BREAK OUT THE FIRST AID KITS AND JINGLE THEM KEYS: THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Once upon a time, there were five little girls: Shannon, Aundrea, D. Woods, Dawn, and Aubrey. These girls had a dream to make music and entertain. They went by the name of…Danity Kane.
They were created by an evil genius with a fetish for flopping named Diddy, who took them all away from us—but not for long.
As a lifelong card-carrying member of the Danity Kane brigade, I’ve always sought to support the five lovely ladies of former Making the Band fame. (Yes, even Shannon Bex and her weird country EP.) But of all the members (not that it’s a competition!), Miss Dawn Richard has surely shown the most impressive artistic development.
After the Danity dismantling back in ’09, Dawn stayed on with Diddy for his short-lived pet project Diddy Dirty Money, resulting in a series of smashes like “Hello Good Morning (feat. T.I.)” and “Coming Home (feat. Skylar Grey).”
Now, she’s doing her own thing: Her own label, her own sound, her own rules. After releasing a mixtape called The Prelude to A Tell Tale Heart back in 2011, along with a truly forward-thinking, underrated collection of next-level R&B jams and club bangers called Armor On earlier in 2012, the songstress is gearing up to release her long-awaited debut solo LP: GoldenHeart, out on January 15, 2013.
To preview the upcoming collection, Dawn hosted an album pre-release party at SOB’s in NYC last week, which I caught along with fellow Dawn stan-friend, James.
Truly, Miss Dawn put on an amazing show, serving ferocious choreography and copious amounts of sass while performing various tracks from her back catalog, including Armor On cuts like “Bombs,” “Change” and “Faith”–plus, a taste of the new: “It’s like I can see someone’s passion in their eyes,” she explained to the crowd at one point before launching into a song inspired by Peter Gabriel‘s “In Your Eyes.” (It sounded very promising!)
Given that her new tunes are a unique blend of soulful croons, booty-drop friendly beats and full-on diva belting, Dawn was pushing her vocals to the limit all night long, leading the crowd of (very!) excitable fans to battle–and church. She was also eager to interact, offering up several heartfelt thank you speeches throughout the night: “I know some of you have been there from the very beginning,” she explained to the crowd.
Dawn’s team just put together an excellent recap video of the night’s events, which you can now catch below. As one can see, Dawn was not playing around with that pony tail.
Bring on GoldenHeart!
Armor On was released on March 27. (iTunes)
It was right after she first began posting demos on her MySpace–songs like 2007′s spacey “Surveillance” (which remains as next level today as it did the day she unleashed it upon the world), that I first took notice of Wynter Gordon, the 23-year-old underdog with a superstar’s worth of potential waiting to be unleashed each time she lays a pen to paper.
Just a few years after graduating from LaGuardia’s High School for the Performing Arts (alma mater of such notable acts as Kelis and Nicki Minaj), the young songstress had already notched herself a major writing credit with “Gonna Breakthrough,” a song from Mary J. Blige‘s Grammy Award-winning seventh studio album, The Breakthrough.
Ever since then, the co-writes and features (and unfortunately, the myriad leaks) only kept flowing for Wynter securing a spot on Danity Kane‘s 2008 sophomore record, Welcome To The Dollhouse (“2 Of You”), penning the impossibly catchy chorus of Flo-Rida‘s chart-topping 2009 radio smash “Sugar” and David Guetta‘s “Toyfriend,” joining The Freemasons on their essential 2010 summer jam “Believer” and, most recently, scribing three tracks off of Jennifer Lopez‘s stellar 2011 comeback record LOVE? including title track, “(What Is) Love?”
But despite all of her success as a writer, the song that truly launched Wynter as an artist in her own right was 2010′s “Dirty Talk,” a filthy-mouthed foray into kinky taunts and raunchy references to S&M above a dark disco beat that debuted nearly a year before Rihanna ever started crooning about her enthusiasm for chains and whips.
The song not only notched the singer’s first-ever #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play stateside, but kept her straddling Australia’s ARIA Chart at #1 for three weeks in January (and the duration of Australia’s summer season).
Now, nearly four years since she first started making ripples across the blogosphere and beyond, the Queens-born singer/songwriter has finally released her long-awaited, much delayed debut: The fabulously titled With The Music I Die.
A new O’Day has come!
Ever since Diddy unceremoniously ditched the Danity Kane divas nearly three years ago (one of the world’s greater pop injustices of all time), former member Aubrey O’Day has made it clear that she would not be deterred from her pop star dreams.
O’Day, the group’s most outspoken and audicious (Aubreycious?) member, decided to remain true to her Making The Band roots, signing on to film a Oxygen Channel reality series in 2010 called All About Aubrey. The series premiered early last month, tracking O’Day’s journey from the fall of Danity Kane to her first performance as a solo artist.
Following the show’s series finale this week, O’Day unleashed her official debut as a solo artist to iTunes today: “Automatic,” a scorching, synthesizer filled dance-pop number. The song plays just as one might expect Danity Kane to sound in a post-Gaga musical landscape; that is, something like a more dance floor ready version of Welcome To The Dollhouse album tracks, including “Pretty Boy” and “Bad Girl.”
“Look at my body, it’s so official / Every time they see me, they shoot over like a missile,” O’Day brags. While the beat is nothing revolutionary, the song is probably the wisest next step in sound for O’Day, likely to appeal to former supporters while still snagging dozens of new fans in the process.
And judging by the song’s success–currently sitting at #36 on the iTunes Song Chart after less than 24 hours on sale (and just 6 spots below her former employer, Diddy) it looks like it’s going to be O’Day who has the last laugh after all.
“Automatic” was released on iTunes on April 12. (iTunes)
REJOICE, ONE AND ALL: IT’S A BRAND NEW O’DAY!
REJOICE, ONE AND ALL: IT’S A BRAND NEW O’DAY!
Aubrey O’Day is finally releasing new music!
“Automatic,” which first leaked as a demo months ago, will act as the debut single from O’Day’s forthcoming solo studio album, which is expected to be released later this year on SRC/Universal Motown Records.
” ‘Automatic’ is the right fit for where music is headed now,” O’Day explains. “It’s a pop-dance track, but I wanted to go in the club and write a song about not having to put on all the glamour and the glitz. So many dance songs are about putting on Louis Vuitton, getting dressed up and everything, and I wanted to do a song about walking in the room and getting automatically noticed and stealing everyone’s attention without trying to.”
The song will be released on Tuesday, April 12 on iTunes.
As a proud, card-carrying member of the Danity Kane stan club (RIP), I’ve waited three long years for this one. I know she’s not going to disappoint!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get Aubrey’s new logo tattooed onto my forehead.