Question: Do Do, Do you got a first aid kit handy? That’s right, earlier this week I was given the chance to talk to Shannon Bex, Aundrea Fimbres, Aubrey O’Day and Dawn Richard of the recently reunited Danity Kane. Best known for songs like “Show Stopper” and “Damaged,” the girls disbanded in 2009 after forming on MTV’s Making The Band in 2005 and releasing two #1 studio albums. Now with a new album expected to be released later this year, the reformed 4-piece group are finally hitting the road in May for their upcoming No Filter Tour. The 13-date trek kicks off on May 16 in San Francisco and travels across the country, with shows in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Check out my interview with Danity Kane below where they chatted with me about the new album and the #DKNoFilterTour – Enjoy!
Jon ALi: Hey girls! How are you guys doing?
Danity Kane: Great! Thank you.
Jon ALi: Well I’m super thrilled to be talking to you guys today. I’ve been a longtime fan and I’m so glad you guys are back together. You’ve just announced your No Filter Tour. Tell me about what made you decide to call it the No Filter Tour.
Shannon: We are super excited about it. We wanted to give our fans the perspective of living life with no filter, not changing who you are, uncensored, unfiltered life. That really worked out well with the whole selfie craze happening right now so the symbol for the tour is our unfiltered selfies. It’s a mosaic compiled of unfiltered images that our fans sent in. Our fans represent who we are so we wanted to do this for them.
Jon ALi: I love the idea and it seems the fans are really into it already. Will there be some No Fliter integration during the actual show?
Dawn: Yes, there absolutely will be. We’ve been talking to our sound and writing team about how we can incorporate the fans into this tour. We might pull some surprises and have the cameras be on the them. The social media aspect will be heavily involved. We want to flip it on our fans, make it more about them than us. The whole message of the show is this wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for them. We are going to live and have a show with no filter, no layers, all us, all them, all about the relationship we have with our fans.
Jon ALi: Amazing! Your fans are incredible and they’ve really stuck by you guys since day one. They’re all dying to hear the new music. Will you be performing new material at the show?
Aundrea: Yes, we will be. We’ve been in the studio basically since we got back together. It’s been a lot of creating and writing together. The new music is a mature reflection of where all of us have gone as artist and how we are coming back together as females representing our different stories, and our similarities and differences. It’s all going to be in the show and you’ll hear it in the new music.
Jon ALi: So exciting to hear and also what I’ve always loved about Danity Kane. You can’t put Danity Kane in a box and describe your music as just one thing. What’s been the best part about coming back and kind of getting to reinvent yourselves?
Aubrey: Uniting through struggle! [Laughs] You know, Danity Kane has never had it easy. We are always fighting through obstacles to achieve the things we want to do. I suppose this time around one of the greatest parts for me is that in the face of all that adversary, we are the only ones we really can rely on. We are doing this all on our own, we put this tour together on our own, and we are creating the music we want to make in the way we want to make it. We don’t have anyone running ship, it’s dependent on all four of us. All these people who’ve believed in everything we’ve done and what we can do in the future, we are bringing them the truth. Bringing it now from our own hands. No one else involved but us. That’s been the best part.
Jon ALi: Can’t argue with that. With the way things happen in music now I feel like it’s so much easier to do what you guys are doing now than it was a few years ago. Would you say the same?
Shannon: There has been different and unique obstacles this time around. The music industry is always changing and evolving. It’s definitely a different game but the struggles are just as intense. We are still figuring it all out, I think everyone in this industry is trying to figure out what is best. There is no direct path and most of it is dependent on how much you’re wiling to work for the greater good.
Jon ALi: Agreed. Nothing can be accomplished without a lot of work and dedication. Now bringing it back to the new music…the fans really want to know when they can expect it. Is there a single dropping soon? Is that all in the works?
Shannon: Yes, we are definitely still working on the new music and we are eager to get something out as soon as we possibly can. The fans just need to know we are on it. We are seeing their requests and we are trying to wrangle all of this in so we can get it out in the best way possible. We don’t just want to throw anything out there, we want to do it right. The fans have been waiting a long time and we respect and appreciate that, but we want to make sure it’s right. A lot goes into the first official launch for the new music.
Jon ALi: Yes, that is what I figured. It’s what the fans really want to know so I had to make sure and ask [Laughs]. You guys have made it clear that you’re working a lot with The Stereotypes. Is there anyone else you’ve been working with as well?
Dawn: We do have other producers that we are working with but there is something special we have with The Stereotypes I think people are going to be really excited about what we are creating with them. A lot of the time, artists work with tons of producers to create a record rather than just sticking to just one. Now, there are artists who are developing relationships with their producers and doing an entire project together, making a signature sound. We’ve done some stuff with some really amazing up-and-coming producers but we’ve mainly been homing in with The Stereotypes. We’ve come up with this really rich and artistic sound with them and its been such a organic and beautiful experience. We are really developing a home with them and I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised and excited about what we’ve developed with them. It’s not like our past albums where we would meet and work with a whole bunch of producers. We are creating a sound with just them and its a family situation. It’s a real journey. We are excited about what they are going to give us and what we are going to give them and that marriage we are making with music. Danity Kane has never had a home with producers, we’ve always had to reach out to them. With The Stereotypes: We choose them, they chose us. It’s super exciting. It’s a signature sound we’ve all created together.
Jon ALi: That’s so exciting to hear and I’m sure it’s only making the experience for you guys even better. I’ve always loved the work The Stereotypes have done. They’ve been around for awhile even producing Travis Garland‘s entire debut album which I’m still obsessed with.
Aubrey: Well yeah, he’s my boyfriend so I have to say his album is pretty good [Laughs]. They’ve done a whole lot though. They’re on Rihanna‘s new album, Far East Movement, Justin Bieber, they’ve worked with everybody. They have an eclectic sound, they’re a group of guys that kind of playfully make up the stereotype of what they all represent. We have tracks on our album that sound like fun records, songs that sound like rock records, songs that are very urban and have hard drums that hit heavy in the club. It’s everything. Records that represent elements of country music, latin music, pop records that would fit perfect on radio. You name it, we are doing it. We are across the board representing all kinds of things and with The Stereotypes, who represent so many styles of music, we are able to really dream big. Like you said, there’s not one type of sound or thing we are going for. We want to represent everybody in this group, that’s the beauty of being in a group.
Jon ALi: Exactly! You couldn’t have said it any better, Aubrey. I’m so excited for everything you guys are about to do. The tour, the new music, all of it. Thanks for taking time to talk to me today.
Danity Kane: Thank you so much, Jon, we appreciate you being a fan and for taking the time.