Dawn Richard Performs for Rap-Up Sessions

To celebrate the release of her debut album Goldenheart, Dawn Richard stopped by Rap-Up’s studio to kick off our new performance series, Rap-Up Sessions. While overlooking the famed Sunset Strip and the Hollywood sign, the Danity Kane alum and her production partner Druski performed an exclusive three-song set including her single “’86,” “Warfaire,” and the title track “Goldenheart,” which is Dawn’s favorite song on the album.

“It’s the most personal and I recorded it a long time ago,” she said. “It was one of the first times I had gone through something so horrible that I didn’t think I would be able to come back from it. I felt like I wanted to write about a record where we were naive enough to believe we could be saved by a shining prince. It was so naive, but we felt that it was real.”

Watch the rest of Dawn’s stripped-down set below. Goldenheart is now available in stores and on iTunes.

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66 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Dawn is so AMAZING!! Such a sweet & humble spirit! She deserves all the love & support Goldenheart album is incredible! Love you Dawn

    [Reply]

    Pereezy,YMCMB MMG. Good Kush & Alcohol Reply:

    @Michelle, You Must Be Deaf As F**k.
    GoldenHeart Is Pure Garbage

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @Pereezy,YMCMB MMG. Good Kush & Alcohol, SIT!

    [Reply]

    Alphamale8807 Reply:

    @Pereezy,YMCMB MMG. Good Kush & Alcohol,
    You can have a whole universe full of seats boo. This is a lot better than most of the shit on the radio. So take your no talent knowing ass on some where and get educated on what real music is.

    [Reply]

    squenix Reply:

    @Pereezy,YMCMB MMG. Good Kush & Alcohol, yo kill yourself you are pure garbage for saying that! you must be deaf blind AND DUMB!

    [Reply]

  2. JustCoastWitHa

    YESSSSSS DAWN !

    [Reply]

  3. JO

    I love me some Dawn!

    [Reply]

  4. 2bad2bme

    beautiful song…i love the fact that he needs the sheet music lol

    [Reply]

    Miss Wits Reply:

    @2bad2bme, Me too. I was thinking “Aw shucks — look at how edumacated Druski is with his sheet music and errythang…” He earns 2 bonus hearts for that! lol

    [Reply]

  5. RnbGenius

    yasssssssss

    [Reply]

  6. justice

    #pow

    [Reply]

  7. Yesss dawn!

    IS THIS A JOKE? Why the eff is she so amazing! You deserve it all mama!

    [Reply]

  8. #BEENTRILL

    THAT HAIR-DO THO? SHE LOOKS MAD OLD.

    [Reply]

    Hov Reply:

    @#BEENTRILL, I’ve seen you come on here and hate on dawn on every post. We see you hater. We get you dont like her. But talent is talent. Respect it

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    @#BEENTRILL, HOV! The fact that “TRILL” keeps seeking her out is a testament to how great she is, she got him “stuck on stupid”. Obsessed.

    [Reply]

    lovelikejeffery Reply:

    @Sam, don’t you mean “stuck on mad” because the beautifully talented queen of hearts Miss Dawn Richard got @#BEENTRILL mad pressed, so he needs to keep his hatred and negativity to himself and stay mad pressed!!!… GOLDENHEART IS OUT NOW IN STORES AND ITUNES!!!

    [Reply]

  9. Baha'i

    Wow this woman is beautiful and a star!

    [Reply]

  10. Jeremy

    Dawnnnnn slay! So refreshing. So fly and raw

    [Reply]

  11. Minajgurl

    Ok sooo Dawnis number 1 on iTunes! And now this ! Wow

    [Reply]

    SdotB Reply:

    @Minajgurl, ummm, she is not #1 on iTunes…A$AP Rocky is #1…she’s not even in the top 10

    [Reply]

    SdotB Reply:

    @SdotB, and i’m not being a hater, I like Dawn…i’m just stating the facts…

    [Reply]

    Tbozfan10 Reply:

    @SdotB, she forgot to say #1 oh the r&b category.

    [Reply]

  12. DRB

    Really talented. Hopefully she gets the attention she deserves with this album and gets some great promo spots.

    [Reply]

  13. NOEL

    Dawn giving me Female Frank Ocean in all the best ways…DAWN love you

    [Reply]

  14. ImJustSaying87

    Pretty good job. Nice to hear her without being drowned in autotune and effects.

    [Reply]

    Minajgurl Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87, that’s crazy she doesn’t even use auto time like that! People are clueless. But I guess that’s what music ignorance has come too

    [Reply]

    ImJustSaying87 Reply:

    @Minajgurl, Dawn doesn’t have ONE song without some type of vocal effect on this album. Get a clue.

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87, Golden heart has zero effects but yeah, you’re close. Most of the songs have “effects” but not auto-tune.

    [Reply]

    Shawn Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87, I Agree. She uses too many effects for me lately, especially becasue she doesn’t need them or auto tune. It’s just a part of her sound.

    [Reply]

  15. Sam

    If this is how she is live???? COME TO LONDON, I AM THERE!

    [Reply]

  16. ImJustSaying87

    Nice to hear her without being drowned in autotune.

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87, Learn the difference between reverb and auto-tune.

    [Reply]

    GrammarPolice Reply:

    @Wow, Seriously. I love when people with no musical insight at all try to judge a true artist.

    This is not your usual artist. She is literally a one woman show, and does not need all the hype and bullshit that mainstreamers are used to. Because she does everything that their ten member team does.

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @GrammarPolice, Huh?
    1. I was correcting the previous poster.

    2. She does use effects. Her producer said so himself.

    [Reply]

    Minajgurl Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87, yo why can’t people just give props without negativity. Like this was an amazing love performance. People don’t do that with rihanna and she hits all the wrong notes. I mean. She uses auto tune more than many yet I never see this comment on hers. Give talent credit and move on

    [Reply]

  17. Wow

    She gives me everything I need from a song when Brandy gives me TOO much. Sometimes a song just needs to be virtually spoken and you get meaning and that is what I love about Dawn.

    [Reply]

    Minajgurl Reply:

    @Wow, thank you!!!!! People keep saying auto tune and they have no clue of reverb. Flanger. Phasers or any other plug ins dawn doesn’t even use auto tune. Delay and reverb !

    [Reply]

    ImJustSaying87 Reply:

    @Wow, Brandy??? Girl lol she and Dawn need not even be mentioned in the same sentence.

    [Reply]

    Right Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87,

    I mean really tho lol

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @Right, Brandy is AMAZING, at what she does. Her talent is so unique but there is a time a place and a song for vocal acrobatics and Brandy still feels the need to use them on EVERY OTHER WORD and EVERY SONG.

    [Reply]

    Minajgurl Reply:

    @ImJustSaying87, your right they shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence. Brandy has yet to sell 200 000 of two eleven with a major label and a huge market push and a record pushed to radio. Yet dawn is doing it in her own and no machine and has better reviews than 2 eleven had. They shouldn’t be in the same sentence. It’s not always about a run and an Adlib folks.

    [Reply]

    TakeTheseFactsB*tch Reply:

    @Minajgurl, Sir, I understand you like Dawn n all (I do as well) but please don’t come for Brandy’s thrown.

    I mean not only was she named one of the “top artist” in the 1990′s but she was and STILL is a inspiration to many of today’s singers.

    The reason why Dawn and Brandy shouldn’t be in the same sentence is because Brandy is a VET at what she does. You b*tches are always so quick to compare artist, I mean DAMN! can you give Dawn time to grow as a SOLO artist?

    And what did you expect from Two Eleven? That album is pure R&B, Brandy could have easily did the “Pop” sound and sold alot more then she did like many of today’s sell outs(Usher, Ne-Yo, etc).

    And your right, Two Eleven didn’t sell like any of her other albums, but not only did it get generally favorable reviews but it also had a top10 hit. So… please don’t knock what paved the way.

    [Reply]

  18. Kyle

    I LOVE THIS WOMAN! I am sort of confused though. Wasn’t the whole point of her pushing the album back so she could get a distribution deal and release the album physically? I went to Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart and none of the stores had it. I am going to purchase it now on Itunes now but I really wanted a physical copy because I know the album will be THAT AMAZING. Has anyone else found it in any stores???

    [Reply]

    youbmad Reply:

    @Kyle, fye this wk other stores nxt tues the 22nd.

    [Reply]

  19. Hate Nicki

    She’s boring now… and her hairstyle is terrible. I miss old rnb dawn

    [Reply]

    Minajgurl Reply:

    @Hate Nicki, yeah that’s why she’s number 1 right now. Y’all people are hilarious. Boring how. She’s singing ? And acoustic set. Her hair was like that in dirty money. Like most artist now are off key and horrible. And that’s not boring? Wtf happened to the culture !

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @Hate Nicki, She was NEVER R&B. Unless you mean her 1st every unreleased album. Not even DDM was straight R&B.

    [Reply]

    georgia23 Reply:

    @Wow, Dawn says herself that she hated that first album. You’re used to an R&B artist that’s gonna put it all out on the table, shake your ass, sleep with a man, hate said man AAAAAAAAND REPEAT. If that’s what you want, there are DOZENS of artists out there who can fit that mold. But why not expand your musical vocabulary and think outside the box? R&B should not be made to fit the box others would try to fit us into. Why won’t we *slaps back of hand* allow people to be more than what we want? She could have EEEEEEASILY gone into the studio with Rico Love and wrote a hit song for Top 100. But she would’ve been just like everybody else. Why be good when you can be GREAT? Everybody can’t be great and most people who are great are not accepted. So maybe it’s a good thing you don’t “get” her.

    [Reply]

    georgia23 Reply:

    @Hate Nicki, (SORRY, POSTED TO THE WRONG PERSON BEFORE) Dawn says herself that she hated that first album. You’re used to an R&B artist that’s gonna put it all out on the table, shake your ass, sleep with a man, hate said man AAAAAAAAND REPEAT. If that’s what you want, there are DOZENS of artists out there who can fit that mold. But why not expand your musical vocabulary and think outside the box? R&B should not be made to fit the box others would try to fit us into. Why won’t we *slaps back of hand* allow people to be more than what we want? She could have EEEEEEASILY gone into the studio with Rico Love and wrote a hit song for Top 100. But she would’ve been just like everybody else. Why be good when you can be GREAT? Everybody can’t be great and most people who are great are not accepted. So maybe it’s a good thing you don’t “get” her.

    [Reply]

  20. youbmad

    @Kyle, yea its exclusively sold at fye this wk nxt tues the 22nd it will b in other stores.

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @youbmad, oh really? Maybe that explains why even Amazon has it listed for January 22nd as a physical release. Thanks! I will definitly buy a physical copy when I find one in stores.

    [Reply]

  21. relly

    Love the sound of the songs in these clips. I wasn’t really paying attention to her efforts last year, but if this is the sound of the album I should probably buy it

    [Reply]

  22. infamous

    Ugh these are restricted -.-

    [Reply]

  23. Yesssss

    Dawn can sang, and she’s beautiful.

    [Reply]

  24. AMINA

    honestly, i wasn’t the intention to purchase her EP. But this version of “86″ is just what need right now. PERIOD

    i gotta support this girl she deserve it. let’s make it happen.

    SUPPORT DAWN!!!SUPPORT DAWN!!!SUPPORT DAWN!!!
    SUPPORT DAWN!!!SUPPORT DAWN!!!SUPPORT DAWN!!!
    SUPPORT DAWN!! SUPPORT DAWN!!! SUPPORT DAWN!!!
    SUPPORT DAWN!!!SUPPORT DAWN!!!SUPPORT DAWN!!!

    [Reply]

  25. georgia23

    The artistry behind her music is not for everyone. She’s honestly taking her music back to a place when what was popular was also thought-provoking and made you FEEL something. What happened to our Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and (MY GOD!) Lauryn Hill’s selling millions of albums? AND they’re music held value and it was personal but related to us all. THAT’S why I love this woman. She’s knows what she wants and she’s not compromising the vision she has. This music is made to be FELT not just heard. There’s emotion in every song and it’s SOOOO relative to people. I know that there’s a song on GoldenHeart for EVERY single person. You’ve faced a “Goliath” situation in your life when you felt unprepared for battle but you got through it. You’ve been the person who relinquished something (self-respect, dreams, ambitions, goals, talents) and then decided to take your power and strength back like “Return of a Queen”. You’ve been in love and wanted to share that with someone whom you found out later on didn’t deserve it like “War-Faire” and “GoldenHeart”. And EVERYBODY wants to get their freak on like “Frequency”, “Tug of War” and “Northern Lights”… I don’t think I have to say anymore.

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @georgia23, well said!!!

    [Reply]

  26. Dawn Richard Spotted Leaving Sirius Radio In NYC + Drops “86″ Video | christalrocK.com

    [...] also made a stop by Rap-Up’s studios to kick off their new “Sunset Sessions” performance series. She gave a preview of a few of her songs, including “Goldenheart,” [...]

  27. Hugh

    Nice

    [Reply]

  28. viki

    both of these are short yet SOooo sweet. love it

    [Reply]

  29. Gh Family Entertainment

    [...] and in connection with the release, she recently performed an acoustic set for Rap-Up’s new “Sunset Sessions” performance series. High above the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, the singer and her production [...]

  30. Prouy of Uk 2013

    Cute outfit that she is wearing & Nice performance

    [Reply]

  31. Asa

    Love her.

    [Reply]

  32. Miss Wits

    You look and sound beautiful Dawn! Your acoustic version of “86″ is giving me life! It reminds me of something Robyn would do. I hope you ladies work together sometime. I think y’all are like the musical twins… sorta kinda…but not really. But sorta… lol

    [Reply]

  33. hellioss

    86′ live is better than the original.

    [Reply]

  34. ANDERSON DJAZZ

    I’m from Rio, Brazil and i’m a huge fan of Dawn Richard, i have to say that those lives were amazing!!!! HEART NATION ARE SO PROUD AND HAPPY!

    [Reply]

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