Dawn Richard is moving past the dissolution of Danity Kane by refocusing on her solo career.
Days after the group issued its comeback/farewell album, “DK3,” Richard has debuted “Blow,” the first single and video from her sophomore effort, “Blackheart.”
“Blackheart” is the second installment of her “Heart” trilogy, which launched with her 2013 debut, “Goldenheart.” The new album will arrive Jan. 15 to mark the two-year anniversary of its predecssor.
“Blow” showcases both the singer’s knack for ambitous, highly conceptual visuals and her richly complex, genre-pushing R&B. While her debut explored progressive R&B weaved through house and electro blips, her new single is steeped in trip-hop influences.
“With the help of my longtime creative/business partner, Kyle Cabrol, I was able to create something we are proud of. This project is very special to me,” Richard said in a statement. “We set out to redefine the term ‘independent’ and really push the limits on what could be done. We are just two people but we act as a label that has an entire staff. Both of us are extremely excited to share this art with the hearts.
“This album is the most experimental album of my career as well as my biggest risk-taker."
Richard produced and wrote the album alongside Noisecastle III.
After flourishing in two different groups under the tutelage of hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs -- Danity Kane and the hip-hop fusion project Diddy-Dirty Money – Richard spent two years building her solo identity.
While in the Combs-fronted Dirty Money, Richard issued a free mixtape, 2011’s “The Prelude to a Tell Tale Heart,” which logged 1 million downloads within a month. “Goldenheart” followed a set of EPs – 2012’s “Armor On” and “Whiteout” -- and the disbandment of Dirty Money (she asked Combs to release her from her contract and she’s issued music indepently since).
Richard put her solo career, and “Blackheart,” on hold to reunite with Danity Kane last year. But the reunion proved rocky and the group split for a second time in August after a physical altercation between members.
“I just think I’ve done the best that I possibly could. I did my part in releasing the [Danity Kane] album, so now all I can do is support whatever’s out there and wish everyone the best, and now continue to make great music that doesn’t affect my group,” Richard told Billboard. “We’re not promoting it, we’re not even doing videos or anything for it, which was the decision that wasn’t my own. So I have to move forward.”
Watch the video for “Blow” here [warning: link contains profanity].