Chicago duo ‘Drama’ share new track “Nine One One”

Debut album ‘Dance Without Me’ out Feb 14 on Ghostly International. London Heaven show.

DRAMA recently announced the release of their debut album, ‘Dance Without Me’, for February 14 release via Ghostly International, alongside US/UK live dates, including headline dates at London’s Heaven and Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe – dates below. Today they have shared a second single, entitled “Nine One One”.

‘Dance Without Me’ is a refined collection that recasts romantic tragedy as moonlit self-acceptance, as heard on previous singles “Hold On” and “Gimme Gimme.” Counter to what you might expect from an act named DRAMApresenting a single entitled “Nine One One”, the Chicago-duo’s new track is a call of encouragement. It’s a spacious, evocative slow jam, combining swells of strings with crunching beats and silky, soulful vocal melodies, scaling up to a sparkling crescendo.

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.

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 (YouTube)

05. Gimme Gimme (stream)

06. Good For Nothing

07. People Like You

08. Days and Days

09. Lifetime

10. Nine One One (stream)

11. Dance Without Me