As a kid, singer and producer CorÃ©on DÃº was constantly bullied by his peers and teachers. He towered over many of his classmates, spoke with a British accent, had a Portuguese name and came from a wealthy family. "I remember in seventh or eighth grade I forgot to push my chair into the desk, and my punishment was to stand for the whole class," DÃº remembers. "The teacher said, 'Yeah, I'm sure you're used to having maids at home but I'm not your maid here.' And that was a teacher."
CorÃ©on wears a suit by Yohji Yamamoto, T-shirt by JunnJ and boots by Rick Owens.
For DÃº music was an escape, and it even got some of his bullies to back off. The first time DÃº was onstage, he braved the preteen pests to belt out Puff Daddy and Faith Evans' song "I'll Be Missing You" at a rehearsal for a middle school assembly. "Everyone was really quiet for a second, looking at me weird. I was like, 'Well that must have been really bad,'" DÃº says. "But [the students] were like, 'Oh no, you're actually pretty good.'" Now an independent artist who released his debut album, The CorÃ©on Experiment, in 2010, DÃº has his own support system: a creative community called WeDÃº composed of fans who request his songs on the radio in Angola, don his merchandise at concerts and even inspired the musician to create his own fashion line. Nominated for Most in Demand Artist of the Year at this summer's Angolan Music Awards, DÃº has performed his unique blend of Latin beats and jazzy Angolan rhythms at Madrid Jazz Festival and as the opening act for Brazilian singer Seu Jorge. His song "Bailando Kizomba" is currently on Billboard's Latin Pop chart and later this year he'll release a new album, Binario, which will include a song about his experience with bullying called "It's Not Okay."
"I'm a hopeless romantic. Maybe it's because I'm a Libra," DÃº says. "I always try to find the most positive things in every situation."
Watch CorÃ©on perform "Bailando Kizomba" and "It's Not Okay" during a kitchen concert at PAPER HQ, below: