The force that is CazwellEntertainment News, Feature Story, Latest Issue, Section 4A Thursday, July 6th, 2017
Cazwell is an American born rap artist who hails from the small town of Worcester, Mass. It’s a city in Massachusetts that is best known for being the “Heart of the Commonwealth”.
It’s also known for being the city where the first Valentine was mass-produced and where the first ballpoint pen and first typewriter were invented. Worcester also holds the distinction of being the city where WORC played the first Beatles song over the airwaves.
Now Worcester will be known for Luke Cazwell, or Cazwell as he is known to his LGBTQ fans.
Cazwell grew up in Worcester and got his start as a performer in theater but soon found that theater had too many restrictions for him.
“I did a lot of after school drama programs,” Cazwell said. “But, acting, honestly was never really my thing. I never enjoyed obeying a script, if that makes any sense.”
Music was a big part of the rapper/songwriter from an early age. He was a child of the ’80s and got his inspiration from many rap and hip-hop groups of the time. In fact, Cazwell admits that he used to dream about being a part of a popular hip-hop group at that time and that he had a serious crush on one of its members as well.
“At that time my biggest inspiration was probably the Beastie Boys,” Cazwell admitted. “I fantasized about being the fourth member and had the hugest crush on MCA. Over time female rappers started to influence me more like Missy Elliot and Lauren Hill.”
His journey to being a rap artist and songwriter was not something Cazwell ever expected would become what he is known for, but that is exactly what happened. His work started catching on after it was heard over the airwaves in Worcester and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I always listened to rap,” Cazwell said. “I never thought it was something I would make a career out of. Me and my best friend at the time would make mix-tapes and we would start with a rap and after a year we started getting popular and doing radio stations around Worcester.”
Soon after his success in Worcester and Boston, Cazwell moved to New York City in 1999. It was there that he recorded his first single “The Sex That I Need” with the group Avenue D in 2003. He then followed that single a few years later with his first album Get Into It in 2006.
The single “All Over Your Face” was the stand-out hit from that album and it peaked at 31 on the U.S. dance charts.
The song’s controversial lyrics created a buzz and the video was eventually taken off rotation from being played on Logo TV.
Apparently the lyrics, “I’ll eat that ass like a cannibal, I don’t care if you think I’m dirty, I am dirty. Learn me I masturbated till my KY faded. Unh, I’m exhausticated. It’s all over your face, tell me how does it taste? When the lights go off and your head goes down, don’t let a drop go to waste, go to town now.” were a bit too much for the cable channel. Cazwell admits it may not have been everyone’s cup of tea.
“I don’t blame them; the song is about busting on someone’s face … LOL! You really don’t want kids listening to that. They ended up playing it only late night. I was fine with that. LOL,” Cazwell shared.
It is that kind of forward and out of the box thinking that Cazwell believes in and is something he brings to all of his performances. It is also something the artist feels very strongly about which is why he made the decision to come out at an early age.
“I came out immediately after high school,” Cazwell admitted. “I’m sure I wouldn’t be as uncontrived on stage or when I perform if I wasn’t out of the closet. If you hide something in real life I think that reflects on your stage performance.”
It’s clear that Cazwell loves to perform and give all he’s got for his audiences, but there is something else he loves about being a performer just as much.
“My favorite thing to do as a performer is to make music videos,” Cazwell confessed. “It always tests my organization skills and my patience. For me it is the most rewarding part of what I do. That and performing live.”
Performing at San Diego Pride is something the performer is new to but he is very excited to be a part of it this year. Although, Cazwell did mention that this is not his first time in America’s Finest City.
“I have performed in San Diego many times,” Cazwell said. “This will be my first Pride and I am completely amped about it! San Diego is notoriously friendly and I love that. My favorite place in the country to perform is probably San Francisco! The crowds are never pretentious and I always feel the gay love.”
San Diego Pride patrons can expect Cazwell to give a jazzed, free-spirited and amped up show while he is here. He will also be true to that out of the box performance style that he is known for.
“I’m going to perform some tracks that I don’t perform that often like “I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King” and “Helen Keller”, Cazwell said. “All the tracks are going to be pretty high-energy and yes, I will probably be sporting a pastel lace look. LOL”
After his performance at San Diego Pride, Cazwell says he’ll be taking a much needed break. However, that’s not what it will look like to anyone who reads this.
“After San Diego I head home to catch up on my sleep,” Cazwell said. “Then, I start plotting my next video. I am also putting the finishing touches on an EP with me and Peppermint from RUPAUL’s Drag Race. So, expect a lot of new music coming soon.”
Sounds like a pretty busy schedule. In closing Cazwell made it clear that he had one more very important thing he wanted to share with gay communities across the globe. Something the performer feels strongly about.
“The only thing that I want to add is that it is time for the gay community to support our trans brothers and sisters with full force,” he said. “Trans women of color are getting murdered at an alarming rate; it’s time for all of us to fight transphobia with the same amount of urgency we used to get married legally.”
You can catch Cazwell on the Main Stage at San Diego Pride July 15 at 4:30 p.m.
For more on Cazwell visit cazwell.com
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