Erica Dee
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Erica Dee

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo R&B Electronic

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The best kept secret in music

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"Erica Dee @ Fortune Soundclub"

Review – Erica Dee at Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver, March 12 2011
– review by Rebecca Apostoli/photos by Ashley Tanasiychuk

While a modest number of attendees at Fortune Sound Club on Saturday, March 12 seemed “in the know”, club-goers caught unaware were treated to an impressive performance by the incomparable Miss Erica Dee, who performed tracks from her newest mixtape Golden.

With much love flowing to and from the stage, the soulful songstress from Nelson, B.C. rocked out to bass-heavy remixes of “On and On” by Eryka Badu, “Try” by Jill Scott, and “Constant Surprises” by Little Dragon, as well as a healthy dose of originals penned by Dee and co-produced by DJ Kemo of the Rascals. Accompanied by vocal minx Evy Jane and Ricco behind the decks, Dee dropped her signature mix of hip-hop style MC’ing combined with Motown melodies and jazzy freestyles.

Brief interludes were filled with impromptu acapella jazz standards (like “Honeysuckle Rose”) and showcased some serious vocal talent by both Evy J and Erica Dee. Both young women are trained vocalists who present themselves as serious musicians, having spent the necessary time to hone both their craft and stage personas. Evy made the perfect accomplice, being both pitch-perfect in her harmony and understated in her presence on stage. She graciously supported Dee, who made sure every butt in the house was moving and maximum fun was being achieved.
Highlights of the evening included the hot disco throwback “Let It All Go”, sneak-peeks of a couple new tracks, a dozen odd girls sharing the stage for one song (and the one guy who was quickly yanked back onto the floor) and Dee and Evy “trading fours” in an all-out scat session to close the night. Whoever began the evening not knowing Erica Dee definitely left the club with her name on their lips. - Rebecca Apostoli


"Erica Dee Debuts "Smile""

by Will Johnson - Nelson Star
posted Jun 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM— updated Jun 11, 2015 at 11:18 AM
In Erica Dee’s latest music video “Smile”, the soulful Kootenay beauty wanders down gloomy Portland streets, balances on train tracks and meanders through shadowed alleys in the rain.

But the song itself is anything but dark.

“I wrote this song 4, 5 years ago and I would say it was inspired by thinking about dark things that have happened to myself, my friends, in the past. And I was trying to figure out a way to not let those things get you down,” said Dee, who shared her video with the Star in the days before its Spiritbar release on Saturday.

“I really like the contrast in this video because it doesn’t feel super fluffy like the song is. The video’s dark and edgy, and I love how we filmed it.”

She said the message of the track is simple: sometimes all it takes is a smile to turn things around.

“A simple smile can totally lighten someone’s day. It’s a total game-changer.”

Dee is well-known in the Nelson community as a positive, community-oriented artist, and that’s something she wanted to capture with this track, which will be officially released on YouTube on June 17.

“Truly, as cheesy as this must sound, it’s coming right from my heart. The reason I sing is to bring that heart-energy to the listener. Even in my dance songs I’m trying to get that feeling of love and consciousness and unity and inspiration. Even in a depressing song, I want them to feel like you can still come out on top. We can keep moving forward.”

Dee traveled to Portland two years ago to film “Smile” with Dani Bayliss of BeyondBe.TV. It was her 26th birthday and during the three-day shoot Dee performed at a local night club. One morning they stayed up to watch the sun rise. She said she can’t wait to share the result with a Nelson audience.

“I really wanted to give the Kootenays a chance to get a sneak peek. So at Spiritbar will be your first chance to see this video, which is the first of six we’re going to put out with a ten-song record called New Skies.”

New Skies will be released on October 3 by her Berlin-based label Long Lost Relative, at which point Dee will be traveling back to Europe. She hopes to ultimately do East and West coast tours of North America. Her producer is DJ Werd, an artist originally from San Fransisco who has been living in Berlin and stars on The Voice of Germany.

While Dee was living there this year she worked with him to put the finishing touches on the album.

“It’s been four years in the making, and I’ve gone through a few different producers that weren’t quite the right fit. I ended up manifesting this producer who helped me make this whole album cohesive.”

One song is produced by DJ Nu Mark of Jurassic 5, but the rest were overseen by Werd. Dee noted that Mark Spielman and John Tucker, her teachers from Selkirk College, both contributed to the final product.

“This is a homegrown record from Nelson, but with a magic sprinkle on top that happened in Berlin,” she said.

On top of performing and recording, Dee will also be offering youth workshops in July at the Nelson & District Youth Centre. She said she wants to give Nelson kids the same opportunities she had.

“I feed off working with people. Every time I’m on stage as a DJ or a singer I’m inviting people to come up with me. The first real powerful writing I did was when I was 16, and I think that’s a really important period of anyone’s life.”

Dee will offer two 5-day workshops at the Nelson & District Youth Centre from July 13-17 and 20-24. The classes will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the week costs $150.

“We also got sponsored by Shambhala, so low-income youth who can’t afford the full price can apply for a scholarship.”

Dee said anyone who is interested should contact her at ericadeeproductions@gmail.com.

Dee will perform at a number of festivals over the summer, including Bass Coast, Gravity and Atmosphere. She will also be performing locally while teaching singing and DJ lessons.

Dee’s Saturday Spiritbar appearance will feature DJ Ginger of Meow Mix and Ocean Sasa.

Tickets are $5 before midnight and $10 after. Doors are at 10 p.m.

For more information visit Spiritbar Events on Facebook. - Will Johnson


"Erica Dee Interview"

Erica Dee is no stranger to the West Coast Bass Scene. Whether hosting the hip hop showcase at Shambhala, performing at a local club or headlining festivals in Canada and the US, she’s been a busy woman. Last year she self released her introductory Golden, featuring a musical journey through hip hop, soul and disco. She’s produced tracks with the Fungineers, DJ Numark and a Tribe Called Quest to name a few of the powerhouses.

AYNiB was pleased to sit down with her at Shambhala 2012 to talk with her about what Shambhala and Nelson means to her, working with DJ NuMark in LA and her future plans.

Thanks for sitting down with All you need is Bass, we really appreciate it.

E: For sure!
it’s my 4th year booking, running and stage-managing it

AYNIB How’s your Shambhala going?

E: Amazing! Every year it just gets so much better.

AYNIB: The hip-hop showcase was good!

E: Yeah the hip-hop showcase was great this year! I think it’s my 4th year booking, running and stage-managing it. This year they opened the stage up at the Village so we got to do the live band thing, which added a whole new element to the hip-hop showcase, which was really fun. And with the break-dancers, instead of on the floor we had them on the stage as well, so that was cool. I’m really happy with how it went. It was great!

AYNIB: It’s good now that the Village has the whole bigger stage area that maybe more bands and larger acts can come out. Rather than having to pull the old rickety stage back and forth.

E: Exactly, yeah yeah I used to have hard time jumping between the bass bins and the stage back in the day.


credit: Charlotte Dobre Photography

You grew up in Nelson?

E: That’s right.

But, you’re not from Nelson?

E: No, I was born in Boston, Massachusetts. When I was 3 my Father, Mom, Sister and I – we all moved to Nelson because my Dad was starting the music program at Selkirk College. They were all teaching at Berkley and they moved to Nelson to start the College.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I’ve been coming to Shambhala since I was 11 years old.[/quote] Then really it’s sort of been a family affair with Shambhala because didn’t Shambhala donate some money to Selkirk College?

E: Yes that’s true they did. They just invested back into their performance space. So, that’s pretty awesome as well. But yeah, I’ve been coming to Shambhala since I was 11 years old.


credit: Charlotte Dobre Photography

So, Shambhala is like home to you?

E: Yeah, exactly. I remember the first year I was here there was only 2 stages and 2 food vendors. I came up with my Mom’s friend. I was like the little kid. I remember when the hip-hop showcase used to be at the Rockpit Stage and Dayleen used to help run it. She’s a little break dancer girl – and my first time I ever got on a mic at Shambhala was probably 2000… maybe a bit later than that 2002 or 2003. And I got to do a little spoken word accapella thing there. And then it’s just been a really beautiful process.

Growing up in Nelson, being a solo vocalist MC and having the DJ rave alternative music scene be my platform, my culture and my experience – it’s been really really good. I definitely have a family here – Sara and Hula have helped me to get on the stage and to do all the things. I just remember them handing me a mic at that first hip-hop showcase. And since then I just kept trying and trying to perform at Shambhala and one year – Sara Spicer – Lion S from the beach stage – she just was like – “I’m going to give you a talent pass y’know and you can sing whenever you want to sing or don’t sing or whatever – just do your thing.” And I basically was so excited to have a laminate with my picture on it, and I performed 5 times that year. That was the year that Skream was here and it was the first time I ever experienced dubstep music and it was just epic. Basically, after that I was contacting Jeremy from the Village being like “ Can I perform at the hip hop showcase, can I do this, can I do that?” and he’s like “You know, how do you feel like just working the hip hop showcase and running it?” And I was like “uhhh yeah!”

So, the first year I had a tiny budget and I just made it happen. We had Maestro Fresh West as our headliner.

AYNIB: That’s a pretty good headliner for your first year!

E: The first year I did it, yeah.

And so it just kind of got more and more epic after that. And each year, you know I get ideas and more different innovative ways to have crowd participation and make people feel involved.



It’s always awesome down at the hip-hop showcase. Is that how you met Nu-Mark? I saw a video online of you working with him.

E: I actually met Nu-Mark on a tour with my project Luscious Beats – which is me and Melissa M3 from Wasabi collective. We were playing this crazy music festival in the middle of Golden – or something like that – and it was -40 out and NuMark was on before us. If it wasn’t for him I would’ve left and not performed but he ended up going on before us. And then we rocked our set after him and he was so excited – he was reaching from around me and doing the cuts on the mixer. Cuz I was DJ’ing, rapping and singing. He just loved us and we basically just started building from there. He invited us down to work with him down in his studio and that’s when we recorded that track with J-Live.

AYNIB: That’s pretty outstanding. How was that whole experience? Was it in LA?

E: In LA yes. I’ve been actually living in LA for the last year and a half.

AYNIB: That’s a bit different from Nelson. How’s that treating you?

E: Very different.



How did you get hooked up with the Fungineers?

E: That’s also a really great story. The first time I ever played the Sunshine Coast – that’s where their headquarters is – I taught a vocal workshop. Kyrian and Jody – Jefe’s wife who’s one of the Fungineers – and Tao – the other head Fungineers. They all attended my vocal workshop and they all loved it. They came to my show and then invited me over to their studio, which is called the Dreamberry. It’s awesome; it’s like a movie music studio.



[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Working with the Fungineers is awesome because it just gives me an opportunity to be really experimental and fun.[/quote]AYNIB: I’ve seen videos of it, it seems pretty intense in there!

E: Yeah, and we just started building from there. It’s been great. We’ve actually played a bunch of shows in the States together. We played at a festival called Lightining in a Bottle and a festival called Symbiosis with James Black and Little Dragon. So, that was really cool.

Working with the Fungineers is awesome because it just gives me an opportunity to be really experimental and fun. As a vocalist and a singer and an MC I really don’t have an EGO or a certain thing when it comes to being silly or serious. I just express. So, to be able to hook up with the Fungineers and really just dive into my creative wacky side, it’s been really good for me.

Symbiosis – you there this year? Didn’t they have an eclipse there?

E: That’s right.

AYNIB: Wasn’t Tipper playing the eclipse? Did you check it out?

E: I don’t think I checked out Tipper actually. That music is a little too weird for me. But it was definitely happening.

Your Golden album – I love it.

E: Thank you, Thank you so much!

AYNIB: The thing I like about it is that you self produced it and have the pay what you want model out there. How did that all work out? I see that becoming more prevalent in the scene. Rather than having record labels direct what we want to hear – why don’t we create our own thing and our own scene and release it. How has it worked out?

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I really just wanted to put out this really positive, empowering – more youth focused record – that captured the golden era of hip-hop.[/quote] E: Yeah, basically what Golden was is it gave me an opportunity to kind of block my history before I moved to LA. I’ve been writing and rapping and singing more seriously since I was 16 – so 9 years. The whole intention behind Golden was to put something together by myself without somebody coming in from the outside and trying to tell me what to do or how I should sound. And a lot of those songs I wrote when I was 15 or 16 years old. I really just wanted to put out this really positive, empowering – more youth focused record – that captured the golden era of hip-hop. That’s why I called it Golden. And just showcase who I am before I go on the next step. So, that was more just like a free mix tape that I threw together and I took my own money to invest in getting someone to record me here in Vancouver and put that together before I moved to LA.

AYNIB: I love it. It’s awesome. That’s the thing these days; you gotta stay true to yourself. People want to hear what you want to say; it shouldn’t be the other way around.

E: Yeah yeah – some of the most beautiful things that anyone’s ever said to me was:

[box]“When you’re confused about your music and you’re having a hard time trying to understand it or put it into a certain direction, you just have to remember that: If it makes you feel good there’s a million other people out there in the world that are just like you and it’s going to make them feel good too. So you just gotta stay true to your heart and what feels right.”[/box]



What’s in the future for you?

E: I’m super excited because just over the past year I’ve been focusing on producing my own music. Golden was a really good example of me showcasing all the different producers that I’ve worked with. And now I’m taking my own original production and I’m going to get it co-produced and put out on an EP or full-length album by 2013. Basically, I’m taking my own style, my own genre, and really going to showcase who Erica Dee is without having anybody tell me this is a pop record, or this is a hip-hop record, or this or that. The vibe I’m going for is electronic soul with world rhythms.

So, it should be really good. It’s almost like new wave gospel, very empowering, uplifting, positive, soulful, electronic music


Erica Dee and Honey Larochelle as Minxy Jones

Do you have any collaborations your working on or anything new on the horizon?

E: Yes I have a project called Minkxy Jones with the girl Honey that I performed with today. She’s originally from Vancouver – but she’s been living in LA with me for the past year and a half. We actually just got back from a full tour in Brazil.

Brazil eh? How was it?


Minxy Jones

E: Incredible! Changed my life forever. Super beautiful, the passion, the music, the food, the dancing, and the people and all those things. And as far as the rhythms go as well – musically – it’s very inspiring for me to be there as well.

AYNIB: Where did you stay in Brazil?

E: We did San Paulo, Rio, Brasilia – and a few smaller spots in between. But that was the major cities that we hit.

AYNIB: Were you singing? Or traveling?

E: Singing, DJ’ing, MC’ing, doing a bunch of random awesome different shows.

AYNIB: Any plans to go to Asia, Europe, India or anything like that?

E: I’ve actually talked about all those places with a different people so hopefully all of the above.

There are lots of things going on the Internet right now about artist riders. Do you have anything crazy or special that you want to share?

E: I’m pretty random I just like healthy food. I put kettle corn and ginger beer, tea and honey. Nothing too crazy.

That’s about it, thank you. Anything else you want to cover?

E: Just like with the EP and everything I’m redesigning my live set cuz at the moment I DJ and Sing and MC. I really want to run a full live PA set where I’m playing my own. Because I play keys, synth, drum loops and all that stuff and I’d really love to be doing all that on stage while I perform. Keep it moving, keep it positive.

I definitely have a lot of different projects and ideas in mind for the future as far as connecting my music with global issues and things that are happening in different places all over the world. Working with women’s shelters and youth centers in Brazil and things like that. My main intention behind my music is to bring light and love and happiness to people. I really feel like the West Coast electronic music rave scene is a really good place because it’s a place a lot of people come to have an escape or some truth to their everyday life. I think it’s a really powerful thing to have a good message and good intention that you stand for. And I think that I’m supported immensely by my community and I’m definitely in the right place at the right time. I feel very fortunate to be here.

AYNIB: Well we’re fortunate to hear you! I think that as an artist – one thing that electronic music has been lacking – is people to get people up there and help guide. Bassnectar used to come up and have a little speech here and it was great. You’re in a position that you can help guide people with a positive message and you should use this platform as much as you can, absolutely.

E: Yeah it’s true. Especially when you know a lot of people are high and in their most vulnerable state. A classic example is when I played a rave and I noticed there’s a lot of younger kids and nobody was drinking water. So, I started rapping about drinking water over a house beat. I was like:

[box]”When I say drink, you say water. Drink – Water – drink – water! Water is the juice of your future.”[/box]

And I just watched all the teenagers just handing their water bottles around and listening to what I was saying and I was like “thank you!” this is exactly what we need right now.

I think it’s really important for DJ’s to do that too and not to get lost in the ego. Because it’s really easy for us to get carried away and how much money we’re making at festivals and our fans and everything like that. But we have to remember to give back to our fans and a lot of kids are needing guidance right now. I feel that the rave scene has changed immensely – especially in Nelson – since I was a teenager. I felt really safe and I didn’t really feel like I needed to do any hardcore intense chemical drugs. And I feel there’s a lot of kids out here doing that now and they’re not quite experienced and have the support and the community that can help them to make sure they’re doing it safe.

AYNIB: We were all ravers once, right? We still are!

E: I definitely feel like I am still a raver.

AYNIB: Everyone who’s performing now started that way.

We really appreciate you setting aside the time, thank you very much. - Scott AYNiB


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

“A honey-laced voice with peachy summer day melodies over stick-to-your-ribs beats & sub-synth harmonies’’ the daughter of Bostonian jazz musicians, Erica Dee has been saturated in music her entire life.

Growing up on the west coast of Canada, she captured her soundscape amongst an eclectic underground hip-hop and rave culture. Erica began singing with DJs and bands at the age of 18. In her early 20’s her desire to understand the full spectrum of her craft propelled her to study music in college alongside new pop sensation Kiesza.

 

Erica began DJing her live set in 2007, which lead to an invite to write and record in Los Angeles with DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5. That same year she embarked on her first nationwide tour with DJ Shadow and released her classic mixtape 'Golden', which combines 90's R&B flavors with nu house and beat music. She has since captivated audiences from Brazil to Israel, and supported artists such as Justin Martin, Thievery Corporation & Quest Love.

 

2014 was a big year for Erica, Berlin inspired 6 new releases with producers Nicone, Sasha Bremer & Lars Moston on labels Danze, Suara & King Street. Erica has started off 2015 working hard to complete her first solo album which will be released with Long Long Lost Relative, as well as a new project with Lars Moston & Daniel Beaumann. Erica Dee’s live show is a refreshing experience; she's an international soulstress that'll lead you to discover the depths of your own heart, swooning you with melody, rhythm, standout acapella segments & tastefully selected productions. Catch Erica Dee in a city near you!

Band Members