Instant connection is how I felt when I first met Deuce Ellis in 2015. I didn’t hesitate to open my doors to him for an unexpected week long stay here during his last tour in Wisconsin, and I don’t regret it for a minute. I value our memories and bonding over nerdy shit and spiritual connection. Ever since then, we’ve been “thunder buddies” and the rest is history.
I got to sit down and converse with Deuce about his philosophy in art and life after his recent return to Brooklyn, New York, while he launches his new business and studio.
Before we even get into the questions, you just open business for Cult Classics, LLC. For the followers and readers out there, give me an elevator speech to sell your brand. At Cult Classics, LLC.
Deuce Ellis: We, at Cult Classics, handle production, mixing, mastering, marketing, and promotion.Let us know your goals and your budget and we’ll work with you from there.
The first time we met was three years ago and you advertised yourself as a hip-hop artist. Can you tell me how you’ve evolved your brand and/or yourself as an artist since 2015?
DE: Personal growth. I traveled a few places around the world, I’d always wanted to produce and so I just traveled and studied music and pushed myself.
I used to take a couple tabs of acid a few times a week in Hawaii and ride my bike to the edges of the island and just write and try and find myself and hear the music that was in my head and figure out how to get it out.
I’m a strong believer in reinventing yourself, and I wanted to kill off the undesirable elements of the Deuce Ellis brand and emerge as a wizard. I thought meditating in the mountains in Colorado would help, but somewhere in L.A., I connected to root of who I am and came back home with a vision. Like I knew I had something special and I could change the game.
As an artist, what’s art to you? How do you define it in your own words?
DE: When you make yourself a meal, that’s art. It’s life. Expression. I think the more conscious of it you are, the power you inject into anything you do, the more magical it becomes. My grandma’s garden is a work of art and so is my grandpa’s gun collection.
If you didn’t find your foundation in art and hip-hop, what do you think you would be doing instead for a career?
DE: That’s tricky, because some parents play Mozart when the kid is in the womb and my folks played Rakim. I was nicknamed Deuce before I was born. Pops was a legendary party DJ in Buffalo. I had poetry published when I was five, so everything in my world geared me to who I am. However, due to my love for travel, I always joked that I could drive cross country picking up and delivering stuff.
Do you feel your art is your salvation? Why or why not?
DE: I am my own salvation. Nothing in this world is given. It’s a pretty cold place, so even when music is the vessel for healing, I gotta get off my ass and get to the lab or decide to push out the funk and create through it.
When we first met you were living in Brooklyn, New York. Since then you moved to Hawaii and Denver, and then to California. What have you learned from experiencing life in Hawaii , Colorado and California, compared to what you have experienced in New York?
DE: People are different. But the same. With the right mindset you can go anywhere in the world and create great things and make wonderful friends, and find health, wealth, and joy. Except L.A. (laughing).
What was your favorite part about living in Hawaii? What was your favorite part about living in California?
DE: Hawaii is beautiful and warm; I experienced true kindness. Just a different mindset from America. It’s the first place I went where I wasn’t a black man, I was just a man. It’s the only state in the country that isn’t majority white. It sucks cause there are elements of the island that have been completely bastardized by capitalism, but I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of locals and be able to see the island through a pure lens.
California the state, itself, is dope, it has everything to offer fro beach to desert to mountains to forests. It’s got a rich culture all it’s own. And you know I lovey my weed, and the marijuana culture out there is wonderful.
You recently moved back to New York. What made you decide to move back to New York?
DE: A terrible experience in a place called Brooklyn, Oregon. And it was like, this ain’t the Brooklyn I’m supposed to be in, and around the same time things just lined up in Brooklyn and life and the omens spoke to me.
As a Hip-Hop Artist, who, that has come before you in the craft, has influenced your writing and your music?
DE: Daft Punk, those guys are my idols, that perfect fusion of musical and marketing mastery.
You’ve gotten the opportunity to work with phenomenal artists. Artists like Aloe Blacc. Is there anyone else you’d like to work with in the future?
DE: I wanna produce for Beyonce. I would love to sit down with the founding fathers of hip hop like Grandmaster Flash, Caz, even the guys from Kraftwerk.
What philosophy influences you to keep striving in your art regardless of the social climate we are witnessing today?
DE: The simple question resides within me, what else would I do with myself?
Is there anything you’ve done for an art platform beyond music? Is there anything you would like to do that you may have not done yet?
DE: I once had my art in a Mr. Brainwash exhibit. That was cool. I’d like to pen another poetry book and novels. Film, definitely gonna do Cult Classics Films. I’ve done some acting roles that got e really into it, so I’d like to do more of that.
I want to continue to focus on producing projects that tell more diverse stories, and give different types of talent that would otherwise remain disenfranchised; sound and instrumental designs are passions of mine, so I’d like to continue to break those barriers and extend my craft.
No matter what I do though, it’s always a ‘Cult Classic.’
You just built a studio back home in New York. Last time we chatted, you haven’t figured out a name yet. Have you figured out a name for it or are you still figuring that out?
DE: No official name yet. It’ll happen. Just feels good to be in the space.
What’s next for Deuce Ellis? Are you working on a new album? Are you planning to go on tour?
DE: Here’s my new single Acid Motorcycle. I released this single first as an exclusive on Choon, an independent and artist owned streaming service that pays artists 80% instead of .8% and pays out artists in Cryptocurrency. It’s dope.
Next is Murder of Crows this amazing collaborative project with Sanity that we’re close to finishing. I did all the beats and there’s some amazing features and just this awesome vibe and feel like nothing else in this world. I’m really proud of that. Then my next project will be the Cult Classics:Volume One. It will showcase all the new talent on the label, and our vision and what we have to offer.
Follow this link for the single and if you want to make some cryptocurrency, while you are at it. —> Acid Motorcycle – Deuce Ellis <—
Or just check it out on Deuce’s YouTube Channel down below, and check his music out!