Crescendo Making A Change

Don Crescendo is a new name in the Charleston music world, but this artist is already releasing his third album November 11, 2017. The first album is entitled “Rough,” with songs like “F Me Up” and “Thunder.” The second album, “Raw,” includes songs like “Neon Heart” and “Sanctuary.” The third album is entitled “Ready,” and signals the end of a year’s worth of work for Crescendo. He is celebrating this ending with the biggest show he’s ever performed at Redux on November 11, 2017.

Crescendo’s advertisement for his new show on November 11, 2017 (Photo by Alana Harris).

College of Charleston students may recognize Don Crescendo as the former general manager of CisternYard Radio. Crescendo came to CisternYard as a freshman, wanting to be involved in the Charleston’s music scene, but unsure of how to go about it. In early 2016, he finally started producing his own music from the tools at his disposal — tablets and phones — and the result was what Crescendo calls “trippy laptop space pop.”

Crescendo is an openly bisexual black male —his music is a platform to create a musical space for other artists who are people of color (POC) or LGBTQ. Crescendo believes that a lot of other artists who are like him may not believe that there is a place for them to perform, or for their voice to be heard — not unlike himself not long ago. “I think that people want to thrive and work on their own projects, but they don’t know how,” said Crescendo.

Crescendo performing at one of his house shows. (Photo by Meredith Wohl).

That’s where Crescendo wants to help. He wants people to see him as a vessel to assist them to get to where they want to be with their own art, and wants to help everyone build together. “If you’re willing to put in the work and you’re willing to be creative, then you should have the opportunity to put your foot out there and show people what you can do,” said Crescendo.

Crescendo wants his overall lasting effect as an artist to break the mold on how people see black, queer men. “There is no one way to be black or queer,” Crescendo said. “[Sometimes people] are afraid of me one minute because of my blackness, but they wanna threaten me the next because of my queerness. It’s kind of like saying they shouldn’t coexist.”

Crescendo makes sure that each show he performs in shows black or LGBTQ artists as a way of helping them to find their own place. “There is space for you, even if you have to create it yourself,” Crescendo said, and he believes that not sharing his musical space would be selfish. He believes that a lot of the bad imagery surrounding the black and LGBTQ communities is shaped by people who are on the outside, and he wants to be sure that the voices within the communities are heard. Crescendo said, “When we put our own authentic voices out there and say ‘This is who we are,’ it can’t be challenged because that’s the truth. Take it or leave it.”

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