Music

Dawn Richard Is At Her Best In Funk-Centric “Jacuzzi” Performance [Premiere]

Dawn Richard leans into her ability to blur genres during her live performance of her new track “Jacuzzi” off of her latest album Second Line. This release was created to pay homage to New Orleans, the city that turned her into the artist she is today.

For the last decade, singer Dawn Richard has had one of the most productive careers in R&B. Working fully as an independent artist, she has released five albums since her sophomore release, Goldenheart, which came in 2013 — a year after the group she was in, Diddy – Dirty Money, broke up.

To call what Dawn Richard does R&B would be a bit of a disservice. Her albums feature some of the most galaxy brain music to be released over the last decade.

Her latest album, Second Line, is her best yet. It’s an ode to New Orleans, where Dawn was born and where she recently moved back. There’s an energy that the album encompasses, it’s hard to nail, but it feels purposeful. Each track on the release is expansive and almost as if listeners are being offered yet another glimpse into Dawn’s psychedelic conscious. It’s jazzy, funk-centric and also has a new age feel to it.

As a new signee of the indie label Merge Records, the singer-songwriter is dipping her toes further into a distinct realm of the music industry she’s long admired. Second Line proves Dawn is further exploring her sound and highlights that she isn’t afraid to delve deeper into music-making that encompasses numerous genres.

In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Richard expressed she’d like New Orleans to be associated with electronic music. “When people think of New Orleans, they think of the past, of jazz or R&B or soul,” she shared. She also said she hopes to clear up the notion that Black women can’t contribute to the electronic music canon since she’s living proof.  “I want to fucking break that taboo all the way.”

She added, “My first entrance into the music industry was with [Danity Kane], a multi-racial girl group signed to a hip-hop label. Then I joined [Dirty Money], a group that was electropop soul built from Ibiza. If that ain’t unconventional, I don’t know what is.”

Today, we’re premiering an exclusive performance of Second Line standout “Jacuzzi.” Watch it below.

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email: Dimas@okayplayer.com

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