R&B / Neo Soul
Although young, fresh, and a new phenomenon, Dwele plunges into the heart of soul even more daringly than the flock of young soulsters who emerged out of last year’s urban radio as he takes his cue from both the masters of the past and his own vision of the future. Be there as Dwele makes his return to the Anthology stage.
Sound Observations From Dwele
by David Moye
Every artist has a key demographic, a core following, a certain constituency.
In Dwele’s case, it seems to be beautiful women.
This soulful songwriting sensation is set to play Anthology on July 16 and 17 and everyone who has mentioned the show to me so for just happens to be a very attractive woman.
Oh, and the attractiveness has spanned generations.
It’s a nice fan base to have and Dwele is very grateful.
“I’d like to think I have beautiful followers,” Dwele said. “I’ve noticed that I especially have beautiful women at my Anthology shows. But, really, I just produce what’s in my heart.”
So, wait … the thought that a beautiful woman might enjoy your music never occurs to you when writing it?
“OK, there ARE times when I will pull up a picture of a model chick on the computer and write a song to her.”
Ahhhh. That answers that question.
Still, Dwele is not some guy who is merely singing lubricious love ballads to boost his babe batting average. His music, like all great artists, comes from experiencing life at its most extreme highs and lows.
When Dwele was 10, his father was shot outside of his home in Detroit, an incident that forever impacted him.
“I learned to put my emotions into music; it was my therapy,” he said.
So instead of having a therapist like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, or Dr. Phil handle his problems, Dwele turned to a slightly higher caliber of mental health practitioner: singers like Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, and trumpet players like Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard.
The passion he has put into his music has paid off. Since 2003, he’s been a major label artist and besides having 5 acclaimed CDs, he has worked with artists like Kanye West, Common and Boney James.
Now, he is focused on his own career and promoting his latest CD, “W.ants, W.orld, W.omen.”
Unlike some artists some artists who compose songs and then record, Dwele says the studio is as much of an instrument as his trumpet, bass or guitar.
“I compose a lot in the studio. I just feel comfortable there,” he said. “To me, it’s like an instrument the same way that my vocal is an instrument or how I sing with my trumpet.”
But songwriting for Dwele is a matter of building blocks of sound like a four-year-old builds with Legos.
“I produce the song first and then add the melody on top of that,” he said. “Sometimes, it starts as jumbled words and I work out the final lines.”
But live performance is also a songwriting tool for Dwele as well.
“I get a lot of seeds for songs during the jams in concert,” he said. “We create a lot of stuff on the stage. Problem is, I don’t always remember what I do on stage. Luckily, sometimes people post the show on YouTube and I can go back and get it that way.”
There are other ways and places where Dwele finds musical inspiration.
“I’ve composed in hotels and airplanes – even in the bathroom,” he said.
You mean the shower, right?
“If you want to say that, sure.”