Minneapolis based Black Blondie is a band in the purest sense of the word: the tightly knit four-piece unit, formed in 2006, collectively writes and performs all of their music. Black Blondie's daring frontwoman, Samahra, has the attitude and charisma of a punk rock diva. She has a voice that would serve any American Idol three times over but lyrics that shock with wit and intellect. You may be reminded of the poetic confessions of a Midwestern emo boy who makes you wanna rip your heart out and cradle it in your hand, but in the next minute she will inspire you to put on your hot pink stilettos, party the night away at a grungy D.C. go-go club, and sign a check to the World Wildlife Fund with a quill tipped pen.
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Bass player, Liz Draper, plays her upright and electric basses as effortlessly as any conservatory bred musician would, yet still sounds like a dirty hip hop sample. Kahlil Brewington's drums lock in as one with the bass and are laced with sophisticated dub and dancehall stylings. Tasha Baron attacks percussive Afrobeat organ lines and plays keyboard atmospheres reminiscent of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Samahra's vocals intermingle enigmatically with this striking and raw musical environment. Black Blondie's live show, distinctive song writing and innovative musical style has found them sharing the stage with The Roots, Jill Scott, Amy Winehouse, K'Naan, Meshell Ndegeocello, The Coup and J*Davey.
Black Blondie collectively wrote and produced their debut album, Do You Remember Who You Wanted to Be. DYRWYWTB is an intensely intimate and poetic album. The songs ride through a broad range of honest emotions telling stories with themes of self-examination, loss, and love. Daring front woman Samahra is at home with the pen. Perhaps it's something about the Midwest winters, but her songwriting is more closely related to Edgar Allen Poe than Beyonce. Black Blondie's music has traces of dub, old school soul, trip hop, and hip hop. People often ask where they find their "samples," but no samples are used on the album. The song "Dressed to Kill a Mockingbird" has obvious reggae influence, where "Bye Polar Bear" thumps with quirky 80s electro flavor, complete with a Dr. Dre West Coast influenced synth line. Each song on DYRWYWTB possesses a strong individuality, but DYRWYWTB is an album in the most complete sense, thematically and sonically cohesive songs from start to finish.