Interview with Dawn Richard
By Paula Renee and Cassidy Mehlman
Former Danity Kane and Diddy-Dirty Money singer Dawn Richard took a moment to chat with ASTONISH about fashion and personal style, her career as a solo artist, and her latest album “Armor On”.
ASTONISH: Tell us about leaving Danity Kane, was it difficult to reinvent your image?
DAWN: Not at all. Being part of a group, you only see half of the story anyway. Now I get to show the world all of me.
ASTONISH: What did you learn from Diddy that helped you the most with your career?
DAWN: No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
ASTONISH: It seemed like you took that advice and ran. It must be a long journey to become a solo artist. After Danity Kane and Dirty Money, what made you continue to grow and persevere?
DAWN: The love of music and the support of the hearts out there !
ASTONISH: How would you describe your self as a solo artist? How has your performing style changed through the years?
DAWN: I’ve grown into my sound now. I’m stronger as a solo artist. More creative. I’m always in beast mode (laughs).
ASTONISH: What inspires you most when it comes to your song writing?
DAWN: The grit of life. The most raw moments become the best jewels.
ASTONISH: How does fashion play a role in your career? Do you have a fashion icon or someone that inspires you?
DAWN: Fashion is the mistress to my music. It’s an obsession for me. James Dean and Tilda Swinton are my inspiration.
ASTONISH: How do you usually portray yourself on stage? Is there a certain style you tend to go for?
DAWN: Modern Day Joan of Arc. A warrior in the fight.
ASTONISH: Looking at your Instagram (DawnRichard), shoes seem to be one of your loves. Describe the style of the everyday Dawn?
DAWN: I hate rules when it comes to fashion. So I wear what I think works for me. I play with structure and hard edges. Balmain pants. A Motley Crüe t-shirt and McQueen shoes. Effortless is my style. Whatever makes me feel bad ass (laughs).
ASTONISH: Your hair – you are back long! What enticed you to switch it up?
DAWN: Being a woman. I’m never locked into one thing. And lost women aren’t. I’m a Leo. I have a mane that needs to live!
ASTONISH: How do you feel about your career since becoming a successful solo artist?
DAWN: Number 1 on iTunes in 3 hrs with no label, no features, no budget … I’d say I feel like God is good. Armor On!
ASTONISH: Speaking of “Armor On” – your sound and beats are definitely out of the box. Where did you draw your inspiration from when creating the EP?
DAWN: Björk and Phil Collins were strong influences. But also movie scores. I’ve listened to a lot of Hans Zimmer scores. I wanted the EP to be big and atmospheric.
ASTONISH: What is your favorite song and why?
DAWN: Automatic from my “Armor On” EP. We just shot the video and it is amazing! The visual and the choreography is next level.
ASTONISH: Now a days I can say we do not have too many performers, but for you music is not just singing. How important is it for you to incorporate choreography and costume in your videos and on stage?
DAWN: It’s extremely important. It’s a marriage. That’s what I want to set me apart from other artists. The package. That’s why i work so hard. To be a vocalist. A dancer. A writer. A performer. Fashion and music have to go hand and hand. And then it has to come to life!
ASTONISH: With so much movement on stage, how does your team choose attire for your concerts that are comfortable yet fashion forward?
DAWN: Easy. I train to be able to move in anything. I wear the most difficult and most uncomfortable things in rehearsals so that it becomes natural and easy to perform in anything.
ASTONISH: When I looked up Dawn Richard, the first thing that popped in my head is “this girl knows dedication”. What other qualities does an artist need in order to make it in this industry?
DAWN: Patience and balls of steel (laughs).
ASTONISH: What is next for Dawn Richard?
DAWN: World domination!
For more of Dawn, follow her on Twitter at