Frank Dukes

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Adam Feeney
Birth nameAdam King Feeney
Also known asFrank Dukes
Ging
Born (1983-09-12) September 12, 1983 (age 38)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • disc jockey
Instruments
Years active2001–2021 (as Frank Dukes)[1]
LabelsSony Music Publishing[2]
Associated acts
Websitekingswaymusiclibrary.com
ghostoffrankdukes.com

Adam King Feeney (born September 12, 1983), formerly professionally known as Frank Dukes, is a Canadian musician and former record producer, songwriter, and DJ.[3][4][5][6] A prolific producer, he has worked with artists including Camila Cabello ("Havana," "Never Be the Same"), Post Malone ("Congratulations," "Better Now," Circles") and The Weeknd ("Call Out My Name"). In his early career, Dukes established himself as a producer by working with a number of members of Wu-Tang Clan and G-Unit as well as young Toronto talent like BADBADNOTGOOD. He came to prominence in the 2010s as a composer and beatmaker whose work was utilized by prominent record producers to sample in their own productions; many of his samples have been used in songs for major artists including Drake (like Duke's first major placement, "0 to 100"), Travis Scott, Taylor Swift, and Kanye West, with some drawing from the Kingsway Music Library, a popular sample library which he has run since 2011.[7]

Dukes has helped produce over thirty platinum singles since 2014. Among other awards and nominations, Dukes' work has won three Grammy Awards from 30 nominations. He is considered one of Canada's top producers, having been awarded Songwriter of the Year by SOCAN every year since 2018 along with similar honors from BMI and the Juno Awards.

After using the moniker for twenty years, he announced the retirement of the name of Frank Dukes in November 2021.[8]

Early life[edit]

Adam King Feeney was born on September 12, 1983, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was raised in the city's northern suburb of Thornhill.[9] His first exposure to creating music was piano lessons at age five; however, he quit lessons after three years due to losing interest in it. He later taught himself to play guitar, bass and drums.[6][10]

As a teenager, he spent a lot of time skateboarding and gained more interest in music, particularly New York hip hop, becoming a DJ at 15 years old.[11][12] In 1999, at age 16, Dukes began collecting records from the 1960s and 1970s in an effort to understand how they were made.[6] This habit got him into record production and he bought an MPC the following year. He graduated from St. Robert Catholic High School in Thornhill in 2001.[13] Dukes has stated that he had no intention to make music his profession.[11][14]

Career[edit]

2000s: Early career and first placements[edit]

Dukes began producing music seriously in the early 2000s. He chose the stage name Frank Dukes as a teenager, inspired by the character of Frank Dux in the martial arts film Bloodsport, and competed in a number of local DJ contents.[15][12] His first production credit was a 2003 remix for Philadelphia rapper Hezekiah and he later had his first paid placement with a Toronto artist named General Too Smooth.[12][16]

In 2005, he connected with Toronto-based music manager Mo' Jointz who found Duke placements with Toronto and New York-area hip hop artists, including Slaughterhouse's Joell Ortiz, Kool G Rap, and Choclair.[16] Dukes was one of the first producers to work with Drake, producing the track "Money" off his debut mixtape Room for Improvement, released in 2006.[17][18][19] Dukes relationship with producer Boi-1da, who would become one of the in-house producers for Drake's OVO Sound label, has led to many collaborations for Drake since this time.[20]

In 2008 and 2009, he took part in the Red Bull Big Tune producer competition; at these events, he connected with a number of artists and their A&R, most notably G-Unit, Danny Brown, and Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah.[12][21] In the late 2000s, Dukes would produce a number of tracks for G-Unit rappers Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent. This included his first paid placement for a major artist, the song "Sooner or Later (Die 1 Day)" on Banks' third studio album H.F.M. 2 (The Hunger for More 2), for which Dukes was $5,000 paid in 2008, among other tracks released years later.[22]

2010s: Sample innovator and acclaim[edit]

Creative relationships and album production

At the end of the 2000s, Dukes connected with Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, producing three tracks for his 2010 album Apollo Kids. The two met after Dukes won the Red Bull Big Tune championship in 2009; Dukes had also given Ghost a beat tape the previous year.[14][23] Dukes performed as his and Cappadonna's tour DJ;[24] active as a DJ in Toronto,[25][26][27][28] Dukes also played sets during their tour as well as at the 2010 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.[29][30]

This relationship led to a series of Wu-Tang-related collaborations over the following five years, including producing more than half the tracks for the RZA-produced The Man with the Iron Fists album in 2012. He also worked on his own unreleased album, collaborating with Danny Brown and Willie the Kid, among others.[31][32] During the same period, Dukes met the Canadian hip hop/jazz group BADBADNOTGOOD at their first live show in 2011. Dukes and the group became close collaborators, even sharing a studio for many years;[33] the band members play on many of the samples Dukes produced during the decade and, in turn, Dukes produced their first original album III, released in 2014. Dukes' work with Ghostface and BBNG culminated in their shared 2015 record, Sour Soul.[34]

Kingsway Music Library and sample composition

During the first half of the decade, Dukes began writing music that he could use and manipulate as samples in his own work, much like the traditional record sampling he took part in as a hip hop producer. Inspired in part by his experiences working in 2010/2011 with the Menahan Street Band, a contemporary funk and soul ensemble that employ vintage recording techniques (and achieve the 1960s/1970s sound and style so often sought after in hip hop samples),[35] Dukes began recording his compositions similarly, using vintage and analog equipment.[36] Observing the sample clearance issues and poor royalty splits he experienced while working with 50 Cent and Ghostface,[35][36] Dukes had the idea of using his body of work as samples for other record producers to use, much like the traditional library music model, and began sharing his work with the likes of Vinylz, DJ Dahi, and Boi-1da;[37] beginning in 2013, he packaged a portion of his compositions into various volumes for a collection titled Kingsway Music Library which he sells with the clearance of his samples guaranteed.[6][11][38]

This sample production work created acclaim for Dukes in 2014 when a composition he wrote was given to Boi-1da and flipped into the Drake single "0 to 100."[39][35] From this point forward, he was inspired to grow Kingsway Music Library into an established platform for original music for sampling. He continues to distribute a limited amount of his music this way and invites up-and-coming musicians to collaborate or contribute whole volumes to his platform. In 2019, he spearheaded a collaboration between Kingsway Music Library and Toronto's Regent Park School of Music. Called Parkscapes, all tracks are performed by students of the music program and all proceeds, including licensing and royalty payments, help fund the school's programs.[18] As of 2021, Dukes has personally released fifteen volumes of music through Kingsway.

His compositions, including those designated for Kingsway Music, have led to him working with record producers such as Boi-1da, Metro Boomin, Vinylz, DJ Dahi, and more, landing him prominent placements for Kanye West, Mac Miller, Drake, Eminem, Jeremih, Tory Lanez and Rihanna, among others.[40]

Hitmaker

Dukes began growing in notability in 2013/2014 and started working more often with major artists in the studio.[41][42] He met producer Louis Bell and Post Malone in 2015-2016 and worked on tracks for Post Malone's debut album Stoney (including "Congratulations");[43] Dukes also worked extensively on Post's 2019 album Hollywood's Bleeding. In 2017, he produced a string of singles for Frank Ocean and Blonded Radio ("Chanel", "Biking", "Lens").

In 2018, three albums that Dukes executive produced were released: the debut solo album of frequent collaborator Matty from BadBadNotGood; The Weeknd's My Dear Melancholy EP, which included the single "Call Out My Name"; and Camila Cabello's debut album Camila. Dukes met Cabello in November 2016, beginning what would be her debut album.[44] Notably, he produced her wildly successful single "Havana." During this period until around 2020, he was represented by Electric Feel Management.[45][46][47]

In total, Dukes was a credited producer or songwriter on over 300 tracks during the decade, including multiple tracks for artists Mac Miller, Amine, Drake, Lorde, and Travis Scott, among others. By the end of the decade, he was generally considered one of the top producers/songwriters;[48][49][50] he was also named or nominated as Songwriter of the Year my multiple music industry organizations including BMI, SOCAN, the Juno Awards, and the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Into the 2020s, Dukes continued to work with artists like Rosalía and The Weeknd in addition to producing a number of tracks for Don Toliver and Shawn Mendes. Throughout 2020, he worked with Canadian artist Mustafa (who had previously co-written a number of pop hits with Dukes) on his debut album When Smoke Rises, released May 2021; the album was short-listed for Canada's 2021 Polaris Music Prize.

2020s: New ventures[edit]

In September 2021, he partnered with Tracklib on which he distributes hundreds of masters and stems.[51][52] The following month, Dukes announced The Prince, a signature synths plug-in, created with the software company Cradle.[53][54]

On November 16, 2021, Dukes released his beat tape The Ghost of Ging. The album was released as an NFT and available to stream on Soundcloud for one week.[55] Three days later, he announced his retirement as Frank Dukes on social media.[56] He indicated that he would continue working on new music projects under the name of Ging (a variation on his middle name King).[57]

Style[edit]

During his early career, Dukes worked within the East Coast hip hop and boom bap sound, with some contemporary and progressive influences.[21] In the early 2010s, he embraced a more retro analog sound which has since evolved into his oft-imitated eclectic and effects-heavy style.[36][16][58] SPIN noted that Dukes' production aesthetic is informed by 'shimmering pop nostalgia' and the 'luxurious hollows' of the New Toronto sound and inspired by disparate genres.[59] On his writing style, Ryan Tedder observed, "Frank Dukes likes weird chord progressions. He doesn’t like anything to sound clean or normal."[60]

Dukes is known for achieving his sound through live instrumentation and analog equipment.[6] To achieve this, he often collaborates with an informal group of Toronto-based musicians and songwriters which includes Mustafa Ahmed, Kaan Güneşberk, and the members of instrumental group BADBADNOTGOOD; Dukes and the band shared an analog recording studio in Toronto for much of the 2010s.[33] At times, he has also written music for other artists with fellow Torontonians Daniel Caesar, River Tiber, and Charlotte Day Wilson, as well as with New York-based retro soul musicians Thomas Brenneck and Homer Steinwiess; of note, Dukes and Steinweiss formed a short-lived production duo under the name Silver & Gold and worked with a number of New York soul and funk artists in the early 2010s.[61][36]

Outside of this group, Dukes regularly collaborates with producers Louis Bell, Boi-1da,[62] Vinylz,[13] and Metro Boomin,[63] among others.

Personal life[edit]

Dukes has two sons and resides in Los Angeles, California, having moved from Mississauga, Ontario.[64][6]

Discography[edit]

Notable production credits[edit]

Singles certified RIAA Platinum

Albums produced

Awards and nominations[edit]

ASCAP Awards[edit]

ASCAP hosts a series of annual awards which honor achievement in American songwriting, composition, and publishing. Dukes has received honors at ASCAP's Pop Music, Latin, and Rhythm & Soul Awards ceremonies.

Year Ceremony Category Work Result Ref(s)
2015 Rhythm & Soul Awards Award Winning R&B/Hip-Hop Songs "0 to 100 / The Catch Up" (Drake) Won [59]
2016 Planez” (Jeremih Featuring J. Cole) Won [65]
2017 Pop Music Awards Award Winning Songs "Needed Me" (Rihanna) Won [66]
Rhythm & Soul Awards Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song Won [67]
2018 Award Winning R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Won [68]
"Sex with Me" (Rihanna) Won
"Fake Love" (Drake) Won
Award Winning Rap Songs Won
Pop Music Awards Award Winning Songs Won [69]
2019 Rhythm & Soul Awards Award Winning R&B/Hip-Hop Songs "Broken Clocks" (SZA) Won [70]
2020 Latin Music Awards Award Winning Songs Yo X Ti, Tú X Mi” (Rosalía) Won [71]

BMI Awards[edit]

BMI hosts a series of annual awards which honor achievements by songwriters, composers, and publishers, based on tracks performance time. Dukes has received honors at ASCAP's Pop, R&B/Hip-Hop, and London Awards ceremonies.

Year Ceremony Category Work Result Ref(s)
2018 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Award Winning Songs "Congratulations" (Post Malone) Won [72]
2019 Pop Awards Songwriter of the Year[A] Won [73]
Award Winning Songs "Havana" (Camila Cabello) Won
"Never Be the Same" (Camila Cabello) Won
"Better Now" (Post Malone) Won
R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Won
"Be Careful" (Cardi B) Won
"Pray for Me" (The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar) Won
2020 Pop Awards "Sucker" (Jonas Brothers) Won [74]
"Wow." (Post Malone) Won
R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Won [75]
London Awards "Never Be the Same" (Camila Cabello) Won [76]
Song of the Year Won
2021 Latin Awards Most-Performed Songs "Con Altura" (Rosalía & J Balvin) Won [77]
"Yo X Ti, Tu X Mi" (Rosalía & Ozuna) Won
Pop Awards "My Oh My" (Camila Cabello feat. DaBaby) Won [78]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Dukes' work has been included in the Grammy Award nominations every year since 2015. From 30 nominations, he has won three awards; all of his wins are for singular production credits on an awarded album. The following works are for his role as producer unless otherwise noted.

Year Category Nominated Work Result Notes Ref(s)
2015 Best Rap Album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Eminem) Won Produced "Groundhog Day"[a]
Oxymoron (Schoolboy Q) Nominated Co-produced "Grooveline Pt. 2"[a]
Best Rap Song "0 to 100 / The Catch Up" (Drake) Nominated Producer
Best Rap Performance Nominated Producer[a]
2016 Best Rap Album If You're Reading This It's Too Late (Drake) Nominated Produced 3 tracks[a]
Best R&B Performance "Planez" (Jeremih) Nominated Producer[a]
2017 Album of the Year Views (Drake) Nominated Produced track "Pop Style"[a] [79]
Best Rap Album Nominated
The Life of Pablo (Kanye West) Nominated Produced track "Real Friends"[a]
Major Key (DJ Khaled) Nominated Produced track "Work For It"[a]
Blank Face LP (Schoolboy Q) Nominated Produced track "Overtime"
Best Urban Contemporary Album ANTI (Rihanna) Nominated Produced 2 tracks[a]
Best Rap Performance "Pop Style" (Drake) Nominated Producer[a]
2018 Album of the Year Melodrama (Lorde) Nominated Produced 5 tracks[a]
Best Urban Contemporary Album Starboy (The Weeknd) Won Produced track "Attention"[a]
2019 Album of the Year Beerbongs & Bentleys (Post Malone) Nominated Produced 3 tracks[a]
Black Panther Nominated Produced 2 tracks[a]
Invasion of Privacy (Cardi B) Nominated Produced track "Be Careful"[a]
Best Rap Album Won
Astroworld (Travis Scott) Nominated Produced 3 tracks
Best Pop Vocal Album Camila (Camila Cabello) Nominated Album producer
Best Pop Solo Performance "Havana (Live)" (Camila Cabello) Nominated Producer[a]
"Better Now" (Post Malone) Nominated Producer[a]
Best Rap Performance "Be Careful" (Cardi B) Nominated Producer[a]
2020 Best Pop Vocal Album Lover (Taylor Swift) Nominated Produced 3 tracks[a]
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance "Sucker" (Jonas Brothers) Nominated Producer[a]
2021 Album of the Year Hollywood's Bleeding (Post Malone) Nominated Album producer, songwriter [80]
Song of the Year "Circles" (Post Malone) Nominated Songwriter
Record of the Year Nominated Producer
2022 Best Rap Album The Off-Season (J. Cole) Pending Produced track "Let Go My Hand"

^[a] Grammy Certificate-eligible contributions as per award category specifications on contribution playing time.[81][82]

iHeartRadio Music Awards[edit]

The iHeartRadio Music Awards is an annual awards that honors music played across American radio.

Year Category Work Result Notes Ref(s)
2019 Producer of the Year Nominated
Songwriter of the Year Won
2020 Songwriter of the Year Nominated
2021 Producer of the Year Nominated [83]

Juno Awards[edit]

The Juno Awards are Canada's most popular music industry awards. As per Juno regulations, performing producers and songwriters do not receive honors for their nominated work. As such, Dukes has one nomination.

Year Category Work Result Notes Ref(s)
2019 Songwriter of the Year Nominated "Be Careful", "Better Now", "Call Out My Name" [84]

Latin Grammy Awards[edit]

Dukes has received three nominations and one award at the Latin Grammy Awards.

Year Category Work Result Notes Ref(s)
2018 Best Contemporary Tropical Album Golden (Romeo Santos) Nominated Produced "Imitadora"[a]
2019 Best Urban Song "Con Altura" (Rosalía & J Balvin) Won Songwriter [85]
2020 Best Pop/Rock Song "Dolerme" (Rosalía) Nominated Songwriter [86]

Red Bull Big Tune[edit]

The Red Bull Big Tune competition is an annual series in which hip hop producers battle head-to-head, much like DJ competitions. Dukes competed from 2007 to 2009, at which point he was crowned the national champion.[87]

  • 2008: Argent Red Bull Big Tune – Detroit Runner Up[88]
  • 2008: Argent Red Bull Big Tune Finals Runner Up[89]
  • 2009: Argent Red Bull Big Tune – Detroit Runner Up[90]
  • 2009: Or Red Bull Big Tune Finals Champion[87]

SOCAN Awards[edit]

The SOCAN Awards are Canadian music industry awards, honoring achievement of its members in songwriting, composing, and publishing. Dukes has thrice been awarded Songwriter of the Year.

Year Category Nominated Work Result Ref(s)
2018 Songwriter of the Year – Producer Won [91]
Rap Music Awards "Fake Love" (Drake) Won
"Congratulations" (Post Malone) Won
Pop Music Awards "Havana" (Camila Cabello) Won
2019 Songwriter of the Year – Producer Won
Pop Music Awards "Better Now" (Post Malone) Won
"Pray for Me" (The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar) Won
2020 Songwriter of the Year – Producer Won [92]
Pop Music Awards "Sucker" (Jonas Brothers) Won
"Wow." (Post Malone) Won
2021 Songwriter of the Year – Producer Won [93]
Pop Music Awards "My Oh My" (Camila Cabello feat. DaBaby) Won
"Monster" (Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber) Won

Other accolades[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Work Result Ref(s)
2016 Soul Train Music Awards The Ashford And Simpson Songwriter's Award "Needed Me" (Rihanna) Nominated
2017 Spotify's Secret Genius Awards Secret Genius: Hip-Hop[B] Himself Nominated
2018 Producer of the Year[C] Himself Nominated [94]
Secret Genius: Social Message Pray For Me" (The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar) Nominated
2018 Soul Train Music Awards The Ashford And Simpson Songwriter's Award "Broken Clocks" (SZA) Nominated
2018 Black Reel Awards Best Original or Adapted Song "Pray for Me" (Black Panther) Nominated
2018 Variety's Hitmakers Producer-Songwriter Himself Won [95][96]
2019 APRA Awards International Work of the Year "Havana" (Camila Cabello) Nominated
2019 Variety's Hitmakers Producer-Songwriter Himself Won [97][98]

Notes

  1. ^ Shared four ways
  2. ^ Considered works: “Fake Love”, “Congratulations”
  3. ^ Considered works: "Havana", "Never Be the Same", "Better Now"

References[edit]

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