Darien Dean
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Darien Dean

Mount Vernon, New York, United States | INDIE

Mount Vernon, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Soul

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Aug
19
Darien Dean @ NJPAC's Sounds of the City

Newark, New Jersey, USA

Newark, New Jersey, USA

Aug
07
Darien Dean @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

None, New York, USA

None, New York, USA

Jul
26
Darien Dean @ Blue Note Jazz Club

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

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Music

Press


We try to showcase the talent BlackPlanet has and we are proud to introduce you to our 2010 Soul Beach Winner, Darien Dean. Check out his profile here to hear his music as his debut album, “If These Walls Could Talk”, is available now!
- BlackPlanet


Darien Crowned Budweiser Superfest Contest Winner
New York Native Awarded $25,000 ‘Battle for the Crown’ Grand Prize

ST. LOUIS (Nov. 4, 2010) – After a triumphant return, the Budweiser Superfest continues to celebrate Soul and R&B music by announcing the 2010 “Battle for the Crown” $25,000 Grand Prize winner. Fan favorite Darien, the one-name, independent artist from Mount Vernon, N.Y., received the most eligible votes among 12 local winners at www.battleforthecrown.com.

Darien became a finalist in the “Battle for the Crown” competition by winning first place against 10 hopefuls at a nightclub in lower Manhattan. For that victory he won $5,000 and the opportunity to open the Budweiser Superfest concert in Jones Beach, performing on the same stage as Anthony Hamilton, Kem, Raheem DeVaughn and Jaheim. Prior to his Budweiser Superfest “Battle for the Crown” victory, Darien was named Soultracks.com's “New Artist of the Year” and opened for Mary J. Blige at SoulBeach 2010. His current project is “If These Walls Could Talk.” Go to www.righteousmusicmedia.com and www.thisisdarien.com.

“Winning the ‘Battle for the Crown’ is a tremendous blessing. I’m so grateful to Budweiser for giving independent artists a voice in such a major way,”said Darien. “I’m excited and happy for the opportunity... we’re about honest and positive music and this will give us the funds needed to record the next album.”

Budweiser Superfest, one of the most celebrated Soul and R&B concert series of all-time, returned in 2010 for a 21-date, 18-city tour. The revival of Budweiser Superfest is considered a roaring success by many standards: sold-out venues, two added dates and positive feedback from fans and media alike.

“Budweiser Superfest created a unique place in music history as one of the must-see annual urban concert series of the ‘80s and ‘90s,” said Bryan Hammonds, Multicultural Brand Manager for Anheuser-Busch. “We respect that legacy and will build on it as we showcase the best in R&B and soul music and plan for Budweiser Superfest 2011.”

During its more than two decade run – 1979 through 1999 – the Budweiser Superfest featured some of the brightest stars, including headliners such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, TLC, Parliament, Luther Vandross and many other musical legends.

The 2010 Budweiser Superfest was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch with associate sponsor the Black Broadcasting Network and produced by Live Nation and Haymon Events. - Anheuser-Busch


Sound Check: Darien Dean – If These Walls Could Talk
posted in Culture at Oct 01, 2010

We’ve all heard the saying, “the walls have ears,” but who knew they could talk too? Well, when Darien Dean released his debut album If These Walls Could Talk he must have known something, because it’s obvious quite a few people are listening now.

Though never formally trained, Dean always studied great music. As a matter of fact, for the longest time he wanted to be an engineer. He loved the logic involved in putting the pieces together and building a sound, but then he discovered songwriting. With words you can build the most powerful and unique structures. And instead of time eroding those structures, it can actually make them stronger. Let’s just say he never looked back.

He’s had an incredible year so far. It’s amazing how your landscape can suddenly change right before your eyes. While making his album, he became a recluse, spending his days in various dimly-lit rooms, writing, recording and mixing. Soon after, he started the promotional phase working the circuit in New York City at spots like the SOB’s, Joe’s Pub, and the Blue Note. The project has grown and taken him to such places as Aruba for the 2010 Soul Beach Music Festival to open for Mary J. Blige, the United Kingdom to record with the internationally-renown band Reel People, and Japan with several live performances at Japan’s Cotton Club. If These Walls Could Talk has a unique Japanese release and distribution deal. Those dimly-lit rooms have been replaced by bright stage lights, in what seems like mere moments.


Buy If These Walls Could Talk
Upon his return to the states, things have changed quite a bit. He has a single in rotation featuring another amazing artist, Angela Johnson, entitled “All In Me.” The song charted as high as number 4 in the D.C. market on commercial radio station WHUR in the company of artists like Usher, Alicia Keys, Sade and more. Most recently he opened the Budweiser Superfest 2010 after winning a competition against some of New York’s finest. This win has made him a finalist in the Budweiser Battle for the Crown competition. The hope is to win the $25,000 grand prize and secure a budget for his next record. The term “independent” implies separation from others, but his journey as an independent artist has been quite the opposite. Between the fans, friends and the Soul community at large, he feels surrounded by an energy that gives him great momentum and propels him forward.”

To learn more about this rising star you can go to www.righteousmusicmedia.com or visit his blog at www.thisisdarien.com. You can also vote for him at www.battleforthecrown.com so that we can continue to see positive artists and their music have the support it deserves. - Soul Train


Please see attached PDF - Echoes Magazine



Darien

If these walls could Talk

© 2009 Righteous Music Records
"Darien simply delivered one of the best soul albums to date this year."1. Just can't Wait
2. Gone
3. Composure
4. Where it's At
5. Showya
6. My Door
7. Sail Thru
8. Love Revolution
9. The Road
10. Nowhere
11. WSRD 33.3 FM
12. Saturday
13. All kinds of Things
14. If these walls could Talk
15. Seasons When I received the highly anticipated debut album, If these walls could Talk by Mount Vernon native Darien, I just knew it would hit the jackpot. I first heard of Darien about a year ago, when I was reviewing the Reel People album, Seven ways to Wonder, on which Darien featured in my favourite jam Alibi (which was nominated for the 2008 TopTrack Award).
So far, If these walls could Talk, received very positive reviews everywhere. Well - grounded I have to admit as Darien delivers a pearl of smooth and clean grooves, a bouquet of self - penned mid - tempo soul jams and intimate jazzy ballads, a truly cheerful album.
Opener, Just can't Wait sets the tone just right for a journey of perfect balance in soulism and entertainment. Uplifting, 'head - nodable', nice balance in musicism and vocals and a smooth, sultry production.
Picking highlight on If these walls could Talk,however, is very difficult as this 15 track disk is filled with one toptrack after another ... and what's even more amusing to me, is the fact that, when I was listening to Darien over and over, I discovered masterly pieces of lyricism, seasoned with passion, sense of reality and humour. Just check Gone for example in which Darien declares : 'I'm leaving on the next plane, I know that I won't be back again.' ... now where did I hear something similar ?
For me it proves the intelligence of Darien's songwriting and it makes the CD even more appealing. Among this mix of perfect tracks, personal favourites are Composure (a super addicitve groove), floorfiller Showya and title track If these walls could Talk.
I'm not surprised that New York is 'falling' for Darien step by step during his live performances. This soul brother simply delivered one of the best soul albums to date this year.
Highly recommended.

A Teach review - Jazz and Soul EU


Artist: Darien
Title: If These Walls Could Talk
Label: Righteous Music Records
Genre: Soul/Hip-Hop

If you are hungry for the return of real music then pull up a chair to Darien’s table and eat. If These Walls Could Talk is your appetizer, entrée, and dessert all in one album. If you threw D’Angelo, Musiq, John Legend, Stevie Wonder into a blender and you might get something that sounds like Darien. This album is personal, thoughtful, and not rushed. Darien’s smooth, controlled, and articulate voice backed by outstanding musicians tells a story on each song. From beginning to end this soulful album grabs your attention and keeps it. Each track has its own personality yet the album’s feel is consistent. An excellent blend of electronic and real instruments coupled with flawless production and excellent writing gives this album presence.

Every song on this album is a gem; however, a few definitely shine brilliantly. Jazzy and earthy track 3, ‘Composure’, has a great live band sound. The instrumentation, Darien’s lead vocals, and the buttery background vocalists make this intimate mid-tempo love song relaxing as a hot bath with candles. ‘Sail Thru’, track 7, is a smooth groove where Darien plays with scales, plays with his voice, and further shows his writing talents. The muted trumpet solo towards the end melts the ears. The title track, track 14, is Darien’s raw autobiography in song form. It starts off with just his voice and acoustic guitar then evolves into a back porch jam session complete with tambourine.

There are no low points on this album. It’s polished yet not overproduced. Thoughtful lyrics about love and life combined with serious music, truly make this 15 track offering a gift from the heart. This really is ‘grown-folks’ music at its best.

- Ranier Simons - Nu-Soul Magazine


The show is over, and what a show it was! After months of preparations and ballots going out to thousands of SoulTrackers, the winners of the 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards were announced during our international broadcast on December 7th. Many thanks to our host, Jodine Dorce, Fusicology's Nina Morena and all of the stations around the world that carried the broadcast.

And many thanks to all the SoulTrackers who participated in this year's awards voting. Because of you, a donation in the amount of $5,000 was made to Detroit's Cornerstone Schools, a series of three urban schools that have become a national model for how to educate our children.

Did you miss the show? Listen to it now at Jodine's Corner

Here is the list of winners of this year's awards. Congratulations to all of you!


NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Darien

Runners Up
Melinda Doolittle
The Revelations feat. Tre Williams
Jesse Boykins III
Chester Gregory
Kimberly Nichole
Shae Fiol
- SoulTracks


One of the greatest joys one gets as a music critic is getting exposed to incredible music and musicians light years ahead of the public. At times, it makes you feel like you are part of an insiders' club. Other times, you want to pull your hair out; dying for everyone to see and hear about a glimmering new talent ready to brighten the world. Yet, alas, you can't. Stop-start label deals, prolonged and overpriced product mastering, and a host of other unforeseen complications keep that all-too-important artist debut at bay. You drop nuggets and hints about the artist and the product that has been in high-rotation on your iPod for months all the while waiting for the day you can write that gushing review. Finally, that time has come: Darien is one of the most promising young artists on the independent soul scene and his freshman release, If These Walls Could Talk, proves it.
I am not alone in my sentiments regarding Darien. A native of Mount Vernon, Darien has been dazzling NYC audiences at S.O.B.'s, Joe's Pub, The Sugar Shack, and the Blue Note for the last several years, most recently to sellout shows. At last summer's Soul Summit in Atlanta, Darien's performance proved one of the takeaway gems of the event, with audiences clutching advance copies of If These Walls Could Talk like Gollum hoarding his "precious." Anxious reviewers at sites like Echoes, Nu-Soul, SoulBounce, and Soul Interviews all jumped the gun with critical praise long before the album was available for purchase, eager to alert fans that the dreadlocked crooner had arrived ready to woo you with song. Stoking the buzz were Darien's featured guest spots on "The Road" from Purpose Music Group's 25 Strong documentary soundtrack, and "Alibi," from Reel People's Seven Ways To Wonder, the latter of which enjoyed several remixes and became an international club hit.
We too have done our bit of Darien praising around here at SoulTracks, publishing Darien interviews and news bits for nearly a year. We also introduced his songs "Composure" and "Holiday" to European audiences during our weekly Monday morning radio slot on the Dave Brown Radio Show (Sky Network satellite radio and SolarRadio.com). Four months later, "Composure" still enjoys high rotation and fan requests on the show-an anomaly for a song clocking in at over five-minutes.
One listen to the easy-going "Composure" explains what the fuss is all about. A clean groove with cascading piano accents and a carefree tenor gliding across a gently propulsive bassline, Darien delivers the kind of effortless performance on "Composure" that made Peabo Bryson the gentleman star of a generation. Darien's smooth tone is so light and sure that you almost ignore the intelligence of his self-penned lyrics and arrangements. The live feel of the sophisticated production has you playing out a sepia-toned video of the singer in black tie and tails, caressing an old school microphone against a backdrop of white Steinways and sequined doo wop singers. It's all so bright and chic, without ever losing a bit of authenticity, and that's just "Composure."
There are many worthy cuts other than "Composure" on If These Walls Could Talk, but only a few hit you with the immediacy of this tune and its sonic soul sister, "All Kinds of Things." The summertime parking lot jam, "Gone," the acoustic blue notes to bright two-step of the title cut, and the sweet gospel soul of the untitled bonus track are keepers that grab you right from the start. So does the ever-unfolding "Just Can't Wait," an artistic triumph with great commercial appeal. Here, Darien brilliantly incorporates new musical elements and subtle directional shifts every few bars without ever losing the cut's uplifting tempo. Bumping joints like "Showya" and "Love Revolution" will have you humming along in no time, as will the rest of this filler-free project. Since Darien is not your typical show-off-though he has some admirable belting chops-it may take a minute for his compositional intricacies on these understated tunes to sink in. And yet, I have no doubt that your guaranteed repeated listens will soon have you singing his praises.
Lyrically intimate, this organic debut is a sultry collection of mid-tempo grooves and jazzy ballads. Most of the songs take their time without meandering and Darien's highly controlled instrument is never less than on point. The rare problems on Darien's debut are minor and come in the form of some loose production threads hanging from a couple of-I suspect-older tracks, with "Saturday" and the melodically compelling "The Road" showing a little wear (though the latter is a lyrical favorite of mine). Otherwise, If These Walls Could Talk is a telling 360 debut from a multi-instrumental gentleman balladeer who romances listeners with a class that once seemed lost and is here found. Darien's walls do talk. They say: come a little closer for that pillow talk you've been missing. Highly Recommended.
By L. Michael Gipson


Read more: Darien | Review - If These Walls Could Talk (2009) | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews - SoulTracks


Discography

"If These Walls Could Talk" Righteous Music 2009
"If These Walls Could Talk" Japanese release BBQ Records 2009
contains the singles:
"Composure"
"Showya"
"Gone"
"Love Revolution"
"Seasons"
"My Door"
"Sail Thru"
"Magic" - Japanese release only

"Alibi" - Seven Ways To Wonder Reel People 2008
"Upside" - Seven Ways To Wonder Reel People 2008

"One Step" The Realm 2008

"Mistaken" Bakura Trebleo 2008

"Holiday" free release 2008

"Don't Go" Soulacoaster Digisoul Records UK 2010
"Can't Hide" Soulacoaster Digisoul Records UK 2010

"All In Me" It's Personal Purpose Records 2010

Photos

Bio

Pur·pose  1. doing something with willful intention, 2. the reason for which something exists or is done.

Darien Dean is an artist with a purpose.  Hailing from Mount Vernon, New York, this soul singer burst onto the scene with alluring vocals and a distinctive stage presence.   Fed a healthy diet of Hip Hop and Classic Soul, this multi-talented MC, singer, and dancer, honed his abilities as a producer, arranger and engineer to craft a more authentic approach to contemporary songwriting.

"Darien, an independent singer, songwriter and producer, has evoked the brilliance of original soul music of decades past."   -Soul Interviews

"The Next SoulMan: Darien's debut Album,"If These Walls Could Talk", is about to make him an artist of huge importance to Soul Fans." - Echoes Magazine

"Through his mastery of words, he paints the most beautiful, uplifting and honest moments."  -Soulchoonz

"If These Walls Could Talk," Darien’s debut album (Righteous Music Records), has been met with much critical success receiving such accolades as Soultracks.com 2009 "New Artist of the Year",  JazzandSoul.eu, "Top Track of the Year" award as well as Singersroom.com "Artist to Watch in 2010.”

A natural born entertainer, Darien’s spirited musical style earned him a coveted spotlight at the 2010 Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba, opening for Mary J. Blige.  He has captured the interest of industry executives and enamored the Capital Jazz Festival audience. He was crowned victor of the Budweiser Superfest 2010 Battle for the Crown of New York and ultimately the Grand Champion of the the competition. His humble, yet star studded rise to fame has placed him amongst the honorable ranks of soul super heavyweights: Kem, Anthony Hamilton, Raheem DeVaughn, Jazmine Sullivan and others.

International recognition followed the release of his hit single “Alibi”. Darien, presently a favored contender on the global airwaves, has recorded with UK band Reel People. He is licensed under Japanese affiliate BBQ Records, gaining him popularity that knows no cultural divide.

Recently, a stateside collaboration with fellow independent artist, Angela Johnson spawned the song "All in Me" which led to a Japanese Tour.  The song is steadily gaining momentum and has charted as high as number 4 in the DC market on commercial radio WHUR amongst such artists as Usher, Alicia Keys, Sade and more.

Darien’s avant-garde delivery of timeless music with provocative social themes demands a rooted footing in the genre of Soul Music.

"Music is my purpose and I create knowing the responsibility that commands."  -Darien