D∆WN Is Ready For More Women of Color in EDM
Danity Kane was the type of girl group that will resonate with youngsters for years to come. One of its most noteworthy members, Dawn Richard, has continued to resonate with fans (both old and new) with her solo career, for which she goes by D∆WN. Her debut solo album Goldenheart received global acclaim, with her sophomore album Blackheart peaking at #2 on the Dance/Electronic charts. A multi-platinum selling artist and songwriter, D∆WN has been working away at her next album Red*emption, which she’ll be promoting during a North American tour. We spoke to the rising star about her new album, the upcoming tour, and of course, sex, drugs and rock n roll.
What does being named “the new face of EDM” mean to you?
I’m flattered. It’s cool that we have diversity in music and people are starting to appreciate that. Music is universal. But really, I’m just making music that feels good to me.
Even though EDM has become so massive in the past decade or so, why do you think that it hasn’t exactly become mainstream yet?
I think we’ve been force-fed what we are supposed to like when we turn on the radio or TV. We’ve been programmed to believe popular music is one thing. But thanks to social media and [other] technology, people are now deciding what they want to like. They are doing their own research. And I think it’s only a matter of time before all music will be respected in the way that it should.
What type of emotions do you feel you’re able to convey through your songs?
Message is what leads my music. There is always something under the surface being said. I hope people feel elevated and moved when they hear my music. The point is to put them in a different world; my own little utopia.
Every EDM artist uses vocal samples a bit differently. How do you weave vocals into your EDM soundscape?
I choose to sample myself. I love using my vocal as the catalyst. I sometimes will pitch shift naturally. I can drop an octave or rise organically so it makes for fun dynamics
You have a tour coming up. What is life on the road like for you?
Sex, blunts and rock and roll…obviously.
Do you have any cities or venues in which you’re particularly excited to play?
Can’t wait to do SXSW this year. Should be fun. I’m playing multiple places.
What do you think is the future of EDM?
I think it’s more women DJs and artists. More women and men of color exploring this sound and blend. I feel it will be a part of pop culture.
Where do women stand in the world of dance music? Do you think that you are considered an equal to male artists, or that you are treated as such?
I feel there should be more of us. We are coming though. I can speak for myself and say I refuse to be treated any other way but equal. The amount of hard work I’ve put into building this and being independent with absolutely no team means I won’t expect anything less than equal. And guess what? I have a feeling all women in this industry are feeling that same way.
What should we expect with Red*emption?
Freedom in song.