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Duane Vincent’s musical destiny was clear from the time he did his first ever solo performance at age 12 at church in Bastrop, Louisiana. The song was called “Ask What You Will Of The Savior”. God’s response, decades later, was to help the multi-talented, Houston based vocalist and songwriter fulfill a dream and pave the way for his emergence as an urban jazz artist with the soulful and grooving, sensual and romantic debut full length album New Love.
Following in his father Roosevelt’s footsteps singing in church, Vincent grew up in Jonesboro and Bastrop, Louisiana inspired by everyone from Al Green and Michael McDonald to Nat “King” Cole, Tyrone Davis, Marvin Gaye and The Commodores. While studying for this undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering at Grambling State, he performed in numerous talent shows that he describes as Apollo-like in their setting. He’s grateful for the proverbial school of hard knocks that have made him a better singer in his later adult life. “One show I would be up there, singing and having the crowd with me, yelling for more,” he says. “The next, I could be booed off the stage. I learned quickly the importance of choosing the right song and staying within yourself as a performer.”
Vincent’s history of performing in the Houston area extends back to the early 90s, when he complemented his busy life in corporate America with gigs as the lead singer of a popular band called Special Attraction. In recent years, Vincent’s renowned in the Houston area via live performances in the Woodlands area and local wine, cigar and piano bars and other venues has earned him a large regional fan base. It also led to a creative collaboration with John Michael Howcott, a renowned behind the scenes force in the R&B world who produced New Love. Howcott has over 12 million record sales to his credit; along with partners Donald Parks and Emanuel Officer, he has worked with everyone from Keith Sweat, Chante Moore and Silk to Kut Klose, Jade, The Braxtons, Vanessa Williams and Phil Perry.
The new musical opportunities opening up for Vincent are a world away from his years working for Fortune 500 companies like Compaq, IBM and Ernst & Young as a Project Manager and consultant in various states and countries. Being married and becoming a father also played a significant role in his desire to devote more of his life to pursuing his musical dreams. “If my music can inspire people to stay strong and stay true to what their beliefs are, help them do right by themselves and others, that makes me very happy and fulfilled as an artist,” he says. “When I was in corporate, I traveled the world, and I found that the universal language was music. I remember one time I was in Brazil; I found a piano and started playing. Suddenly, despite our language barrier, everyone around me was singing along…in English. That’s the power of music.”