Dana Jean Phoenix
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Dana Jean Phoenix

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Electronic Synth


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dana Jean Phoenix: DRRTY SHOOZ - 10/10"

Dana Jean Phoenix: DRRTY SHOOZ - Before I started writing for Violent Success, I was rummaging around the internet for whatever I could find that had anything to do with this awesome retro/synth sound that I had become quite enamored with. Something that jumped right out at me was the lack of vocalists on a lot of these tracks. A lot goes into producing synth wave that goes beyond software sorcery: love, nostalgia, a certain amount of insanity and a firm belief that the ’80s were way cooler than anything we’ve got going on now. It isn’t easy to take all of that and put out a genuine effort, and even more difficult is to find a vocalist who understands that aesthetic, but the right producer with the right vocalist can take a genre that started with nerds (a term used lovingly) in their garages and get the general public to stop and pay attention. That magic combination is what I noticed in a lot of songs I was bookmarking and downloading: vocals that matched the authenticity of the producer’s work. So when I hit play on Dana Jean Phoenix’s first full length album, DRRTY SHOOZ, and immediately recognized her voice, I realized that I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time already.

I’ll get this out of the way now: this isn’t a straight up synth wave release, by any stretch. She’s done great things on this album with some great synth wave artists, but there’s a lot more going on here. DJP has created her own colorful sound that’s a little retro, a little electro, a little funk and a little dance with some pop/top 40 sensibilities thrown in, just in case. She’s not any one thing, but still true to the sound, no matter what it is – like a zebra with color shifting stripes, I’d say.

This is definitely a bright release. ‘Summer Breakup’ featuring Sunglasses Kid (an amazing producer in his own right) is a hell of an opening track. It’s pure nostalgia. Relatable lyrics beautifully sung, dreamy, airy synths and a slow, danceable beat make this one of the strongest tracks on the album. Seriously, I was reading old love letters after listening to this. Sunglasses Kid works well with DJP and their teamwork further down the track list makes for the best song on the album, but more on that later.

Robots with Rayguns is another exciting producer who combines retro, electro and pop and ‘Day After’ is a great example of how easily the synth wave sound can be tweaked to be radio friendly – with the right vocalist, of course. While she works with several other producers on DRRTY SHOOZ (AKAHANDSDOWN, God Made Me Funky), most of the tracks are all DJP showing us her wholly unique style. Again, she isn’t one thing, but she can go from club bangers to introspective pop ballads like changing t-shirts. She’s always shapeshifting and showing off all her true colors.

‘You’re Not Alone’ sees DJP rejoin forces with Sunglasses Kid and this is my personal favorite track off the album. It’s fun, poppy and retro, but what stands out to me are the lines, “You’re not alone/You’re not a freak, you’re not a geek/and you will find a home”. Accepting others and being accepted is something I’ve always believed to be an important message, and DJP sings the song with such conviction that I know that someone will hear it when they’re feeling less than awesome and it will put a smile on their face and give them a bit of courage.

The album ends with a hard, almost hair metal ballad that would rock even the biggest arena. ‘Neon Daydreams’ featuring Till Wild is a fist pumping track that shows off a little of DJP’s rock side, like a more badass Roxette, perhaps.

Overall, DRRTY SHOOZ showed me that synth wave doesn’t always have to focus on the darkness or kitsch. Yes, I love the horror and the toothy basslines and the atmosphere and all those nods to my favorite sci fi movies. But sometimes, and the more often the better, we need to hear something that’s not only fun and catchy but genuinely exuberant and joyful. These songs will make your day better, and for a grumpy a-hole like myself, I’m pretty damn impressed by anyone who can make me smile.

But Dana Jean Phoenix isn’t just a synth wave artist: she’s “retro electro cabaret”. But even that doesn’t fully encompass her talent. I believe she’s poised to blow up and break out, and this is her first step on the path that many other pop stars walked, from Gwen Stefani to Nicki Minaj. But if I had to guess, I think DJP is going to go her own way, just like she always has…10/10 - Jerry Herrera, Violent Success

"Reviewed: Dana Jean Phoenix’s Debut Album, ‘Drrty Shooz’"

By Neil Reyes
From start to finish, Dana Jean Phoenix’s first full-length album grabs you. It starts in your neck, rocking your head back and forth, then moves to your shoulders and hips. Drrty Shooz is a full-on eighties dance party, with a surprising amount of lyrical depth.
The first track, “Summer Breakup”, featuring British synth-wave producer Sunglasses Kid, sets the overall musical tone of the album. It opens with rapid pulse that quickly turns into a retro jam about summer heartbreak and being strong. Themes of empowerment also echo in tracks like “Morning Breeze” and “You’re Not Alone”. The latter was written as a response to Russia’s anti-LGBT policies. On the track, she sings, “there’s a place out there for everyone, and you deserve your own”.
While her collaborations with Sunglasses Kid are among the highlights on the album, her work with God Made ME Funky on “Big Time” is one of the best tracks on Drrty Shooz. The song’s commanding beat building to the synth-heavy chorus allows is the soundtrack to any great night at the club.
Phoenix also tackles issues of domestic abuse on “Sumbody Else”. The subject is hidden underneath a club-ready groove and requires a few listens to really catch the depth of the lyrics. Like the rest of the album, the track picks you up and gets you moving.
Overall, Drrty Shooz is a fun album that goes beyond the surface. Underneath the retro-eighties beats and pounding bass are lyrics that tell stories and aim to inspire. Songs like the title track and “You’re Not Alone” are as empowering as they are danceable. Fans of Dragonette and Robyn will definitely enjoy Phoenix’s style of music: retro-electro-cabaret with substance. - Neil Reyes, Velvet Rope Magazine


For some relief from the bombast of the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, the endless stream of mockery of the games themselves, and the frustration of not being able to effectively protest the horrifying Russian laws and attitude, I decide to indulge in some pop music. Dance my cares away. Dana Jean Phoenix has just released Drrty Shooz and her pedigree is beyond intriguing: vocalist with funkmeisters God Made Me Funky, just off a stint starring in The Musical of Musicals, The Musical, and, not insignificantly, an endorsement from pop royalty and utterly eccentric Nicki Minaj. Phoenix dubs herself a "Retro Electro-Cabaret Vocalist" and the press package trumpets, "What happens when Blondie meets Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Bette Midler." Sounds like a perfect pop pick-me-up pill.

First stop is the YouTube video for "You're Not Alone" which is billed as "an empowering response to the homophobic policies of the Russian government (and any other policy/ stance by any government in the world which alienates any members of their society)." Very à propos. It is sonically very '80s, all synths and programmed beats, and echoes those generic power-pop songs written to promote nationalistic events - ironically very Olympian - or discourage drinking and driving. And, like the aforementioned musical earworms, just try to get the chorus out of your head. It is impossibly catchy and I will be singing it for weeks.

It is the lyrics that give me trouble. Allies should be encouraged but platitudes about empowerment and tolerance are a step behind where I see myself situated.

You're waiting for the day
That you can find a place
A space to call your own.
Where you can just belong

You're not alone
You're not a freak
You're not a geek
And you will find a home

Well-intentioned and undeniably catchy but more pacifistic and less an iron fisted rallying cry. Phoenix has amazing chops but less Ghandi and more Guevara would make me happier. However the video, with its striking images of presumably gay athletes triumphing, is a perfect antidote to my scepticism and makes me eager to hear more .

Drrty Shooz is all about empowerment and relaxes into a retro '80s groove that luxuriously fills the ears and tickles the feet. The title track starts with a crotch-grabbing bassline and Phoenix revels in her lower register where she is less chipper and very sexy.

We're gonna hit the floors and kick the doors down
Nobody's gonna keep us out
Together hand in hand in our dirty shoes

That's more like it! You go grrrl.

Phoenix is aiming more for the feet than the heart or brain and she succeeds more often than not. The disco-inflected "Bullitz" begins with a Wizard of Oz reference, "Swagsters, hipsters and queens, oh my," before going really gay when Phoenix emphasizes that she, "doesn't want a relationship. I really just want to dance."

In the hands of an astute manager and with the addition of some slick packaging, Phoenix would be a star instead of an artist. The overall vibe of Drrty Shooz needs just a bit of tweaking to emphasize it's uniqueness or, though hopefully not, to be remixed into a series of contemporary pop princess purgatory anthems to become a mainstream hit. Phoenix has pipes and when she lets loose - "Cheap Disguise" is a sexy ballad with passionate and nuanced vocals, and "Till Wild" lets her set off some vocal fireworks without being a Mariah Carey-esque showoff - the effects are stunning. When she writes or receives a really gripping melody, she'll sing the shit out of it.

On "Morning Breeze," Phoenix lets a slight dirty rasp creep into her voice when she sings, "I believe in me." She should. When she tears into "Big Time" and then raps a bit, just for fun and a dash of street cred, we forgive her for the spoken word finale of "California," which trails off instead of raising the roof, or for the occasional lapses where she lets her backing vocals - which are astounding - upstage her main vocal performance. To riff on "You're Not Alone," please don't wait for centre stage, you can claim it and own it.

Phoenix invites us, in "Rollacoasta Baby," to

Come and take a ride with me on a roller coaster baby
We could touch the sky you see

Phoenix almost does touch the sky, almost grabs the gold, and my Olympic blues have been cured by the solidly silver medal Drrty Shooz.

Drrty Shooz is available on iTunes and SoundCloud.
The release party, with an appearance by God Made Me Funky is on Sat, Feb 8 at Bar Italia, 582 College St. danajphoenix.com - Drew Rowsome, My Gay Toronto

"Sunglasses Kid & Dana Jean Phoenix’s ‘1980s Summer Breakup’"

This is the new video for 1980s Summer Breakup, a SynthWave collaboration between retro influenced songstress Dana Jean Phoenix and producer Sunglasses Kid. An authentically 80s sounding Pop epic.

Directed by PHATT al, the clip plays into the track’s nostalgia with a soft focus array of good times. - Clive 'Crash' Lewis, Electronic Rumors

"DANA JEAN PHOENIX First lady of nufunk, tearing a hole in the new genre"


DANA JEAN PHOENIX First lady of nufunk, K-W bred Dana Jean Phoenix is tearing a hole in the new genre, and is firing up to take on Caesar Martini's. Sharing the stage with Jully Black, Fergie, Joe, and Divine Brown, among countless others, this powerhouse graduate of Eastwood Collegiate has recently dropped Learning To Fight, a collection of funk hits that will get your ass moving, dancing and creatively keeping you begging for more. Counting Michael Jackson as one of her ultimate influences, Phoenix's ear for tangible funk tracks has made her a leader in her genre – an unstoppable force of nature eager to snag listeners off of the first beat. “Indie artists are in the best position to control their careers now more than ever. Because to get signed, you have to have developed yourself already, there’s very little incentive for most artists to give up the autonomy that you attain through that self-development,” Phoenix explains. “When you sign with a major label, you basically say that you are ready to accept somebody else’s version of you. Making it for me is to put out the art that I feel best represents who I am. It means me being able to live with myself and make a living for myself.” And she's well on the path to keeping this nine to fiver her every day career. Her record has soared on iTunes and HMV, creating a buzz over the lady who has reinvented pop, R&B, jazz, electronica and soul. “(I'm also) influenced by David Bowie, Madonna, Bette Midler, Prince, Journey, and Stone Temple Pilots. Locally, I’ve been very influenced through my work with Jully Black, Joni Nehrita, God Made ME Funky, Melanie Durrant, PHATT al, Adam Bowman, and Rufus John. Canada is so full of talent, it’s beautiful,” Phoenix shares. Now as she plans to land at Caesar's on January 22, Phoenix has dedicate the proceeds from the show to the local food bank. An incredibly talented young lady from Toronto coming to our fair city and doing it for charity? Say it ain't so! “I always like to involve a charity aspect to my shows because I’m so fortunate to have come from such a nurturing, and vibrant community that has allowed me to pursue my dreams, that I want to give back any way that I can,” she explains, “That’s why I donated a dollar of every CD sold at my CD release party at Maxwell’s Music House in November, to Anselma House. It’s a cause that is really important to our community in helping to empower women and their families. My album is called ‘Learning To Fight’ so I want to give back to everyone who is also learning to fight to be who they want to be and shine.” Watch for Dana Jean Phoenix on January 22 at Caesar's. myspace.com/danajphoenix

by Carrie Humphries - Indie Seen, Echo Weekly Magazine

"Sunglasses Kid & Dana Jean Phoenix"

London based SynthWaver Sunglasses Kid has once again teamed-up with Canadian songstress Dana Jean Phoenix to deliver another wonderful slice of retro Pop. Having previously caught our attention with their tune 1980s Summer Breakup their next record, You’re Not Alone, cements this partnership’s reputation for classic sounding ElectroPop goodness.

What we’ve got here is five minutes of proper, optimistic, uplifting, 80s Pop. You’re Not Alone is a neon soaked symphony of sparking synths and brisk beats. The track’s got an airy quality to it, both the music and vocals are light and forgiving, and you can’t help but be in a good mood after giving You’re not Alone a listen. Dana Jean Phoenix’s truly authentic 80s Power Pop vocal style doesn’t hurt either as she charges her way through an anthem of self-belief.. Worthy of the best 80’s teen movie soundtracks, Sunglasses Kid & Dana Jean Phoenix have knocked out another corking tune. - Electronic Rumors

"Watch out for this one, if you haven't already spotted DANA JEAN PHOENIX."

Watch out for this one, if you haven't already spotted DANA JEAN PHOENIX. The First Lady of NuFunk, Phoenix has shared the stage with a plethron of amazing talents, including Jully Black, Natasha Bedingfield, Fergie, and one of Tattoo's faves, God Made Me Funky. To celebrate the release of her EP "Learning To Fight" [and just to celebrate music in general], Phoenix will be performing live at Bar Italia this Saturday, April 24th... NO COVER! With her fresh and funky upbeat music style, we quite frankly can't wait.

Link: http://ta2ink.blogspot.com/2010/04/gig-dana-jean-phoenix.html - Heather, Ta2 Music


Learning To Fight (2009)
Independent, Nominated for TIMA for Best Urban

Phoenix Rising (2011)

Drrty Shooz (2014)



Dana Jean Phoenix
Electro-Cabaret / Synthpop

"...So creative" -- Nicki Minaj

"Princess Superstar meets Mike Tompkins!" -- Perez Hilton

"Classic sounding ElectroPop goodness" -- Electronic Rumors

'"Dana Jean Phoenix has reinvented pop, R&B, jazz, electronica and soul. A leader in her genre, she is an unstoppable force of nature eager to snag listeners off of the first beat." -- Carrie Humphries, Indie Seen, Echo Weekly 

Dana Jean Phoenix, also known as 'DJP', has spent the last few years building a solid musical foundation in developing her brand of NuFunk, as style which she calls: Retro Electro-Cabaret - an eclectic mix of synthpop, rock, R&B, jazz, EDM, and soul. Dana attended the nationally renown Humber College Contemporary Music Program in Toronto and graduated the prestigious Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College. While at college the versatile triple threat (singer, actress, dancer) would go to every open mic night she could find. "I would stay for hours just to get a chance at some stage time," says Dana Jean, who became known in Toronto's musical circles as 'DJP'. "Even though I'm a singer not a DJ, I thought that the name was cool -- because DJ's know how to move the crowd and so do I" she says with a smile. 

Dana Jean then went on to perform with UMAC nominee Melanie Durrant, and tour as a support singer for Canada's R&B queen and Juno winner Jully Black. Dana Jean has currently been touring internationally as a feautured vocalist with Juno-Nominated band God Made me Funky, and has appeared at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Calgary Stampede, Ottawa Bluesfest, Toronto Beaches International Festival, NXNE (12), Canadian Music Week, New York M.E.A.N.Y Festival, and Cincinnatis Midpoint Music Festival. She has appeared on Breakfast Television, Etalk, Canadian Idol, and Canada AM. "I'm blessed to have been on stage with some of the best," says Dana Jean, who has shared the stage with the likes of Sean Kingston, Fergie, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield, Kardinal Offishall, Joe, Divine Brown, and Suzanne Vega. 

After being featured on PerezHilton.com by the celeb blogger, for winning 2nd Place in the Perez Hilton 'Can You Sing Competition', Dana received a tweeted shout out from hip-hop megastar Nicki Minaj for her A Capella version of Minajs hit Starships. Dana has garnered over 1 Million views on YouTube for videos of her singing both originals and covers; and her original music has been featured on 'The Voice' (US), 'The Nate Berkus Show', 'MTV's: When I Was 17', Bravos (Real Housewives of Atlanta spin off) Kandi Factory, WEtvs Shannen Dohertys show Shannen Says, WEtvs sister gospel duo show Mary Mary, and 'Nickelodian's: Worldwide Day of Play'. Her debut EP, "Learning To Fight", was nominated as 'Best Urban Artist' for the 2010 Toronto Independent Music Awards. 

Her second EP, "Phoenix Rising", featured Dana's incredible voice blended with her own brand of Retro-Electro-Cabaret. The album featured guest appearances from Juno nominated MC's: PHATT al (God Made Me Funky, Len), and D-Sisive; with production by Andrew Thompson (Kardinal Offishal, Jully Black), Slakah The Beat Child (Divine Brown), and Danny Argyle (Cory Lee).

Dana's first full-length album 'Drrty Shooz' is available now on iTunes and Bandcamp, and recently Dana just starred as  "June" in 'The Musical of Musicals, The Musical!', the off broadway show that won Patrons Pick at the Toronto Fringe Festival and has been added to the Mirvish 50th theatre anniversary season.

Band Members