John Duff’s “Do It” may harken back to early 2000’s house music but its message is pertinent today. It is a call-to-action to the many people who are afraid to pursue their dreams out of fear of public perception. “As a thirty-one-year-old gay man making music, I understand the optics. ‘Are people going to laugh at me?’ Probably… but then I don’t lose anything if they do. If I give up, however: I do lose something. I lose time, I lose opportunity. I lose love.” John Duff’s “Do It” is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms. Its video is available on iTunes, Vimeo and YouTube.
“The hook to “Do It” had been in my head since 2015,” Duff recalls from his LA home. “It was right at the beginning of my exploration of songwriting. I remember it well: in my New York apartment sitting on my bed when I heard a ghost in my ear. It was singing ‘Do it. Do it. It’s a big world – you ain’t got nothing to prove.’ It was honestly a terrifying experience, my first paranormal encounter, and I had never really believed in the other side.”
The hook became a mantra for Duff, but because it was so deeply personal to him, he never planned to record it. However, years later, in a session with Eren Cannatta and Koil PreAmple, he threw out the lyrics over a beat they were playing, and Cannatta and PreAmple loved it. Together, they wrote the verses, finishing the song.
“The verses are a series of questions we should all be asking ourselves,” Duff continues. “Am I living in my authentic truth? Am I actively playing a positive role in my own destiny? What do I have to lose? Who is stopping me?”
John Duff continues, “I have a lot to prove – but only to myself. I’m a science experiment. I am here to prove that I can keep coming out, falling on my face, and surviving. I’m here to prove that the human soul is more resilient than plastic.”
Directed with Brad Hammer, the video for “Do It” was shot at John Duff’s home. “Essentially, I told the crew to come over to my house and film me for a day. I wanted it to feel carefree and fun, like life should be. When I was a kid, I would sit alone in my basement all day learning songs and dancing with laser lights and fog machines. The video was a way for me to get in touch with that part of my self.
“One thing these months of quarantine have taught me is that I’m happy in solitude. I really only want to come out of my room to perform. That’s all I live for. Socializing is draining, monotonous, and boring.”
John Duff grew up in a suburb outside of Baltimore, Maryland, the youngest of two sisters and a brother. He studied musical theater at Syracuse University and after graduating college, he made his way to the bright lights of New York City where he competed on the nationally televised competition show, The X Factor. He lost because the judges felt he was too flamboyant. Simon Cowell even implied that he should consider a sex change.
He hopes “Do It” will motivate listeners to do something good for themselves. “Maybe they’ll hear it and think, ‘Ugh, that guy is so annoying,’” he reflects. “Whatever emotion they get from the song, I hope they feel it to the fullest. Is there anything worse than leaving no impression?”
John Duff’s “Do It” is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms. Its video is available on YouTube. Follow John Duff onFacebook and Instagram @ iamjohnduff.