Published on June 14th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Durand Bernarr: Happy, At Peace & F*** N**** Free!


First things first, you all [Tithe And Offering] absolutely killed it on NPR Tiny Desk concert!

Thank you, kindly! It was a long time coming.

Tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Durand Bernarr?

Music got interested in me before I could form words, and that’s all thanks to my parents, who are also musicians. When I was 16, I went on my first tour with my dad as a production assistant for Earth, Wind & Fire. My dad started managing me at the end of that tour, and has been ever since.

Now you’re a native of Cleveland, Ohio, correct? So growing up in ‘The Forest City,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

My musical influences are / were Erykah Badu, Rick James and Little Richard. My honorable mentions are Jim Carrey and Bugs Bunny.

Having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I honestly hate having to label myself in any way, shape or form because of how fluid I am in my humanity. That pours over into other avenues of my life, but for now, I consider myself a “performance artist.”

What particular string of events actually led to your initial linking up with Erykah Badu and ultimately becoming a backing vocalist in her Nedda Stella band?

When I was covering her music, Badu found me on YouTube and personally reached out via Twitter. Four months after we connected, I was on stage with her for the first time at Coachella 2011. The rest is history.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

I want people to have new perspectives, to think for themselves and not be too committed to how things have “always been” so there’s room for something new. Also, stop try’na classify / label everything and just enjoy the art. You don’t have to understand what’s going on in order to enjoy yourself.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Little Richard. In my mind, if we could’ve linked up, he would’ve seen I’m this amazing continuation of something he started that gave me the audacity to be myself.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Sydney Opera House, so I can go to 42 Wallaby Way (the address of P. Sherman, the dentist in Finding Nemo).

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of music?

I’m happy with the current state of the music I listen to. That’s the best I can say about it on today.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

Number one, consistency. Secondly, taking my time to cultivate quality art that will outlive me. Lastly, taking risks and chances on myself.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

If I wasn’t an artist, I’d be a therapist / psychologist, a nail tech, or an esthetician because my OCD gets a kick out of picking at things.

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

Recording a song WITH Earth, Wind & Fire. The end.

What’s an average day like for you?

I’m in the house for the majority of my day ‘cause that’s where all my stuff is and lately, I’ve been enjoying the “quiet and chill” a little more. However, when I’m outside, I’m OUTSIDE!

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

Depends on which fans we tal’m ‘bout ‘cause there’s levels! Lol. But for the most part, I interact and respond with as much gratitude and kindness as I can.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

Favorite: I’m doing something that I genuinely enjoy and that’s being myself. Least favorite: The entitlement people can have over my art, my body, the things I do or say because they feel they know me.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

“Don’t follow me, I’m lost, too!” – Bad…I would say my footsteps are a mere suggestion because your journey is your journey. No one can walk it like you.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you all see yourself?

Happy, at peace and fuck nigga free!

As for the immediate, what’s next for Durand Bernarr?

Embarking on my DJ journey.

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

Don’t catch yourself being ashy, or with cold feet out in these streets, so make sure you grab some body butter and socks from my merch store at:

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Only you have to wake up and live your life, so live it accordingly to you and yourself.


Connect w/Durand Bernarr Online:



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