Black History Month Profile: Mama Duke

Julia Reihs

KUTX’s Black History Month is supported by Austin Public Health, committing to health equity

Kori Roy, better known as Mama Duke, grew up in Palacious, Texas. Influenced by her mom’s love of Tejano and country bands she started digging deeper into the meaning of the lyrics and was inspired to write her own. She soon found herself writing her own lyrics after school and impressing her high-school classmates with her newfound talent.

She attended the Art Institute of Houston where she studied photography and later moved to Austin to pursue music. At her 3rd gig she opened for the legendary hip hop group Naughty by Nature.  In 2019, Mama Duke founded ATX Social Club, where she provides high-quality live streams for hip-hop artists.  The following year she released her debut album Ballsy which includes a song about her experiences as a queer black and Mexican woman called Found a Way. 

In January of 2021, Mama Duke was named Artist of the Month by the Austin American Statesman and made her debut performance at SXSW as an official artist.  Mama Duke has won two Austin Hip-Hop Awards including artist of the year and female artist of the year.  She’s also been nominated for an Austin Music Award.  Mama Duke’s ability to remain true to herself while pushing the limits with her innovative and thought-provoking lyrics continues to evoke change and challenge the traditional Austin music scene. 

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