Please welcome the newest addition to the Merge Records roster: the multi-talented maven Dawn Richard! After a run of incredible self-released solo records, the New Orleans artist will release her next full-length on Merge in 2021.
Here’s Richard herself on today’s good news: “I set out a long time ago to create a lane where genre was optional. Where a Black woman could thrive in electropop and Afrofuturism unapologetically. This record has been such a cathartic experience. To create an immersive story highlighting New Orleans culture through a futuristic lens has just been… a wild-ass ride. I’m stoked to take the wild ride with Merge, and hopefully the world wants to jump on, too. I plan to reshape the way people see and hear New Orleans. Hope you ready?”
Dawn Richard (pronounced “ree-shard”) treats Louisiana Creole culture, New Orleans bounce, and Southern Swag as elemental, allowing herself to weave in and out of house, footwork, R&B, and more. As she says, “I am the genre.”
As a founding member of Danity Kane, and later with Diddy’s Dirty Money, Dawn was able to explore the ins and outs of commercial pop music. As a solo artist, she opted to self-release her music. Over the span of five critically acclaimed full-length albums, Dawn has made the message clear that she will not bow down or bend to industry norms. All the while, she’s built her resume with enough extracurriculars to make your head spin: Cheerleader for the New Orleans Hornets? Check. Animator for Adult Swim? Check. Owner-operator of a vegan pop-up food truck? Check. Martial arts expert? Check!