What is your name?
My name is Desarae Dee
What is your genre of music?
My music is a fusion of multiple genres (Jazz, Neo-Soul, RnB, Gospel, Hip-hop and Electronic)
Give us a little bio about you.
My name is Desarae Dee and I am an instrumental fusion artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Toronto, Canada. I hid my talent from my family and friends for years before I decided that music would be my future. I have been making major waves in the Toronto music scene since 2014. I am also known as, “Toronto’s Queen of Vibes,” as I have my own lane of creativity, meaning, passion and vibe. My music is a unique mixture of faith, soul, vulnerability, divine balance, and my matchless euphoria. My music enables people to visualize my message without hearing lyrics. I have established myself over the last 8 years as a premier talent with my boundary pushing and genre bending style leading the way. I wholeheartedly believe in Representation, and it matters, especially in the music industry. I saw that there was a need for instrumental music in Canada and I decided to start a new lane in the industry, but most importantly, I wanted to break barriers and stigmas that black women face in the industry.
What made you go into music?
I’ve been around music my entire life, via my Father who is a guitarist and vocalist. Both of my parents recognized early in my childhood that I had a musical gift and put me in piano lessons by the time I was 6 years old. I was classically trained for 13 years and started playing in church by the time I was a teenager. I really enjoyed music in High school and decided to pursue it at the University level. It was until 2014 that I decided to finally share my music with people and became an artist. Not only did I want to share my music with everyone, but I never saw myself represented in the music industry (and even the church community) and I realized at a young age that REPRESENTATION MATTERS. I never saw a Black Woman Instrumental Artist before and I strived to be the first one in my country who exclusively plays instrumental music (No singing, no lyrics).
Who are your influences?
My musical influences are Frederic Chopin (for his impeccable chord structures), Alicia Keys (showed me that it was possible to make it in the industry as a Black Woman), Oscar Peterson (reminded me that the size of your hands doesn’t matter when it comes to piano) and Robert Glasper (Showed me that you can be unique, “outside the box” musical thinker all while being true to yourself).
Are you signed?
I am not currently signed to any labels.
You released your new single ‘Comfortable’, tell us more about the single.
“Comfortable” is a musical canvas that I created as part of my current healing and self-care journey as a musician. Self-care, healing and mental health are all things that aren’t necessarily discussed in the musician community (and especially in the black community as a whole) and I believe it’s important to create safe spaces for musicians to come together to discuss their hardships because contrary to popular belief, musician go through the most in the industry. I wanted to share my personal journey with others (and with musicians specifically) and let them know that it’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to heal from the things that you have gone through in your life and make yourself a priority.
What is the meaning behind the single?
Being “Comfortable” is a reminder to myself (and everyone who hears it) that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. To be okay with who you are as a person because you are constantly growing, learning, and changing. Even through your stresses and your fears, It’s important to love yourself better.
What was the writing and recording process like?
I wrote this song almost 2 years ago during the first wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, so I’ve been sitting on it for a while. I didn’t decide until this year to put it out, but for me – sometimes I need to listen back to the music I create and if it resonates with where I am currently in my life, then it’s something that I can release. It just so happens that I was going through my healing journey and it was so fitting. The recording process was easy as I recorded it on my own in my home studio, but it was also enjoyable because there are a lot of different musical sounds and melodies that I put into this song so that it really described the journey that I was on.
Describe the track in two words.
Who did you work with on the single?
I worked on this single on my own initially and then my producer partner added a few melodic ideas in the finishing stages. Of course, I had my engineer mix and master the record and my vocal feature, Macklyn wrote/performed the lyrics.
How did the collaboration with Macklyn come about?
Macklyn and I met on instagram in 2021 and to be honest, it was pretty random. We ended up doing a collaboration together and posting it on social media and because it turned out so good, he wanted to work with me in the future on some music. At the time I was working on “Comfortable,” I knew that I wanted a vocal feature on it and he was the first person I asked. Once I told him what the song was about, he instantly was on the same page as he was currently on the same journey that I was on in terms of self-care and healing, so it was so fitting.
Will we see a Music video for ‘Comfortable’ , what can we expect from the creative process?
You probably won’t see an actual music video for the song, however, I will be releasing a Documentary Visual that talks a bit about my self-care journey and this song will be mentioned.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, can you give us a teaser of what to expect?
I’ve been asked this question since 2017 and my answer has always been “At some point, you’ll see something,” but yes, I will be releasing my EP entitled, “Self” in late spring of this year.
Do you have any live shows or a tour coming up and if so let us know where we can catch you at?
I am currently part of a mini tour with Romeyo Wilson who is an R&B artist from Toronto as well. I will be backing him on piano for a few of his Toronto show dates. The first show is this week (April 28) at The Cameron House in Toronto.
What else can we expect in 2022?
Well, aside from this new single and an upcoming EP, I was recently named the official host of the Toronto Rising Podcast via RADIOPUSHERS and episodes will be released on all digital platforms in the near future.
Will we see any collaborations and if so, can you tell us more about them?
At the current moment, no, but like I always say, “Stay locked with me and follow me on social media to find out.”
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
My hope in 5 years is to be on tour and hosting more music workshops in different countries and connecting with more women musicians of colour and continuing to leave my imprint on this world.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Trust the timing of your life.” My entire music career has been built on trusting and having faith in the process. It has not been easy being a woman of colour and a musician, but I am proud of how I have been able to maneuver my way through the music industry as best as I can as an independent artist. I’ve had to really trust the path that my life was going in and even though I don’t have all the answers, I can trust in God to lead me in the right direction.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
The top 5 things I cannot forget are: My piano, sustain pedal, extension cord, my iPhone and my in-ear monitors.