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Dawn Richard ‘Armor On’ EP: Singer Leaves Diddy Behind for Solo Effort

Valerie Macon, Getty Images

Dawn Richard is standing on her own two feet. After years of jumping from one group to another, the New Orleans native not only celebrated her independence, but made her goals abundantly clear during a private listening session for her new EP, ‘Armor On,’ in Beverly Hills, Calif., Wednesday night (March 21).

While Richard previewed ‘Armor On,’ she confirmed that she is no longer part of the Bad Boy team. Despite what the public may think, the split from her label was amicable, and a necessary step in the evolution of her career. “I’m no longer with Bad Boy, it’s not a rumor,” she told The BoomBox. “It’s not negative.”

Although Diddy is notorious for his unwillingness to release artists from their contracts, the hip-hop mogul reasoned with Richard, informing her that launching a solo career on his label would take three years. After the conversation, the former Danity Kane member walked away from Bad Boy and is now shopping for a deal. “Labels I’m free!” she said.

The new EP, which will make way for a solo album, finds Richard purposely sticking to producer Druski, for nine of the 10 songs on the release. “People are picking 1,000 producers and [their albums are] 12 songs,” she explained.

A student of the school of ’90s R&B, the 28-year-old hopes to take music back to the days of producer and singer duos like that of Brandy and Rodney Jerkins, or Aaliyah and Timbaland. And the music reflects her inspiration. The first single, ‘Bombs,’ will be released next week, and follows a similar sound for the rest of the album. Each track is a fusion of R&B and the train music she made popular during her Dirty Money days, and weaves in and out of feelings of melancholy and aggression.

Judging by the response from her ‘A Tell-Tale Heart’ mixtape, fans will likely be just as moved by her new music. ‘Armor On’ drops March 27.

Watch Dawn Richard Perform in the ‘Ass on the Floor’ Video as Part of Dirty Money


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