If you were a fan of HBO’s hit series The Wire, then you can recall little Duquan “Dukie” Weems, an outcast middle schooler who was bullied and struggled to fit in on the infamous Corner. But it’s been four years since the series finale in 2010, and Dukie, played by Jermaine Crawford is all grown up. Crawford, 21, is following suit behind former cast mate (and cousin) Tristin “Mack” Wilds and testing the waters in the music industry. He recently released his first EP to great reception and chatted with Artists on the Rise about making a transition to music, working on his album, if the The Wire will return plus more.
How did you go from Duquan “Dukie” Weems on HBO’s The Wire to kicking off a singing career?
Music has always been my passion, I started off as a singer but acting took off first. I’ve always known that I would gravitate back to the music and pursue my first love.
Did you always want to pursue a career in the music biz?
Most definitely, music was always the plan. I believe it’s my gift to share with the world.
Tell me about your One Night Only vinyl. There are only two tracks on it.
Well that’s just it. I deliberately wanted the project to feel like a musical one nightstand. It’s basically a glimpse of all that is to come from me musically.
How has the reception been?
The reception has been amazing. People are really connecting to the records, it’s been dope.
You have a nostalgic vibe, who are your music inspirations?
I listen to damn near everything, my musical inspirations come from all over. Although I always lean a bit towards the more old school jams, I’m inspired mostly by great production. From artists like Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, and Billy Joel to Usher and Miguel.
Do you play any instruments? Where you playing on One Night Only?
I do actually. I play the piano and I’m teaching myself to play the bass. Unfortunately that was not me playing on One Night Only, it was the producer. He already had the music down, so when I heard the instrumental and the lyrics came to me instantly.
Mack Wilds is your second cousin, what have you learned from his transition into the music industry?
Be dedicated & persistent.
Is there a collabo with Mack in your near future?
It’s a possibility but right now Mack and I are both focusing on our solo projects.
You both have such different sounds what can you imagine the track to sound like?
Kinda hard to predict but… I have an inkling that it would be a blast-from-the-past kind of record.
You tested the waters with the two songs EP, when can fans expect a full EP?
Well, I’m currently in the studio working on that as we speak. My fans can expect the full EP sometime this winter. Stay tuned…
I can’t let you go without talking about The Wire and acting? Do you see the show returning?
There has been tons of talk about it returning; I honestly do think the show could make a return, no time soon though. But if there is one thing I know for certain: David Simon is always up to something.
Now that you are focusing on singing what does that mean for your acting career?
I think it means that I’ll be doing both. (Laughs) I’m pretty versatile with my talents and I’ve got the determination and skills to manage both.
What’s next for Jermaine?
I am releasing the music video for “L.A.” this fall. I actually have t to give people a visual for that one right there (laughs). Also I’m in the studio working on my first album.
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