Exclusive | Music | Backstage (Video)
Its been said that the hardest thing for a person to do is to be themselves. If that's the case I'd tell that person to spend a day with Durand Bernarr. On the closing end of his Wanderlust Tour, Bernarr returned to grace a sold-out crowd at Atlanta's Center Stage Theater.
Prior to the show, I and K. Keith, Gaye Magazine's Editor in Chief, had a conversation with Durand. Having only listened to Wanderlust earlier that same day -- forgive me Durand-- I had limited insight on the self-proclaimed stepson of Erykah Badu. Upon meeting Bernarr I extended a hand, he, a welcoming embrace.
"Hello family" were his first words. He wore a black and white striped shirt, hot pink sneakers, and custom earrings made from audio-video cables.
Adjusting his mascara and stroking his goatee braid, Durand crooned various melodies in the mirror.
"How do I look?", he questioned. "I don't look ashy do I?"
Before we got started, we gifted Durand with a Virgo embellished coffee mug, a Bear and Honey candle and 3 special garments from Adonis - a sky blue thong, a Black & pink jock brief, and a double strap red jock thong.
"Hell yes, I might have to wear these after the show tonight, well...the after after show," he said thankfully in lustful glee.
Our conversation embodied everything WANDERLUST, respectively. Durand shared with us his inspiration behind the project, an homage to R&B/Pop singer Kelis.
"Wanderlust is a strong desire to travel", he said as we sat in one of two of his dressing rooms. "But for me, it's a desire to travel inward."
He described this journey as fairly simple though he aims to be more direct in his personal approach.
"I've always been a little left of center", he said jokingly. "But I want to be more forward about what I want." He gave an interesting example:
"If I ask a guy how many tattoos do you have and he says I lost count, my next question should be, well can I count them for you?", he exclaimed. "You know stuff like that".
During a rapid fire questionnaire we learned Durand prefers weed over alcohol, mp3 players over CDs, that Little Richard is his favorite male artist, and he uses mango butter just about every day.
Durand opened the show with "Ingredients", shuffling around the stage in black platform boots and a red coat with a matching wide brim hat.
"Take care of them chops", the crowd yelled in unison. "Ingredients" led directly into "New Management", a jazzy bop with a soulful New Orleans feel. Durand's claps where as wide as his wingspan and his stomps came waist level off the ground.
He would later perform several other tracks from Wanderlust including his fan favorite singles such as "Leveled" and "Mango Butter". Fans also got treated with songs from his 2020 album 'Dur&'.
Nothing less of energetic, Durand winded his hips and moved his feet at every beat. Taking into account his interpolation of the running man, cha cha slide, and Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, Durand is quite the dancer alongside his amazing vocal range attaining both falsetto and bass level tones with ease.
Wanderlust's production consists of musical avenues like R&B, Soul, Funk, and Jazz, all of which fused naturally during a live performance. On my first listen to the album I was undecided of what genre I heard, nonetheless his performance helped me realize why I listened all the way through.
Durand is a vocalist, true, but the sincerity of his personality along with his relatable energy is what allows his sound to grasp the listener. It invokes feeling and inserts you right into Durand's world. He truly does treat his fans like family. All things considered, his inspiration for Wanderlust effectively presents itself.
"Discover more of who you were", Durand asserted. "The you before the world got it's hands on you and decided who you should be".
If you missed his Atlanta show, check out a bit of his live performance below, proudly and exclusively brought to you by Gaye Magazine. Until next time Gayes, stream Wanderlust!