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In Conversation with Dwele

“Dwele’s focused finesse cements his status as one of his generation’s most worthy soul
men and storytellers” SoulTracks

Dwele needs little, to no introduction, this Neo-soul artiste dips into Hip-Hop, Pop and Dub and Soul music with charm, grace, and talented musical assurance.This Detroit songwriter,will lure you with vivid sentiments and is one of the attributes that makes Dwele a favorite amongst male and female listeners. ‘Greater than One’ is a solid album celebrating the unity of ‘Black Love’ with style and maturity.

During his hectic tour, and arriving in London a performance at the Jazz Cafe, the smooth and eloquent Dwele spent a few moments with DeepertheBeats.

Welcome and thank you Dwele

DTB “Greater Than One,” is the fifth studio album, as a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer, you create music that appeals to a wide audience, both male and female, why do you think you have that universal appeal?

D (laughs) I think, I speak of real life situations, things from the standpoint that I’ve been through, some of the mistakes that I’ve made as a guy, so guys will relate to that and ride with me on that one. I grew up on Hip Hop, a lot of my songs are more Zen and soulful, with that Hip Hop back to it, so maybe that’s what it is, they can all relate.. I kinda make music for myself as well. I like to think that women follow because they dig it, and like my vocals and the melodic’s of it all.

DTB On the Album you delve into a lot of ‘bedroom music’ hi-lighting the importance and significance of black love, lust, sexual energy combined with integrity, How do you manage to maintain, continually producing educational music that has integrity? not using it in a coarse and vulgar manner, especially with hits like ‘Subject’ and ‘Some kinda’?

D I find it fun, making it not as obvious what I’m talking about, I like to play off of riddles, with the word play, so you have to listen to it a couple of times, before you really understand what’s going on. I’m difficult, like that, I like to have fun with my music, unfortunately a lot of the more popular music is about outright saying it.. it’s not really the poetry of it all. So to me it’s part of it, making it poetic! It makes people find their own meaning, in a lyric or chord progression.

Dwele Promo Pic 1 (Hi Res)

DTB You are a music work horse, never taking a break, what projects and collaborations are in the pipelines for 2015?

D I have a few things, I just finished talking to Robert Glasper, a couple of day’s ago, I’d like to see how that pan’s out, I would rather things come out and let people see, I never like to count my chickens before they are hatched… I don’t like to speak to much about things I’m doing, but I do have a few things in the pipeline.

DTB Speaking about your work ethic, very few artistes come back twice in one year, you are back at the Jazz Cafe on the 3/4 December, we missed your performance earlier this year, we are so pleased you are returning. Are you surprised with the outpouring of love from the UK?

D Yes I love it, the UK is my home from overseas, I think it was the first place I visited leaving the US, I love the Jazz Cafe such an very intimate venue. I always have a great time here, I like to reach out and touch or jump into the audience its very Def one of my favourite places.

DTB How do you feel the reaction to your performances differ with the audiences in the UK, to the audience that you are accustomed with at home..States side.

D It very much varies from performance to performance, in the UK audience anyone, will come to the show, if you are aged between 17 – 23 you listen to this type of music, if you are between say 25 – 50 you should listen to this type of music, it’s really segregated. However when I’m in the UK you can see a 70 year white Irish guy, next to a 30-year-old African girl that’s the beauty of it to me, it may just be me looking from the outside in. I feel like in the UK you are allowed to pick what you like, it doesn’t feel like it’s really forced, it may be.. but in the States..it kinda feel like it’s forced down your throat, this is what music your supposed to like, you should stay over there, it feel like that it’s different over there.

DTB The production on ‘Greater than One’ includes a profusion of striking horns, interesting chord structure on piano, the track ‘Obey’ is very string driven. Coming from your Neo-Soul niche, how much of your work that you are putting out today, is from the same mind-set and creativity from the Neo-Soul ‘Rise’ in 1998, to the Dwele today, producing your original music.

D I am definitely, doing myself now the same as I was, back then, I really can’t say how much I’ve changed because I don’t know I’m too close to the work, to actually tell you what has changed, I’m just doing me! At the time I created ‘Obey’ that was what I felt, I was into was into heavy strings, a lusty.. lush sound, so that’s what I produced. Back in the ‘Subject’ days, I felt ‘Subject’, the samples of the dirty drums, the classic drums whatever it takes to get that point across, I try my best to convey that musically. I can’t tell you what I doing different then to what I’m doing now, but its all coming from the same place.

DTB I would like to touch on your views regarding the state of the music business in US, with the revival of Old Skool Soul, we are seeing a return to true soul with groups like Jagged Edge, Jodeci, releasing new music, touring, what’s your view on the treatment of the Soul Music scene in the US today.

D I always says that RnB wears lots of different hats, you have your RnB that works well with Hip Hop, you have your Soul RnB, and RnB RnB, I feel like certain Genres of RnB are getting more airplay than others, as far as Radio goes the Soul side of RnB is near enough eradicated. I understand that things change, I don’t really stress about it at all these so many different musical outlets to get your music to your people, whether its you tube or social media. I’m not mad about it, I would love to see more of pushed onto the radio. I would like it to be more balanced but I’m just really pleased that after nearly 10 plus years in the game, people are still checking for me.

DTB You have a huge following in the UK and Europe, it’s nice that you have maintained that Neo-soul sound, and retained your integrity whilst creating your music we really appreciate that here.
What was your most memorable moment from your career, and who was your favourite artiste to work with.

D (laughs) So many moments, I have to say one of the most fun times working was working on a slum village track had so many memorable moments .. working on a 80’s skit, I had a chance to work on it with the old 80’s keyboard, a drum machine and I made a 1980’s vocal on it, track with T3 and Cutie did a Rap on the song, it was just hilarious, great times, we worked on this all night! One of the most favourite songs I’ve ever done. Working with Slum Village…I feel like every time I work with an artiste I come out of there, having learnt something about myself and about my craft or a different ways to work I have fun everybody L collab with..

DTB Tell us about Goldie Hawn…

D Laughs
Goldie Hawn.. is my Bike, that’s what I named my bike its a Honda CV500.. still laughing

DTB Why Goldie hawn

D Beacause its gold! (still laughing)…

DTB You also have a puppy whats his name? and what breed is he? Very pretty we seem, with you on Insta.

D ‘Roxstar’ He’s a bull-dog mixed with a pug mixed with a beagle…hes looking up now like What! Wants to know why are
you are calling my name.

DTB We noticed you love your Canon camera, you are quite the photographer on Social Media.

D DEF!, That’s my baby that’s my third Eye, right there I’m thinking of upgrading to the Black Magic or the Red camera

DTB Thank you Dwele, we look forward to seeing you perform .. look out for DeepertheBeats at the Jazz Cafe.

D I appreciate you.Thanks.

About Cheryl Huggins

Cheryl Huggins
Music evokes memories of a time, place, people, an event! Live life with Passion Ambition Creativity, After leaving London College of Fashion, Working on Tour with Loose Ends, Working in Media for Roots Magazine, as Fashion and Beauty Editor Teaching. Creative and Artistic development at Calvin Klein, Beauty and Makeup Specialist. Attended the Grammy Awards in L.A. All the elements came together.. Our goal was to build a platform for music... This Creation is just the start…

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