Juwan Crawley might tell you that he’s just a guy trying to figure it all out. And, maybe that’s the nature of life. Maybe we’re all just trying to figure it out. But, given his massive talent and his already impressive list of accomplishments, there’s no question that Juwan Crawley is on the right path.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Juwan was singing before he could walk.
“My family is very musical, so I can’t even tell you when I started singing exactly. There was just always music around. But, I sang on my grandmother’s album when I was nine, so I guess we could call that my debut.”
But, knowing he wanted to do more than sing, Juwan eventually enrolled at the Hartt School - the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford – where he received his B.F.A. With a deep-rooted love for music, fashion, art, theater, film and above all, people, Juwan wakes up each day, hoping to love people into whoever they’re meant to be.
Now based in Brooklyn, Juwan made his New York debut in the original cast of Spamilton, an award-winning, off-Broadway musical revue that spoofed Hamilton and earned him a nomination for the Clive Barnes award. At the age of 22, Casey Nicholaw created a role on Broadway for Juwan in Aladdin where he is a standby for the Genie, and where he debuted as the youngest person to ever play the role. He was also cast by Tina Fey to play Hudson – a 14-year-old kid - on one of his favorite shows, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Influenced heavily by Gospel, Juwan often draws from his early experiences singing and playing the drums in church. But, Juwan also finds inspiration in classical music, jazz and pop.
“My aunties exposed me to really fun music – Luther, Leo, Mary, Chaka, Prince. And, it all felt so good, so forbidden,” shares Juwan. “Now, I think about so many different types of artists when I’m writing my own music. I’m inspired by Beyonce’s hooks, Whitney’s vocals, Sondheim’s arrangements, and Laura Mvula’s soundscapes. There are so many people I study, love, and really look up to as artist.”
With the release of his new video for “Revival,” a lead single from his EP Becoming, Juwan is gearing up for a memorable 2020. Juwan has big goals, from releasing more singles and recording a full album to launching a fashion line and fulfilling his love of travel by touring the world.
And, of course, he’ll always be just a guy trying to figure it all out.