WRITTEN BY: Caitlin McGeehan
Last week, rapper and songwriter DUCKWRTH held a press conference to talk everything SuperGood, his latest album that dropped last month. And obviously, his answers were “SuperGood.”
While finalizing the album in January, the LA native was thinking that 2020 would be his year. As for many of us, that view was disrupted by COVID-19. However, SuperGood, an album meant to draw you into a fantasy world, came out of this rough year. He described it as, “an affirmation in itself.”
The alternative hip-hop and R&B project’s arc follows DUCKWRTH building himself up to ask a potential lover out on a date, with the latter half of the album focusing on how he gets the date and the girl. While its theme is romantic, DUCKWRTH intends SuperGood to be a “lifestyle project–” something to be played at any time, complete with good-mood dancing, grooving, and all.
The feat of a euphoric album does not come without challenges, as finishing the track “New Love Song” became a speed bump in the process. With a nod to the gospel music of his childhood, “New Love Song” foreshadows that the two characters of the album will fall in love. There was a 3-week cool-off period between starting the song and finishing it, where the rapper fiddled with how to match the sonic gospel influence with the romantic theme. He definitely nailed it, with the opening track fluidly stringing together gospel rhythms and lyrical cadence.
Genre-melding is a signature for DUCKWRTH, but what’s interesting is that he doesn’t set out to do it–it just happens. He brings soul, jazz, gospel influences like The Clark Sisters to the studio, while emulating punk during his performances (he admires how punk rockers always get their audiences pumped). DUCKWRTH cited himself as a “segue for these genres,” on the way to his “smoothie” of musicality.
DUCKWRTH’s music being a smoothie to him is essential to his goal of authenticity. He wants to portray a healthy artist throughout his music, and the best way to do that is to be truly himself. As a multi-faceted creative, with not just music in his wheelhouse, it’s only natural that SuperGood’s cover is imaginative and vibey. SuperGood’s art follows his trend of tapping into ‘70s album covers that preface the colorful and celebratory music in those albums.
As for future projects, DUCKWRTH plans to expand the visuals for SuperGood to encapsulate the “audio medicine” the music itself provides. He’s been collaborating with other producers to bring other artists’ music to life as well. This year has been rough for everyone, and DUCKWRTH said it best in terms of being in tune with yourself, “my artistry didn’t need as much love as my human did.”
We all need a mood boost right now, so tune into yourself and SuperGood to take your mind off of everything, and get your dose of uplifting music too.