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Daily Inspiration: Meet Duy Nguyen-Amigo (theoneDNA)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Duy Nguyen-Amigo (theoneDNA).

Hi Duy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I always knew I wanted to become an artist for as long as I can recall. Growing up, my parents always had music playing around the house. I remember feeling so fascinated seeing the colored words (what we know as “karaoke”) highlighted on the TV screen. What started out as a curiosity gradually developed into a passion. I guess you can now say the rest is history! While I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, I guess my parents at some point, realized music quickly became such an instrumental part of my life and saw the potential in me to continue honing in my craft. From helping me enroll in vocal (and piano) lessons, watching me perform on stage, experiencing my first recording studio session, to moving halfway across the world from Australia with my family over 12 years ago to seek the “American dream”, I feel thankful to say I’ve always had my parents’ support.

Of course, navigating through this journey is not an easy feat. It’s not always sunshines and rainbows. Throughout my career as an independent singer/songwriter, I have faced many adversities which really tested my commitment. There have been multiple occasions where I’ve considered throwing in the white towel, fearing that “maybe music isn’t for me”. What has kept me going over the years is my internalized belief that I was born to sing. And in times of pain and sorrow, I know the music will always be my saving grace as it has been, and will continue to be, my silver lining. I do feel glad I never gave up. If I had called it quits, I would’ve never got to experience all the great moments of my career thus far.

Along the way, I have met and worked with other amazingly talented artists and achieved so many milestones. Recently, I received one of the great opportunities to perform in Nashville. I sang my unreleased originals in front of record labels executives and publishers – that certainly was a moment! Since my last feature on VoyageLA, I recorded my debut EP (produced by Nick Stone and Robbie Dean at OC Hit Factory). That said,I feel beyond ecstatic to share that my debut single, “Boy I Got U On My Mind” will be out on streaming platforms, 8/12/22. MV also coming soon!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Just like everyone else navigating through the entertainment industry, the road to one’s definition of success is not easy. I can’t even tell you the amount of times I’ve considered leaving music behind me and turning to something completely different. However, I do know that it’s really all a test to see how bad I want this to be my life and if I have the tenacity to defy all odds and break down barriers. And let me tell you, I’ve been TESTED one too many times!

I sometimes feel I miss out on so many potentially great moments being an AAPI and openly gay artist. I will say it has definitely got better over the years. Compared to when I was a pre-pubescent teenager having an identity crisis trying to figure out who I was, our society has since made substantial progress toward embracing inclusivity and diversity. That said, there is still so much work left to be done. I have and will continue to commit myself towards using my music as a platform for the greater good.

As cliché as it sounds, I feel grateful for these experiences as they truly helped shape me into the artist (and person) that I am today. While the road will certainly get grueling and tough, it can and will become one of the most gratifying moments once one can finally breathe with a sigh of relief, “I made it.”

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a pop singer/songwriter. While most of my songs I’ve written thus far have been about love, I do have a handful that opens us a safe space to talk about mental health, something that I also have strong feelings for. I strive to integrate not only that but my narrative as an openly gay AAPI individual into my music, with hopes to inspire others to live their most authentic selves. I truly feel I was brought into this world to make a difference, and I will continue doing all that I can to really live up to that responsibility.

One of the most humbling moments of my career is knowing I’m contributing to the greater good. I’ve had several people approach me, expressing how my story helped provide them the reassurance that it does get better, no matter how difficult life can get at you. It’s such an indescribable feeling whenever I connect with them on such a human level, but it’s undoubtedly comforting to know that I’m doing something right.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Apart from having the gift itself and the passion for your craft, a driving force that will take you far in the entertainment industry (or any industry really), is networking. I cannot stress enough the importance of this. Not only will you create meaningful connections within your niche, the amount of things you will learn from each other is absolutely mind-blowing. The amount of knowledge I’ve obtained these past few months alone is out of this world.

I consider myself an extrovert, but it took me a while to slowly come out of my shell. Candidly speaking, I guess it’s because I just felt insecure about my art, scared that people won’t take me or my music seriously. I feel grateful for gradually overcoming those self-doubts. Had I not been able to, I wouldn’t have experienced all the growth I’ve made and continued staying plateaued. For the record, I eventually just got exhausted feeling that way for so long. I woke up one day and told myself that “enough is enough”. I finally began implementing consistent structure into my life (baby steps at first), and it really has been one of the best decisions I made for myself, trying to navigate out of that personal and creative rut.

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Image Credits
BlvckDen Productions Phil Vo Jonathan Kwok

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