Meet John Duff, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter with his sights set on international gay pop super stardom!
Now, full disclosure: I’ve known John for a few years now IRL. We met through mutual friends (it’s a small gay world) and have remained amigas ever since.
Upon receiving a BFA in musical theatre, John moved to NYC to begin a successful career in commercial, film, and theatre acting. He has worked regionally, internationally and Off-Broadway originating roles in two successful musicals. After making his professional directorial debut with National Lampoon, John moved to Los Angeles to properly work on music – his real labor of love. He is the sole writer and creative director of all of his endeavors.
Fun facts about John? He loves and worships all things pop divas, specifically Mariah Carey, above the rest. He once declared Kelly Rowland as “the true gay icon.” Another fun fact? John‘s a total goofball and someone who doesn’t take himself very seriously all while taking himself very seriously all at once. It’s a healthy balance we should all strive for. With love, humor and a little sex appeal, his only intention is to bring joy to all and make music the world will love.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, you’re obvi friends with this person and you’re just being supportive.” Yes, we’re indeed friends but that doesn’t mean I’m going to help promote someone I don’t believe in, okurr. I’ve been hearing what John‘s been cooking up behind-the-scenes for a while now, and I can genuinely say that it comes packed with potential. He’s only just begun (having his fun).
Case in point: “Girly,” John‘s debut single, a celebration of femininity and fluidity in an unabashedly campy and “straight”-up way, riding on hard-hitting 808 beats, bubbling synths and sticky-and-sweet melodies (“I wanna get girl-ah-ah-ah-girly/ let’s get girl-ah-ah-ah-girly/ flip our hair-ir-ir, we don’t care-are-are-are/ let’s get girl-ah-ah-ah-girly“).
Not sold? I direct you to the accompanying music video, which is a just as fierce and fabulous, too. John confidently embraces his femininity throughout the clip – paying meticulous homage to pop queens including Madonna (“Hung Up“), Britney Spears (“Stronger“), Beyoncé (“Crazy in Love“), Christina Aguilera (“Come on Over“) and most heavily, Mariah Carey‘s “Heartbeaker.” It’s a full-on big-budget production, with cameos from RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Bianca Del Rio, Willam and Mariah Balenciaga.
“‘Girly‘ is a very literal song. I wrote it upon hearing critique that my ideas weren’t going to work because of their feminine nature, I was told that I would do better in the industry by playing up my masculinity,” John said in a statement about the song. “I found these words to be insulting to my creative mind and to femininity in general. Being girly, or being a girl for that matter, is nothing to be ashamed of. The video was created from those same frustrations. While paying homage to some of my greatest female influences, I wanted to highlight the sexualization of female performers and how absurd it looks to simply replace the ingenue with a hairy man.”
It’s an unapologeticlly queer declaration and just straight-up fun. Congrats, John!