DAWN (formerly Dawn Richard, D∆WN) is one of music’s most distinctive voices and songwriters, developing her own unique style through a tirelessly independent route.
After cutting her teeth as part of the girl group Danity Kane and the quietly-influential r&b project Dirty Money, DAWN went solo in 2011, building her own self-made infrastructure and honing a style of r&b that she describes as “genderless, colourless and genreless”. DAWN went on to release the critically acclaimed album trilogy of Goldenheart, Blackheart and Redemption. The trilogy, inspired by everything from experimental electronic music to mythology, garnered her praise in the NY Times, FACT, NME, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and many more, while Blackheart reached #2 in the Billboard Dance charts.
Following eighteen months focused on touring Redemption and collaborating - she featured on Dirty Projectors’ 2017 hit single “Cool Your Heart”, as well as tracks from Kimbra, Jimmy Edgar and Mumdance - DAWN returns this winter with new breed, a new full-length project that sees her return to her birthplace of New Orleans both musically and spiritually, drawing from the city’s rich musical heritage and traditions as well almost two decades of experience as a black independent woman in the music industry.
On the video for “jealousy”, the first single from new breed, DAWN showcases the city’s “strength, power, vulnerability and culture”, including local figurehead Chief Montana of the Wasashitaw Nation, a tribe that has been in DAWN’s family for generations. DAWN even wears a traditional garb hand-sewn by Montana, making her one of the first women in history to do so. “I wanted to show New Orleans in a light most have never seen or are aware of”, explains DAWN of new breed. “The Black Indian and power of our traditional garb … a hand-sewn headpiece representing the power of being both King and Queen”.
As with previous DAWN albums, she is an ever-present on new breed’s production as well as on its vocals - contributing production to seven of the album’s 10 tracks, often alongside regular collaborator Derek Bergheimer (who mixed Redemption, as well as other previous DAWN releases). Another regular collaborator returns in Kaveh Rastegar, while Hudson Mohawke, Young & Sick, PRGRSN and Christine and the Queens producer Cole M.G.N. round off the album’s production roster.