First Look Friday: Discover The Industry’s Best Kept Secret, Durand Bernarr

image Durand Bernarr photographed by Vickey Ford (SneakShot) for Okayplayer.

Cleveland, Ohio is a hub, a haven even, for celebrated musical talent. Legends such as Gerald LevertAvant and Men at Large held C-Town down with their dulcet tones and boss-like bravado. Following in that same legacy is this week’s First Look Friday subject, Durand Bernarr. Building a reputation as a dynamic singer and budding songwriter, this fellow Cleveland native stands out as one of the music industry’s best kept secrets.

A prodigy from a young age, Durand has learned at the feet of giants such as Earth, Wind & FireThe InternetChaka Khan and The Foreign Exchange. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, then you should join the almost 65,000 subscribers to his YouTube and witness why he has had almost 10 million views as an indie performer. From his “Sorry” cover by Beyoncé to his version of Erykah Badu‘s “Phone Down,” this adopted son of @FatBellyBella—not literally, guys, c’mon—is a growing force to be reckoned with.

With music embedded in his DNA, the artist also known as “AlcoholHarmony” is an absolute impact of nature. We’re pleased to be able to introduce the Okayplayer audience to the musical stylings of Durand Bernarr. In our chat with man whose voice is like jalapeño cheddar grits served with warm cornbread, we discuss Durand Bernarr’s origins, premiere “Around,” an exclusive song from his repertoire and learn what moments from his recent travels have stuck with him most. Enjoy!