Here’s another entry in our #TheOnesToWatchIn2012 series. We caught up with DC native Daryn Alexus whose new mixtape release Vintage Heart. Modern Love just dropped on datPiff on Valentines Day. We were impressed with the styling and classiness of the intro video and added it to our OnStage Video Showcase for your viewing pleasure. As you can see from her responses below, Daryn is a sophisticated, confident artist and we think the future is full of big things for her. Welcome to the Stage, Daryn!
Daryn, tell us a little about yourself….
I grew up in DC. Lived in NE but uptown, NW, was my playground; running up and down Georgia Ave. Playing kick ball with friends on Brightwood Elementary playground. Shepherd, Alice Deal, Wilson, and Duke Ellington all played a huge part in who I am. I met so many different amazing people. The culture in DC is insane! Even as a child I loved it. Most of all Caribbean day every summer, ‘The Ave.’ filled with people. All these things inspired me as an artist, from my sound to my personal style. A sense of freedom just reigns over DC and I’ve embodied the spirit of my city. Now, being in Chicago for college, just really extends that whole vibe.
Describe yourself as an artist, and your approach to your music…
To describe me, Daryn Alexus, as an artist, would be like trying to convince a smoker that cigarettes kill. You could probably do it, but getting him to quit is an entirely different effort. I say that for many different reasons. None in a cocky sense, as in to say, “I’m indescribable,” “I only do me,” or “I’m one of a kind.” I say it’s difficult to describe me because at any given moment, I may change. I don’t like too much of the same thing all the time. I’m a heavily emotional person, and I like to go off what I feel. I’m a huge believer in destiny and following your heart, trusting your intuition, and if something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it, and If it does feel good, dive face first directly into it. I treat my music this way. I make music based on what I’m feeling at the time, based on what feels good to me. ‘Vintage Heart. Modern Love.’ felt good this time around, but for my next tape, that sound may not feel good for me. I can’t make music based on what I think people will like, and though I want the world to love my music just as much as I do, that can’t be my main focus. If I like it, I’m going to write it, I’m going to sing it, and just put it out there.
What’s the future hold for Daryn Alexus?...The future is so exciting to think about! I really want to finish college and focus 100% on music. If any amazing opportunities come along before I get to finish school then that’s even better. The sooner I can just do music the better. Though ‘Vintage Heart. Modern Love.’ just dropped on Valentine’s Day, I’m already working on my second project and I’m super excited about it. It’s also being produced by Dee Lilly, who’s also a DC native, and it’s sounding great already. It’s going to be set to release this summer! But Before then I’ll be releasing full length videos for some of the songs on ‘Vintage Heart. Modern Love.’ and I’m also really excited about that. So the near future is looking very bright! As a newly emerging artist I just hope to continue to learn and grow as an artist, and meet more and more talented people to work with. All in all, I’m just a hippie, I want to, create art, change the world, and live free. That’s all.
OnStage partner and music critic Khari “KayEmGee” Gzifa just dropped a review of 5 videos featured in our OnStage Video Showcase. You can check it in the video player on your right and on our YouTube channel. Khari is more than an audiophile; he’s a genuine musicologist with a broad array of knowledge across musical genres and also rocks the mike as front vocalist for local band Bombaye. Whenever you hear his critique of music you can rest assured you’re getting the best music assessment available in the DMV. So, as he says in the wrap, if you’ve got a video or think a recent video you've seen is hot, let us know. If it’s good we’ll feature it in the OnStage Video Showcase. If it’s great it may be one that he reviews next time. Contact us here or holla at us on Twitter @_OnStageDC.
Of all the personalities you’ll see on stage in the DMV there’s no doubt Sylvia Bunny Traymore Morrison was born to be there. The nationally renowned impressionist has been pretty much the star of the show all her life. She was that elementary school student teachers trusted with speaking roles in ceremonies, a talent show winning singer at Western (now Duke Ellington) High School, then went on to finish as 2nd runner up in the Miss Black America pageant while a student at Spelman College before launching a wildly successful career that’s included hosting a roast of Muhammad Ali to opening on the Whitney Houston tour at the height of Whitney’s glory days. Name a venue and she’s probably played it. Name a national act and she’s probably appeared with them. She flawlessly impersonates Mo’Nique, Whoopi Goldberg, Wendy Williams, and First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s the Queen of Impressions, and she’s DC’s own!
Sylvia is also the author of Almost There, Almost, a must read book that chronicles her life in an unfiltered view from growing up in Washington DC to going on the road to America’s most well known entertainment halls. Get your copy as a way to pay tribute to a hometown girl who really has done it. And make sure 2012 is the year you catch one of her shows at a local venue. Connect with her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @SylviaTMorrison to get the latest tour date info.
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