John Duff: Challenging Norms in the Music Industry

Edited by Mikkel Hyldebrandt

In his latest release, “Somebody’s Daughter,” John Duff, a proudly out artist, is breaking boundaries and challenging the status quo in the music industry. This crooning ballad explores the complexities of fleeting and unattainable sexual relationships. However, what truly sets this song apart is Duff’s audacious take on “straight-baiting,” a term typically associated with straight artists who tease LGBTQ+ audiences. Duff flips the script, offering a fresh perspective on the subject.

Duff boldly addresses the prevalent trend of “gay-baiting” that has become commonplace in the music industry. He points out that many artists, like Harry Styles, Charlie Puth, and Nick Jonas, often flirt with LGBTQ+ themes or visuals to generate buzz and garner attention. Duff’s frustration with this trend is evident as he remarks, “Honestly, every artist today is gay-baiting, and LGBTQ+ media eats it up.” He goes on to highlight the irony of how these artists are celebrated for their provocative gestures, while LGBTQ+ individuals sharing similar content are often dismissed or labeled. Duff aims to challenge this double standard with his new single and video.

Released independently, “Somebody’s Daughter” hit digital platforms on September 1, 2023, including Apple Music and Spotify. The accompanying video is available on YouTube. The song’s production credits include John Duff, Alex Delicata, Eren Canatta, and Luke Moellman.

The track delves into a prevalent issue faced by young people, irrespective of their sexual orientation: the desire for love and connection versus the allure of momentary encounters. It explores the phenomenon where individuals invest more energy into one-night hookups than in building meaningful relationships.

The music video, directed by Shawn Adeli, delves deeper into the song’s theme. It portrays a couple whose connection appears to be lacking substance, delving into the underground world of adult content and social media platforms like OnlyFans. Here, users pay influencers for exclusive and often explicit content. The video serves as a commentary on the evolving landscape of relationships in the digital age.

Duff’s decision to explore these themes in his work was influenced by a fellow gay artist who questioned the respectability of his artistry due to its overt sexuality. Duff responded by embracing his shameless approach to his art, stating, “My spirit is wild, fun, and free, and as a performer, I am shameless.” He believes that unapologetic expression of one’s body and sexuality is a path toward enlightenment, not away from it.

Duff also takes a bold stance on pornography, viewing it as an art form. He sees sex as theater and bodies as sculptures. His openness and advocacy for sexual freedom are evident in his decision to playfully come out as “not-not straight,” a twist on the “not-not gay” phrase often used to imply bisexuality. Duff explains, “I can’t confirm or deny, I’m just saying I’m not-not and seeing how that goes over when I spin it the other way.”

The video includes a memorable kissing scene with actress Nellie Salisbury, prompting Duff to humorously remark, “To paraphrase Diplo, I’m pretty sure I hook up with women all the time.”

John Duff’s “Somebody’s Daughter” challenges norms, questions biases, and embraces unapologetic self-expression. It’s a testament to his commitment to breaking barriers and sparking conversations in the ever-evolving landscape of music and sexuality.

Follow John Duff on Facebook and Instagram @iamjohnduff to stay updated on his work and future releases.

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