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Ghost Canyon

Dawn Richard   (Diddy-Dirty Money) Dawn Richard (Diddy-Dirty Money)

ĎTell Tale Tales from Dawn Richard!'

R&B singer-songwriter Dawn Richard of Diddy-Dirty Money has entered the studio to begin working on her highly anticipated solo debut, slated for release this fall on Bad Boy Records/Interscope.

As a preview to the album, Richard has issued her first mixtape, 'Prelude To A Tell Tale Heart,' which is available as a free download at

On releasing a mixtape and her upcoming solo record, the former Danity Kane singer says, ďIíve been incredibly lucky to have been in two amazing groups, but I feel like Iíve never had the opportunity to show the world what I can do on my own. Prelude to a Tell Tale Heart is the soundtrack to my heart. Itís soulful, itís raw, itís real.Ē

Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with the lovely Dawn Richard and discussed her work with P.Diddy, their recent tour dates, her time with Danity Kane, her upcoming solo CD, and, of course, ... Penguins!

Taking it from the top and people will know that you first came to enter into P. Diddy's world when you began the grueling audition process for MTV's Making The Band re: Danity Kane. Since those days how have you evolved as a musician and, importantly as a person? "I know myself, my sound, my soul. I've grown comfortable in who I am and where I want to be. Musically I am trying new sounds that differ from what's out now. Going back to music of the heart. I call it 'HeartMusic.' There are dozens of 'hearts' out there that have a story that needs to be told. I'm here to be there voice. I'm them. I have a story to tell and I think it's time I told it."

With Danity Kane being together from 2005 to just 2009, and being that it was a collection of beautiful ladies, were there times (for live performances/appearances) that you found yourself wearing outfits that you normally wouldn't have been seen dead in?! And which one, on which occasion comes to mind first?! "Yes, every one! But they were all learning experiences. It's hard have 5 girls and one 'dope' outfit on the rack. Someone will always be short-changed. But you make it work the best you can."

You released a mix tape #TellTaleHeart, but is it true that the title was inspired by an Edgar Allen Poe poem? If so, are you a Poe fan in general? "It was. Yes, I'm a Poe fan. I love his twist on life. The way he chooses to tell the story of morality. It isn't perfectly beautiful. It's laced with melancholy and suspense. He leaves readers feeling eerie and uncomfortable. I appreciate that."

And, being that you are the one that started this, and as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, if your heart could tell a tale (one not revealed before today) what would that tale be?! "It would Tell the Tale of Redemption. The journey of a Conquered Heart."

Your track from that mix tape, 'Bulletproof' was written after Hurricane Katrina. What was it about that time in life that made you write such a song? "I had become real close with God. It was a conversation between me, God, and The Pessimist. God telling me 'I'm your air when its time to breathe' and I saying to the ones who doubt I'll return from this disaster, 'You may hate me but I'm still free' / 'These walls I run throuh them see' and God answering, 'cause I got you and You Got Me'."

Word has it you are also working on a brand new solo album for 2011. Will P. Diddy be adding his flavor to the mix on it, perhaps? "Right now, I am fighting the good fight solo. Hahaha. I'd really like for people to hear me break away from that formula. I'm thankful for Puff being there every step of the way. But like every person that grows they must learn to walk on there on two feet ;)"

And is it true that producer Trendsetter has also worked on some of these new tracks? "Yes, he is an amazing talent. Very happy to work with him."

And, again, as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, does it have a title yet? Or, if not, what are you toying with as possible choices? "I'm calling this The Heart Trilogy. 3 albums, 1 journey: 'GoldenHeart,' 'BlackHeart,' and 'RedemptionHeart'."

You just finished a tour with P. Diddy (or now known as Diddy - Dirty Money ... sorry, I get so confused!) and so how were those dates for you as a performer? Any speed bumps along the way, perhaps? "No, it was smooth sailing. Stage is Home for me. I just wish some of those dates weren't cancelled. I always love to hit every city and touch every person."

Also, how was your debut Diddy - Dirty Money album, 'Last Train to Paris' received - from your side of things? "I'm pleased with the album. Best album I've ever been apart of."

You have a tattoo that (seemingly) runs down the length of your spine - what is it of? "It's a list of priorities:

A Force

Because I have God, I am Saved, Blessed, and Beautiful... A Force!"

Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love penguins ... do you, perhaps? "Love the tuxedo crew. Always dressed for a party :)"

Thank you for your time spent with us today, Dawn - "Love, Lust, and Pixie Dust!"

Interview: Russell A. Trunk

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