Self-described outrageous singer John Duff offers upfront that he’s had sex only once in the past year. Well, his dry spell is our new spring with the debut of his newest single/video that he says will put the hoe in “Hokie Pokie.”
“Pokie” is a fun sexy late summer jam that evokes Cardi B’s Wet Ass Pussy (WAP), albeit with a gay twist.
The playful song is the first single off of his upcoming, yet unnamed visual EP.
Like “WAP,” “Hokie” is an irreverent, aggressively raunchy song about cunnilingus that hits hard with clever wordplay over genre-defying production — equal parts house and hip-hop.
“The world could use some joy right now,” John Duff explains. “As a collective, we are experiencing the darkest and most confusing times any of us have faced. I think now is as good a time as ever to indulge in fantasy. As Jesus once told me — it’s not that serious.”
“The main message in my existence as an artist is: do whatever you want,” John Duff continues by home from his Los Angeles home. “As long as you don’t kill anyone, steal, violate, or drink and drive — you’re doing ok. There is no point in hiding from love, whatever that may be for you. After all, there are only two guarantees in life — you are born, and then you die. There’s great freedom in acknowledging that — life is a gift. So live. I’m a thirty-year old gay man working on a debut record. Do you know how many people have told me to hang it up? I won’t ever do that, though, because I make music for love; not for any other reason. I’m living for love. What other people think of me is none of my business. They’re just going to die too.”
Duff grew up in a suburb outside of Baltimore, Maryland, the youngest of two sisters and a brother. He describes his childhood as “cute.” Like most of us, he faced constant bullying. “I couldn’t even take the bus in middle school because other kids couldn’t control themselves around me – they were so upset by my existence, but whatever. I’m alive. The past doesn’t matter.” He says he doesn’t hold any animosity towards anyone, and is even grateful for all he experienced. In a snarky aside, he admitted, “In the end, I have the most hair and abs of anyone I graduated with, so, ha.”
John eventually left Maryland to study musical theater at Syracuse University and after graduating college, he made his way to the bright lights of New York City. He competed on the nationally televised competition show, The X Factor. “It was the most degrading and humiliating experience of my life,” he recalls. Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul laid into him with criticism that had little to do with his talent. “It was because I was unapologetically gay,” he confirms. “Simon even implied that I should consider a sex change.”
It was the crowning jewel in a long line of hurtful rejections.
“They wanted me to tone it down and I get it. The mainstream big label record execs are pretty much all straight white men and they don’t see how I fit. I can’t be mad because for a long time, I didn’t see how I fit in either.”
Duff admits today that his first two videos as an independent artist are not accurate reflections of himself. “Then, I was so attached to the way I was perceived that I ended up hiding behind concepts and characters. Like, ‘Rich’ and ‘Girly’ — you don’t get John Duff. You get John Duff trying to give a viral moment. You get John Duff the clown. I only got sober this year, so I’m actually really mortified looking back at a lot of my output. It wasn’t me. It was a mask — same with the drinking and the drugs.”
He says “Hokie Pokie” and the upcoming songs from his EP are better reflections of the real John Duff. “I’m not attached to my success. I’m simply making things that I want to see in the world. Things that I would’ve wanted to do when I was a child. I am honoring that little boy that had to dim his shine to assimilate. This is a healing process for me. I feel bold and clear, and, above all, free.”
His orgasmic love of life is reflected in the music video for “Hokie Pokie.” Conceptualized by Duff and directed by Brad Hammer, the video wreaks of summer and offers a special nod to Khia’s iconic, “My Neck, My Back” video. The action takes place at a cookout, with a pool, slip and slide, and plenty of sun-kissed bodies in skimpy bathing suits, grinding, shaking booties and soaking up the fun.
“Don’t be blinded by all the silliness,” warns Duff. “Listen to the lyrics because they go as hard and are as clever as anything else out there on the charts. My story is one of resilience and I will not quit until I am the greatest — and that greatness is defined by me.”
Watch the video below.
John Duff’s “Hokie Pokie” is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms. Its video is available on YouTube (above). You can Follow Duff on Instagram (below) and Facebook.
“Hokie Pokey” was written by John Duff and produced by Luke Mitchell and Jose Maldonado.