Dawn Richard aka D∆WN is one of the most electrifying phenomena in the independent music scene. Hailing from New Orleans, currently living in Los Angeles, the queen of pop new wave has been releasing some of the most forward-thinking music of our times. When Dawn is not busy breaking pop star narratives, she loves to play around with Pacemaker and drop some kick-ass mixtapes. Read our interview with the fabulous and super inspiring Dawn while you’re listening to her latest selection.
You’ve recently finished your North American Redemption Tour, how did it go?
Everything went well. We curated a stadium show in small venues, it worked out amazing. Each city brought its own flavour!
‘Redemption’ was the final chapter in The Heart Trilogy. How did it feel to close this circle
It felt like taking a large exhale. I did what I said I would do and with no major machinery. I’m proud of that.
What are you working on currently?
I already have a new album on the way as well as some creative and tech business endeavours.
You came a really long way from working with P. Diddy in Danity Kane to collaborating with Machinedrum in your latest releases. How is your audience keeping up with you?
I have an amazing movement that is open to evolution and transformation. It’s who I am as an artist and I’m grateful they rock with me!
Going independent after topping the Billboard is definitely a ballsy move. What do you think, after trying out both sides, are the biggest challenges and benefits of having control over all the aspects of your work?
I like both sides, I appreciate being my own boss though. I like to have creative freedom to not only perform but work in design, animation, tech and film.
Do you have a dream collaboration you would like to make it happen?
Hans Zimmer would be a dream. I’d like to collab on scoring an independent film.
We will also soon be able to see you on the silver screen as the main lead in Jean-Claude La Marre’s ‘Kinky’. How did you end up in this role and how did you enjoy yourself in this new challenge?
I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. This was an opportunity to do that.
How do you relax when you’re not doing anything music-related?
I’m always working. Always!
You were born in New Orleans and you’re currently living in Los Angeles. Is there anything you miss from home sometimes?
I miss everything about New Orleans. LA and NOLA are two completely different waves. LA is my work home, NOLA is my soul home.
What are your favourite spots in LA?
Love The Broad, The Last Bookstore and Real Food Daily.
How does a regular day of yours look like when you’re not touring?
Designing set designs, animating for my series, djing for my NTS radio show and yoga if I have the time.
How do you discover new music nowadays? Do you buy records or you prefer digital formats and streaming?
I still buy records, I’m in love with the vinyl sound.
Name 3 artists whose sound you really like at the moment.
Afefe Iku, Kaytranada, Sampha.
Tell us a bit about the selection in your latest Pacemaker mixtape ‘NewSchool’.
I wanted to show love to the different females killing the game. Some indie, some major, all needed.
You’ve been playing around quite a bit with Pacemaker. What do you like the most about the app, what are your favourite features and what would you like to improve?
I love the mixing options! I love that it gives you references on what compliments your picks. I’d love to be able to speed and slow tracks down in the app, really hoping that can be added! 🙂