There’s a new sheriff in town! Oh, and by the way, her name is Dianna Lopez. And did we mention she can sing her as* off! In a world saturated with hip-hop and r&b, the New York native is in an alternative lane of her own. If Sade had a baby, Lopez would hands down fit the bill. Her sultry sound is nostalgic, yet contemporary –– not to mention hypnotizing. NDLYSS spoke with with her recently in a one-on-one interview to find out the scoop on the new face of indie rock.
Dive in below.
Much of your music video collection utilizes strong storytelling technique, where do you draw your creative inspiration from and how hands-on are you with directing?
It all depends on the video, but most of the time I’m doing my visuals with friends or people who I know, it’s a collaboration. I usually come up with a concept or vision board of what I see… I’m pretty hands on. I like to keep things super simple. Honestly, some of the visuals were actually shot in my house.
What artists were you listening to in your younger years?
I definitely listen to Sade, my parents were always playing her growing up. Honestly, when you think about it Beyonce and Rihanna were like the only black girls that were pretty big when I was growing up. They were the people who I was listening to in middle school and high school. They were the only ones being represented in the media. I also listened to a lot of Donna Summer, and a lot of old school music. I was only exposed to r&b and hip-hop when I was younger but as I get older I’ve found more interest in alternative music.
Do you have a theatrical background? I’ve noticed a recurring theme in your dance moves.
I grew up doing ballet and some interpretive dance at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. I’ve always loved to sing, act, and dance but I wasn’t sure which one I would pick growing up so I just picked all three. The one I really stuck to was singing.
Black Musicians are often boxed in by r&b and rap expectations, how difficult was it to find support on an alternative road less traveled?
It was really difficult when I first started. If you listen to my earlier music on Soundcloud you’ll hear the difference of people influencing me to do certain beats that are geared towards more of an r&b sound but it’s never really what I wanted to do. Once I started speaking out about what I was more interested in doing people would tell me it’s boring or that no one is going to want to listen to it. I just had to block out those negative people because if you love something you just have to do it regardless of people’s opinions.
Referencing your track “Tell me why – Brown Skin Song,” which you wrote as an open letter to women of color, have you ever faced colorism or shadeism in the music industry?
I’m going to steer away from the music industry because I wrote that song in the beginning stages of my career. My friend Dave Langston co-wrote the song. I decided to go with that song because I grew up in a town called Rockland County. Most of the schools that I attended were predominately white so a lot of my friends were white. I was always the one black girl… I dealt with a lot of racism although they didn’t realize they were doing it. I didn’t want to go out in the sun because I didn’t want to get too dark. I grew out of it and began to love myself. I want people to know black is beautiful.
“Predictable” is your first release of 2019 as a follow up to your 2018 EP, Foreign Space. What was the overall concept?
It just so happened that some guy I used to talk to who comes in and out of my life as he pleases hit me up out of the blue. I’m at the point in my life where I’m not mad about him coming in and out, I’m just like you’re predictable. You can come but I’m not going to pay you much mind. He comes around every few months. It’s a pattern! I just wrote a song about it.
What’s in-store for your upcoming indie rock EP?
My fans can expect me to be more into my sound than I’ve ever been. There will be five songs on there with no features, it’s just me.
BBC Documentary ‘A Fresh Guide to Florence with Fab 5 Freddy’ headed US this Fall
Hip-hop pioneer Fred Brathwaite AKA Fab 5 Freddy has announced that his acclaimed BBC documentary — A Fresh Guide To Florence With Fab 5 Freddy, which debuted in the UK this past weekend — will be coming to the US this fall. The documentary follows Fab 5 Freddy as he embarks on a quest to uncover the hidden black figures of Italian Renaissance art.
“Not only were Renaissance artists making art that defined high aesthetic ideals but they were also groundbreaking in showing an ethnically diverse, racially mixed Italy in the 15th and 16th century. You just have to look at the art,” he said in a statement.”
The documentary centers the hip hop legend and art lover as he examines the 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance art in 15th-century style – on horseback. Amidst superstar artists such as Michelangelo and powerful patrons such as the Medicis, Fab discovers ground-breaking images of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society that have slipped through the cracks of art history. In a 5-star review, The Financial Times says Fab “visits Florence to insouciantly blow the dust off art history” and The Guardian says that he is “on terrific form.”
A Fresh Guide is just another chapter in the incredible year for Fab 5 Freddy. He released the highly praised 4/20 Netflix documentary Grass Is Greener, which traces the history of cannabis in America and its relationship to people of color. The film takes an unparalleled look at the history of cannabis usage in America through the lens of popular forms of music — jazz, reggae, and hip hop — while also examining the racial disparities and injustices within that world. The film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and just was named to the UK-based Grierson Awards shortlist for Best Single Documentary (International).
A Fresh Guide To Florence With Fab 5 Freddy will come to US homes this fall, date and other details to be announced later this year.
Brightness’ New Music Video ‘Dallas’ will make your Soul Cry
Alex Knight who launched his career under the moniker Brightness dropped a new tracked, dubbed “Dallas” via I OH U. The mellow song was recorded in upstate New York with producer Sam Griffin Owens (Cass McCombs, Chris Cohen, Sam Evian), the song is – per Knight’s description – “about being spiritually hungry…the volatility and fragility of being in that state.” A heady offering equipped with slanting melody, baritone guitars, and erratic squalls that dunk you in cloudy space for the bulk of its duration, then slowly lifts you out in its final phrases to the sound of rapturous falsetto and luminous French horn.
“I wrote ‘Dallas’ when I was living alone in my brother’s garage. It’s probably hard to tell, but I was listening to a lot of Springsteen at the time, he said. I was inspired especially by his ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ record…the themes etc. I’d pretty much razed my life to the ground, and was intent on looking upwards…looking outwards.”
Knight aﬃrms “the location and pairing (with Owens) couldn’t have been more fitting.” The song was recorded in Spillway Sound, a freshly opened studio nestled in the Catskills, a spread of nature known to stir wonder in those who’ve beheld it, from the addled attendees of Woodstock Festival to 19th-century transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The accompanying visual for “Dallas” is similarly gripping. Directed by Charlotte Evans, the video finds Knight in a state of insomnia-induced disarray, the singer slowly spiraling out in his unkempt bedroom as he becomes increasingly mesmerized by a preacher on TV. The song is the first taste of new music from a forthcoming album following his critically-acclaimed 2017 debut, Teething, and marks a darker shift in sound characterized by deeper contour, contrast, and confidence.
Report: DaBaby to serve 1 Year Probation following Gun Case
Buzzing, new rapper DaBaby has had a successful career run, thus far, with consecutive hits topping the Billboard charts over the past few months, but unfortunately, the 27-year-old’s success may slow down a notch with the bad news he just received.
According to TMZ, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office convicted the hip-hop star Thursday for carrying a concealed gun in a North Carolina case ––a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation and 30 days in jail — the jail sentence was later suspended.
The incident reportedly dates back to November of last year where the rapper was involved in a heated altercation with a man inside a local Walmart, leaving one fatality from a bullet wound. The rapper says his actions were an act of self-defense for himself and his kids.
He was arrested in connection but it’s still unclear as to who shot the suspect, the DA’s office mention to the outlet.
While it appears DaBabay got off easy with this case, he is currently battling a lawsuit over an alleged attack by him and his entourage.
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