When people look back at gloving history, Davis Duong (aka Skittles) will be remembered for putting gloving on the map. He was the first glover ever to eclipse 1M+ views on YouTube, allowing the art to reach new eyeballs around the world. Skittles is one of the few glovers to pioneer a full-blown style and movement, and currently leads The Impact Asylum–a Facebook group of light show enthusiasts dedicated to Duong’s very own style calling impacting. As one of the first EmazingLights Sponsors along with Mimik and Gummy, his contributions to the gloving community, his thought process behind gloving, and his “OG” flow continue to inspire both new and old generation glovers.
Fast forward to 2017, Duong is now the Brand Manager here at EmazingLights. With 9 years of gloving and community building experience, he is fully committed to growing the community that supported him through his young adult years and made him who he is today. As a winner of the Golden Glove Award at IGC 2014, Skittles’ style and gloving brand have withstood the test of time, making him one of the few living legends that is still highly active in our community. It is undisputed that his experiences throughout the existence of gloving properly equip him to guide its future.
I sat down with Davis to get his take on what it takes to become “legendary” within the gloving scene, and what it means to be an “OG” glover.
Every hero has an origin story. Where did the name Skittles come from? At what point did you realize that gloving would be a major part of your life?
I took a group of my friends to their first rave back in early 2009 (How Sweet It Is at the NOS Center), which also happened to be the first time I gave shows in a festival setting. Back then, we were limited to what lights were available–it was either Inovas or the cheap microlight sets with an on/off switch and solid ribbon bulbs. I was using the classic Skittles set (before it was even named that), and had the Inovas on the 2nd mode. My friend told me, “Dude, your lights look like a bunch of Skittles floating around! Wait… aren’t you supposed to have a rave name?”. And that’s how Skittles was born into the rave & light show scene!
The point where I realized gloving would be a major part of my life was when I began making friends and building connections with people. Through all the festivals and light show meetups, I built experiences with people who I would consider family, and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am at in life today.
You are one of the longest standing veterans in the gloving scene and known as one of the “OG” Glovers. What does being an OG glover mean to you? What role do you currently play in the community? How has it evolved?
Well, there’s the textbook definition of being an “OG”–anyone who was a glover when the pioneers of the art were beginning to shape its direction (2006-2010). I happen to fit into that era and was also one of the pioneers of the art. You could say I didn’t come into this thing with the goal of being an “OG”… as my friends tell me, the OG life chose me!
Currently, I wear many hats. I started off as a college kid loving to throw light shows at raves, but that has fueled my passion for bigger responsibilities within this community over time:
- Growing my own brand and trying to push a movement (#theOGmovement), which is aimed at showing all artists that there can be a purpose to light shows over time.
- Using my “OG” status to instill knowledge and guidance to the new generation in a positive and responsible way
- Leading the growth of the style of impacts by maintaining a healthy environment for people to learn in within The Impact Asylum, and making the style more accessible
- Leading my gloving team [TNT – Team-N-Trance] to be positive ambassadors for the style of impacts, and recruiting those who have a vision that is aligned with mine, but the skills to back it up
- And the most recent… leading the EmazingLights brand to new heights in an effort to grow the light show community–we have a lot of exciting things planned for this year, so stay tuned!
From someone who has cultivated his own style and led the impacting movement, what separates the exceptional glovers from the good ones? How does someone become a gloving legend?
Well, let’s define what “exceptional” and “good” mean in the context of a light show artist. “Good” artists execute well–they learn concepts and moves and can make them look clean and polished. “Exceptional” artists push the envelope a little further, and can create, expand, and adapt quickly to new concepts–they are constantly evolving artists who pick up new things and can do very creative things with them consistently.
“Legendary” artists do all of the mentioned, but they have the power of inspiring the masses, changing the way people think about things, all while withstanding the test of time–even after they’ve stopped gloving for years. Legends are timeless. Legends continue to feed excitement into the community even when they aren’t around. Their names live on and are respected forever.