Toronto's fusion pianist Desarae Dee releases her bright and atmospheric single titled, "Be Original." Often compared to the works of Robert Glasper, Desarae Dee's merging of vast styles allows for otherwordly sonic experiences. Serving elements of the past and the present to throw listeners into a dynamic ride, Desarae Dee's music will undoubtedly leave its mark on any audience.
With her ambient single "Be Original," Desarae Dee takes listeners on a three-minute journey through modern-day production and nostalgic synth work. Not to mention her soulful and jazzy piano playing, Desarae Dee brings heavy atmospheric vibes within this instrumental, giving the listener a blend of R&B/Soul and Jazz.
"Be Original" begins with a pulsing piano key and warm background strings; as a variety of funky synths make their way in, we're instantly lost in the song's warm R&B atmosphere. The synth work transports listeners into this mildly psychedelic space that serves a taste of 70s Funk. What keeps our ears listening is the track's wild unpredictability, shifting from heavy synths over to soulful piano melodies that bring vast uniqueness through Desarae Dee's textured and off-beat style of play. Closing the track with heightened vibes through heavenly chimes and bright background strings, we love the depth and intricacy that Desarae Dee instilled into this groovy instrumental.
Another track from Desarae Dee where we're highly impressed with the textured atmospheres she's delivered, especially with "Be Original," it's clear that Dee sticks to this motto within each of her tunes.
Once again, we're highly impressed with the meticulously crafted instrumentals within "Be Original." Why did you choose to title the track "Be Original?" How do your instrumentals reflect this statement?
Be Original” is an ode to staying true to your unique self and for me, it’s staying true to my unique style of playing. My playing is spontaneous and unconventional and that’s unique to who I am and sets me apart from others. I never want to stray from who I am and it’s important for me to stay true (original) to my artistry. I am always creating new and original ideas and although I have musical influences, I have always stayed true to the musicianship that I display in my music.
Could you let us in on your creative process for "Be Original," what fundamentals did you start with and build on when creating this piece from scratch?
Be Original was originally created for my #DailyVibes producing series on Instagram and I knew that it was a song that I wanted to release. The process of creating this song started out with the main melody that you hear throughout the song and I built around that by adding all of my musical style influences • jazz and gospel chords and nuances, as well as various synth, sound throughout. The middle section is the part that no one expects as I threw in a gospel choir riff with underlining “phat gospel chords” to give it a gospel feel, with the added drum patterns. Overall, I wanted this song to showcase all of the musical styles that I studied over the years and making “originality” the forefront.
You've mentioned that you're constantly in evolution mode. How has your sound and brand evolved over time to land where you are today?
Evolution in my art is so important to me because it shows me how far I’ve come in my development and my way of thinking when it comes to music creation. I started off as just a “jazz pianist” to now becoming a “fusion pianist” and that’s because I took the time to analyze and learn different musical styles that I incorporate in my playing, I listened to different artists and producers (outside of my musical influences) and learned how to produce for multiple instruments and learning the art of sound design. Today, I now feel comfortable in my sound as both a musician and an artist and it has been quite a journey for me so far in my career.
We've heard that your sound is often compared to the likes of Robert Glasper. What other artists might have inspired your thorough instrumentals?
Some other artists who have inspired some of my instrumentals are Ryan Leslie, Sango, GoGo Penguin, and Snoh Aalegra.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
2020 has been a year of me giving back during these times of COVID-19. My goal has always been to “inspire lives one music note at a time” and this has given me the range to share my gift in many ways through the musical content I create on social media. I have also continued to encourage, support, and advocate for women musicians in the industry and being consistent in all my endeavors while continuing to create great music!