Harmonising Art and Ambition: Deshon Washington’s Exclusive Interview with A&R Factory

In an intimate sit-down with A&R Factory, Deshon Washington, the soulful voice behind the upcoming single ‘Work of Art’, shares the essence of his growing musical legacy. As he recounts his start in the music industry, from karaoke bars in Conway, Arkansas, to the global stage of Carnival Cruise Lines, Washington’s narrative is a testament to growth, resilience, and the power of staying true to one’s artistic vision. His experiences, including a pivotal appearance on Netflix’s ‘Sing On!’, have shaped his unique sonic signature, turning challenges into stepping stones towards greater heights.

This interview is a deep dive into the heart of an artist who sees rejection as a catalyst for reinvention, and who dreams of one day conquering Madison Square Garden. Join us as we explore the highs and lows of a life dedicated to music, and the ambitious journey of a voice that refuses to be confined by the sea.

Thank you for the opportunity to sit down with you ahead of the release of your next single, Work of Art, what’s the story behind the single?

 “The story behind this single is that I could always look at a painting or any piece of art and seem infatuated by it, but one day I saw a woman who surpassed everything from my past, and it seemed the future, that I ever seen. I knew that the only way I could explain it was through song.”

How do the instrumentals in your upcoming single complement the emotional themes?

The single gives a very free and funky vibe. The song is filled with love and happiness (shout out to Al Green, an inspiration to me).

How and when did you start cutting your teeth in the music industry?

I started in 2018 when I released my first single “Little Time”. I was singing karaoke for 2 years prior in a bar called Kings Live Music, in Conway, Arkansas. I tried to find my voice and my own style before putting my own thoughts and visions into the public eye. Ever since then I’ve been growing and learning more about myself and the music industry. I still have a lot to learn, and I want to make it bigger than I’ve ever imagined.

How have your experiences in the music industry shaped your sonic signature?

A lot of people will see rejection as a sign of failure and let their vision dim. But I have seen it as the torch that lights my way to a brighter future. My experience in the industry hasn’t been all amazing, but the parts that have been, have completely overshadowed the bad parts. I have seen myself in a bigger venue than I already have been and only see myself getting bigger. Getting told no, and being rejected has made me redefine myself and mold myself into a better artist today than I was yesterday.

Your Netflix debut seems to have been a pivotal moment in your career; how did you land a spot on ‘Sing On!’, and what other doors did this opportunity open?

I landed it after competing in the KWC, Karaoke World Championships in Las Vegas in 2019. I made it on the National tryouts after making it past state, and once I made it, I got contacted by a casting director about trying out for a new singing show that would be on Netflix. It has opened a few doors for me, not as much as I thought, but I know the cause of why it hasn’t. I had to get out of my comfort zone, that being my home town, to see what other doors were out there for me to open. One of those doors was Carnival. I’ve had more success and growth in Carnival in the span of 2 years than I’ve ever done at home.

Can you give us an insight into the highs and lows of working as a singer for Carnival Cruise Lines?

The highs of being a singer on Carnival are the consistent work, the opportunity to sing songs outside of your comfort zone and to be able to expand on your artistic abilities. Being around so many different nationalities has its amazing parts as well. You grow as a person on the outside and inside, getting to know and understand the other nations. The lows are mostly being away from home and missing family and friends. It can take a huge toll on you, especially when a family emergency happens, and you can’t get home.

What is it like to release music at sea?

It can be very daunting. It’s a difficult step to get through because of internet issues on the ship and not always being in the same time frame as your producer/engineer. But it has its own rewards as well, because once you release it, you have thousands of people that you can promote your song to, every cruise.

Where do you see your talent taking you next?

My main goal is to sell out Madison Square Garden one day.  I feel like I am in the beginning years of the new and final me. Like I have found myself, my sound, my style, and I’m ready to take it to the world and take it over.

Thank you for your time!

Stream Deshon Washington on Spotify, discover more about the artist on his official website and follow him via Instagram and Facebook.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

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