As she looks back over her career, Dawn Richard has come to one big realization: timing is everything.
Music lovers first got to know Dawn as the quiet powerhouse of Danity Kane when she won a spot in the girl group during "Making The Band 3." Although the girls had a very impressive run, including two albums and 15 awards, Danity Kane eventually split up as they had come together as Diddy fired Aubrey O’Day and D.Woods in front of MTV cameras.
Between their first and second album, the group had been hounded by persistent rumors of a breakup. What does Dawn think ultimately did them in, though? "I think they just ran their course. I think the big difference with Danity Kane was that we were manufactured," Dawn told Interview magazine.
"So many people thought we were a joke because they watched us on the show," she added. "We had to make people believe we were great, and we were, but it was that much harder to prove ourselves because we were manufactured. We had success, but it ran its course for what it was."
Shortly after Danity Kane disbanded, Dawn remained on with Bad Boy as part of Diddy’s own trio Dity Money Crew with Kaleena. Eventually that group quietly dissolved after just one very long awaited album, Last Train To Paris. The group had an innovative new sound that Diddy dubbed train music, but it didn’t quite catch on as the group hoped.
"I think we were ahead of our time. I hear a lot of groups and artists coming out now with similar sounds. I think people are just starting to love the sound now," said Dawn. "When we came out, Puff tried his best to show the world something different, and I believe it may have been too much for people to digest and understand then. That’s the sad thing about this industry."
This time around, Dawn is striking out on her own as she readies for the release of her debut solo album Goldenheart. She describes the album as updating the stories of some of histories best known heroines.
"Goldenheart is like a modern-day Joan of Arc. Think of it like medieval times-cum-2045 or Lancelot and Guinevere in 3025. It’s a new version of these battles—age-old stories for the now," Dawn explained.
She added that her music won’t be as literal as some may have come to expect from her contemporaries. It’s just not the creative sensibility that she relates to, and she feels her lyrics are a little more artistic.
"I come from an era where lyrics were full of imagery and metaphor, and that’s all I know," Dawn stated. "I think people miss that. I’m telling these age-old stories, just in a different way—my way."
See what she means when you listen to Dawn’s new single, "86," below!
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