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.
“Heathers”and “Jawbreaker” vibes ooze from The Naked and Famous new video
The Naked and Famous are giving off a dark comedy vibe (think Heathers and Jawbreaker) in a major way with their new music video for their latest song “Bury Us”.
Alisa Xayalith accidentally murders her boyfriend, leading herself to enlist bandmate Thom Powers to help cover up the evidence. Additional chaos ensues all amidst bright colors, perfectly matching the shimmering synth sound of the track.
“Bury Us” is a track off of the duo’s forthcoming album ‘Recover’ which is a full-throttle dosage of the 2010s-era synth pop sound they helped define (remember “Young Blood”?!) mixed with a powerful sentiment of survival, and the very human process of self-preservation — of saving, choosing and celebrating oneself in a world constantly trying to put us down.
See video below:
Haleek Maul drops ‘Get2High’ ahead of forthcoming album ‘Errol’
Brooklyn-born, Barbados-raised rapper Haleek Maul kicks off the new decade with a new single from his forthcoming debut album.
“GET2HIGH” is a sleek, moody banger produced by London’s Sega Bodega that doubles as a cautionary track, with Haleek opining, “whatever you do don’t get too high.” The new track is the fifth and final offering ahead of the release of his forthcoming debut Errol, due February 28th via Lex Records, following “Lucid” featuring Sean Leon, “Halo” featuring Mick Jenkins, “Abyss” featuring Ro Ransom, and “Ceiling Fan.”
Speaking on the album, Haleek says:
“Errol is my debut album, dedicated to my late grandfather. With this project I’m working through a lot of the things I’ve learned since I lost him, as well as speaking on the transformation I’m undergoing as an artist and person.
“Haleek is also gearing up to celebrate the album’s release with a hometown show at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere Zone One on February 27th.
For tickets, click here.
Errol track listing:
1. We Wid It (feat. Jah Koda)
2. Ceiling Fan
3. Relax (feat. Island Levvy)
5. Halo (feat. Mick Jenkins)
6. Pretty Colour
8. Lucid (feat. Sean Leon)
9. DWGWY10. Abyss (feat. Ro Ransom)
11. Name (feat. Fantom Dundeal)
12. Feelings (feat. Aron)
Tops announces new Album ‘I Feel Alive’
After launching their own record label, Musique TOPS, last year, Montreal four-piece TOPS enter the new decade by announcing a new album. I Feel Alive is slated to drop April 3rd via Musique TOPS and is their fourth full-length, following 2017’s Sugar At The Gate. The album also follows singles “Echo of Dawn” and “Seven Minutes” from last year.
TOPS is also sharing the album’s title-track and video. “I Feel Alive” is directed by Mashie Alam and documents the band at a photoshoot, with no shortage of looks and playful bunnies present.
The video arrives ahead of their tour this Spring beginning April 3rd in Las Vegas. They’ll make stops in Austin, Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles, before closing out the run May 4th in San Diego.
Listen and watch “I Feel Alive” above, see upcoming tour dates and album details below.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
4/3 – Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse Saloon* 4/4 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole*
4/5 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar*
4/6 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace*
4/7 – Marfa, TX @ Lost Horse Saloon*
4/9 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk*
4/10 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger*
4/11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
4/13 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone Cafe*
4/14 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West*
4/15 – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight*
4/16 – Washington D.C. @ Union Stage*^
4/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s^
4/18 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*^
4/20 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*^
4/21 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Rialto#^
4/22 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall#^
4/23 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx#^
4/24 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle#^
4/25 – Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club#^
4/28 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Theatre#
4/29 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile#
4/30 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge#
5/1 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent#
5/2 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre#
5/4 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box#
To purchase tickets, click here.
1. Direct Sunlight 2. I Feel Alive 3. Pirouette 4. Ballads & Sad Movies 5. Colder & Closer 6. Witching Hour 7. Take Down 8. Drowning In Paradise 9. OK Fine Whatever 10. Looking To Remember 11. Too Much
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