They are not identical twins, in fact sister two years apart, but they talk alike and finish each other’s sentences as if they’ve got that intuition. Cute accents with a tinge of upstate New York, that totally offset the massive sounds they create. Duelle lives in Florida, and are soon migrating to the mecca of dance music, Los Angles.
From Florida, making trap music, and coming into a market oversaturated and plagued by mediocrity, but these ladies are so hot right now. And getting hotter. They have been doing this since 2009, when they came up with the name Duelle. The name represented how family oriented the two are, they came up with it in the presence of their tight-knit Italian relative. Due means two in Italian, and the -elle comes from the end of their two names, Danielle and Gabrielle.
Their story is one of struggle and triumph, and the battle isn’t even remotely over for Duelle, as they climb to the top of a food chain that feeds off of those at the bottom, destroying them before they can rise. It is a dog eat dog world, the current state of the music industry as we know it, making it difficult for these two ladies to show their true colors and shine like the stars that they are. The wear their hearts on their sleeves though, and their colors in their hair (like proper trap queens, they don all black in their attire). The purple and blue dos have become something of a signature for them.
The trap life wasn’t always for them, though:
When we were little were always singing and making up dances. We were always really girly. We weren’t allowed to listen to hip hop, or we weren’t really into rap and hip hop when we were younger, and then as we got older, it was more around high school when we started to listen to hip hop. It was more about rebelling, or finding our swag. As you are growing up, that is what we came into. We came into ourselves, and into the trap life. Got caught up in the hip hop scene in Miami, which was really cool. We ended up meeting lil wayne and a lot of people from Young Money, and then it just kind of developed into us starting to rap and then we got really into trap music.
They are not from the dirty streets of the trap. And while they weren’t always trap queens, they were always partners in crime, running whatever streets they were on, together. At some point Gabrielle and Danielle became trap princesses, and have since evolved into their full on trap queen personas. Definitely not predictable metamorphoses. They were, however, early performers; Britney Spears was sort of everything to them. They were super into pop music. Even now, their music is commercially driven. Given the current state of electronic music, Duelle falling into the EDM world from a pop background makes a lot of sense. It is a reflection of the time and trends.
The hardest part for them as artists is trying to be unique. Being yourselves isn’t an easy sell when being yourself is like so many things already in existence. It is about taking these things that people have seen before, and making them belong to you in some way. Everything has already been done, and you are always taking from everything else. “It is all about taking all [our] inspirations, putting [them] together, and making it about who you are. It is definitely hard because you have to be yourself, and you have to be true to yourself. I think being true to yourself is the most important thing. Of course you find something you like about other artists and try to mimic that, but we have been doing this going on seven years, and we have come into our own and we are really finding our sound. It is always evolving, but its about finding that sound and who we are with our look and our brand.”
They feel as though all of this is finally coming together for them, and that their fanbase is building as a result. They have this amazing grassroots fanbase, their DMND mob. This name is the one that has stuck, after futile attempts to find a name for their fans. It shows them that they are doing something very right.
They are doing a lot of things right these days. Being females in this industry makes it hella hard to get ahead, but once people see these girls throw down on stage, they know Duelle can hold it down. Even though girls are being literally scrutinized at every turn, plagued by this underlying sentiment that women are less capable, the girls note other females killing it in the game right now, like Mija and Alison Wonderland. Running the trap that is run by misogynistic tendencies is some kind of balancing act, where you are constantly trying to prove yourself and do positive things for the advancement of all women.
But it is a great time for women in this industry, with powerful girls banding together to create a network of females empowering each other. “If we do, it’s going to be powerful enough to prove that females can be just as successful. It sucks coming from a place where you have to prove yourself, once you do it almost makes it more worth it.”
Hard work pays off, and team work makes the dream work for these ladies. Everyone is turning their heads, doing a double take when they see Gabrielle and Danielle. People are raving about their summer sets at various gigs and festivals, and their fan base is literally building by the day. #DMNDMOB is a movement, representative of this heavily expansive, die hard fan base rallying around Duelle. Organically grown, built from fans that catch a piece of that everything they give when they are on stage. Artists success is measured in a numbers game and all those other things, but there is something really important about the fans in this particular arena. Artists have a relationship with them. They contribute to them, and vice versa. A lot of artists have a name for their fans that represents the essence of who they are. They embody that, and the fans embody that as well. It sort of becomes this thing that you are all connected through. The electrifying presence and all around good vibes that radiate from these girls is felt in their fans, and #DMNDMOB has become this mutual exchange of energy between the girls and their adoring fans.
“The ones that really take to us, when they see us perform it is almost like they read right through us. Like they know them so well and vice versa. The get it. They see our struggle they see what we have been through they see why we are snapping on stage they see what we are fighting for and thats what makes them…the things these people say sometimes it sounds crazy but its like we brought that out in them. We made them lose their minds and now they hit us up all the time because of it. It is so cool. That is what keeps us going every day. That is what inspires us and drives us to not give up when we hear no. Not a lot of people know we’ve been in music for a long time. This has been HELL to get where we are at right now. Even though our fan base is not massive, it is strong. It is growing everyday.”
In order to survive, everything must grow and evolve. Electronic music is not dying. Trap music is not dead. Music, in general, is always evolving. It is just that once you label something the new thing, it becomes the oversaturated thing. Artists just get in the studio and create based on emotion and experiences. Trap music has evolved and given birth to many subgenres, and that is what the girls love so much about it. Their sound is constantly evolving as well, letting it slip that we can expect something a little different from them in November. Duelle is dialing back their HUGE sound on an upcoming track with Ricky Remedy called ‘Stuck On Me.’ Stay tuned for pure vibes and chill.
All of this proves nothing if not that these girls are the real deal, with so much versatility hidden under the crowns of these trap queens, about to reign over the musical land for many years to come. They can sing, dance, rap, and do all of the things that a DJ and producer can do. All raw talent and heart inside of these girls, that will no longer go unnoticed.
“Don’t accept no. There are times when you want to quit, but if you believe in yourself and believe in what you are doing, you just have to keep trying. Keep trying new things. It’s like a puzzle. Keep fighting. Just don’t quit. We wouldn’t be playing TomorrowWorld, and signed to CAA [if we had]. Stay inspired. Find different things to keep yourself inspired. Push it until you can’t push it any longer.”
Duelle has come from some very dark places, and it is always the music that has brought them back to the light. A record that makes them realize that they have so much more to do, and give. “We are finally starting to achieve respect, from fans and people in the industry. Yasmine [Yousaf of Krewella] came out to their debut show at Avalon Los Angeles to support which was on one of the very respected “Control” Fridays. Having Yasmine there showed a mutual respect and empowerment of woman in the industry.
I think what they are doing is awesome too. After sitting down to chat with these ladies, and getting to know what they are all about, I am inspired by them all the more. From one runner of the trap and something of trap royalty myself, I can attest to the fact that Duelle aka Danielle and Gabrielle are the embodiment of trap queens.
Here is their latest track, dedicated obviously to their amazing fans, called ‘DMND:’
Duelle – DMND | Free Download
Check out their TomorrowWorld Aftermovie!
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