We had the honor to interview singer, DJ, producer, and artist Sandy Duperval and talk about her music, her life, and her evolution throughout the years.
This interview is part of our exclusive PRIDE coverage for Pride Month. ?
Who is Sandy Duperval?
I love that question. Sandy Duperval is a passionate DJ, vocalist, and record producer, trying to change the world, one beat, one melody, one song, and one dance at a time.
How has your music evolved over the years?
It's been quite a journey with an unexpected turn of events. I started as a Gospel singer struggling with being Queer and thinking I didn't fit anywhere. When I decided to pursue a career in music, people would tell me not to because they thought musicians only played in the subway. With my grandmother's and mother's support, I pushed through. Going to music school connected me to DJing but never in my crazy mind did I dream that it would lead to becoming a professional DJ who simultaneously sings while spinning records. As they say, everything happens for a reason, so I roll with the punches and trust my purpose.
How do you keep your sound relevant after all these years?
I travel and listen to as many different DJs and radio shows as I can. I've always been a firm believer in mixing different genres and eras together. The past influences the present and in the future, the present comes the past. I believe it's important to be as cultured and open-minded as possible to remain creative, interesting, and relevant.
Thanks again for collaborating with us! What does your Stingray Music channel aim to say? What do you want your listeners to feel?
Thank you for the opportunity. I selected artists that have some of the best music out there but unfortunately, are not necessarily getting the platform and exposure they deserve. Showcasing the quality of music that is being produced by self-identified LGBTQ+ is crucial to me. A lot of the material I selected is music inspired by personal experiences involving homophobia and bullying. Growing up and struggling with my own sexuality, music was my escape but I longed to find artists that I felt I could identify with, back then there really wasn't. Coming out seemed like an impossible journey, every artist who would attempt to do so would see their career fall apart. I hope this list inspires and helps fight some of the prejudice.
What PRIDE memory from your life stands out to you stronger than any other?
Being one of the ambassadors of the first Pride Canada in Montreal, last year. I grew up in a very religious and homophobic environment and it took me over 15 years to come to terms with my sexuality, self-love and self-worth. Knowing that I was finally in a position to help others and represent a community I am so proud to be a part of, made this one of my biggest accomplishments and by far my fondest pride memory.
What have you done in your career that you’re most proud of?
In one word, EMANCIPATION. Everything I’ve experienced I’ve finally put in my music. Freeing my mind, my heart and my soul have enabled me to travel the world and constantly reach a new audience. I’ve been DJing for some of the biggest LGBTQ+ events across Canada and abroad. I’ve also opened up for acts such as Bob Sinclar, Lil Jon, Travis Scott, Ultra Nate, Brandy, Mya and been on tour with Natalie Larose. I am proud of my ability to live freely and let my love for music and art guide my journey.
You’re a DJ, vocalist, producer, singer, and you were a finalist on Star Académie in 2004 … Is there anything you don’t do?! What are your goals for the next ten years?
Lol! There is so much I haven’t done yet, that I am working on at the moment. I’m finishing my culinary management degree to pursue my career as a Chef in parallel to my music. My grandmother was a Chef and she loved music but couldn’t sing to save her life lol. I want my life to honor hers because she enabled me to become the artist that I am. Everything I do in my career and in my life is done to keep her legacy alive.
What’s your favorite picture of yourself? Can you walk us through/describe that captured moment?
Another good one! I did a candid photo shoot with Kadeem Ellis, a Toronto Based photographer, about 2 years ago. There is one particular shot in front of a pink wall, where I was looking away smiling. I remember that moment because, it felt like after almost dying in 2009, losing my mother in 2012 and my grandmother in 2014, I was finally at a peaceful, hopeful and joyful place in my life. I had finally realized how much power there was in letting go of the pain, holding on to the great memories of unconditional love and knowing that everything has a reason to be, including me. I am here, I am queer, I am free, I serve a purpose and I am ready.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
I’m working on it but I would love to be compared to Calvin Harris as a producer, to Imaani as a vocalist and Roger Sanchez as a DJ.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Learn, learn, learn because there is growth in every experience, good or bad. It’s like a video game, every stage has tools that help you complete the next stage of your life.
RuPaul said it best: if you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? What does this quote mean to you? And how have you managed to keep your head up all these years?
So true! In French, my grandmother would always say: “La charité, comme toute chose bien ordonnée, commence par soi-même.” Which means: Charity, like anything well organized, starts within. For example, if it’s crucial to wear your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else in case of emergency on a plane, why should it be different in life? You have to go out there and get as many tools as you can to enable yourself first before being able to help anyone else. Besides, If you don’t love yourself, how do you know what others should love about you? Self-love can’t be given to you and once you love yourself, it can’t be taken away.
Make sure to crank up the volume to Sandy Duperval's eclectic channel on Stingray Music!