Phrases / Jennalynn Fung

Images / Cerys 

Durand Bernarr tends to talk in metaphors. Within the brief fifteen minutes we get to speak, he’s capable of reference a variety of fictional characters, inanimate objects, and the motion of the universe. His world view as an artist is brilliant as day, harnessing that daylight in his music and permitting the power to radiate out to his listeners. It completely fits the Cleveland-raised, Los Angeles-based artist that his favourite coloration is yellow. 

“Seeing individuals’s faces gentle up,” he shares, is what sparked pleasure for him on Day 2 of the Sol Blume Music Pageant in Sacramento, California. “Having the ability to get up and be myself – to be greater than sufficient – that’s very gratifying. And I respect that.” 

Bernarr has labored in the direction of this for years. “For those who are simply now getting hip to me, they’re like, ‘he’s an upcoming artist.’ However it often takes about ten years for ‘in a single day success.’ I’ve put in eighteen at this level. I acquired on the highway the identical yr that Rihanna got here up – that’s how I keep in mind. I’ve actually been placing within the work that goes behind this – it’s all been from the bottom. So, I simply respect everybody that’s been rocking with me since then. There’s been a number of totally different modifications and evolutions of me as an individual.” 

Even earlier than he acquired on the highway for his personal performances, Bernarr was accustomed to what it took to get a stage prepared for a efficiency – with each of his dad and mom have been concerned in music – his father, an audio engineer; his mom, a vocal coach. At sixteen years previous, he joined them in helping with the tour manufacturing of the enduring musical group, Earth, Wind and Hearth. Subsequently, his first live performance was Earth, Wind and Hearth. 

“I’ve been a sponge,” he admits. “I’ve been in sure locations, confirmed myself to be of a sure character – to have a sure method that I carry myself. I all the time let my resume converse for itself. Folks are actually saying that anytime you talk about me, it’s important to talk about me in an iconic method.” The artist’s tone is just not boastful, although. As a substitute, the cadence of his speech reveals that this self-confidence he possesses at this time got here extra from trial and error, from studying what did and didn’t work for him. The idea he holds in himself is one thing that has been constructed over years of reflection. “Early on, there was a relationship with the correct observe – or the observe that was presupposed to be sung. And it’s additionally one thing I take pleasure in doing. These two issues need to coincide with one another – being nice at one thing, and likewise loving what it’s you’re nice at.” 

Many individuals can love good music, even produce it, however few possess the innate expertise that permits Bernarr to create blissful meloodies with nothing however his personal thoughts and coronary heart. Mix this with a distinct segment for writing, being surrounded by music legends, and having the charisma essential to seize the eye of any room – it will appear fateful that he would all the time thrive within the limelight. 

Fittingly, Bernarr’s album Wanderlust facilities on predestination and the therapeutic course of concerned in his journey. “I made this album, post-therapy, post-recovery, eliminating disgrace, having moments of catharsis.” Songs like “Footprints,” “Leveled,” and “Vacation spot” contact deeply on how his understanding of self shifted over time due to open dialogue with these round him. He confesses that for a few years, Erykah Badu was his unofficial therapist, simply as shrooms have been one thing he had turned to. In reality, shrooms are even represented by the molecular construction on his album cowl. “The album is like my model of Alice happening the rabbit gap – like what occurs after I arrive? After which I found that there’s not essentially an ‘arrived arrived’ – since you’re all the time arriving.” 

Bernarr is filled with revelations – he is aware of the “arriving” isn’t all the time simple, both. However he compares life and all of its tribulations to the dilemma Marlin and Dory face in Discovering Nemo, once they select to go above the ditch as an alternative of via it. Once they get painfully entangled in a jungle of jellyfish, they understand the ditch – though scary – would have been the higher possibility. Bernarr implies generally, you simply need to do the tough issues, or be taught the laborious method. 

One of many issues he discovered with time was the best way to be his genuine self, and be unapologetic about it. He reveals that when he was youthful, he was extra of a individuals pleaser, and reluctant to share particulars about himself due to worry it will be misconstrued. Nonetheless, as somebody had defined to him: not everybody is supposed to know you, and that’s okay. From that time on, and notably throughout his stunningly recent efficiency on NPR Tiny Desk – which garnered over one million views–, he states “I’m not making an attempt to be understood. I’m meant to be skilled.” 

And skilled he has turn out to be. Despite being a predominantly R&B and soul act, he has collaborated with among the hottest digital and various R&B artists at this time, like Kaytranda, The Web, Thundercat, to call just a few extra. Bernarr’s vocals on Kaytranda’s album BUBBA later received a grammy for finest Dance/Digital album. His latest tour was with Erykah Badu, who he has cited as one in all his largest inventive inspirations and influences. 

Bernarr is an unbelievable dwell performer. He rigorously crafts his theming and outfits to match his setlist, shortly turning his set right into a theatrical efficiency. His album is one in all depth, however seeing him belt dwell brings the fireplace. 

He elaborates on this assertion whereas sitting leisurely in a garden chair at Sol Blume. “We’re not right here to vary individuals to be what we wish them to be for our personal self-gratification. That’s the entire artwork of working towards non-attachment, simply embracing issues for what they’re. Embrace it.”