“They tell me slow down, bitch never me…”
Dawn Richard has Danity Kome a long way as a solo star in her own right, proving time and time again through ambitious, genre-blurring independent audio-visual experiences – including the Goldenheart, Blackheart and Redemptionheart series – that she’s got plenty of creativity stored away in that handy first aid kit.
And as of Tuesday (February 16), Dawn is back, now signed with Merge Records, and still exploring the boundaries of electronica while introducing a brand new beat – and she wants you to break it down alongside her.
“Bussifame” is the first taste of her forthcoming studio album Second Line, due out on April 30.
And as she explained to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, it’s all about getting into the groove, no matter who or where you are.
“It’s a big time for me, and I think for Black female artists right now. I really, really, really wanted to shine in the electronic space. I feel like there’s an empty space for us. You don’t see Brown girls being recognized as producers, or even just artists in the electronic space. And I’ve been doing this eight years, and I really wanted to show that a girl from New Orleans, from the nine, can make records like this, can make music like this, can be inspired like this. And it’s a big time I think for us to be able to show it. I’m hoping I can pioneer it through Second Line. It’s a tradition in New Orleans where you dance to parade. It’s done at funerals, it’s done in celebration. Normally you’d see footwork attached to it. For me, I wanted to make an album that signified that. So, we make the beat and everybody follows. It’s a celebration to the new idea of what an artist can be. They don’t need to have to be a specific gender or race to be able to do the music that they want to do,” she explained.
“You know what’s crazy in New Orleans? A second line, we hear it outside. So, normally, when you’re in the house, you don’t have to be a part of the funeral or the celebrations, and just be like, you hear that. Usually we’re in our house, you hear it, and you just walk outside and you join it. So, you can even not even know the person who passed away. You could even not even know what the party was, but if you hear it, feel it, you can join it. So, that’s what this album and this record ‘Bussifame’ really speaks to. If you hear it, no matter if you’re inside, outside, wherever. You can join this party, you can join this parade. Yeah, it’s a parade.”
“In case you n–s been missing that I been giving you hits / You been sleeping on bitches and I been living a bit,” she declares across the infectious, thoroughly danceable Sam O.B.-produced beat and a flow that recalls Azealia Banks, as well as some funky Robyn Honey vibes.
The accompanying clip allows to Dawn to showcase her still-fierce footwork in as a futuristic voguing vision in blue crushed velvet, further suggesting this latest record is going to be getting us moving. Drill team, assemble!
As someone who’s hustled continuously for the past decade, Dawn also knows a thing or two about perseverance, which is reflected in the record as well.
“This album, even the fact that it’s called Second Line, the traditional sense of the definition is, it’s the second line that comes after the front line in a battle. So, whatever the front line in a battle doesn’t take care of, that second line takes care of. That’s how this album is, it’s the sword to finish off the job. So, after eight years of still pounding as much as that Black girls can exist in this space as not just artists, but producers, creatives, we can stay here in something that maybe isn’t the lane that wasn’t paved for us, doesn’t mean the sword won’t hit. So, this is that album that builds like that. All right, if you didn’t get it the first time, then try again.”
Dawn’s always admirably pushed herself as an artist, which has provided some incredible tracks and performances along the way. (“Faith” remains God tier.) It’s a great thing to have her back in the fray and applying the pressure yet again.
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