Produced by Cole M.G.N (Christine & The Queens, Ariel Pink) and Hudson Mohawke, ‘Sauce’ is “about women taking pride in their prowess, and about being raised to celebrate my skin,” DAWN explains. “I lost focus of that when so many men degraded and disrespected my brown skin. ‘Sauce’ is about being bathed in your own beauty, being sexy for you. The new breed of women are unapologetic about sex and the way they choosing to express themselves.”
Following her acclaimed trilogy of solo albums, DAWN returns with new breed, which sees the electronic R&B innovator at her most eclectic, drawing on a wide range of influences alongside contributions from the likes of Cole M.G.N, Kaveh Rastegar (John Legend, Sia) and Hudson Mohawke. The album dates back to her upbringing in New Orleans, taking in the city’s rich traditions and musical heritage. DAWN’s musical career began to take off while her hometown was falling victim to Hurricane Katrina, and new breed sees DAWN return to her roots and let them shine for the first time in her solo career. After working tirelessly with P. Diddy on Danity Kane and Dirty Money, and releasing her first three solo albums, she felt she may have been done, and that she might have told all of the stories she needed to tell musically. It wasn’t until she returned to her hometown of NOLA to visit her parents, years later, that she realized that there was another side of her journey that she had yet to tell. The result is new breed – an homage sonically and aesthetically to her hometown, as well as an ode to her family’s history in the Washitaw Nation Tribe.
Another recurring theme throughout new breed is DAWN’s growth as a black independent female figure who has navigated almost every side of the music industry. “I never saw myself as a victim but have survived assault and I thought hiding it made me strong. But as I’ve watched all these amazing strong women speak on their experiences I found courage in speaking on my story,” explains DAWN. “This record is for all of us. We are the new breed. We are strong, unapologetic and the future is female.”
With new breed, DAWN has further set herself apart as one of R&B’s true iconoclasts, merging styles and metamorphosing them to her own style to create one of the most important, culturally relevant projects of recent times. Increasingly carving her own lane in the landscape of contemporary music, DAWN is writing her own legend; one that those after her have no choice but to follow. Driven by innovations in tech as well as music, in 2016 DAWN became the first ever artist to perform live in 360 degrees on YouTube, partnered with Wired for the release of an award-nominated virtual reality version of her single “Not Above That”, and joined Adult Swim as a curator and designer. Her last album Redemption went top 5 in the Billboard Dance Charts, and saw her subsequently collaborate with Dirty Projectors, Kimbra and Mumdance on a series of singles. Live, DAWN is on tour now with her former Danity Kane band members as DK3. She is also a multi-hyphenate as an actress (Insecure, Kinky), as well as a designer and curator for Adult Swim. She’s always striving to create more, in whatever medium she can, and with new breed she’s added to her ever growing canon of extraordinary stories she has to tell.