Sage Duvall: From Darkness Into Light, Drumming Along

Name; Sage Duvall

Known as: Musician/Drummer

Favorite spot: Subculture and Dadas

Quirk: Wearing a smiley face pin

Life motto: “ Say yes to every opportunity and figure out how to do it later”.

I met Sage randomly at Coffee District. I was drinking coffee, chatting with the barista, when he walked in with his sister. They both captured my attention with their eccentric fashion style. They took me back to NYC at first glance. The barista recommended I talk to them, after he heard what I’ve been doing with People of Delray.

Sage Duvall, 24, and his sister Rachel, 25, are originally from Maryland and grew up in Tennessee. They moved to Delray five years ago with their parents. Sage has been drumming for garage bands for over 10 years. He toured with “Raggy Monster”, Lavola, and Anastasia Max…overall 30 states with 3 bands. “It is the most stressful and most fulfilling experience”. His sister manages the band’s merchandise. He fell in love with jazz and drumming as a kid, was inspired by Buddy Rich, Thomas Pridgen and Jon Theodore, and is completely self-taught.

When I asked about his quirk he pointed at a smiley face pin that he had on his shirt. It was from the 60’s, belonged to his dad and is hand painted. He always wears this smiley face pin as a positive reminder of overcoming the darker times in his life.

“When I was a teen I experienced great loss, my family broke up and there was violent abuse by my brother”. The abuse led me into anxiety, Migdalia take over and I eventually suffered amnesia for over a year and a half. I couldn’t recognize myself, didn’t know who I was, didn’t feel like I belonged in my life. I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I dove into a depression and doctors misdiagnosed me and pumped me with anti-depressants, that didn’t help”.

Through a random turn of events during their move to Delray, Sage was introduced to a realtor that helped them find their house. That realtor was familiar with what Sage was experiencing and became his Life Coach. They discovered that Sage was suffering from a Depersonalization Disorder. Depersonalization disorder is one of a group of conditions called dissociative disorders. Dissociative disorders are mental illnesses that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, consciousness, awareness, identity, and/or perception. It is the most unknown, and undetected mental condition that is one step away from schizophrenia. Since the diagnosis Sage was able to take control over his mental health. “Understanding what you have, knowing the triggers, and learning to heal, is a lot easier once you know the cause and what it is”.

Now Sage is focused on leading a healthy life, helping and mentoring teens suffering from anxiety and depression. He goes on midnight bike rides around town, focusing his creativity on making music, and enjoying life and the process as a start-up artist. “We are all touched by darkness, depression, creativity. Knowing how to channel it and navigate life through it, is what I am focused on and love supporting others on their journey through it as well”.

Unlike what would be usually expected of musicians suffering from anxiety and depression, Sage has never done drugs: “I would love to help teens struggling with that, but I do not have the personal experience. I’ve never done drugs or even smokes weed. I don’t have time for that kinda stuff haha”.


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