Dawn Richard introduces us to the sound of her full-length debut GoldenHeart with “Pretty Wicked Things,” a new track released to celebrate her 1 million Twitter followers.
Produced by Armor On collaborator Druski, “Pretty Wicked Things” starts like a soulful ballad with haunting drums and piano then slowly builds into a dubstep/dance track, reminiscent of “Heaven” and “Faith” from her EP.
“It’s the story of the beautiful things in life that get ruined by the wicked,” explains Dawn. “Goldenheart is the fusing of new sounds with R&B/soul. We are introducing the setup to Goldenheart with the release of ‘Pretty Wicked Things.’ This isn’t a single. It’s a setup. We have a lot ofsurprises for the hearts. Grow with us.”
GoldenHeart drops October 16.
In theory, when an artist has two stints in groups that end prematurely and isn’t linked to a major label, any hopes of a solo career are null and void. But what if that artist was always meant to be a solo star, and the groups were solely stepping stones to get to the next level. And what if the drama, personal and professional setbacks, and pessimism from the audience were used to build ‘armor’ in order for the artist to ascend even further. Enter Dawn Richard, who negates the theory and rewrites her story by taking control.
Before Making the Band 3, Danity Kane and Diddy- Dirty Money, Dawn’s grind began in 2003, with her indie album Been a While. Not a top-seller, the album was good enough to land her an opening gig for Anthony Hamilton. Fast forward to 2005, when she was named one of the five members of Diddy’s female supergroup — along with Aubrey O’Day, Aundrea Fimbres, Wanita “D. Woods” Woodgett and Shannon Bex –who became Danity Kane. They went on to released a pair of chart-topping albums — Danity Kane and Welcome to the Dollhouse — and became the first female group to have both their debut and sophomore albums debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Their success proved short-lived as rumors of turmoil and infighting reached a head. In 2009, Danity Kane split; that same year, Diddy announced the formation of a new hip-hop supergroup with Dawn and singer-songwriter Kaleena. Inspired by 80s groups Soul II Soul and Loose Ends, Diddy-Dirty Money released The Last Train to Paris in 2010. They unexpectedly disbanded the following year.
Now faced with a dilemma, Dawn had to choose: stay with Diddy’s Bad Boy imprint and wait two years to release solo material, or step away from the man who made her famous and follow her own path. Choosing the latter, Dawn took control of her destiny with release of Armor On, her first solo EP, in March.
Released through her company Our Dawn Entertainment, Armor On reached the top of iTunes’ R&B/Soul charts shortly after its release. While promoting and touring for the EP , Dawn took a moment to chat with World According to Montè about her journey and establishing herself as a solo artist.
As the definition of R&B evolves, Dawn Richard, formerly of Danity Kane and Diddy-Dirty Money, steps to the forefront to usher in a new wave of the genre; one free of limitations, relying solely on the music. On Armor On, her debut EP, Dawn takes listeners on an emotional roller coaster ride, filled with love, heartbreak, regret, forgiveness and seemingly everything in between, all the while maintaining a sense of individuality and a sound all her own.