about entering a new part of the country? Maybe New York or Los Angeles?

Damez: I definitely have my eyes set on the West Coast right now!

YEM: You mentioned in Out Magazine that you are a person younger people in the LGBTQ+ community can look up to. Was there anyone in your life that you could look up to?

Damez: I had my parents, my brother, and my favorite artists to look up to, but no one that really, truly represented me and who I was as a person. It’s dope to see how much that’s changed since my adolescent years.

YEM: How is COVERBOY different from other music you have put out?

Damez: It’s definitely my boldest lyrically and overall most confident project to date. I’m more seasoned and consciously aware of myself and my purpose than ever before.

YEM: What is the story behind UP DOWN? Were you surprised to see the reactions to the #UPDOWNchallenge online?

Damez: “UP DOWN” was written back in 2020, during a time where there wasn’t much partying or turning up going on in my life. I just wanted to make a song that served as a sense of escapism and gave people an opportunity to dance and have a good time. I was definitely surprised to see how the #UPDOWNchallenge transformed into an entire fitness movement online and overseas, that was a really dope plot twist!

YEM: Are there any other artists you look up to? Or an artist you respect?

Damez: Man, so many. Beyoncé, Prince, MJ, Usher, 3 Stacks, K.R.I.T., Drake, Em, Hov, Bob Marley, Lana Del Rey, Aretha Franklin, the list goes on & on & on…

YEM: What is next for you as an artist and as a role model?

Damez: Music is always at the root of my being, so definitely expect a lot more of that this year! And with that, I always bring everything else to go with it, so stay tuned!

Watch Damez’s music video for UP DOWN