Dawn Richard has been a busy woman in 2013. Earlier this year, she released her debut album, Goldenheart, to rave reviews from critics and fans. The most impressive feat was the fact that the music was such quality, with Dawn releasing her and recording it as an independent artist. Fast forward to this summer, and we learned that Dawn would be releasing Blackheart, the 2nd of 3 albums in her trilogy, in October. That was before, of course, the much buzzed about announcement of Danity Kane re-uniting for new music. So what does that mean for Dawn’s music? And what should we expect from Danity Kane’s album? We recently caught up with Dawn to get some much needed details.
Last time we talked, you had just released your debut album Goldenheart. Congrats on all the success of that album! Did you think it was going to be so successful?
Dawn: I hoped it would. I knew I was taking a risk.
Obviously, a lot has changed since then. You’ve been putting the finishing touches on you next album, Blackheart. You’ve been quoted as saying this next album is a lot darker than its predecessor. Can you elaborate on the sound for us?
Dawn: I’ve been listening to alot of sounds. Mostly scores from Tim Burton films. I love the dramatic drops and swells throughout the films. I want Blackheart to sound as if it could play in a club and a film at the same time. I want it to bridge the gap between uncomfortable and relatable.
So was the switch in the producer base a conscious effort in hopes to evolve your sound?
Dawn: It’s the evolution of music. Each story evolves adding new characters. Same storyline. More adventures. I like the idea of pushing myself to grow…
A lot of times when an artist releases their “darkest” material, it’s their best work because it comes from a real place. So, what’s one song on Blackheart that you know the Hearts are going SPAZZ over?
Dawn: Yeah, “Tide” is absolutely incredible. It’s Judith’s step sister if you will.
What’s a Dawn Richard studio session like? What the vibe?
Dawn: Hippie awesomeness. “I’m a tree in the wind” in the studio. I go where the music takes me.
So Blackheart was scheduled to come out in October, but when the Danity Kane announcement came about, many fans were left speculating about what that meant for Blackheart. Can you clarify for the Hearts what the plan of action is going to be?
Dawn: Blackheart will come after DK project. I owe it to the hearts to give a proper release. I don’t want to confuse the DK fans and hearts. It was a hard decision to make but I think it’s a smart one. Blackheart is too great to rush and not tour on. I’d have to put it out and wait to tour and the hearts know how much I love touring. But 3 projects in a year is alot to hold them over and there is still a DK single coming this year so plenty to look forward to still. Just getting started.
Okay, so now for the big topic in Pop Music: the Danity Kane reunion! How does it feel to know that even though you guys were only together for about 4 years, nearly 7 years later, you still have diehard stans?
Dawn: I’m honored. We are humbled. We owe everything to them for continuing to rock with us this long. It’s insane.
The first glimmer of hope the fans got was when we saw a rekindling of the relationship between you & Aubrey on Twitter earlier this year. Is that when y’all first started throwing around the idea or was it much later, at that infamous lunch date?
Dawn: Nah it came way later. I wanted it to be organic. This time it is a decision we are all making. We are sacrificing alot to do this one more time. It has to be genuine or not at all.
What was the first studio session like back as a group of 4 ladies? It must’ve been pretty surreal!
Dawn: Like we never stopped. It felt like we never left.
Were there any “Damn, I forgot you could sing like that” moments?
Dawn: Lol. No more like “Damn, I missed your voice” moments.
The BURNING question with fans is about “Rage.” You ladies announced “Rage” at the MTV VMAs 2 weeks ago. When can we expect that and what sound can we expect from it?
Dawn: If you guys know us, there is always a well thought out plan. Expect it to come soon with big announcements to follow 😉
Obviously, everything is happening pretty quickly, as far as this reunion. At this point, are you guys going to release the album independently or with a major label?
Dawn: Good question… 😉
With you doing more of a alt/R&B sound, and with Aubrey doing dance music, and Shannon country, is the new DK sound going to be reminiscent of the urban pop of Welcome To The Dollhouse, or is it going to be a completely new vibe?
Dawn: It’s going to be DK on a whole ‘nother level. We are raising our bar.
Should we expect this album this year, or early 2014?
Dawn: Great question. You shall see.
Shifting gears back to you, recently, you collaborated with JoJo on “Valkyrie” (which is amazing by the way). Are we going to see more collaboration from you soon?
Dawn: Definitely more collabs but right now DK is the collab of choice.
Thank you for talking with us Dawn! Any last words for the Hearts?
Dawn: I f’ ing love you guysssssssssss! Trust me to take us to places we have been waiting to go!!!!
– Interview by @DanteMarquis