Washington D.C.’s Diggs Duke is a name you need to commit to memory. The multi-instrumentalist with a beautiful singing voice and dynamite production skills teamed up with production company Nocturnal Charm to deliver a new live performance of his incredible song “The Pinnacle of Class and Taste.” Filmed at Mousai House studios in D.C.–a true keyboard sanctuary if there ever was one–the clip is a testament to the artist’s practice and poise, and what tasteful production can lend to an already gorgeous tune. We hear Duke miked so closely that the piano’s inner levers are almost audible, along with the breaths that power each soulful line. Few artists would be so brave to put their songcraft to such a test–to peel back every last bit of coverage and put their spirit on display. If you were waiting for a clear sign, this is it. Diggs Duke has arrived.
“The Pinnacle of Class and Taste” was named one of Okayplayer’s best songs of 2014, and even our company CEO/founder Questlove has shouted the tune’s praises. But while the original coasted on watery funk bass and stylish vocal doubling, this new performance is an exercise in economy and proves that, all along, it was the song’s gorgeous chords and melody that make its magic. Director Broady Brown has let Okayplayer know that it’s but one of many more audio-visual releases coming from Duke in the near future, and that this shoot in particular was truly something special for everyone involved.
“It’s a brief performance. But, that’s all good because this song is meant to be accepted in a common way. I approached this song, when I was writing it, with folk intentions,” Duke told Okayplayer in an email. “It’s just something people can sing to pass time, and in the video, I just happen to be the one interpreting it.” It’s our humble position, though, that Duke’s interpretation is a thing of pure beauty. Watch the video clip below, be prepared for more, and purchase Duke’s latest EP, The Upper Hand & Other Grand Illusions on iTunes, or, better yet, order yourself a vinyl copy here.