Producer Frank Dukes announced his retirement in a written letter to fans, which was posted this morning on his social media accounts. In the letter, which had been given in advance exclusively to Billboard, Dukes – born Adam King (pronounced and often spelled: “Ging”) Feeney – praised how far he has come in the last 20 years, from “making beats in his parents’ basement” in Toronto at the age of 17 to produce hits with a genre-exciting set of stars, including The Weeknd, Rosalía, Drake and many more.
“I ventured out into the water a little deeper than I was able to swim in,” he wrote in the letter about his early career. “When I started losing that feeling, something new came along and restored it.” He went on to say that given the level of commercial success he has achieved – which includes hits such as “Havana” by Camila Cabello, “Congratulations” by Post Malone and “Chanel” by Frank Ocean – his efforts began to feel pleasant. “I knew to find that feeling of excitement again I had to reconsider.”
The news comes as a surprise, considering that the artist / producer dropped his first music under the name Frank Dukes just earlier in the week. According to a press release about the new project, Duke’s finally released music under his own producer moniker for the first time in the form of a beat band. Baptized Gings vej, the project was released as a set of NFTs and offers the crypto marketplace OpenSea for Gik is still underway, with plans to close on Tuesday, November 23rd. The project includes the sale of its individual tracks as NFTs, paired with visual art also made by Dukes. Creepily, the artist / producer called his latest track “A Funeral for a Prince.” Dukes also published one video earlier this week for social media with the caption “The Way of Ging. The Beginning to the End,” with footage of dying flowers and a funeral scene.
Another potential warning? Dukes signed his handwritten note announcing the retirement of the Dukes name as “Ging,” a reference to his middle name and his nickname among close friends and family, indicating a new identity.
Later in the letter, the artist / producer noted that after taking “inventory over [his] career “he began to make his own art, which he calls” an exploration that was again led by excitement … the same feeling I had when I created music in my parents’ basement as a 17-year-old. “He admitted however, that new creative strength was something he “no longer identified with as Frank Dukes.”
Although the future remains unclear, the retirement announcement about the Frank Dukes name seemed more of a symbolic move from an earlier stage than it did a full farewell to the music, as the letter indicated that more music is on the way. “I’m more passionate about music than I’ve ever been,” the artist / producer admitted.
Along with the note, he teased a “new chapter” and invited fans to click through to a site titled “The Ghost of Frank Dukes,” a simple landing page featuring only a drawing of a ghost and a link to join a Discord channel.
Read the full letter below:
It’s been 20 years since I started making music like Frank Dukes. The 17-year-old kid who makes beats in his parents’ basement could never have dreamed of where the music has taken me over the course of my career.
My explorations have always been led by a sense of excitement and curiosity. I constantly felt like I was venturing out into the water a little deeper than I was able to swim in, and as my career progressed as I began to lose that feeling, something new came along and restored it.
When I realized a level of commercial success that I had never imagined, I began to feel comfortable in the water. After achieving everything I thought I would, the comfort felt different than it had before. I knew to find that feeling of excitement again I had to reconsider.
As I took stock of my career, it started a chain reaction that affected every part of my life, which changed dramatically. I made changes I never thought I could. I turned to all the things I had been doing without all my life and I changed as a result. I started making my own art: an exploration that was again led by excitement. It felt like deja vu – the same feeling I had when I was making music in my parents’ basement when I was 17 years old. It was a familiar feeling, but one that I no longer identified with as Frank Dukes.
Today I announce my retirement as Frank Dukes. I would like to thank all the incredible artists, musicians, producers, managers, songwriters and everyone who supported or believed in me throughout my 20 year career. I would not be the one I am with you all. I’m more passionate about music than I’ve ever been. This is the end of a chapter, but also the beginning of a whole new one.
PS The ghost is alive