You give a shout to Drake on “Designed II Work” when you say “It takes a real dude to say what he means.” Why do you think vulnerability is such a rarity for people?
DC: I think there are systems in place be it religion, education or whatever that are hindrances to vulnerability and honesty. They’re supposedly founded on all these values, they’re really not. We’re taught and fed the opposite of what we need to thrive. It’s hard to be vulnerable and let yourself make mistakes and have flaws.
Is it easy for you?
DC: I’ve always been a very sensitive dude but I’ve only been cognizant of how sensitive I really am since I started making art and showing it to people. Making songs and letting people hear them made me realize it’s levels to this shit (laughs). I’m more aware and more vocal about what I think. You still have to find a balance though and it’s hard because you don’t wanna hurt people’s feelings or step on their toes.
Your music is melodic, lush and romantic. Is that an extension of your everyday personality or is that something that writing brings out of you?
DC: I’m definitely a romantic person and that probably comes off. And when I’ve recently began to sing, it’s all starting to come out. Especially when I’m performing, I get really into it like I wouldn’t expect.
What artists—musical, visual, or otherwise—have had the biggest impact on you as a person?
DC: Musically, Erykah Badu has always been mother to me. She’s the first person that made me immediately aware of vulnerability when it comes to performance. Barkley Hendricks is another guy who’s a painter from Philly. He did portraiture of people he met on the street in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and was kind of like a predecessor to Kehinde Wiley. He captured emotion and style in such a great way. He inspired me to paint. And my aunt Karen, yo. She’s a dancer in Philly who danced and taught at this school called Philadanco. If anyone instilled some performative bug in me it was her, just from watching.