Duncan Burnett & The Ministry
Gig Seeker Pro

Duncan Burnett & The Ministry

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Duncan Burnett: R.I.O.T. (Realize It’s Our Time) embodies a new element of hip hop that is much needed"

Duncan Burnett is a talented artist, musician and producer. Duncan got his start in music very early in life by being introduced to the drums. Always a stickler for perfection Duncan is continuing to master his craft and has extended his reach into Hip Hop. With limited recognition Duncan continues to work hard and strive for greater things for himself and his loved ones. Ever since laying a finger on the mic all Duncan wanted to do was perform in front of millions. Money never being the objective Duncan aims to make a positive impact in the hearts and minds of our generation’s youth.

A few months ago Duncan Burnett dropped his 6-track Ep, titled R.I.O.T. (Realize It’s Our Time). And I’m here to tell you that Burnett has definitely delivered. This EP is everything a fan of hip hop and rap could want. This album is different sonically as well. The tracks are sequenced into 6 parts to give the listener a feeling of different chapters of a story being told, and succeeds in creating an intense atmosphere that is unmatched.

The feeling is raw, deep and unique -sometimes rocking, sometimes soulful but always grooving. Duncan Burnett drops lyrics for the mind about life, feelings, emotions etc. that most people can relate to. Burnett combines a unique flow and delivery that works extremely well. - Rick Jamm

"Duncan brings a bright spirit to his raps and his live shows"

When he settled on hip-hop as his music genre, Duncan Burnett had two missions in mind. The first: Keep the messages positive.

“I’m big on spirituality and being a positive influence,” he said. “When I started, my goal was to have my nieces and nephews be able to listen to their uncle’s music and love it and be able to repeat every line and lyric but also to have people my age relate to it.”

His second mission was to provide live music during his performances. A trained drummer and percussionist, Burnett, 26, has been performing live since he was 7 years old. Live music, he said, is in his blood.

“When I first started messing around with rap, my dad said, ‘You’re a musician; you don’t need to rap,’” he said. “From the beginning, I wanted my live shows to be more like a rock show, not just a rapper with a DJ.”

He now leads Duncan Burnett and the Ministry, fronting a quartet that brings extra dynamics to his live shows.

Burnett was born and raised in Olathe in a musical family. He was younger than 2 when he started banging pots and pans with wooden spoons. He eventually graduated to a drum kit, and when he was 7, Burnett got his first gig playing drums at the church where his mother was choir director. In elementary school, he started taking music classes, which introduced him to theories and techniques.

“I’d never had a lesson in my life,” he said. “I learned by watching musicians in church. School helped me make sense of what I had learned by watching.”

In high school, he played in jazz bands, marching bands, drum lines, also playing vibraphone and tympani. When he was a senior, he transferred from Olathe North to Olathe Northwest, where band director Ed Colson dramatically changed Burnett’s perspective.

“He taught me work ethic,” Burnett said. “He taught me that you can only get so far on talent. He challenged me, and it was the first time I’d been challenged by someone with talent who worked way harder than me. It kind of sucked at the time, but I needed to realize that if I worked harder, my talent and work ethic would take me twice as far. Once I understood that, I felt like a professional musician.”

After high school, he “gave college a try” and started playing live gigs regularly, mostly in jazz clubs.

“I tried jazz because that’s what I did in high school,” he said. “But after a year or so, I had this moment when I decided I didn’t want to play background music anymore. I wanted to be in a rock band.”

He credits his father for that.

“He wasn’t a musician, but he had a great ear for music,” Burnett said. “He introduced me to guys who played, like Prince and Lenny Kravitz and to artists like Al Green and Michael Jackson.”

So he joined a few cover bands, then started playing with his uncle’s funk-cover band, JC and Live Version, playing most weekends, often to big crowds at the local casinos.

“That was my first real taste of professional drumming,” Burnett said. “People were coming out to see us. It was amazing.”

But he had another itch, another dream to pursue. “Funk was cool, but I wanted to rock more.”

So he tried a few more cover bands, then joined an alternative-rock band called Mime Games before finally admitting that what he wanted most was to lead his own band. By then he’d taken some sound engineering classes and was dabbling in studio production so he decided to set sail on his own.

“I was tired of playing music I didn’t believe in with lyrics I didn’t agree with 100 percent. I couldn’t find a band with a lead singer who was doing what I wanted. I’d always wanted to be a front man for a rock band, so why not try? But I really can’t sing that well so I decided to rap.”

Burnett’s first live rap shows were small affairs in churches. His first big show was at the RecordBar in October. He was supposed to be a supporting act, but he brought such a big crowd the promoter moved him into the headlining slot. Burnett played a floor tom and a cymbal and was accompanied by a guitarist, and they won the crowd over.

The Ministry now comprises two permanent members: Justin Curry, music director and keyboardist; and Ryan Lee, bassist. Justus West is a regular guitarist and Pat Adams a regular drummer. Burnett said the band brings the dynamics necessary to bring home his messages and give his audience something more to absorb than lyrics and recorded music.

“I take a lot of pride in our live show,” he said. “We want people to see something different. It’s kind of an uphill battle doing a style that isn’t about sex, drugs, money, cars and clothes. So we want to make sure to bring something else, something relevant for cool kids that’s intelligent, something people will bob their heads to the first time, then when they get to the lyrics, realize, ‘He’s saying something.’ I’m not the greatest rapper, but the show doesn’t focus on that. There’s lots of energy and jumping around, live instrumentation, a lot of stuff that’s missing from a lot of rap music.

“What I hear a lot is people say, ‘I don’t listen to a lot of hip-hop…’ or ‘I don’t like much rap, but I like what you do.’”

Burnett listens to a lot more hip-hop these days, he said, including Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, who has become a source of inspiration.

“(West) has a bad reputation for talking a lot and saying too much, but he’s the first guy I thought was stylish and made it cool to not rap about being a gangster,” he said. “I kind of take the meat and leave the bones with him. I really give it to him.”

Burnett still gets behind the drum kit: He also plays drums for Kansas City country singer/songwriter Sara Morgan.

“He can play pretty much anything,”Morgan said. “He can back off and play a groove, he can rock out with the best of them or he can play typical country drums. He is a drum chameleon.

“I’m happy he’s embarking on a solo career, but I selfishly hope to never have to replace him. He is one of the best drummers I have worked with. He does know he’s good though. Like most drummers.”

That solo career took even higher flightafter Burnett self-released the six-song EP, “The RIOT,” which stands for “Realize It’s Our Time.”

It’s a collection of soulful, groovy, jazz-tinged beats adorned and embroidered with guitars, keyboards and percussion. Lyrics address a variety of tribulations that test the spirit and soul. But the overarching theme is perseverance and sustaining faith, mostly in one’s self.

“It’s about finding a purpose and a passion,” he said. “If you don’t believe you can do something, you won’t. Each individual has it in their power to affect the world. And you don’t have to be like anyone else. If you be who you are, you can reach any level.” - Timothy Finn

"FREESTYLE VIDEO: Duncan Burnett - Kansas City"

Kansas City musician, Duncan Burnett, could very well start making a lot of noise within Kansas City’s music scene very soon. I walked into a show at the Record Bar several months back, but by the time Duncan went on, the entire crowd hiding in the back of the venue bolted to the already dense dancefloor area.

Utilizing his raps before a mic-stand, and playing the drums at the same time, he put on a hip hop show unlike any other I’ve seen in a long time. He is a one-man band. While we haven’t heard a lot of his recorded music, his live show will probably quench your thirst for what seems to be desired more in hip hop: live instrumentation. His R.I.O.T. EP, which he released a few months back, paired his complete production skill-set with his raps and sung vocals. What I gather, is that he plays a lot of instruments. The first thing that will leap to your attention when you hear his raps is that his voice sounds a bit like that of Kanye West. The aforementioned EP, he says, was written for a full band performance. How will his show unfold at El Riot Room in Westport this Friday night? You’ll have to find out. - Chris Mills


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Much can be said about Duncan. He is a talented artist, musician and producer. Duncan got his start in music very early in life by being introduced to the drums. Always a stickler for perfection Duncan is continuing to master his craft and has extended his reach into Hip Hop. 
With an eclectic taste for music and versatile creativity to create and produce his own music, Duncan has created a sound individual to him. 

In addition to his attention to detail Duncan has revamped his live show and is accompanied by a live band that goes by the moniker of "The Ministry". Duncan is a showman at heart and providing fans with a live show is vital to him. Each member adds their own unique flavor and style to enhance the musical experience. While several talents and personalities make up this powerful collective they band together under the sole mission to provide a dynamic, energetic and commanding performance that captures the minds and hearts of the fans from the smallest of venues to arenas worldwide.

Money never being the objective Duncan aims to make a positive impact in the hearts and minds of our generations youth. He's heading to the forefront and is ready to break through the glass ceiling reminding us to R.I.O.T. (Realize Its Our Time)

- Nelson D. Arroyo

Band Members