DE'WAYNE is one of many new artists in Alt-Rock, shaking the industry with his eccentric sound. DE'WAYNE is photographed outside a Waterparks album release party in L.A. in May 2021. (Photo by Pamela Garcia)

Arts and Entertainment

Alt-Rock has no bounds for DE’WAYNE

While alternative music makes its return to mainstream media, DE’WAYNE continues to find new ways to set himself apart from other artists in the genre.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/pamelaberenice/" target="_self">Pamela Garcia</a>

Pamela Garcia

August 7, 2022

DE’WAYNE’s music is redefining what it means to be a rockstar, blending genres like rap and punk along with eloquent lyrics that tell the stories of his life. DE’WAYNE makes music that breaks traditional molds and says performing is everything to him.

“It’s a really beautiful, raw way to connect with people, and I love freaking people out sometimes, you know? I feel like I can see it in people’s faces that they haven’t seen anything like it,” DE’WAYNE said. 

Originally from Houston, Texas, De’Wayne Jackson began making music when he was in middle school, and later took his love for music to Los Angeles at 19, leaving his family and friends behind. He found out about the scene once he moved to his first studio apartment in Hollywood, instantly becoming a devotee to the genre. 

“I didn’t really have any identity when I was back home. So it was kind of one of the first things when I came here that I connected with,” DE’WAYNE said. 

Most of his journey in Los Angeles has been studying the art of the genre and growing his own music in the process. DE’WAYNE said he’s heavily inspired by artists from the 1970s and 80s like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and The Ramones. 

DE’WAYNE said he is inspired by living his own life and figuring things out on his own terms.

“I feel it’s getting harder to get inspired by artists today,” he said. 

In 2017, with the release of DE’WAYNE’s first EP “Don’t Be Afraid,” he began to pick up traction from different magazines such as Alternative Press and Fader for his music videos that took viewers on a trip into his past.

From there, he went on to tour with Alternative bands such as Chase Atlantic and Waterparks, and pop-punk band Set It Off in 2018 on their North American runs.

DE’WAYNE opening for Waterparks at the House of Blues Anaheim, December 2019. (Photo by Pamela Garcia)

Having just wrapped up his full first 20 date North American headlining tour, along with many festival lineups this year, DE’WAYNE said he’s thankful that he’s able to share the scene with so many other amazing artists of color that are giving people platforms and putting them on different kinds of pop-punk. 

“There was a time where — maybe every Black rock artist can say this for every generation but, you know, labels were not having that. We walked into so many offices and they were just like ‘No.’ like, ‘What? This does not make sense to me,’” DE’WAYNE said.

Despite all the obstacles that the industry threw at him, DE’WAYNE persevered and kept his dream of becoming the successful musician he is today alive. He hopes that his music can inspire others with the same dream to continue as well, and reach their goals. 

“I would say if you can dip your toe into obstacles as an artist or someone that wants to do something, you should because it’ll make you come out different. I hope that people don’t run away from when things get tough. It really helps you,” DE’WAYNE said.

DE’WAYNE’s sheer passion for everything that he does on a daily basis is truly something to be inspired by. It’s clear that no matter where life takes him, he knows that he will always get through it, and his fans always have his back.