"Jesus Told Me The T"; An Interview With John Duff
If you aren’t aware of John Duff yet, you’re going to be aware. Sit up, take notice and get on his level. John Duff may be the most important gay pop star today, and he is yet to release his first single!
We are aching with anticipation to see what he has to say. We caught up with the outspoken, and frankly hot John about his upcoming music, his status as a voice in the community, and the influence he has.
Hello John, nice to meet you! How are you doing today?
Child, the gig is a gag. I am dead - my “dry February” has been... well it hasn’t been anything because it never happened. Nice to meet you too, though. Pardon the bags under my eyes.
So, you’re quite a presence on social media, you hang out with drag queens, you’ve got an amazing sense of style, but you’ve also got a voice! You talk a lot to the gay community about spreading positivity and rising above it all. Do you feel as though you’re a voice in the community?
I have amazing style? You’re the first person to ever say that, but thank you. I do feel like I have a voice - I think everyone does, I just have a particularly loud one. My whole thing is - life is tough. Life is confusing. No one here really knows what’s going on. I speak out of frustration often - I think people are really stupid. Not stupid - we’re all asleep, and as a society we are begging for an awakening. When are people going to wake up and see that the only guarantees are: you’re born, you die? The rest is bullshit that we made up because we’re afraid... everyone really wants to believe they have it figured out. I’m happy to admit that I don’t have anything figured out, I surrender to the experience and I try to move forward with love and compassion for my fellow man.
Do you think that we need more of that voice today?
Hell yes! Love is where it’s at. The truth is the jump off. Knowledge is power. When you add love and honesty and intelligence - you get a real bitch. We need more real bitches. I can’t stand the curated “influencers” who think they are cool - it makes me so uncomfortable and it helps no one. Making an ass out of yourself - that helps people.
Recently, you announced that you’ve got some music coming out, which I myself can’t wait for. Have you always been musical, is it something you’ve always been aiming for?
Bitch, I was scalping bitches in elementary school and I am about to scalp again. I was a talent show kid, a theatre kid, i went to school for musical theatre, i worked in New York theatre for years. I always wanted to be a pop star, but I didn’t have the nerve. I have the nerve now. Growing up watching shows like “American Idol” that capitalized on bullying homosexuals didn’t exactly give me hope. I’m about to give some little homo hope... I’m giving myself hope.
It’s sad because I have suppressed so much for so long, but I’m actually born for this - i do everything. I write the songs, i create the videos - it’s me and only me. My mom is shook, she’s all, “do you have to do it like that?” She thinks I’m aggressive and acting out of anger. I’m all - yes, I do. God gave me these ideas for a reason... who would I be to deny God?
As you are so vocal about LGBT issues online, do you see this as a platform to speak about that? Is it another medium to get that positivity out there?
Absolutely. Jesus told me the T, I have a responsibility to that T. When you see my first video, “Girly”, you will get it. It’s shocking.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Otis Redding, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Prince, Gladys Knight... people who made real songs. This era of robotic-one-word-chorus-songs-about-doing-drugs-when-you-know-the-Bitch-ain’t-never-touched-a-drug is TIRED. Give me a melody. When did being “over it” become cool? I am OVER IT. Give me Garth Brooks, Reba, Kelly Clarkson, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Donny Hathaway. Give me something.
I saw recently you did a shoot where you recreated Janet Jackson’s ‘Janet’ album shoot, you’re a big fan then?
She’s so sickening. People don’t give Janet enough credit. She is a pioneer. Those sounds she created with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis... I can’t begin to explain how bold and badass they are. The kids need to learn. She is a woke Queen... I could go on all day.
What did you feel about Justin Timberlake headlining this year’s Super Bowl? Are you firmly in Janet’s corner?
I didn’t watch, but i am firmly in Janet’s corner. It’s so typical of our society. She took all the backlash and he left her out to dry. No one questioned him, but that’s typical sexist-racist-America shit. I have a lot more to say, but I’ll keep my mouth shut. The Prince tribute was a questionable decision.
I’ve got some quick fire questions for you next.
Go for it.
Favourite song of all time?
“You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” Dusty Springfield comes to mind. I want “Always be my Baby” by Mariah Carey to play at my funeral, though.
Erika Jayne, Adore Delano, me, and Todrick doing Lady Marmalade. Bianca Del Rio as Missy Elliott.
Favourite concert you’ve been to and why?
Janet Jackson. State of the World tour. Brilliant set list, intelligent direction, killer choreography - just connected and raw and good. Drank a bottle of wine with Mariah Balenciaga, danced, laughed, and cried. God, my life is good.
And finally, what’s next for John Duff?
My life goals are to drop out of school, be on “Girls Gone Wild” and to have my baby.
We expect big things from Mr. Duff, and you should too. He is a man with a mission, and a great set of lungs to match. Go give him a follow on his social media @IAmJohnDuff, because honey, does he spill the tea.
That's the gag of the season.