Dawn Richard has never settled for one “big break,” and she’s found a creative catharsis in that restlessness and anxiousness, one that has wrestled with identity and constant rediscovery that has played out in public for more than a decade. That identity is grounded in New Orleans roots — from a lineage of Washitaw Nation Mardi Gras Indians, the daughter of Chocolate Milk’s Frank Richard, a University of New Orleans alumnus and one-time New Orleans Hornets cheerleader. But Richard, as DAWN, intends to grow as a tree with infinite branches.
Following the soft dissolve of Danity Kane, the hit ensemble Richard joined as part of Diddy’s MTV series “Making the Band,” Richard followed her vision of R&B futurism that eclipses its current trends — the kinds of down-tempo, ambient-washed melancholy that’s covered rap radio for the last several years. Instead she embraces her fluidity, building a career outside pop’s mainstream while it looks to her as its guiding light.
She returns to New Orleans as part of Danity Kane’s recent reunion tour, but she’ll also perform solo. Her recent re-emergence — along with Danity Kane’s — teases the release of a 2019 album, her first since 2016’s “RedemptionHeart,” which closed a trilogy that simmered in love and loss, and ended with her own serenity — the sequence’s final track is titled “Valhalla (Outro)”. Her next album, then, finds the artist emerging from another chapter into the next, previewed by the lush orchestral ballad “Guardian Angel” and spectral R&B single “Jealousy.”
Tickets $30-$70. Dumblonde opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999; www.houseofblues.com/neworleans.