Is Jermaine Dupri’s new protégé just another YouTube Hall of Famer, or something more? Dondria Nicole (nicknamed Phatfffat due to her insatiable appetite and ironically tiny frame) will be up to bat for So So Def this summer, as the fresh-faced singer drops her debut effort, Dondria vs. Phatfffat on July 29th. The first few songs that are proudly displayed on her MySpace page fall somewhere between pop and R&B, a tough place to compete.
Vocally raised in church and intellectually nurtured as a music major in college, which she’s currently taking a break from to pursue her singing career, the 21-year-old songstress is psyched to have musical mastermind J.D. guiding her. “I’ve done the vocal classes and music theory,” she explains, proving that there’s more to the industry than just belting out some words to a hot beat.
Even after a grueling day of press conferences and interviews, Dondria isn’t tired of expressing her intentions, her dreams, and her hopes for longevity in an uncertain hip-hop environment where what’s blazin’ today is stale tomorrow. It’s not all about the brand though; uniting with musicians who feel just as strongly about their craft is crucial to her.
“I want to collaborate with artists who are just as passionate as I am about what they do,” she says.
–Rajul Punjabi in New York
Listen to Dondria’s debut single “Can’t Stop” (available now on iTunes) and watch her sing Beyoncé’s “Deja Vu” on YouTube below.