By now, you have probably listened to the first episode of Artist FriendlyJoel Madden of Good Charlotte fame's new podcast presented by Alternative Press, that just dropped today and features rising alternative rockstar DE’WAYNE. If you haven’t, drop everything you are doing and dive into the deep, introspective conversation that transpired between DE’WAYNE and Madden.  

Throughout the nearly hour-and-a-half-long discussion, DE’WAYNE speaks candidly about his upbringing, passions, and personal growth that ultimately shaped who the 27-year-old artist is today. While the interview was recorded shortly before the release of his stellar 2022 sophomore album My Favorite Blue Jeans, DE’WAYNE used the opportunity to not only celebrate the release and the whirlwind past few years he's had touring across the globe —  but to also take a moment to reflect on the near-decade he spent working tirelessly to get here in the first place. Whether you are a diehard supporter, a casual fan, or just a music/podcast connoisseur, it's a must-listen conversation. 

These are the five takeaways from episode 1 of Artist Friendly, featuring DE’WAYNE. 

DE’WAYNE is a massive fan of Ink Master

While it may seem like he is trying to score brownie points with Joel Madden, make no mistake, DE’WAYNE is a “massive” fan of the Paramount+ tattoo competition series, Ink Master, which Madden also hosts. DE’WAYNES’ “personal favorite” tattoo artist is season 14 runner-up Gian Karlelargely for his showboating and “badass” demeanor, but also has love for artists Angel Rose and resident troublemaker Creepy Jason. (Although, he was remiss not to mention how "heated" he was with the recent shake-up that allowed previous champs to re-enter the competition.) 

“Life is good” after seven years of grinding it out

When DE’WAYNE made the jump from his humble hometown of Houston, Texas to move to Los Angeles to pursue music, his success did not happen overnight. In fact, on the podcast DE’WAYNE reflects on a nearly seven-year period of development and hard work that it took to discover who he was as an artist. At one point, DE’WAYNE recalls memories of being broke, stressed, and scraping together just enough money to order McDonald's alongside his friend and frequent collaborator Mitchel Cave (Chase Atlantic). Nowadays, he says he finds himself with a lot to “smile about,” noting how thrilled he is that My Favorite Blue Jeans, which was years in the making, is finally out in the world.

Family is DE’WAYNE’s biggest inspiration

DE’WAYNE describes his upbringing as a “duality” between two very different parental figures. On one hand, he had his mother, a strict but loving parent with a strong religious faith, and on the other, his father, who was once a free spirit but has grown tremendously in both his professional and personal life. While DE’WAYNE may have had a complex relationship with his father at times during his youth, he proudly shares that his father instilled in him a confidence and hope that he could be something great, as long as he pursued his dreams. The singer even mentions that he and his father recently reconnected during a business trip to his hometown of Houston, which allowed them to make up for lost time. DE’WAYNE also admits that his mother was at first hesitant about her son's career choice of being a rockstar, but has since grown to be his biggest fan and is at peace knowing that her son is “OK and surrounded by great people.” 

DE’WAYNE is an avid reader

DE’WAYNE is many things — a rockstar, an actor, and a renaissance man, in general — but did you know that he is also a bookworm? He tells Madden that he's currently soaking up Shakespeare's Othello and tries to get in as many pages as he can every day — going as far as reading it out loud in order to fully grasp the words. It’s no surprise that the rockstar is in tune with the literary world, as his music and lyrics have always possessed a palpable sense of poeticism.  

DE’WAYNE is betting on a more diverse future for rock 'n' roll 

In the next 10-20 years, DE’WAYNE hopes that there will be more Black kids getting into rock music, and is confident that they will discover and create the music without fear, judgment, or exclusion. DE’WAYNE is excited about the current examples of prominent Black artists in the rock space today, and declares that “whoever is listening” needs to take note in order to shape the future.