Dawn Richard, the R&B iconoclast otherwise known as DAWN, is about to embark on a reunion tour with other members of Danity Kane, the Diddy-assembled girl group that first put her on the map. But that doesn’t mean she’s discontinuing her fruitful solo career. Today she returns with “Jealousy,” her first new song since 2016, along with a music video by longtime collaborator Monty Marsh. It’s the first single from a new album out next year.
“Jealousy” is a syncopated slow jam with a deep, luxuriant groove. As you might surmise from the title, it involves Richard addressing her partner’s ex. One sample lyric: “Stop using Instagram to hit his homies.” The hook is just tremendous, with Richard launching into powerful high notes as she laments, “Jealousy, it keeps getting the best of me!”
For the video, Richard returns to her native New Orleans to put a spotlight on the Washitaw Nation, a group of black Americans that claim to be a sovereign Native American nation. Richard’s family has been in the tribe for generations. In the “Jealousy” video, she wears a traditional headdress sewn by tribe leader Chief Montana.
Richard shared further details in a press release:
Jealousy is a conversational record.
Everyone experiences the encounter with their partners’ ex differently. This record explains how a ninth ward girl from New Orleans handled hers. The verse is my honest letter to the ex and her admission to jealousy is the hook. This song speaks on how jealousy can be a drug.
The Visual explains my roots in the Washitaw Nation Tribe. I wanted to show New Orleans in a light most have never seen or are aware of. The Black Indian and Power of our traditional garb are shown in the visual. Chief Montana created my hand sewn headpiece representing the power of being both King and Queen. Our tribes spend all year beading these costumes to then dance and show off their work among other tribes. I used this practice as a metaphor for my response to his ex. Simply that I’ve put a lot of work beading and sewing my relationship, something she will never understand or never be able to do.
DAWN’s new album is out in 2019 via Local Action/Our Dawn Entertainment.