How this group headed to town for a concert has thrived going DIY

Fiercely DIY a cappella group Duwende, (left to right) Abbey Janes, Tomas Cruz, Derrick L. Hicks, Edward Chung, J. Aaron Boykin and David Lane, will perform at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tuesday, June 27. CONTRIBUTED

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Fiercely DIY a cappella group Duwende, (left to right) Abbey Janes, Tomas Cruz, Derrick L. Hicks, Edward Chung, J. Aaron Boykin and David Lane, will perform at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tuesday, June 27. CONTRIBUTED

Like most a cappella groups, Duwende enlisted an outside producer for its first album but the New York-based outfit has blossomed since bringing everything in-house.

The singers, J. Aaron Boykin (baritone/tenor), Derrick L. Hicks (tenor), Abbey Janes (soprano), Tomas Cruz (tenor), Edward Chung (vocal percussion) and David Lane (bass), at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tuesday, June 27, have amassed more than 7 million YouTube views with their self-produced videos.

Hung, Duwende’s founder, recently answered some questions from his Midtown studio.

Q: What appeals to you about the DIY approach?

A: "Doing it on our own costs a fraction of what it cost to pay for producers and recording studios. Doing them on our own time and in our own space allows us to be a little more experimental. It gave us more flexibility. We could also make creative decisions without any financial pressure, and that was very appealing."

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Q: How did you get to be the group’s percussionist?

A: "I was looking around for a vocal percussionist and I couldn't find anyone that could do it the way we wanted it. In the rehearsals and auditions, I started doing it to give everyone an idea of what it would eventually sound like. I didn't realize I would continue doing it but I started it and wasn't ever able to stop so that's how it evolved."

Q: Are you guys working on a new material?

A: "We're recording all the time so we always have active sessions. When we think of it, we'll group them together and come up with an album. We never actually seem to stop recording."

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Q: Speaking of videos, online clips have been important to spreading Duwende’s music. How has that worked?

A: “It has really helped us develop our fan base. The music industry has changed so much you used to only record when you wanted to do an actual album or EP. Because the music industry is so upside down now, you have to approach it differently. Attaching a video to a recording is a good way to reach a vast audience without having to travel to different parts of the world. We can put a video up on YouTube and have people all over the world watch it and be aware of who we are and the kinds of stuff we do.”


Want to go?

WHO: Duwende with special guests Freedom's Boombox and Eleventh Hour

WHERE: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27

COST: $2

MORE INFO: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com

ARTIST INFO: www.duwende.com

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