Dawn Richard Can’t Be Tamed
Dawn Richard has been through some shit, and she’s come out sparkling.
When she auditioned and secured a spot on “Making The Band” in 2005, her family was suffering from homelessness post-hurricane Katrina.
14 years later, the former Danity Kane member is blossoming beautifully into the Princess Tiana-futuristic-black and proud-survivor-badass she always was deep down, but it took a while for her to stop giving a fuck about what other people thought and truly put her whole self (and her whole heart) out there. Not to mention, being a woman of color in the music industry is a struggle within itself.
Her latest album, new breed, truly shows that Dawn is unafraid of being different—kind of like the animalistic photoshoot you’re about to see below.
What are you most inspired by at the moment?
I’m inspired by modern robotics and structural design. Understanding the mechanics and design of metal, steel, and cellophane materials.
Who are your sheroes?
My mother, grandmother, and Holli Would from Cool World.
How does new breed differ from your past albums?
I think visually and sonically it’s the most soulful album I’ve created. it’s also black, indigenous, and proud. I wanted to introduce the world to New Orleans via Afro-futuristic lenses.
What song on new breed sums you up today?
“Shades.” If you know….you know.
What has growing up in the south taught you?
That real is the best outfit you can ever wear.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Bitch, LIVE. Nobody knows what they’re doing, so keep doing what YOU doin.
What did being in Danity Kane teach you about sisterhood?
Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.
Who is your favorite Disney princess and why?
Tiana. She looks like me. She’s from New Orleans. And she makes beignets. I mean, sis is me.
Tell us more about the Mardi Gras experience and why it’s important to you.
Mardi Gras isn’t floats and that tourist shit, y’all. It’s family, cookout, St.Joseph’s day, crawfish on the lake, king cakes, homemade gumbo, brass bands, marching band battles, and snoballs. It’s the things that happen in the neighborhoods. Not on Bourbon [street].
What beauty advice did your mom or grandma teach you that you live by?
The purse better match them shoes…my grandmother didn’t play.
What’s next for you in 2019?
Building more platforms for DIY creatives like myself to thrive. Giving them hope to continue what they love.
Photographer: Mike Nyembo / @eyeattracti0n
Creative Director: Kirsten kay / @ayeekirstenkay
Stylist: Joey Thao at Art Department / @joeythao
Hair: Nina J /@ninajhair
Make-up: Nimai Marsden / @makeupbynimai