"Emotional, provocative, limitless music you can sink your teeth into,
that's the calling card for Sean "Diddy" Combs' latest incarnation:
Diddy-Dirty Money. Diddy-Dirty Money is the real deal, a trio infused
with formidable singing, songwriting, and production talent. Joining Diddy behind the microphone are singer/songwriters Dawn Richard, a founding member of the platinum-selling girl group Danity Kane, and Kalenna, whose burgeoning songwriting career has led her to work with a long list of music industry luminaries.
Together, the threesome create a new sound: train music, an electro-hip hop soul funk experience. Their debut CD, Last Train to Paris, is the embodiment of this new sound, which reveals an intense love story that defies today's musical status quo. Case in point is the freestyle energy of the first single, "Love Come Down." Diddy-Dirty Money then effortlessly counters that energy on “Angels,” a mellow track that unveils the fearless trio’s more personal and vulnerable sides. These songs are just two of the surprises in store on Diddy-Dirty Money's upcoming release in 2010.
“Diddy-Dirty Money is a movement that represents a change in music,” declares Richard. “It’s different from what most people expect. But if they take the chance to listen, they will respect it.”
“All that Hollywood stuff doesn’t work for us,” adds Kalenna. “Dawn and I aren’t background singers simply standing next to Diddy, and Diddy-Dirty Money isn’t just more of the same. It’s an organic group that grew out of a shared passion for music.”
Known for having his finger on the pulse of what’s next, Combs had a notion that Richard and Kalenna were kindred spirits when he brought the two together to write songs in 2009. At the time, Richard was a member of the Diddy girl group Danity Kane, discovered through the MTV reality show “Making the Band 3.”
Born and raised in New Orleans, Richard grew up on music. Her father, a musician and choir director, was also a member of the RCA R&B group Chocolate Milk. “I’d sneak underneath his piano and watch him perform,” recalls Richard. She later joined her dad’s choir and also began performing with a local group called Realiti.
“Growing up, I was more into alternative music,” says Richard, whose influences range from the Cranberries and Sheryl Crow to Green Day and Melissa Etheridge. “I saw myself as the leader of a rock band with pink hair, singing the music I love.”
Attending the University of New Orleans under a full scholarship, Richard claimed her first major break when she was selected as the opening act for Anthony Hamilton in 2000. Five years later, she auditioned for “Making the Band.” All the while, she continued to hone her songwriting skills. Richard wrote several songs on Danity Kane’s 2008 platinum Bad Boy album “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” the follow-up to the group’s 2006 self-titled platinum debut.