Dawn Richard of Danity Kane and Diddy Dirty Money fame recently sat down with Regard magazine and chatted about her musical evolution for the publication's April/May issue. The 28-year-old singer flaunts a few summer breezy styles while she opens up about Danity Kane's breakup and what it was like to work with Diddy.
"There were no drawbacks. I didn't allow them," Richard says about the breakup of Danity Kane, a R&B/pop girl group that Diddy formed from the winners of his reality TV talent search. "When one chapter closes, you have to start a new one. For me, if you allow yourself to think there are drawbacks then there will be some. I decided that I would just go harder and find a way to stay dancing inside the music."
Harder meant sticking with Diddy and forming a new band, Diddy Dirty Money, with him and singer-songwriter Kalenna Harper, a move that she says allowed her to be innovative and grow as an artist without bounds — even if for just one album, Last Train to Paris.
"I enjoyed the freedom to dream sonically and lyrically. It was less 'boxed,' more 'innovative' and that was the place where I dwelled. So, I was in my element. The edge. The rawness. The sound we created became a platform for others. Whether they admit it or not, we broke boundaries with that album," she says.
Eventually Richard decided to go off on her own and is now a solo artist about to debut her first album, which has a different sound than what listeners have come to expect from the artist. The inspiration for her Heart Trilogy EP has been her relationship with the music industry and realizing that not everyone is working towards her best interest.
"It isn't a different direction. It's a continued one. I've just progressed the sound I already had," Richard explains. "It shows growth, strategy, and creativity. Why would you ask a person to buy and believe in a brand that never works to be better? I want to challenge people to grow with me. I like pushing the limits. For this project, I chose to be me. And that in itself, is taking things in a different direction."
In the fashion spread, Richard shows off her softer side in styles by Donna Mizani, which she loves for the "strength and softness of her clothes. The structure and angles in the clothing are bold but the fit is soft and flowing." Other favorite designers include Karl Lagerfeld, Balenciaga and Tom Ford before listing her top fashion obsession.
"My must haves are shoes...shoes.... shades...and shoes!"
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(Photo: Courtesy Regard Magazine)