UPDATED 11/19, 12:25 p.m. ET: Just days after releasing his debut beat tape, super-producer Frank Dukes has shared a surprising message with fans.
“Today, I announce my retirement as Frank Dukes,” reads part of his long letter posted to Instagram.
Signed “Ging,” the reflective message opens, “It’s been 20 years since I starting making music as Frank Dukes. The 17 year old kid making beats in his parents’ basement could never have dreamt of the places music has taken me over the course of my career. My explorations have always been led by a feeling of excitement and curiosity. I constantly felt like I was venturing off into water slightly deeper than I was capable of swimming in and, as my career progressed, whenever I started to lose that feeling something new came along and restored it. When I realized a level of commercial success I never imagined, I began to feel comfortable in the water. After achieving everything I thought I wanted, the comfort felt different than it had before. I knew to find that feeling of excitement again I had to reevaluate.”
The producer formerly known as Frank Dukes said that in taking “inventory of my career,” a snowball effect kicked in and changed his life “dramatically.” He went on:
“I made changes I never thought I could. I turned to all the things I’d shied away from my whole life and I changed as a result of it. I began making my own art: an exploration that was led once again by excitement. It felt like deja vu—the same feeling I had when creating music in my parents’ basement at 17 years old. It was a familiar feeling but one that I no longer identified with as Frank Dukes.”
He closed with the aforementioned retirement line and thanked everyone he’s worked with and from whom he’s received support. “I am more excited about music than I have ever been. This is the end of one chapter but also the beginning of a whole new one,” he wrote, ending with a mysterious P.S.: “The ghost lives ghostoffrankdukes.com.”
Ging put the letter on his IG Stories as well, including in handwritten form, and shared a repost by producer Vinylz reading, “So proud of my brother. Came a long way and made history. Congrats and more blessings on this next chapter.”
See original story below.
After producing for some of the biggest names in music, Adam Feeney, a.k.a. Frank Dukes, has released his debut beat tape The Way of Ging.
Dukes shared some thoughts about the nine-track project, saying, “The Way of Ging is simply a homage to the tradition of the beat tape. Something that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve had many musical explorations throughout my 20 year career. I’ve worked with the biggest and the best. In this moment I find myself back in a place that feels much like deja vu. The place where it all started for me. Creation for creation’s sake. Pure joy.”
Over the several years, Dukes has cemented his status as one of the hottest producers in music, working with everyone from Rihanna (“Needed Me”) and Frank Ocean (“Chanel”) to Drake (“0 to 100”) and Kanye West (“Real Friends”).
In 2020, Dukes spoke with Complex about the launch of his Kingsway Music Library, which helps producers navigate some of the clearance issues that come along with sampling.
“Now that there are more resources that allow us to not rely so heavily on technical ability [compared to when he was coming up],” Dukes said, “a producer doesn’t necessarily need to know how to play keys at a proficient level if in their head they can make all the decisions to create something that’s compelling at the end of the day, without necessarily having to have all the technical knowledge.”
Read Complex’s full interview with Dukes here, and listen to his debut beat tape via SoundCloud below.