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Dawn Richard Goes Solo, Talks Solange

Dawn Richard has a lot to celebrate lately. Her first solo release, Goldenheart, dropped this month and just hit #1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul Charts and  #10 on Billboard’s R&B Album Charts.

Richard, a former member of Diddy’s Danity Kane and Dirty Money, got tired of the group politics and decided to go solo.

In a recent Huffington Post interview, she explains: “Danity Kane was successful and then it dismembered. And then it was like, ‘Okay, I’m back at one.’ Then Dirty Money happened and I was like, ‘Yes! Okay! A job again.’ So it was one of those things when I kept getting these great moments and then they were disappearing. So after the tenth one, I was like, ‘No! I’m not playing.'”

Richard is also getting rave review from critics.  Steven Hyden calls Richard” one of the best and most indelible fresh talents in pop and R&B.” He continues that “Goldenheart is a highly idiosyncratic mix of heartbroken slow jams, chart-friendly Europop, and full-bore prog-rock fantasy.”

Also in the Huffington Post interview, Richard names a rather unlikely inspiration: Solange. “Her EP is sublime. I’m sorry but I love some Solange! People claim it’s not there. Its been here. You’re just scared to admit that it exists because it’s something you haven’t heard before,” said Richard.

Richard disagrees with the call of Brian McKnight, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and others for a return to more classic R&B, saying the genre should move forward. “We hear something new and we’re like I want something nineties because the nineties need to come back….But why can’t there be something reminiscent of 2095 that’s just as fly. We get scared of that.”

Unlike those who favor the classic sound, Richard actually applauds the infusion of R&B with dance music, claiming  “that’s just another version of taking it to another level.”

Richard says what most excites her about this progressive, new R&B is to bring a woman’s perspective, “there’s no female that has really taken the risk yet.”

With Goldenheart, she seems to have definitely made the first step.

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