D'nae
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D'nae

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic

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

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"D'nae Sets New York Music on its Ear"

New York artist D’nae unabashedly believes in love, but her new 12-song CD, I Am Your Guitar, is far from naïve. She delves into loss, pain, disappointment and disheartenment and comes out on the other side without seeming like a cockeyed optimist.

The absolute angst of the opening track, “What You Do to Me,” sums up her approach: get real about the pain but remain sure there is relief in sight. She delivers her vision with a voice that is soft, reflective and wise.

Her vocal choices tend toward the surprising in places, such as in the title track, “I Am Your Guitar,” where she chooses to soften her voice where other singers would have belted. This kind of reflection and conscious choice is evident throughout her recordings.

At least two tracks feature her being sexy, and unashamedly so, though she is careful to say that it is a private matter you are hearing about, a moment between her and her man. In fact she nudges the some artists who display their sexuality openly on stage, only to say, “The place for lace is not the sidewalk, it’s down the hall it’s called your private catwalk.”

One interesting choice D’nae made for this album was to make it a guitar/vocal piece. The resulting intimacy is well-suited for both her voice and the lyrics. The album was recorded and mixed in Queens, and D'nae lives on Roosevelt Island. The album updates the New York sound, with elements of jazz and a tribute to the great songs of the American Songbook ("Love Me Like I'm Leaving") that New York is so fond of. But it also has elements of the music found on the Lower East Side in listening rooms such as The Living Room.

Overall, D’nae seems to be very enthusiastic about you being entertained. There is little self indulgence here, and the biographical moments of “That Girl is Me” rise to a level of universality that redeems it.

Romance is back, and D’nae holds her head up high as its new advocate.

- Newsvine


"New D'nae Video Rethinks the Music Video Format"

The new video from D’nae shakes things up a bit. Instead of a typical video, the recording artist put out a two minute film that combines spoken word and music from the song, “What You Do to Me.” For the most part, this works well. The scenes where she speaks are captioned, due no doubt to her soft voice, but the singing sections easily rise to the occasion and give a lasting impression of a singer in charge of her self and her craft.

A Mix of Attitude and Music

D'nae parcels out her time between sharing her outlook on music and actually singing the song. This becomes something of a get-acquainted session. Other artists might benefit from trying this, because it makes for an easy-going hello to the audience. D'nae gives the impression she is friends with her fans.

The Album

The album, I Am Your Guitar, contains twelve songs that mostly fit into the philosophy she espouses in her video, with forays into some darker moods, but a generally optimistic outlook about life, the possibilities for love, and a healthy sexual outlook.

The Making of the Video

The full-color Roosevelt Island scenes stand in stark contrast to the old-movie look of the verse scenes, which were shot in New York City. In between, D'nae speaks directly to the viewer from a window high above it all. The flow is good and the development satisfies.

The Script

The spoken-word parts seem well thought-out but spontaneous, as if she is discovering the words as she says them. It appears she has some acting chops. She speaks over instrumental sections of the song, so those wanting to hear the whole musical piece will have to search through her links.

Bittersweet Mix of Emotions

D’nae pulls off a nice balance of romance and optimism without being sugary. Part of this comes from the gritty reality of some of the verses, which set up some relief in the choruses where she seems to make a stand on the side of romance, faith and love. Part of it comes from her unassuming approach to her vocals. She offers few tricks and gimmicks, opting instead for an approach that is more direct and likely to attract listeners who seek sincerity.

The Music Producition

She has taken some risks in the production itself by giving the listener single-take versions of the songs with no dubbing or editing. She pulls it off, leaving the impression that she could do as well live as she has done in the studio.

The video appears on YouTube
- Suite 101


"D'nae Video Offers a New Take on Music Videos"

Music Videos Edit Article | Posted: Apr 30, 2011 |Comments: 0 | 0Share

The new video from D'nae offers a new take on what music videos should do. She has released a short, two-minute piece that mixes interviews with her new single, "What You Do to Me." It mostly works.

She spends a little time telling you what her artistic philosophy is, and then spends a little time singing her latest song. The result is a kind of "get to know me" video, and many artists would do well to try this approach. It's an interesting way to personalize an artist's relationship with her fan base.

The album she is promoting, I Am Your Guitar, consistently offers much of the outlook she features in her video: optimism about love, faith in life, and somewhere between the lines, a "stop and smell the roses" feel.

Shot mostly on Roosevelt Island, with contrasting scenes shot in New York City, the video juxtaposes a black and white herky jerky city feel in the verse with the full-color island haven where D'nae sings the chorus.

The script is short, so that it doesn't become preachy. The song snippets are a bit of a tease, and interested listeners will insist on following her link at the end of the video to hear more of the music. Still, the approach may draw in a new audience that just wants a taste before taking a full bite.

D'nae actually hails from Hawaii, but now makes New York her home. She has publicized some of the trauma and drama of her early life in promoting this album, and the contrast of the music with her story may well grab people who like the kind of "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" stories they find on Oprah or in Chicken Soup for the Soul books. There is enough gritty reality for the more hardened listener, and the album avoids being overly sweet or cloyed.

A quick word about the production. D'nae takes some chances here, with undubbed vocals and no tuning effects. She is up to the task. It would be interesting to make such an album a requirement for all new artists, just to make sure singers can actually sing and have mastered their craft. D'nae has.

- Articles Base


"D’nae creates romantic realism in a skeptical world"

March 27th, 2011 8:13 pm ET .More about New York Music
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By Kevin Johnston
New York Local Music Examiner
Share:Share on FacebookShare on TwitterEmailPrint..Do you like this Article?
New York artist D’nae unabashedly believes in love, but her new 12-song CD, I Am Your Guitar, is far from naïve. She delves into loss, pain, disappointment and disheartenment and comes out on the other side without seeming like a cockeyed optimist.

The absolute angst of the opening track, “What You Do to Me,” sums up her approach: get real about the pain but remain sure there is relief in sight. She delivers her vision with a voice that is soft, reflective and wise.

Her vocal choices tend toward the surprising in places, such as in the title track, “I Am Your Guitar,” where she chooses to soften her voice where other singers would have belted. This kind of reflection and conscious choice is evident throughout her recordings.

At least two tracks feature her being sexy, and unashamedly so, though she is careful to say that it is a private matter you are hearing about, a moment between her and her man. In fact she nudges the some artists who display their sexuality openly on stage, only to say, “The place for lace is not the sidewalk, it’s down the hall it’s called your private catwalk.”

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One interesting choice D’nae made for this album was to make it a guitar/vocal piece. The resulting intimacy is well-suited for both her voice and the lyrics. The album was recorded and mixed in Queens, and D'nae lives on Roosevelt Island. The album updates the New York sound, with elements of jazz and a tribute to the great songs of the American Songbook ("Love Me Like I'm Leaving") that New York is so fond of. But it also has elements of the music found on the Lower East Side in listening rooms such as The Living Room.

Overall, D’nae seems to be very enthusiastic about you being entertained. There is little self indulgence here, and the biographical moments of “That Girl is Me” rise to a level of universality that redeems it.

Romance is back, and D’nae holds her head up high as its new advocate.
. - TheExaminer.com


Discography

What You Do To Me
Na Na Na Na
That Girl Is Me
Saving All My Sexy
Love Me Like I'm Leaving
I Am Your Guitar
Love Our Way To Heaven
Soul Kisses
Good Girl Bad
Steam Heat
Brittle Angels
This Is Not A Song

Photos

Bio

Music has been a refuge for D'nae her whole life. She has been singing her dreams amidst a harsh reality since she was four years old.

A girl from a broken home, rejected and turned away by those she loved, having to fend for herself.

Later on in life: Left standing alone in a parking lot while the man she loved drove away.

Ridiculed, isolated, and cast out. Left with nothing but a broken heart and shattered dreams, but still clinging to a shred of faith that her dreams could be restored; still believing in love.

These songs tell of the journey of D'nae. The trials, the triumph. The love she found.

The love you will find in this Grammy-worthy performance.