If you haven’t heard of Dawn Richard, now is the perfect time to listen. Richard first became known to the world as a contestant on MTV’s “Making the Band” where Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was searching to create the world’s next big girl group. He succeeded in creating Danity Kane, where Richard shined as one of the lead vocalists. After two very successful albums, the group disbanded, but Dawn was able to find a home with her old boss, becoming one-third of the group Dirty Money along with Diddy and singer-songwriter Kalenna Harper. While the trio had success, it was never meant to be a long-term thing.
After being asked to be released from her contract with Bad Boy Records, by 2013 Richards launched her solo career and developed an idea for a trilogy of conceptual albums. The first album in the trilogy titled, Goldenheart, focused on love and relationships. The second, Blackheart focused on loss, and lastly, Redemptionheart on (what else?) redemption.
The first single from Redemption is “Renegades,” a song that represents Dawn’s signature style mashing up electronic beats with R&B melodies. Renegades is about nothing else but doing what you want to do and what you believe in. She follows up with “Lazarus,” an ode to watching yourself grow and become stronger while realizing it’s normal to come from humble beginnings. She sings, “I can be one in the same, I didn’t change, I became.”
One of the best things about Redemption is that each song has a strong message accompanied by a phenomenal production of music, encompassing everything from dance, rock & roll and even a bit of traditional New Orleans jazz, which is showcased on “LA” as a tribute to Richard’s hometown roots. Other favorite tracks include “Voices,” “Tyrants,” “Vines,” and “Love Under Light,” which encourages us all to enjoy and “make love on the dancefloor.”
Redemption, also referred to as The Red Era, is a testimony to Richard’s career. In an interview with NPR, Dawn declared that The Red Era is about “dancing in the beauty of self, that whatever or whoever you are, be proud of it.” She has gotten to this place on her own, releasing each album independently under her own imprint, Our Dawn Entertainment. She has reached number one on the Top Independent Albums chart and number two on the Dance/Electronic chart, and top ten on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts with each album. I would say that’s a lot to be proud of.
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Image courtesy of Our Dawn Entertainment