DRAMA is the multicultural collaboration between producer Na’el Shehade’s chic Chicago house-infused production style, and vocalist Via Rosa whose soulful delivery is inspired by the improvisational nature of jazz and playful patterns of hip-hop and bossa nova. The duo play to the complementary dynamics of their unlikely pairing by blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak and bliss. The pair just announced their full-length debut album Dance Without Me, out February 14 via Ghostly International. The album is a refined collection that recasts romantic tragedy as moonlit self-acceptance, as heard on recent track “Hold On”–released in advance of their recent fall tour with SG Lewis–and new single “Gimme Gimme” which was shared today. The pair has also announced extensive North American, UK & European headline tour dates (see below).
The Chicago-based pair’s debut album appears remarkably refined for a young band, with Rosa’s lyrical candor creating expressionistic narratives about interpersonal intricacies all finessed for the club by Shehade. As a lyricist, Rosa takes her blues and makes them vibrant — rather than wallow alone, she sashays. “This album is dedicated to the people watching their friend’s love-lives grow and happen around them, and not having anyone,” notes Rosa. There is lush lovelorn affliction blended into the tracks on Dance Without Me. Pre-order the album here: https://drama.ffm.to/dancewithoutme.
On “Gimme Gimme,” DRAMA continue to contrast vulnerability and self-reliance. Rosa pleads with herself (“broken heart, don’t fail me now…”), searching for a sign that it is okay to love again, as Shehade accentuates Rosa’s lovesick lyrics with sizzling synth lines and percussion spliced with vocal samples. “The idea was to have a conversation with my myself about what kind of man I’m looking for,” notes Rosa. “In the chorus I repeat the line ‘I need you to stand and deliver. Cause I need a man that’s not gonna give me any any…’ The end I purposely left blank so listeners could insert what they don’t want from their next lover. Oddly enough the song was inspired by the closing scene in the movie Grease where Sandy sings to Danny ‘You better shape up cause I need a man.’ Only in my world, I’m Sandy, my heart is Danny and I’m telling my heart to shape up and give me what I want.”