Young Diné releases second jazz, hip-hop album

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, September 27, 2012

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(Courtesy photo)

Rhonda "Honey" Duvall, 25, whose family roots are in Blue Gap, Ariz., released her second album called "Pure Gold" in May.

T he ability to achieve your dreams could start with a simple leap of faith.

That is what 25-year-old Rhonda "Honey" Duvall found out when she began chasing her dream of becoming a singer after graduating from Salt Lake City's Cottonwood High in 2005.

"When I graduated I found who I was and what I wanted. I started from there," said Duvall, whose family roots are in Blue Gap, Ariz.

Seven years after graduating high school, she has released two albums called "As Sweet as Duvall" in October 2010 and "Pure Gold," released in May. Both albums were recorded at Rock Solid Studios in Salt Lake City, where Duvall currently resides.

Duvall, who is Tangle People and born for African American, said she has been able to build her singing career by being around the right people and prayer.

"I prayed every single day and I believe that prayer is something very righteous," she said. "That's really how it started out..."

Duvall's music is a mixture of R&B, hip-hop, soul and dance.

"It's a whole different genre of soul music, dance music, hip hop music, and R&B. It all depends on the situation," she said.

Of her first album, Duvall said it took her a full year to complete it and "I spent all the money I had just to do that. It was totally worth it."

"My first CD is more off of personal feelings," Duvall said.

The album includes songs like "Dedicated To You," "Trying Times" and "Love".

Duvall's second album, which includes songs like "Grown Woman Grown Man," "Lets Dance" and "Ima Be Me," is more for those who like to dance.

"It's got more soulful jazzy stuff," she said. "It gets deep into your gut to feel what you feel."

Duvall's mother, Katie Manycows, said that her daughter music has a lot of meaning to it.

"I think all her lyrics have a meaning," Manycows said. "There is a lot of love that she puts into her lyrics. Just to listen to it really touched my heart.

"The way she sings the songs will actually give you goose bumps," Manycows said.

In 2011, Duvall launched her business, Duvall Entertainment.

"I run all my music through my business and my merchandise," she said. "If I ever wanted to be signed to a record label they could sign my business and not just me as an artist."

"I am not only helping myself but I am able to help other people through my music," she added of why she wanted to start her own business.

One of the biggest challenges that Duvall faces is running everything on her own.

"I run this entire business by myself," she said.

Of her daughter's career, Manycows said, "I think it's really great that she has done all of that by herself through the encouragement that I gave her. I have to be right there behind her to support her…to make sure she is doing the right thing."

Needless to say, Duvall said she hopes to be seen as a role model for young Native kids.

"Have somebody to look up to…Never give up," Duvall said of the advice she gives to the younger generations. "I want to show our youth that there are better things to do out there than just being at home all the time."

In addition to making music, Duvall is a mentor at Granite School District in Salt Lake City.

"I work close with our Native American youth and help them with any homework," she said. "I also offer scholarships, tutoring and I work close with their parents and school counselors."

Duvall also offers dance lessons in powwow once a week for two hours.

"I teach women's fancy shawl, woman's jingle and woman's traditional dance to anyone ages five and up," she said.

For the future, Duvall said she wants to purchase a tour bus so she can share her music with the rest of the nation.

"If I don't get signed I can do that all by myself and won't have to rely on a company to take care of me," she said.

Duvall, who is scheduled to perform in Shiprock, N.M. on Oct. 2 as part of the Northern Navajo Fair, can be found on Facebook and her music can be found at

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