DRAMA: Chicago duo announce debut LP ‘Dance Without Me’ for Feb 14 release on Ghostly International & London Heaven show- Hear “Gimmie Gimmie”

November 13, 2019
Photo credit: Zoe Rain


– Announce debut album Dance Without Me’ 
  Out February 14th on Ghostly International 
– Hear new song “Gimme Gimme”
– Announce live dates including London’s Heaven
  and Manchester Night & Day Cafe

DRAMA have announced the release of their debut album, ‘Dance Without Me’, for February 14release via Ghostly International. Alongside the announcement they have shared a new single and US/UK live dates, including headline dates at London’s Heaven and Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe – dates below.. 

DRAMA is a collaboration between producer Na’el Shehade’s chic Chicago house-infused production style, and vocalist Via Rosa’s soulful delivery, which 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, blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak and bliss, and their debut album is a refined collection that recasts romantic tragedy as moonlit self-acceptance.

Following recent single Hold On, new track “Gimme Gimme” sees DRAMA 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 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.”

The Chicago-based pair’s debut album appears remarkably refined for a young band, with Rosa’s lyrical candour 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’.  

Rosa grew up in a musical household; her parents played in a reggae band and toured as a family, homeschooling Rosa into her early teens and limiting her listening primarily to Sade, oldies, Brazilian and Afrobeat music. She kept poetry journals and by high school started writing songs and making beats. After moving to Chicago in 2010, Rosa connected with THEMPeople, a collective at the center of the city’s sprawling hip-hop scene. Meanwhile, Shehade inherited an entrepreneurial drive from his late father, who immigrated from Palestine to the United States in the 1970s to build a better life. Born in Chicago, Shehade fell in love with DJ culture as a kid and took up music production and engineering; his interest eventually led to professional opportunities, including early studio work with Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and music projects for MTV and Bravo. Since a chance meeting in 2014 lead to the creation of DRAMA, the duo has bootstrapped a subtle rise on their own terms, self-releasing several EPs and mapping multiple tours with Midwestern grit. 

‘Dance Without Me’ will be released on February 14th, 2020. Pre-order it here.

DRAMA European live dates:
Jan 29 Manchester, UK @ Night and Day Cafe
Jan 30 London, UK @ Heaven

Feb 01 Paris, FR @ Le 1999
Feb 02 Brussels, BE @ Le Botanique (Witloof Bar)
Feb 04 Hamburg, DE @ Nochtwache
Feb 05 Cologne, DE @ Studio 672
Feb 06 Berlin, DE @ Kantine Am Berghain
Feb 07 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso 

DRAMA NA live dates:
Feb 26 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Feb 27 – San Diego, CA @  Music Box
Feb 28 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Feb 29  – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Mar 04 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Mar 06 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Mar 07 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Mar 18 – Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar
Mar 19 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
Mar 20 – Montréal,QC @ Le Ministère
Mar 21 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Mar 26 – Brooklyn,NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Mar 27 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Mar 28 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
Apr 03 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
Apr 28 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
Apr 30 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
May 01 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
May 02 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda

‘Dance Without Me’ track list:
01. 7:04 AM
02. Years
03. Forever and a Day
04. Hold On
05. Gimme Gimme
06. Good For Nothing
07. People Like You
08.Days and Days
09. Lifetime
10. Nine One One
11. Dance Without Me

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