It is often said that an artist can change the game, but all too often it doesn’t happen. In the case of Champagne Duane, people should at least start paying attention. Humble and ambitious, he is the definition of hard work and has brought his solid work ethic to the booth. Creative, witty, edgy, smooth and perceptive only begin to describe his approach to the game, but one word you should use is, complete. From the up tempo tracks like ‘Friday’ and ‘Killin Em’ to the introspective ballads ‘Need’ and ‘We Love It’, Champagne Duane brings versatility, depth, and a confidence that says, “I have arrived.”
And that confidence is well placed in someone who, a product of ’82, has experienced and achieved more than most do in a lifetime and is a solid student of the game. His early influences include Nas, Jay-Z, Slick Rick, and Talib Kweli. Described as “LL over Primo beats,” he comes with an eclectic style while being articulate and intelligent. His music making began in high school when he produced songs for his church and ghost writing for other artists, but decided to put recording on the back burner to focus on his chosen career, footwear design.
Guyana-born, Florida-raised, Duane Lawrence has always harbored an artistic side. An almuni of Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami, he often found reinforcement in his ability to communicate his ideas visually, drawing from an imaginative personality. That imagination led the former Miami Heat Ballboy to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit where his passion for design, art and music grew. In 2004, Duane’s footwear career began at Converse, near Boston, where he would become the lead designer for NBA superstar Dwyane Wade. Now residing in Portland, his designs have also been worn by athletes like Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan.
After a decade in the shoe game, ‘The Champ’ has finally returned to the booth. More charismatic, clever and craftier. Break out the champagne!
Champagne Duane’s tracks