De'Wayne is beaming as he calls from North Hollywood on a recent Tuesday. "I'm an excited-ass homie," he tells MTV News. "I'm making music and I'm talking to you and people are actually starting to listen." Despite 2020's ever-darkening cloud of gloom, the 25-year-old artist has plenty to be excited about. Shortly after he finished a European tour with pop trio Waterparks earlier this year, the entire world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and De'Wayne went from bouncy club shows to homebound days. But he also received some unexpected good news.
Simultaneously, De'Wayne — whose alternative music veers from the "Black Skinhead"-style rumble of new single "National Anthem" to palm-muted power chords and industrial elements — got signed to California indie label Hopeless Records, the current home of pop-punk stalwarts like Taking Back Sunday, Sum 41, and New Found Glory. "My life went from, like, not being able to afford food and not thinking I wanted to record an album [to] ... I was like, oh, it's time to go now," he says. "But then the world came to a full stop. But then I was able to make a record, so it's been kind of fucking insane, bro."