Cazwell is using his imagination
Cazwell has delivered new music – his latest track is Imagination. This is the soundtrack to our life in lock-down.
Celebrating the men of gay strip clubs, Duo Lingo is an upbeat bop with a video filled with plenty of boys and butts.
“The idea for the song came from when I was using the Duo Lingo app on my iPhone, trying to learn Spanish, and failing miserably, I might add,” Cazwell explains. “At the time, Tom Bike and I had been talking about doing a song together. I thought it would be cool if I did my part in English and he did his in Spanish. ‘Duo Lingo’ sounded like a good working title to start with. I love adding percolating Latin rhythms to my hip pop records because they’re sexy and always get people on the dance floor.”
The result is a track that’s all about going out to have a good time, partying with friends, and getting laid.
“I wish I could speak Spanish,” Cazwell reflects. “I date a lot of Latin men and it would come in handy. It can be a hindrance being white as hell as I am.”
Filmed at FuBar in West Hollywood, the music video, directed by Brad Hammer, features Cesar Xes, Beaux Banks, Fernando Figuero and Rudy Yos.
“Most of the boys in the video are dancers in West Hollywood where I DJ,” Cazwell continues. “I wanted to make sure the bar looked like a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, as grimy and as ratchet possible. We all have a hustle. Some people get their hustle on social media or on the go-go box and some people do it on Wall Street. I respect everyone’s grind. These boys have a lot of discipline and work very hard.”
The Cazwell interview
What was it like growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts as a young gay guy?
It was kind of hard growing up gay in Worcester. It’s a tough city to grow up in — gay or straight. But, by the time I was a sophomore in high school, I found other kids like me that weren’t necessarily gay but were involved in the arts. It’s important for kids to have more options than just sports in high school. I was lucky.
When you first discovered your love for music, why was rap and hip hop the genre that appealed most to you?
My love of hip-hop came a little later than my love of music. I grew up listening to a lot of pop music, as well as The Cure, but didn’t realise I had a talent for rapping and writing songs until I was about 17 years old. In my early years, as a kid, most rap didn’t speak to me.
My ultimate rap heroes were definitely the Beastie Boys.
Did any of your rap or hip hop heroes end up disappointing you?
Dr. Dre has always been one of my favourite producers of all times. I remember in 1997, he had an interview with Kurt Loader who asked Dre if he cared that he offended gay people with his homophobic slurs. Dre said – ‘No, I don’t really care with those people think.’ When he said ‘those people…’ it really struck a nerve.
I’m grateful that the temperature in music today wouldn’t allow for that, but it taught me that – when you’re gay – sometimes the people that you look up to are the same people that don’t care if you die.
What gave you the confidence to move to New York City to pursue your music ambitions?
Before I moved to New York City I’d already started my career in Boston. I dropped out of college to pursue music full-time. It was pretty obvious that you can only go so far in Boston as an artist or musician.
At the time I was in a group called Morplay, and we were getting gigs in New York, so we figured we should just get up and move there and make it happen. New York can be very intimidating at first, but it’s a beautiful city where you have access to everything to make your dreams come true.
Your music and your videos almost seem to defiantly embrace the label of ‘gay music’ or ‘gay hip hop’ or ‘gay singer’ — has that always been a conscious decision?
No, absolutely not, but I totally understand how I can be labelled that way.
When I write music, make a video, or perform, I’m doing it from a gay man’s perspective. Keeping it real about the gay man’s point of view, and keeping it as relatable as possible is what’s kept me in the game so long.