The Meet and Greet: Celebs Show Support For New R&B Singer Duane McLaughlin (PHOTOS)
Duane McLaughlin is setting out to be one of the most positive musicians in the R&B game with his album Ready to Live, and has some pretty impressive people in his corner. Duane's CD release party, hosted by Market America and the Ridinger family, boasted a slew of famous faces on the guest list including: Kelly Osbourne, Kim Kardashian, her new husband Kris Humphries, sisters Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian as well as Scott Disick. Also in attendance, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons!
Celebuzz sat down with the breakout R&B star to chat about his uplifting album and what goes into his musical process!
How did your album title 'Ready To Live' come about? Ready to live, it's something that so many of us kind of forget. If they're gonna be ready for something, they need to be ready to live. I don't want anyone ever to feel as if things aren't going their way, that life is over. It's second chances that are available for everybody, and as long as you're living and breathing, be ready to enjoy all this beauty we have here.
What lyrics from your album do you think best exhibit your message? "Ready To Live" is the song that started it all for me. "Ready To Live" was my first song in the transition of activism. I believe when I say "I'm ready to live ... I'm ready to try, I'm ready to get on with my life," these are my prayers.
How would you describe your sound? I would describe my sound as motivation. Motivation sound. Being an actor and an artist, finding all of these different crafts to express myself ... As an artist, not everyone is going to like your stuff. You're putting so much of yourself out there all the time, you're expecting the world to love it because you feel what you believe is beautiful but there's a lot of rejection that goes along with it.
Which came first, the actor (As the World Turns, Fringe, White Collar) or the musician? I'd like to say that the acting came first because the acting set the stage for making me feel comfortable in front of the camera and having a personality to perform, and ready to move forward with this platform and this step I'm about to take.
Who are your musical influences? Musically, my influences are artists that really stand for what they believe in, and use their creative talents to bring positive change. It's unfortunate that we don't see so much of it today. I grew up listening to artists like Bob Marley and The Beatles. Today, artists that I feel that are really making a difference are like Bono of U2 and they're really using their fame, their popularity, using their responsibility that they've been given to do good.
Who would you love to collaborate with? I would really love, in a perfect world, ... I pray that I meet the people that share the same positive message that I do, who listen to what's going on out here and really want to make a change, who dream for better. I hope that I get to meet those people who have a voice. ... Like I said, I really do respect Bono. Adele is someone who is remarkably talented. Her voice and her capability, just the way that she tells her story is amazing. Alicia Keys, phenominal.
What is your writing process? I have to write all of my music and I think it's part of the responsibility given in being an artist. For me, my process comes from a lifestyle of different things. I stopped eating meat. I'm a vegetarian. I make sure that I give myself an hour a day of just silence, spiritual medication. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I made these sacrifices because I wanna be able to express myself with a pure soul, pure mind and a pure spirit.
Be sure to follow Duane McLaughlin on Twitter and pick up his album Ready To Live on iTunes and where albums are sold. Proceeds of the album go to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.